10 June, 2010

Last Day in Berlin...

On my last day in Berlin, what did I get up to? Well, I went shopping in Alexanerplatz for starters after doing a bit more sightseeing. I had to buy a shirt and a jacket, I also got another tie! I needed these for my meeting in Hong Kong, I thought what I had would have been ok, but alas a last minute email from Pako showed it was not, thus the reason for my shop! I did a bit of 'trainspotting' on the way there as I was amazed as to the various types of trains the have!

Berlins S-BAHN
24 Carriage Train

I also had breakfast in Alexanderplatz Square, which was great, as I had to wait for the store to open. I was only going to look at this one, and then go OVER to another across the way to compare. I ended up finding a nice shirt, tie and linen jacket combo, so I went with that. BUT, when I bent down to pick up a shirt, my back went CRACK, and there I stayed... I went pale white, broke out in beads of sweat and felt as though I was to vomit. The sales girl who was helping me was very concerned and I was promptly (slowly) taken to their sick bay. I was there for about 30-40mins, before I headed to the GP, and I was then quickly sent for an MRI (MRT called here). This showed it OK to fly out that afternoon, so I was given some medication and a bill. I think they give it this way so as NOT to fear you! 435 EURO later, I will be sending it onto the Insurance as soon as I get home!

So then it was onto Berlin Tegel airport for my flight to Helsinki and then onto Hong Kong. Both the flight from Berlin and my departure from Helsinki were in daylight, EVEN at 11.45pm!

Approach to HEL from TXL
Vacating RWY HEL
OH-LQE Wingtip HEL - HKG

Next stop, Hong Kong!!!

Hoo roo for now...


Tierpark Zoo: - Berlins Zoo

I had the opportunity to go to Tierpark Zoo in Berlin, it was a great day, hot and sunny, and great company, Maribeth!

I caught the S-BAHN and then a U-BAHN to get there, and when I arrived, there was a Black Bear and her Cub out on a display through glass right out on the street!

Tierpark Zoo Black Bear
Tierpark Zoo Running Bear

We purchased our tickets and in we went. We saw all sorts of things from Crocs to Pelicans and monkeys.

Tierpark Zoo Mixed Bag
1. Tierpark Zoo Horned Owl, 2. Tierpark Zoo Zebra, 3. Tierpark Zoo Mother Calf Giraffe, 4. Tierpark Zoo Har Life Rhino, 5. Tierpark Zoo Maribeth Sabretooth Cat, 6. Tierpark Zoo Monkey Just adA Swim, 7. Tierpark Zoo Mother Baby Monkey, 8. Tierpark Zoo Smile Crocodile, 9. Tierpark Zoo Pink Flamingos Pond

But the highlight was clearly the Elephants.

Tierpark Elephant Walk THIS Way
Tierpark Zoo Elephants
1. Tierpark Zoo Elephant Calf CU, 2. Elephant for FB, 3. Tierpark Zoo Elephants Playing Pool, 4. Tierpark Zoo Elephant Pool Party, 5. Tierpark Zoo Elephant Calf, 6. Tierpark Zoo Elephants Not Too Deep, 7. Tierpark Zoo Elephant Mothers Protecting Calf, 8. Tierpark Zoo Elephant, 9. Tierpark Zoo Elephants Rear

After the Elephants, on our way out we saw some Zebras and finally, Knuts family!

Tierpark Zoo Knut's Uncle or Aunt

Man it was a hot day, and we enjoyed a few beers, both in the Zoo and back at Uschi's place where we had a BBQ. Thank you my dear friends for having me...

Tierpark Zoo Maribeth Funny

Hoo roo for now...


09 June, 2010

Meeting day and points of interest...

Today, was my last 'Research Day' in Berlin, and it was spent in discussions about all sorts of stuff (of which I will NOT bore you...). But during the day, inbetween site meetings and what not, we managed to coordinate a few sites to visit. First up, was the infamous, 'Checkpoint Charlie' and to see where the Berlin Wall once stood.

Checkpoint Charlie
Berlin Wall 1961 - 1989
Berlin Wall 1961 - 1989

And I also got to walk out of the Brandenburger Tor Station out to the Brandenburg Gate, and then back into the U-BANH to the next point of call...

Brandenburg Gate

There were all sorts of people there, some remembering, some (like me) visiting for the first time, but then there were some opportunists who called themselves, 'Entertainers'!

Brandenburg Entertainers

So now, tomorrow I think I might be heading to the Zoo, depending on weather (which is supposed to be fine after some possible clearing showers) with Maribeth! Then on Thursday, I head to Helsinki and then onto Hong Kong for my meeting at the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Hoo roo for now...


08 June, 2010

A TWO day catch up: - Meeting friends and meetings

Ok, a two day catch up in one post... Here we go!

