Monday, September 26, 2011

Day 1 - Sunday, September 25

I left the US (Omaha) on Saturday at 10:40 am changing planes in Chicago, and then Newark, where I met the other three McCloy fellows.  Shane Otley a hay and cattle producer from eastern Oregon, Katherine Harrison a goat producer and packer from Ohio (near Columbus) and Tracy Grondine from AFBF.We landed after 8 am in Berlin, quickly got our bags and went through customs.  Brigitte Wenzel from Deutscher Bauernverband (DBV) met us at the airport and invited us to her home for a German breakfast and shepherded us around town for some sight seeing throughout the day.  We did a boat tour along the river in Berlin, seeing several sights, got to see a section of the wall and tour a new building/exhibit that was just opened.  The building was the main interchange between the east and west prior to reunificattion, known as the "Palace of Tears" for the heart wrenching moments where families living in the West Germany and the German Democratic Republic (GDR) had to part ways.  We also got to see the Berlin marathon which we were told is the 5th best marathon in the world and a runner from Kenya broke the world record.  It is facinating to see the runners at a pace for 26 miles that is probably faster than I can sprint.  We ended the day with a home cooked meal and beer at Brigitte's home, with her daughter Marta.

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