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Author Topic: My Story BLUE ON BLACK

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My Story BLUE ON BLACK
OP: September 19, 2022, 09:09:10 PM
Saturday was my last run and tonight was my last kickboxing session. There are no aches and pains. Some people run straight thru up until the marathon while others take a week off to rest. I am going with the latter. I prefer to have no sore muscles for Sunday.

I don't think this is going to hit me until I am actually sitting on the plane. I already checked in tonight with Lufthansa so I must be going somewhere I'm thinking.

I feel a combination of being both prepared and unprepared for the trip and the marathon at the same time and I'm just going to take it one day at a time.

Lufthansa asked if I wanted to upgrade. At first I thought to myself, oh no way Lufthansa. However, Lufthansa reminded me that I pay both alimony and child support so they convinced me to take that upgrade, LOL....

I did receive the Berlin City Pass today which gives me free access to the U Bahn and buses. So I'm set train wise for traveling. My bank still has not received my euros order so I may have to go without and now I will be forced to panhandle because I have no euros.

I still have a small window before noon tomorrow to see if the order comes in. I should be at the airport between 2-3pm. I fly to Frankfurt and catch a connection to Berlin which will place me there around 10am Wednesday. Then I have my first date with Jannowitzbrucke Hbf.

I have to remember to stamp my rail pass before I board the train. I've seen people posting that it's cold in Berlin but I don't think 60° is cold. That's ideal for running and it's really not that bad for sightseeing either. I did see some rain forecasted for Sunday.

I believe they have also said 41,000+ runners from what I have seen.

Have a good night
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BLUE ON BLACK
#1: September 20, 2022, 02:40:25 AM
If you have cash (US Dollars) with you, you can buy Euros at the airport in Frankfurt or Berlin (for a small fee/exchange rate difference- they do have to make money somehow) at one of the kiosks in Terminal 1 where you will land from the US/leave for Berlin

You can also use a credit or debit card (if they are the usual Master/Visa and you have your PIN) in any one of the cash machines around to get Euros directly (although you will pay a fee for that)

If you upgraded to Business class, use the flight to catch some sleep... Even f you did NOT upgrade to Business, use the flight to catch some sleep if possible. I find the jet lag coming here from the US to be MUCH worse than going west...
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Me - 59, xW - 51
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 15, D - 11
2 Dogs
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
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BLUE ON BLACK
#2: September 20, 2022, 12:42:40 PM
Hi UrsaMajor,

I went to the bank this morning and my euros order was ready. They gave me a lot of 100 and 50 bills and I'm sure that's the same headache as when we get a 50 or a 100 in the U.S. with no one wanting large denominations.

The 5's and 10's are cute as they are smaller in size, lol, while the 20 is somewhere in between. I also went to TMobile and I now have unlimited international data because I'm not getting lost.

I already made it through security. The check in baggage line was looooong but I later learned it was the Austrians who were clogging up the line with their own flight.

TSA asked me if I was going to Vienna or Frankfurt and I had to let them know that there was no World Marathon Major in Vienna. So it would seem that there are a lot of Austrians and Germans going home with a sprinkling of Americans.

Yes I upgraded to get the extra space so I can sleep since the flight is 7.25 hours. They didn't offer an upgrade for the Berlin leg but that's only 1.10 hours.

Enjoy your day
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W
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BLUE ON BLACK
#3: September 21, 2022, 02:18:34 AM
I had a 1 hour delay in New Jersey last night so I missed my connection to Berlin this morning. The immigration line at Frankfurt was horrendous and all of us Americans couldn't believe it, lol. I think this was payback for how George Washington beat up on the Hessians during the American Revolutionary War.

Lufthansa has a beautiful airplane and the food was great as I had both dinner and breakfast. They served watermelon this morning with sprinkled cheese. That was a first for me. Other than that I've had chicken, rice and broccoli in the U.S.