On Sunday, I finally got the opportunity to catch up with a dear blogfriend (a new word!), Maribeth. She is here with her puppy Annaleise for a breeding service all the way from the USA! I caught the S-BAHN out to where she is staying with Uschi.

We all then headed out to Lake Muggelsee and walked around the lake where we had a beer and a chat, a long chat!

Uschi Maribeth Muggelsee, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

After our chat, we then moved to have lunch at the restaurant there, where Uschi and I had the Chicken Schnitzel whilst Maribeth had the White Asparagus. And yes, believe it or not, I even tasted them! I thought it was a little 'watery' in flavour was the hollindaise sauce, but hey, I TRIED IT!!!

Me Maribeth Muggelsee, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
My Lunch Chicken Schnitzel, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

We then headed to an ice-cream shop (I will not even begin to tell you where we were OR the name of the shop as MY German is not good), and to another cafe for a coffee before heading back to Uschi's place where I met Annaliese, and Uschi's husband.

Annaleise Maribeth, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Dear friends Uschi Maribeth, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

We sat and chatted and chatted some more before I knew it, it was well after 10pm and I had to get the S-BAHN back into town! I had SUCH a great day/night, and we will be doing it again soon!

Yesterday, was my meeting day... I first met with my turf friend in Alexanderplatz, where we had coffee... We then headed out to have a look at some turf trials and so forth. On our way back towards town, we were near the 'Botanischer Garten', (Botanic Garden), so we went in to have a look. This was a well laid out Garden, with a lot of Arboretum and glasshouses, and it had a majestic glasshouse at that!

Botanischer Garten Glass House, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Lots of lawns, both formal and meadow type, and colour to be seen... They also had a wetlands garden area, with a LOT of frogs that could be heard for miles it seemed!

After leaving the Gardens, we then headed for the Olympic Park and Stadium (Olympia Stadion). We met there with the head greenkeepers (one for each site) and discussed turf management practices. We were then taken around the Park area, which is for training of football (Soccer), training areas and then into the machinery sheds. I also got to see the turf stabilisation they are using in HIGH traffic areas!

Olympic Park Stabalised Turf, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Then it was into the Olympic Stadium, which is the home of football now. It is a non impossing building from the outside, but from the ground inside, its a massive structure!

Olypic Stadium Rear, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Olympic Stadium Rear Cauldron, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Olympic Stadium Bump Out, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

We walked and talked and walked some more, before I caught the U-BAHN back towards where I am staying and agreed to meet a little later today! So here I am, about to head out (again) for the day... This next pic I saw at the entrance to the station... One for the boys...

Olympia Stadion, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Taking the pissoir, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Hoo roo for now...


06 June, 2010

Tiergaten: - Berlins City Park

This morning, after going to breakfast of fresh crusty breadrolls, scrambled eggs and coffee, I returned back to my room. And it seemed that my luck with electronic door keys had returned! I swiped my card and the lights turned green, but the door stayed locked! I went back to reception and the girl came up with me with the 'Staff Key' which ALSO didn't work! So the Manager came up with a very small screwdriver, and a key! A quick unscrew of the plate, a turn of the key and I was in... An offer of moving me to a new room was discussed, but after several trials, it appeared to be working, so I stayed. Here is the view from my room and from the hallway outside.

View from room, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

View from hall, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

It was a totally awesome day weather wise! The sun was bright, and warm, however, the air was not clear. All around, I could see little white 'puffs' of pollen that I KNEW was going to cause me grief... I caught the S-BAHN from Berlin Ostbahnhof to Teirgaten. I had been reccomended told I should visit the cities biggest greenspace, so I thought, why not! BUT, when I got out from the station, I found an antique market! Again, as in Paris, there was many things to see that I would have LOVED to buy, but how on earth do I get it home?

Berlin Ostbahnhof Station, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Tiergaten Antique Markets, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Tiergaten Antique Markets, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

After walking through here for over an hour, I then headed down the road to the park's entrance and meandered down a pathway. It went along the river and there were some geese being fed some bread.

Tiergaten River Geese, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

I ended up down the end of the park, it is a HUGE park, so I turned around, past some Rhododendron's to the center lake area where there was a couple of cafe's, bar's and some deck chairs. They even had some row boats for hire! After having a brief rest, I rounded a corner where the row boat looked more than a little, 'Monet'!

Tiergaten Rhodie, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Tiergaten Deckchairs, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Tiergaten Rowboat, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

I continued along a pathway heading back towards the S-BAHN, and to my surprise, there was some people sunbathing... NOT, 'some' people, but a LOT of people and they were in the nick, nude birthday suits! I declined to get a photo of this out of bad taste...

But, nearing the station, I could not resist getting this photo, as it shows just WHY my hayfever is so bad!

Today, I went for a walk... And more fool me! Thank goodnes I eventually got some relief!

My Saviour, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Hoo roo for now...