Friday, August 3, 2012

Germany back in the forefront

As each day of the calendar starts to slip away, I realized this week I really and truly need to buckle down and give Germany some serious thought.  I mean honestly, I'd even forgotten where I'm staying in Dresden.

If you've read any of the preceding trip-preparation posts, you know this is so unlike me.  But I have that little distraction called safari and my world has been tipped upside down.  This week I turned back to planning for Berlin and Dresden and good thing I did.

One experience that needs to be pre-booked is a tour of the Bundestag, or Germany's Parliament, at the Reichstag, either a tour or just a visit to the glass dome, which offers stellar views of the city.  Forums that I read leaned toward taking the tour in order to learn something, so that is the option I went for.  Good thing I looked into this now, as pickings were very slim for the time I am in Berlin. I ended up with a tour time of 1:30 on Sunday afternoon.  Not ideal, but I'll make it work.  What is interesting is the application process for tickets to the tour and/or dome.  Visitors must submit a request for times.   An email from the German government comes, and from that visitors follow a link to submit the dates of birth of everyone in the group (or just me, in my case).  There is some security clearance done, and then they issue an email with which of the times the visitor is approved for.  The total turnaround for me was less than 24 hours.  Pretty efficient.

I have also started to look into places to eat.  Because really, after the experience of the trip itself, food is the most important thing and probably what I'll write more about than anything!  I'm ready for some big hearty German meals!  And what about some wine, hmmmm?

I will, I swear, spend this long weekend (yet another medical-procedure with two days of down time required landing me on the sofa) fleshing out the rest of my time in Berlin.  I am, after all, under 40 days away!

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