Trip to Berlin

I have now returned from Germany.  It was a LONG week and it seemed an even LONGER plane flight; more on that later.

I was asked to present at the MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer) Summit for EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Asia) which was held in Berlin, Germany.  I presented in the first Summit which was held in Zurich last year, so to be asked to return is an HUGE honor.  I presented three sessions: one on Migrating from SharePoint 2003 to MOSS 2007, one on Using the SharePoint SDK in your training, and another on using Demos in your training.  I haven’t received any feedback as yet, but I think it will be OK.

 

I arrived in Berlin Sunday morning.  It was a long and somewhat frustrating flight.  As I was sitting on the floor at the Zurich airport waiting for my connecting flight to Berlin, I notice that there is ONE…*ONE* AC outlet in the whole area.  WHAT THE $##@$%^$% is wrong with this world?  AC outlets need to be EVERYWHERE!  EVERYWHERE; MULTIPLE times.  Bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, AIRPORTS!! I have ranted over and over about how the US airports SUCK on this issue and here I am across the pond and the same dang issue is here.  *SIGH*. 

The hotel in Berlin was nice.  There was a "Bear Garden" in one of the foyers and each bear represented a country.

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The opening of the conference was great.  The production is definitely getting more and more professional.  At the reception, there were the usual suspects and then the following day, the sessions were in full swing.

 

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On Monday, we took a tour through Berlin to visit the sites; Checkpoint Charlie, Brandenburg Gate, etc.  Even at night you could still see the sites.  It was cold that night but I managed to stay still enough to have a picture taken. Right next to the gate is where the new US Embassy is being constructed.

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On Thursday I after the conference was over myself and another speaker went to Dresden.  Great historic scenery there.  I knew the Allied Forces brought Germany to their knees, but I didn’t realize the total destruction of that city was, in fact, total.  It burned for 5 DAYS…I remember the LA riots, which burned the city for two days.  and that was MAJOR…I can’t imagine a large city of that scale burning for that long.

I rented a vehicle and got to drive on the famed "Autobahn".  I had heard you can drive as fast as you want, so I wanted to test that theory.  I started out pretty conservative (120 kph), and got passed like I was standing still.  So I put the pedal to the metal and let it fly!  It was hard to drive and take this picture at the same time…I will never be able to only drive 75 again.

 

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I took lots of photos in Dresden, so I won’t post them here, but in the albums folder on this blog.  My colleague and I went on a 22 stop tourist bus ride through the city and learned a lot about the history, and see a lot of what has been done since the bombing in 1945 when most of the city was destroyed by Allied bombs in WWII.

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All in all, a good trip.  I’m a little sick of sitting on planes though. 

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