Wednesday night was the farewell party, held in one of the more famous and popular clubs in Berlin (Die Kulturbrauerei). The music was great, and the best part about it was that everyone actually danced! We may have been a group of 350 academic nerds, but we sure did know how to party. In fact, I think the Fulbright Commission will be revising its free beer and wine policy after this year . . . The director actually made a comment during one of the seminars that we were the "thirstiest" group of Fulbrighters in history.
Stefana and me, posing with the Berlin Bear before the farewell party:
"Our past obligates us to openness and tolerance. It is not guilt over the past that is important, but the matter of taking responsibility for the future that should define this generation of Germans."
Thursday afternoon, my friends Dan, Gwen, and Christoph drove up to Berlin and met Lauren and me there. I hadn't had much time during the conference to do any sightseeing, but I knew I would get the chance once they arrived. Dan has spent a total of almost a year living in Berlin, so he knew the city inside and out and was an excellent tour guide. Our first order of business was to grab a few Berliner Pilsners and head to Mauerpark, which is a park that has pieces of the wall lining one side of it, and a big open market on Sundays along the other.
Against the Berlin Wall in Mauerpark:
One of my favorite sections of the East Side Gallery:
And tomorrow, I'm taking off for another one of Europe's most fascinating places: Barcelona! Adios, chilly weather and sausages . . . Hola sunshine and paella!