Sunday, October 20, 2013

Berlin Bound

Tomorrow evening, I shall embark on an adventure, and I hope you'll come along.  The good people at the Aspen Institute of Germany have invited me to a conference in Berlin entitled "Maritime Security and Europe", and as I write this, I am busily putting off writing the remarks that I am obligated to give in order to justify their expense in bringing me there.  Much to my delight, I am a panelist on the first panel of the conference, which enables me to say what I want to say without the fear of having heard similar things from others already--something that tends to happen when you speak toward the end of conferences.  Therefore, I may actually sound insightful and brilliant, rather than repetitive and hackneyed. 

My flight leaves tomorrow (Monday) night from Dulles, and I arrive in Berlin Thursday afternoon via a transfer in Munich.  The amount of time in Munich is troublingly short, so I hope Teutonic efficiency whisks me through whatever administrative hurdles there are in order to make the flight to Berlin.

I have been to Germany several times, but not since 1993, and never to Berlin.  I am very much looking forward to the trip and putting my modest German language background to work.  The conference begins with an ice-breaker on Wednesday evening and ends with a Friday night dinner.  My original ticketing had me leaving DC on Tuesday night and returning on Saturday.  Never having been to Berlin and also fearing wishing for a day of transition, I asked to fly on Monday night, offering to pay my own hotel for Tuesday night.  The good folks running the conference one upped me, offering that night AND Saturday night if I agreed to fly back on Sunday.  Done.

The program for the conference is fascinating, and I am in tall cotton with respect to fellow participants.  If I can find an online rundown of the gig, I'll link to it here in the blog--but for now, I can't locate one.  Suffice it to say that it will be yet another opportunity for me to wonder silently what the hell I was doing there.  But I will muddle through.

If any readers have suggestions on things I shouldn't miss during my time in Berlin, please provide input. This includes of course, places to eat.  I shall endeavor to keep up my diet and exercise regimen, but will be unable to update you until Sunday or Monday (I know, you are crestfallen).

Ok.  I've dilly-dallied enough.  Back to work. 


Dear ol' Dad said...

Bryan, have a safe, happy, and worth while trip.

"The Hammer" said...

You just missed the Oktoberfest. That sucks!

Mudge said...

Reichstag with the Bundestag in session. Also if you can snag a boat tour of Berlin (we had a German Admiral take us on his barge) it is a great way to see the city(ies).

Haben eine erstaunliche Reise!

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