Report authored by Steve Sheaffer.
We all arrived safely in Berlin today. After arriving at the hotel, the Fellows met with Roger Fechler, Head of the division of meat and livestock for the German Farmers Association (DBV). Roger welcomed us and answered any questions we may have. We also enjoyed our first German meal.
Roger was kind to have a tour guide available and take us around the city for 3 hours. Berlin is a city of 3.5 million people and many historical sites. We received a very nice driving tour to get a scope of the city. Our first stop was the Berlin Wall. It is hard to imagine the wall being put in place over a weekend and the lives it changed. We then headed to Brandenburg Gate. This is one of the few symbols not destroyed during World War II. It is now a major gathering point for the city. The US embassy sits next to the Brandenburg Gate also.
We continued our drive around Berlin and headed to West Berlin. The one item noted in East and West Berlin is construction. There are cranes in all directions either remodeling older buildings or raising new buildings. West Berlin has grown and modernized since World War II also. Many of the new buildings and structures in all of Berlin are built to resemble and signify a unified Germany. Berlin will not forget its past but looks forward to its future.
A piece of the past is the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial church. This church was bombed in World War II and all that remains is the spire or bell tower portion of the church. Of course, like much of Berlin, it is being remodeled so I could not include a picture. We drove by Alexanderplatz and drove through "Checkpoint Charlie." The tour gave us a great over view of the city.
We then ate at an old train station complex called Hackescher Market in a restaurant named Rocco. It had very good food and a unique decor being housed in a former train station. After completing our meal we headed back to the hotel. Most Fellows had been up since Saturday with an overnight flight and arriving in Berlin on Sunday morning. Berlin is 7 hours ahead of the central time zone.
That is all for tonight and we will have an additional update soon.
Group at Brandenburg Gate in Berlin