I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was preparing for a trip to Europe. That trip has come and gone, and it was a great experience. I spent two days in Amsterdam and Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and four days in Berlin, Germany. I was traveling as a freelance reporter for CrunchGear, a gadgets and technology website that I've been reading for a while. While in the Netherlands I visited a Philips Research center in Eindhoven; and in Berlin I was covering the IFA consumer electronics tradeshow. You can read all my CrunchGear posts published so far.
Amsterdam was fun, as always. It's been a couple years since last I was there, but very little seems to have changed.
I'd never been to Berlin before, so I was very much looking forward to that portion of the trip. I'd been in Ampfing and Konstanz, both in Southern Germany, so this was my first time in Northern Germany. Our hotel was literally right next door to the Brandenburg Gate, which made for a fabulous site to see every morning.
Late Thursday afternoon, after attending press conferences all day, the small group of journalists with which I was traveling set off for Treptower Park, in search of the Soviet memorial there. We had little trouble finding it, and spent quite a long time there.
My sister has translated some of the Russian visible in my other photos, so be sure to click through my Flickr stream if you want to read what the memorials say.
Friday night a few of us went to the Reichstag, in order to walk to the top of the dome.
It's a beautiful building, and the view of Berlin from the top is quite something.
Saturday was my free day, and I spent most of the morning wandering around the Pergamon Museum, soaking up all the antiquities on display there.
I could have spent many more hours inside, simply marveling at the statues, vases, and pillars on display. Also inside was the Ishtar Gate from ancient Babylon. Alas, no photography was permitted in this portion of the museum.
After the Pergamon Museum, I met Matthias, a fellow Habari Project developer who lives in Hamburg. He drove into Berlin to meet me for the day. After a great meal at a little Bulgarian restaurant, he took me to Hops and Barley, a microbrewery in Berlin.
An aside: I like to drink ales and stouts. Pale ales and India pale ales are generally my preferred beverage. I was quite distressed to learn that Berlin greatly favors pilsner, one of the kinds of beer I like the least. I was quite pleased to go to Hops and Barley in order to finally order a nice ale. And yet, for reasons completely unknown to me, I ordered the cider instead!
After a round of drinks, we made our way to the Berlin Victory column. where we took a lot of photos.
All in all, it was a wonderful trip. I got to try my hand at a new skill, I met many extremely interesting professionals from around the world, and I saw an awful lot of very cool technology. I think I did a fair job on my first assignment, and I'd love another opportunity to improve upon what I've learned. And if nothing further develops, that's okay, too!