I just ate this pretzel sandwich, lol, which had salami, hard boiled eggs and relish. Out of this world. I will have to find the proper name. So I have spent my first euros. My coworker did warn me to expect coins in return as change. That's a bit weird to get so much coins in return. The lady at my bank said they would not exchange any coins.

I have a 1245pm flight now instead of the original 9am connection. Hopefully there will be no issues with my luggage once I arrive in Berlin. I think I'm staying close to the hotel today now that I'm delayed.

I also lucked out and had no one sitting next to me on the flight. There was a disturbance about four hours into the flight and they were going to put the aggravated person next to me but that plan thankfully fell apart. The idea of a first class passenger being sent to business class scared him straight I guess.

They also play the accordion 🪗 at the airport and dress the part.

Well for about 30 seconds I was ready to return home after I saw that immigration debacle but I got over it.
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#4: September 21, 2022, 02:34:06 AM
You got into Frankfurt in the Morning Rush with all the foreign flights coming in from the Mid- and Far East as well as the US so there is LONG line at Passport Control (Immigration). It usually doesn't take too long though, especially if you are from a country like the US that doesn't need a VISA...

It's a shame that I am at work already and here on my bicycle or I'd shoot up to the airport to say hello... But that would mean you'd have to come out of the Secure area so maybe not the best idea.... It doesn't take TOO long to get back through security at Frankfurt (15-20 minutes usually)
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Me - 59, xW - 51
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 15, D - 11
2 Dogs
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

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BLUE ON BLACK
#5: September 21, 2022, 04:37:03 PM
Hi UrsaMajor,

I think I ended up staying 5 hours at Frankfurt Airport as the afternoon Berlin flight was even delayed. Yes someone was saying all the flights arrived at once and I really would have been fine had I not been delayed in New Jersey.

The flight to Berlin was 55 minutes and I slept on it. I was going to take the train to my hotel but I went with a cab instead as I didn't have the mental capacity to figure things out. I did make it down to Terminal 5 and the S9 train but I couldn't figure out where to stamp my rail pass.

I arrived at the hotel and went to walk since my leg was bothering me. I did see Berlin Dom (Cathedral) which was built under Kaiser Wilhelm II and it is both massive and stunning. There's a lot of scaffolding all around the area but that cathedral is just beautiful.

The first building that caught my attention was Humboldt Forum. I was reading this was the former Berlin Palace and the Soviets converted it into their typical block style architecture. So now it's being converted back from it's "brutalist" form (that's what they call Soviet architecture) and the facade is just stunning.

It's still a work in progress but it looks really good. Like I said, a lot of scaffolding in that area. I saw the Altes (Old) Museum which is another stunning design. I passed by the DDR Museum and the Old National Gallery is another building with an interesting design.

I also did see the DDR TV Tower. I was surprised that it is cold. I'm coming from 85°. Berlin does also have some bad ass looking crows. These birds have grey bodies and the wings and head are black.

I had Jagdwurst for dinner. The sauerkraut had chopped peppers in it and it was served with whole potatoes. The Allgauer Bier is what drove me to this location. The froth on this bier was incredible.

Then I crashed back at the hotel and woke up at midnight. Hopefully tomorrow I can get on track with eating and sleeping. So now I'm going back to bed.

Have a good night
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#6: September 22, 2022, 12:23:06 AM
Just be aware that German Beer is stronger than US Beer by usually around a factor of 1.8-2

Yeah, the creamy foam is great and if you got it, then it was poured correctly... If not, the head will disappear quickly....

Boiled potatoes are a staple o any traditional German meal, especially in the north. If you go to Bavaria, you'll see more dumpling-type things ("Knödel" pronounced knoo'del) that are made either from bread (Semmel or Serviettenknödel) or potato (Kartoffelknödel or, in REAL Bavarian. Kartoffelklöse)
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Me - 59, xW - 51
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 15, D - 11
2 Dogs
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

Survival Instructions for Newbies
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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

W
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BLUE ON BLACK
#7: September 22, 2022, 02:02:35 PM
Hi UrsaMajor,

Yes that beer was much stronger. I felt it immediately on number 2. Last night I had a rough time sleeping and even my eating was all screwed up. So I went to the hotel breakfast first thing as I was starving.

