Thread: Dca txl nue
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Old Jun 21, 09, 8:50 am
  #9  
violist
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: IAD, BOS, PVD
Programs: UA, US, AS, Marriott, Radisson, Hilton
Posts: 7,203
It was time to check out the hotel breakfast, which was
pretty much what any German American hotel breakfast looks
like. I stuck with protein, preferring to get my carbs for
the day in the form of beer. I had the Bratwurst, which here
were spiced with sage and tasted exactly like American
breakfast sausage, as well as various cold cuts that tasted
very yesterday. Smoked salmon was pretty good but not of the
quality of that of, say, United Airlines.

Then for the tour of the old city. Bus to Hauptbahnhof, then
a shortish walk through the brisk but sunshiny morning to
meet our guide at the Lovely Fountain at the Marketplace;
this picturesque older gentleman was an enthusiastic
architecture buff who worked for the Friends of the Old
City (or something like that), the aim of which is to
purchase historic properties in order to preserve them and
encourage remigration to the center city.

He was well informed and interesting, with a much better
command of English than most of the Americans among us had
of German.

We walked through much of the old city, visiting a couple
typical mediaeval dwellings, seeing the crown jewels (fake,
the originals being in Vienna owing to amusing circumstances
that our guide related to us) in the old town hall, and
ending up at the Schloss.

f0zzy bought a couple bottles of Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier
from Bamberg for the interested. I'd had Rauchbier before
and thought that it tasted like cigarette ashes; this was
somewhat better, as it tasted like ham mixed with cigarette
ashes.

I was unable to convince people to go to the Bierfest with
me, so I succumbed to peer pressure and went along to the
Bratwursthausle, right off the marketplace, most convenient.

Present: lili, Alysia, Melville, myself, joined later by
restlessinRNO and totmode and maybe others.

I ordered liver dumpling soup (local specialty) and white
asparagus in vinaigrette (seasonal item) so people could
taste: the liver dumpling wasn't as good as mine but was
fine in a peasanty sort of way; the asparagus were a bit
overdone but otherwise okay.

Big-hearted Melville ordered heart; sharp-tongued moi had
tongue - both boiled, generous servings so that everyone
could taste (mostly, they didn't).

Alysia had the Bratwurst, which were typical, and lili,
enthusiastic for all things porcine, had Eisbein, the boiled
smoked pig knuckle. I tasted a Bratwurst and stole the fatty
and gelatinous parts of the Eisbein, and life was good.

Potato salad tasted peculiar with a taste I couldn't place,
perhaps a local herb or something. Pretzels were 70c apiece.

To drink I had a Tucher dunkeles Weizen, which was good.
After lunch we agreed to go our separate ways, and some
people would meet for the afternoon event at meeting
place #1, the station, and I'd join at meeting place #2,
the Doku-Zentrum tram stop.

Wandered around a bit on my own and then took the S2 back
to the hotel for a washup. The 65 goes to Doku-Zentrum, so
that was easy, and I was there before the rest of the folks.
Consternation! When they got off their tram, f0zzy and
company asked me, where's lili? Wasn't she with you? Well,
lili had gone off to get a pedicure; I really am not my
sister's keeper. Consternation #2! A phone call revealed
that our guide, an employee of the Center, really wanted us
to be at the stop before where we were. The rest of the
group dutifully trekked off, and I decided to wait for lili,
who turned out to be on the next tram (the salon person
would not be hurried in putting the finishing touches on the
perfect pedicure), and luckily everyone over there saw her
on it, waving as she went off into the sunset.

lili fetched me, and we backtracked to the rally grounds,
where a young, well-lettered sort of lefty Greeny type gave
us the rundown on that horrid place and the bizarre pieces
of architecture that the Thousand-Year Reich had bequeathed
to history. We visited the unfinished gigantic amphitheater,
the Great Road, and the Zeppelin-stadium, all monuments to
bad taste and megalomania. Further, we learned that what is
now the Burger King near the Hilton was originally the power
plant that fueled all these buildings and activities. All
told, it was a surprisingly moving and disconcerting
experience, though bright balmy sunlight pushed back most
dark thoughts into the background.

Afterwards, the Hilton people walked back (half a mile,
maybe a mile) via the Burger King and marvelled at the
building and its blocky ugliness, the remains (not wholly
obliterated) of the Nazi emblem on its side, and the ironies
of the use to which it is now put.

Beers at the hotel, under the comforting care of Leo the
sub-sub-bartender. Beck's regular or Franziskaner Hefeweizen
- an obvious choice for me, as I don't care for the yeasty
lemoniness of the latter. But then an offer of 2 cl of Royal
Salute 21 for E6 tempted me. The stuff is way too sweet,
nicely smooth, but without much character. Not worth it.
connex2me, whom I'd met in Salzburg, joined us for beers and
then the event after at the Kulturbrauerei Lederer, which
says Wirtshaus Biergarten at the entrance (is this redundant?)
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