We Left Grand Forks (GFK): March 1, 2003 Saturday 1:20pm
Left Minneapolis (MSP) 3:25pm Flight 42 changed to DC10 (747's
used for military service.)
Arrived Amsterdam (AMS) 6:45am Johan Ma met us and gave us a tour of the City
Left Amsterdam 2:50pm Arrived Berlin (TXL) Tegal 4:15pm
Picked up by Henry Förster (foreign student #1) and his family and went
to his apartment for dinner and that first "get together!"
Ordered in Chinese food (hey it tasted German to me) and sat around and
talked till late in the evening!
Rail Europe really came through for us! We got to experience
Regional German trains. THE ICE (Inter City Express) AND the
newest/fasted ICE in all of Germany, the run from Frankfurt (airport
station) to Köln, 300 Kilometers per hour! (186+ miles/hour)
WOW felt like going down a runway in a 747 just before the wheels
traveling? Email me and I'll tell you the ins-and-outs of your
plans! John (at) theminute.com
Blue words are
links for more info - if you'd like a large picture, email me and I'll
send you a 2 megabyte size! This page will LOAD SLOW, sorry, I'll
get my web guys on it and have them do thumbnail images so that you will
only need to wait for a download of the pictures you want to see!
Geographically this was our
trip: Berlin, Erfurt, Nuremberg, Munich, Ottobeuren, Ulm,
Homberg-Saar, Ramstein, Köln, Dusseldorf, Berlin, Chemnitz (driving),
|March 2, Sunday
||We arrive Berlin 4:15pm
Airport. A small feeling airport with 30 gates or so. Easy to get
in and out. The Försters parked about 50 feet from where our
luggage came out. Then on to Henry's apartment and German Chinese
food! It looked the same but the tastes were definitely different!
||Berlin, evening to
Erfurt - a guest at the Kristian Stuebner home, Kristian was a
student at Sacred Heart in East Grand Forks last year! He'll
be visiting Minnesota in April!
This is the breakfast that I woke up to in Erfurt!
UNBELIEVABLE! There's Caviar (red pot left of the meat) Jams,
Jellies, Honey, and 6 kinds of meat! Check the Quark Cheese Cake in the
back, along with Apfelkuchen (Apple Pie/Cake)
on the left. And those Buns!! Crusty on the outside,
soft and chewy inside. YUM Little did I know that I would need every
calorie as the day went on! Here's a close up of my 2 favorites:
Hey, let's go for a little walk around Efrurt!
Downtown Erfurt! We went for a "little" walk, later
calculated at about 2 miles. This is the part of the city that's
been left the way it was after the rebuilding of WWII
Here's the Erfurt Dom (cathedral!) one of the largest in Europe. I'm
standing on a public square that in just a few hours would become a huge
festival in anticipation for the next day being Ash Wednesday.
A typical Metzgeri (meat market!) notice the absence of little plastic
boxes? Most things are fresh and available to cut in the size you
want, wrapped in wax paper, and sent home with your. This was one of
maybe 6 we walked past in less than 10 minutes. The smoked meat
smell just drew me in!
Kristian and I on a typical little side street in Efrurt!
Say No to War said this poster in a window of the city government
offices. Other signs say things that translate to "not this
America" seeming to refer to the fact that although they are
against what's happening now, there was no deep seated animosity.
Everywhere the folks who were against the war really tried to impress on
me that although they were against what's happening at the moment
(remember this was the start of March 2003) that they wanted me to know
that we were still friends (USA/GERMANY) and they really wanted me to tell
them that it was OK for them to have a different opinion.
Evening Train to Nuremberg
||Good Morning Nuremberg
||Nuremberg, late afternoon -
Munich and the Hofbrahause, then
to Franz Reitmeier/Sontheim/Attenhausen (near Memmingen)
This is the ICE (Inter City Express) train, just arriving at the platform
to take us south to Munchen (Munich)! If only there was more of this
in the USA!
Hey what's a stop in Bavaria without a visit to the Hofbrauhaus
The beer comes in Liters and the Pretzels are great! The man to my
left is Franz Reitmeier, who invited us to come visit him and spend a
night with his family! It was AWESOME! Wait till you see the
pictures of the stops we made in Bavaria!
Franz Reitmeier and his family! Wilma runs here own home based
cosmetic and wellness company, Son Peter is finishing school and in
computers. Perhaps he'll come to America for an internship with my
Don't have dinner here though...there's great restaurants in the
area. We went to the Paulaner
Im Tal Restaurant! They feature pork...roast, but not just any,
it's a blend of a Wild Boar, and a domesticated sow ", which gives
the pork just enough "wild" taste, yet such a good pork
I had the Wild Pig, with red cabbage, and Klumpsa...sort of a
Chris had his VERY FIRST Weiner Schitzel Veal with
breading! Fried Potatoes and a typical German Salad,
It was raining and we left Munchen (Munich) for Franz's home
This is the little town that we stayed in near Franz Reitmeier's
home. Visit their webpage, and see the countryside at Ottobeuren.de
Just a small alcove in the Benedictine Church where I played the Organ in
Can you believe it? Here I am playing this AWESOME organ. It
would cost perhaps 7 million dollars to create it new today. It's
just gone through a 1 1/2 million dollar restoration. being able to
sit here for an organ player is like a race car driver getting to take out
the most expensive new race car for a couple of runs around the
track. My heart was pounding by the time I was finished!
For some Perspective...the biggest pipe on the left is about 40
FOOD FOOD MORE FOOD...A great Restaurant in the Homberg area. This
was the bread plate...Quark (soft cream cheese) and a spiced Goose fat to
spread on the great crusty bread!
A special Saarland (the German state where Homberg is) Grill. The
circle is motorized and moves in a sort of figure 8 pattern so that the
heat is perfect even across the meat you're grilling.... Pork Steak UMMMM
The finished meal...SOOOOO GOOD
Here I am at Ramstein Air Base! Can you believe it? Thanks to
Sgt. Mary Davis, and all the folks that made my visit possible, along with
the great airmen/women and staff that I interviewed!
3 of my 4 interviews at Ramstein! Thank you guys!
depart for Köln
||Köln, evening car ride to
Here I am in the worlds smallest production car the SMART made by
Mercedes! It's less than 7 feet long. I WANT ONE FOR FUN!
Depart Dusseldorf for Berlin
||Berlin and surrounding areas
from the train window pulling into one of the train stations in
Berlin. This is one of the more famous war memorials. The
church was bombed out by the Allies in WWII and left that way...the
steeple jagged as a reminder of what war can bring.
The German Parliament Building "the Reichstag" I was on
the roof just to the right of the dome when I did my program.
From inside the Honeycomb dome. Chris Peterson on my right, Henry
Förster (my first foreign exchange student) on the left. Henry is a
promotion/production guy for SAT1 Television in Berlin. He creates
their in-house promotions. He has been awarded to world wide
broadcast awards, "the PROMAX" for a movie trailer for Indiana
Jones, and the second year for Beatlejuice. My voice was on the
Beatlejuice commercial. Yippie, I'm famous in Europe!
pictures/info about Berlin
Couldn't resist! Here's a picture of us eating at
the Unsicht-Bar - the "blind date" restaurant that I've
talked so much about! Sevem (Seven but with an M) was our
server. She was AWESOME! And we thank her so much for taking
good care of us.
Unsicht-Bar HOW DOES AN INVISIBLE MEAL TASTE?
(this from a newspaper review of the restaurant)
An unusual restaurant was opened in Berlin. Visitors of Unsicht-Bar
(an invisible bar as translated from German) are offered to taste meals
with their eyes closed. Owners of the restaurant say it is more important
than that to concentrate on all senses except for the eyesight.
The room you are in is completely 100% dark! No exit light, no
glowing watches, no cell phones! and you are served by, don't be
astonished, blind waiters. The staff of the restaurant consists of 30
people, 22 of them are blind. There is no exact menu at the restaurant,
guests are not offered some particular dishes. They are only asked about
their gustatory passions: whether the guests would like to eat meat, fish
The restaurant was opened by the Organization of blind and people with
poor eyesight. Chairman of the Organization, Manfred Sharbah, says the
organizers wanted people to use their senses of smell, touch and taste
under rather unusual conditions. “People are surprised to find out that
their gustatory receptors send the same signals to the brain that their
eyes traditionally do,” Manfred Sharbah says. Visit
Daily from 06:00 PM reservation recommended. Here's another article: Good
This is the former "east" Berlin television tower! It was
a good afternoon for a picture...yes that is the moon on the right!
Pretty cool huh? We went up to the observation deck that's in the
center of the Ball! What a view!
Left Berlin Tegal (TXL) Monday March 17, 2003
Well we missed the first flight, but thanks to a very nice KLM ticket
agent, we were on the next one. It was a matter of waiting in
Amsterdam or Berlin... so it all worked out!
Departed Amsterdam (AMS) 4:40pm Flight 55 DC10
I must be getting older, those seats seem closer together every
year! But the trip was uneventful and we tried to get as much rest
Departed Minneapolis (MSP) 8:55pm
Arrive Grand Forks (GFK) 10:05pm Wonderful to sleep in my own
bed again. For the next day's we'll be LIVE from STUDIO
"B" from the farm!