There were three breakfast icons on the elevator door. Breakfast is served 7-11am. The 1st icon shows a plate of lettuce and it is served 7-8am. The 2nd icon shows a plate of eggs and it is served 8-9am and the 3rd icon shows a bowl of fruit which is served 9-11am.

So I'm thinking I'm holding out for the eggs when I saw this bizarre breakfast schedule. I was actually at the elevator at 7:45am but I wasn't going for lettuce.

Well I learned that lettuce means traffic is light, eggs means traffic is busy and fruit means very busy, LOL....So tomorrow I'm there first thing at 7am.

I walked 30 minutes to Brandenburg Gate afterwards and also stopped to see the Reichstag. Both are beautiful structures. The Tiergarten is pretty much on security lockdown so I couldn't explore much in that area.

I took the Ubahn 6 train to Tempelhof Airfield to attend the expo. The train was simple enough. I arrived at the wrong time as I was 2 hours early. There were thousands of people lined up by the time the gates opened.

People went running across the grand hallway and then across the airport hangars until they arrived 3 miles later at the start. We were given our wristband which we now have to wear until the end of the marathon.

It's actually stitched on so if it comes off then your not running.

Once I had the wristband I could pick up my bib and tracking device and then I moved onto my ordered merchandise. So it probably took all of 15 minutes.

Tempelhof is stuck in time. It's absolutely beautiful. I was more interested in the history then the running. There is an air drop plane on display in the middle of the field. It looks exactly like an airport from that era.

I took the U6 up to Checkpoint Charlie. Afterwards I walked back towards Unter Den Linden where I saw the Frederick the 1st equestrian statue. I maybe wrong on the name. I also saw the Friedrichs Werdersche Kirche, Humboldt University, Bode Museum, the Old National Gallery and the Pergamon Museum which are all stunning architecture.

I saw this Nikolaikirche in the Nikolai Quarter which is also stunning but I was reading that the entire Nikolai Quarter was destroyed in the war and rebuilt in the 1980's. This was the site of the original medieval Berlin settlement so I was reading it was restored to look medieval.

I also saw an interesting bulding called "Red City Hall" which was East Berlin's city hall. If you look at a lot of these older buildings you can see the damage from gun fire all over their facades from the war,. especially along the Spree River.

I met a woman from British Columbia and a man from Calgary and another from Australia while waiting at Tempelhof and we were just shooting the breeze about marathons. Everyone is chasing the World Majors.

My Garmin says I walked 17 miles today so I will have to cut it down over the next two days.

Have a good night
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« Last Edit: September 22, 2022, 02:11:49 PM by Watcher »

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BLUE ON BLACK
#8: September 23, 2022, 01:13:35 PM
This morning I did venture to Charlottenburg Palace. It's simply breathtaking. Upon entry onto the palace grounds the sign says enter at your own risk and I was thinking what on earth is going to happen on these grounds, lol. It's a Palace afterall. Falling tree limbs seem to be the culprit. ::)

The grounds have the typical palace gardens and statues. I did come across a meadow of rams. I thought initially these were sheep, however they had the ram horns so I'm going with rams, unless European sheep have horns, lol.

There was also a bird that resembled the Great Blue Heron throughout the park. I utilized the U2 train for this one. There was a 10 minute walk after the roughly 35 minute train ride.

Afterwards I re boarded the U2 train and went the short distance to Olympic Stadium where I did get to see the rings with it's famous facade and the outside of the stadium.

I later went to Treptower Park which has a large Soviet Memorial and that required me to take the U2, U5 and S85 I believe. I still don't have my rail pass stamped so I was a bit nervous on the S85.

After a nap I went to the Berlin Wall which is really not there anymore. I took the U2 and U8 to Bernaur Strasse but I ended up in Mauer Park and I probably should have walked the other way. I don't have real time Google maps like I do at home. It just won't work here so I usually have to map it out before I leave the hotel.

