Saturday, July 19, 2008

There And Back Again

We are back at home in San Francisco. Jet lag is getting the best of me so I thought I'd post a final entry. Our last stop on the tour was Berlin. We arrived at the main train station wide-eyed at the modernity of it. It was like a giant shopping mall with trains running through it.All of Germany has a really rich history but Berlin in particular has had some major events in the recent past. The City is in a constant state of change and construction due to their reunification efforts since the fall of the Berlin Wall.We visited the Museum at the site of Checkpoint Charlie. Its focus is to describe life during a split Germany. The museum itself is kind of cluttered but it tells many interesting stories of escape attempts and the exuberance of the people after the Wall came down. Time for a little lunch break. Learning about history sure makes you hungry. Luckily they pour really big glasses of wine!The next morning we went to see the Reichstag building. In 1933, an arsonist set the building on fire ushering in a new era of Nazi rule. You can still see some of the burn marks.Above the columns, it says "Dem Deutschen Volken" or "For the German People". The family of the person who engraved it died in the holocaust. Today it is back in business as the offices of Parliament.

One of the last things we did in Berlin was go to the stylish Jewish Museum. It recounts Jewish life in Germany starting from the beginning of recorded history. The building itself is a monument to the millions of lives lost due to the persecution of Jews throughout time. One particularly intense display was a vast empty room with thousands of metal "faces" on the ground that clanged when you walked over them. We will never forget.So our time in Europe comes to an end. It was great traveling with a good friend and I feel like I really learned a lot! I will remember the delicious food, the kind people, and the madness of human behavior.

video

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ahoj

Greetings from Prague! This place is a combination of old world beauty and reconstruction blues. There are some pretty incredible sights with lots of Gothic flair...And also some decidedly non-gothic images.I forgot to mention that while we were in Vienna, we accidentally ran into the Tour De France!We were also going to buy some gifts in Vienna before we left. Maybe some wine to bring home, but decided to wait until Berlin.
OK, back to Prague... Today we packed it in. We saw the Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, Old Jewish Cemetery, King Wenceslas Square, and finally the opera Don Giovanni at the Estates Theater. It is the original theater Mozart debuted Don Giovanni in on October 27, 1787 . Tomorrow we are heading to Berlin for the final leg of our tour. This is going by fast!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Czech Please!

We are leaving Vienna today and heading to Prague. Wish us luck! here is a link to the food we've been eating...

Friday, July 11, 2008

There Are No Kangaroos In Austria

First of all, we are here in Europe for work. this is what we did:What you are looking at is the view from the remote controlled space ship Patty and I rode in onto the big TV stage. It was for a kid's show called "Tiger Duck Club" and they invited us over to talk about animation. It was scary and thrilling trying to do a live interview translated into English through an ear piece in front of an audience of 150 kids... In one take.

The next day, we decided to take a bus tour to see the Bavarian countryside. We saw this:
and this (note the para-sailing over the castle). It's called Castle Neuschwanstein and is the inspiration behind Disneyland's castle. Oo, maybe we can write this trip off.Today we left Munich and headed over to Austria. First stop, Salzburg! They have solar powered garbage cans but we couldn't figure out why they need power."Patty, you have something in your hair"After leaving Salzburg, we took an epic journey to Vienna. We were carrying heavy bags, dealing with rude people and getting lost but in the end it was all worth it.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Guten Tag!

Hello from Munich! Patty and I are in Germany doing press for the release of Wall-E. We will be appearing on a children's television show called Tiger Duck Club. It's supposed to be the German equivalent to Sesame Street except without the puppets. Since nothing is going on adoption-wise, I'll just use the next few entries as a travel journal.

The plane ride was great. Barely any turbulence and it was a direct flight. The meals however, were somewhat lacking...The first thing I noticed about German people is that they love themselves some beer!As if that's not enough, here's a close-up.In addition to beer, they love pretzels, cabbage, potatoes, and sausages. They also love concentration camps. Or at least, they used to. We went to Dachau right outside of Munich and it was the first concentration camp in Germany. The sign at the entrance translates to, "Work Makes Freedom".Here's Patty at one of the bunkers. Each one was made for 50 people but at the height of WWII, they reached capacities of 500... SoberingHere's something more fun. At the source of the river Eisbach, there is so much turbulence, people surf from bank to bank. It's only 20 feet wide!And finally, it turns out Germans were the originators of Banking For Jerks.
for more photos of the food we're eating, click here.