While that was the main reason for coming to Berlin, I only did two of the three days at the show and the last day, the 9th and my birthday, I opted out. I explored on my own a bit, went to Checkpoint Charlie, which is by no means what it was like when I was there back in 1985, when there was a real border there and you had to exchange monies, in this case 25 Deutsche Marks for 25 East German Marks, which were essentially worthless and could not be spent, except in the local shops. If you tried to use the worthless currency in the western style mall, which today is in Alexanderplatz, they said “nein” and wanted more hard currency. In the end, I spent the money in local shops, buying something they called “pizza” and warm flat beer and a plastic set of bears that represented East Berlin. I also remember trying to speak German to the East Germans and they would not speak with me. They were afraid and so little conversation took place. In the end, Checkpoint Charlie is a tourist attraction and there was a Hard Rock Shop there, so I purchased my bling. I also went on a foodie tour in the east that day and hung out with some good people. Even a little birthday cake.
Leaving Berlin, it has once again been a bit of a whirlwind. While I had been to Prague many years ago, and several times, it had been some 14 or 15 years, since last I was there. The core of the city had not changed and it is truly a beautiful city, one I highly recommend in any of my travel planning and one to be included in other itineraries with the other imperial capitals. It known as the city of spires and they are everywhere. Of course I walked the squares, the Charles Bridge, Lesser Town, the Old Town and Josephov (Jewish Town). It was nice to return and continued to add to the Hard Rock collection, but it was good to pound the pavement on both sides of the Vltava (Moldau) River, that splits the city. Two days there is not enough, but in the end I had to keep moving as I make my way further east. I am glad I returned and enjoying a beer or two, as well as very hardy Czech food, well, I definitely had to walk the kilometers. You don’t have the worry about portion sizes, there is only one and even at the Hard Rock and having the local legendary burger, called the Astronomical, named after the world famous Astronomical Clock in Prague, it was huge. Again, needed to walk many kilometers to burn it off.
Yesterday, I was on the move again and to where I am now, Vienna, and the last time I was here was a decade and half ago. I will enjoy some time out today, but for now, lots of work to catch up on. The highlight from yesterday, was re-connecting with a friend and his family in Brno, the second largest city in the Czech Republic, and a place I had never been before, except to pass through. I am glad I stopped. It is a very nice city, that which I saw, but re-connecting with Frank and his family, after having met Frank some years ago in Finland on an educational trip, was wonderful. We walked, we talked, and we ate. That Czech food, certainly does add up and it was so nice to meet the family, especially their daughter Freya, cute as can be. I happened to have a little key chain puffin in my backpack and it now belongs to her. She named it after me. It was a very nice day, albeit it long and last night, while I was to go to the Vienna Hard Rock, I canceled it out and will head there tonight. With 10 days on the road already and many to come, my body was telling me something and it was better to lay low last night and get a good night’s sleep. Less than a week from now, I will be seeing Rosa again in Budapest, and I want to be ready, but that is for another post.
As always, stay safe, stay healthy and always look for the best in a situation and be patient as the best things in life are worth waiting for. Thank you as always for your support of my crazy little world and my small business. As always, I look forward to your comments, questions, concerns and continuing the discourse through whichever means you read my posts!!!
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Weathering the Storm with the Wandering Puffin