Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I went to Germany.

Hello, dear reader. It's been too long, but I'm back with vengeance to lay down the truths and the laws.

Let's be honest: I'm busy, you're busy, I don't want to type a lot, you don't want to read a lot. We're going to make this painless for all parties involved. I'll start:

Last week I went to:

• Germany

The transport I used to get there was:

• Bus
• Train

The cities I went to were:

• Hamburg
• Berlin

Things I saw were:

• The largest model train display on Earth
• A tea museum
• Art
• Old buildings
• Environmental things

Okay. That's the gist of this post. If you wanted the footnotes, there they are. I get it. For those of you who want more, I understand; it's easy to find one's self on the edge of your seat when dealing with matters "tea" and "art". The following is for you, edge-seat-sitter.

Let's break this down by city. Then by academic, cultural, and tourist subsets. Each has been handily labeled so you can skip what you find boring. Please enjoy!

March 4-6
I'll be honest, wasn't overly thrilled with this place. I don't want to rag on it though, it was probably just because it was cold and we spent a lot of time outside.

Day one we visited a place called HafenCity (Harbor City) that was essentially going through massive rezoning and construction to be a sustainable commercial and residential community. Also checked out the Municipality since Hamburg was voted Green Capital of the EU in 2011. Our final academic stop of Hamburg was Energy Mountain, a former landfill that was cleaned up and now is home to wind turbines and solar panels, powering roughly 40,000 residencies in the city.

The first night we had a traditional German dinner (read: meat and potatoes and beer). Please note: My skin is still purging all the unnecessary fats and greases from that night and I don't want to talk about it.

Do not ask me about this meal. Photo credit: Christian Graefe

While in Hamburg I went to the Miniatur Wunderland, a museum of very small things, which was pretty much 8 rooms filled with a giant model train. They say it was the biggest on Earth. I believe them. Also went to a World War II memorial at the site of a church that had been totally destroyed in Allied air raids circa 1943, save the bell tower which somehow survived. We went to the top of the tower which had been retrofitted with an elevator. Later I went to a tea museum and bought Pai Mu Tan White Tea. I have not yet tried it. Look at these pictures of all that stuff I just talked about: