Exploring Germany…

From last night, since the wireless went down….

So, I started off the day with an, ‘OMG, I’m in Germany’, thought. After a little bit of rest, I couldn’t wait to explore. I didnt have anything for the conference until three, so I had most of the day to myself. 

The hotel breakfast was simple, yet filling. For some reason, I felt like I was doing something wrong and everyone was starring at me. Oh well, I’m sure it was just in my head. 

After breakfast, I went on a long three mile run – long because I stopped to take pictures every few steps. The more things I saw, the cooler I realized everything was. So much of it was exactly what you would expect to find in Germany, yet a lot of it was different. And, while there are tons of bikes on the road, I was the only one running. Maybe because it was cold and rainy?  Maybe because people here don’t run?

After my run, I got ready and headed into Bremen for a tour the conference was offering. I found a cute restaurant by the hotel that I wanted to try, but ultimately decided that I needed to get on the train and get to my destination first. This turned out to be a good thing, since of course I got on the train going the wrong direction the first time. 

I made to the city center for the tour with plenty of time to grab a quick bite to eat – cue German McDonald’s. which, was very similar to American McDonalds. Unfortunately, my inability to find the tour (the meeting spot was lost amongst a protest/demonstration – why wouldn’t there be one right where I needed to be…), had me wishing I had chosen a different restaurant for lunch. Oh well, I ended up making up my own tour, seeing lots of cool buildings, and people watching from a beer garden. While enjoying my beer, i did see two guys in traditional Chinese dress – I figured they had to be with the conference. I also wandered into a church that was open to the public. So cool and very pretty. 

Then, it was time to find the conference check in – that I needed to go to, in order to get my name badge and whatever else for tomorrow. Of course, I couldn’t figure out how to get into the historic building…I saw some people, but they wouldn’t let me in for some reason. Luckily, I walked around the back of the building at the same time the China Goes Global tour was wrapping up, so I was able to follow them inside. 

They had a nice reception with a few speakers, some wine, and finger food. It was a great opportunity to meet people from all over the world – China, Germany, France, Spain, and even Florida. If someone had told me two years ago that my independent study paper would land me here, I never would have believed it.

At the end of the reception, there was even a free shuttle to bring us back to the hotels so I didnt have to take the two trains to get home. The trains haven’t been bad, now that I’ve figured them out, but the ride was a nice touch. 

I found a restaurant with an outdoor pizza window (they seem to have a lot of those here) to grab some dinner on the way back.  Made to order as I watched – very cool. However, the town here (outside the main city), seems very quiet. Not sure if it’s because of the weather or that it’s the work week or what. 

And now the wireless is down…awesome. I didnt have anything I needed to look at for tomorrow, and I totally know where I’m going. Ugh. Well, off to sleep in preparation for tomorrow’s adventure. 

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