I still don't believe there is much to see over there so I don't believe it warrants a second look. I'm mastering the trains but I still ended up walking another 17 miles today.

I've just been eating pasta and pizza the past two days as I need to carb load so I have one more day of eating that tomorrow.

So I've noticed people wait to cross on the green arrow. I don't see much jaywalking at all. People wait for the crossing sign. Oh and beer is drunk in public. I saw someone yesterday morning drinking a beer and welcoming me to Berlin and today another on the train.

I have fooled two Germans thus far. At the expo yesterday this man was trying to sign me up for a subscription to Der Tage Spiegel. I felt bad to tell him I only spoke English but he gave me a free paper anyway.

Then this young girl stopped me while I was walking, probably trying to get me to sign some petition like these college kids do in NYC, but my cover was blown when I could not reply, lol.

Anyway they both conversed with me in English afterwards. Oh the English speakers sniff me out with no problem.

I forgot to mention that we did have a mandatory mask wearing flights and the trains here are also mandatory with about 90% probably wearing masks.

So tomorrow will be Potsdam and Sanssouci Palace. I'm not sure what kind of legs I will have on Sunday. It feels like I haven't run in years and yet it's only been a week.

This morning I did go for "lettuce" breakfast and it was indeed light traffic.

Have a good night
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« Last Edit: September 23, 2022, 01:17:28 PM by Watcher »

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BLUE ON BLACK
#9: September 24, 2022, 07:29:34 AM
I'm thinking my Garmin converted to kilometers automatically. There is no way I'm racking up these high walking miles. I'm back early from Potsdam because I had to place myself on a leash or I could have easily stayed there all day.

My leg muscles are sore however that really doesn't make much sense because I would have been running instead of exploring anyway.

This morning I took the U2 to the Zoo Garden Station. I never made it to Jannowitzbrucke Hbf. I'm Markiches Museum. So I had to wait for Deutsche Bahn to open in order to have my rail pass stamped. I don't believe anyone really asks to check train tickets here in Germany.

Afterwards l used the bathroom at the station which costs 1 euro. So I sat down and the seat was wet and I was like oh you really screwed up Watcher. I immediately got up and the seat turned in a circle like Linda Blair and washed itself. Whew that was a close one.

I took the S7 to Potsdam which is a beautiful town. It's Saturday so there were lots of markets and street fairs. I was given a map as I exited the train and an entire day is really needed for sightseeing.

I saw the Stadtschloss, the Naunener Tor, Brandenburger Tor, and a couple of other churches and stone arches that I still have to identify on the walk towards Sanssouci.

This Palace was Frederick the Great's Summer Palace and there are actually several palaces on the grounds and other buildings which calls for an entire day of walking. I could only see so much.

So Schloss Sanssouci was up first and it really is incredible in size with vast gardens and sculptures. Then I went to the Neues Palais which he also built I believe and finally Schloss Orangerie.  There was also a large wooden windmill. There were probably 5 other building  interests on the property but it would involve too much walking today.

I think the animal of the day would be German ducks. Ok so these particular ducks look like they have white bodies, orange wings and possibly and orange mohawk.  Well I've never seen one before, lol. Almost like a dark orange.

It was cloudy today and it did rain a bit.

On my way back I had to stop and catch a transfer at the Zoo Garden Station so I stopped to see the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church which was bombed in WW2 and left as is.

I also did help a woman buy a train ticket today and she wasn't accepting my answer of, I speak English, lol. So she needed to goto Berlin Airport and she chose German as the language. I have never used the ticket machine because I have passes.

Anyway I got the ticket set up for her and she just needed to figure out how to pay which I explained to her either euro or card. It's funny how she wasn't letting me get away with I only speak English, lol. Like she wasn't taking no for an answer. I don't believe she was German.

So now I'm in for the day.
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« Last Edit: September 24, 2022, 07:32:12 AM by Watcher »

 

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