We've been in Berlin for six days now. Anne has been doing a spot of preliminary job hunting research at the I.E.T.F., the Internet Engineers Task Force conference mixed with good old fashioned sightseeing. We are staying at an airbnb find, a studio apartment between the gay area and the red light area 15 mins walk from the conference venue. The first few days were more conference focused with Anne meeting up with lots of old buddies and renewing contacts. The latter we've been getting about.
The I.E.T.F. is like an international festival of the cream of the geek world. Lots of principal engineer types. Some seriously smart people who may not have every social skill in the handbook but people we all owe a lot to if you've ever used the internet. Like the bloke who was brought in to fix Croatia's telephone system. He also runs the atomic clocks. A geek festival has it's own uniform. Quite a lot of shorts and T shirts, lots of long hair, lots of beards, much of them gray, some astoundingly bad postures and diets and lots of passionate discussion on protocols and things I don't understand.
I sat in on a plenary session with Anne and did actually learn a bit. They've sorted out a single codec for audio on the internet. No mean feat. Now they are talking about a single codec for video but that's too tall an order for the moment. I sometimes hung out at the conference using the greatest bandwidth I am ever likely to use that they had set up temporarily for the Geekfest. It sure made page opening and uploading pics lightning fast.
Berlin is steeped, is dripping in history. At the start of the twentieth century Berlin was the largest Jewish city in the world. It's been incredible to spend a day at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and absorb some of the events and treatment meted out there. To see the Wall, The Death Strip, Checkpoint Charlie, The Holocaust Memorial, The Brandenburg Gate, The Reichstag Building, monuments et al. We have yet to see more essentials and a bunch of museums including the Bauhaus museum too. It's a very livable city too, integrated public transport.
It has been a rich experience thus far and one deepened by German friends who have helped us with insights about their experience being smuggled out of East Germany in a car boot or with tips on what to see and do or even where to find great food and beer! We are indebted to many people.
We ran in to Michael from Nice with whom we stayed when we first came over. That was an unexpected surprise and pleasure. I'm even starting to know people from previous meetings and travels and it's been good to further those associations too. The weather was extreme when we arrived, 37oC, then it cooled off nicely and now it is rising to be a scorcher again by tomorrow. That hot Saharan air makes the travel, sightseeing business slow down somewhat but we will just have to seek shade and air conditioning tomorrow. Coffee hunting has gone well with Anne saying she had the nicest cappucino she has ever had in a cafe I found. Not like Anne to wax lyrical about coffee.
The following is a slice of the pics.
|THE JOURNEY CONTINUES|
|ANNE'S FAVOURITE CAFE!|
|SEXUAL HEALTH TRAIN SIGN|
|THE KILLING TRENCH SACHSENHAUSEN CONCENTRATION CAMP|
|THE JEWISH BARRACKS SACHSENHAUSEN AUDIO TOUR|
|HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL. 2,700 BLOCKS. EXTRAORDINARY.|
|THANKYOU SABRINA. IT'S DELICIOUS!|
|LOST IN TRANSLATION|
|AS IT WAS|
|BRANDENBERG GATE IN THE HEAT|