Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Jena, Dresden, and Prague

Sorry for not posting for so long. I haven't had access to the Internet for a while.

Yesterday morning we left Berlin to go to Jena. When got to Jena, we found our hotel and then went to church. After that, we went and met Dad’s friend Doreen, that he met on his mission, and her boyfriend Didi, and they took us out to lunch. They were really nice. After that, we walked around Jena and looked at some cool stuff with them. That was really cool, because they have old city walls from the Middle Ages. The way they worked was they had a square city wall, and three gates around it. Most of the walls are mostly missing, but they still have some of the gates and the corners. Here are some pictures:

After that, at about 4:00, we checked into our hotel and Doreen drove us to her brother Henry Gottschald’s house. He is a friend of Dad’s that he knew on his mission, too. We stayed over there and talked for several hours, and then we came back to the hotel. Here is a picture of their family:

Three of their kids were playing, so we don't have a picture with them in it.

It was really cool to go to church and hear everything spoken in German instead of English. Our hotel room is pretty nice. One weird thing, though; you have to put your room key in this scanner thing in the wall for electricity. Here’s a picture:

Weird, huh? Here are a couple of other pictures of our hotel room.

In the morning, we got up and ate breakfast, then went to catch our train to Dresden. It was like 15 minutes late, which was annoying because it made us miss our next train and have to wait for the next one. So, we had about 45 minutes in Leipzig to look around. We went into this really cool church with pink and green decorations in the inside. Here's a picture:

Cool, huh? After we got to Dresden we walked around for the couple of hours we had and saw some cool stuff. There was this really cool palace grounds place called the Zwinger, and that was awesome. We also saw the Frauenkirche, that was burned down in the big bombing of Dresden during World War II, and that was cool too, but we didn't have time to go inside. Here are a couple of pictures of Dresden:

One of just one single part of the Zwinger:

And one of the Frauenkirche. This church was just a pile of rubble when Mom and Dad were her on there missions.

After a couple of hours in Dresden, we got on our train to Prague. On the way to Prague we saw a lot of really cool Czech towns back in the countryside. When we actually got to Prague, we walked around a tiny bit and then went to find our hostel. I got us lost a few times, but we finally got there. We then dumped our bags there and Dad took a nap, 'cause we were both really tired. After that, we walked around a bit and found the Internet for the hostel. Dad wrote some e-mail and talked to some people from Dublin, who recommended doing the free tour of Prague in the morning. So, the next day, we did just that. At 11:00, we went to the Old Town Square and went on the free walking tour they have of Prague. They took us to some pretty cool places. After that, we decided to go on the Castle tour, which was run by the same people but actually cost money. That was really fun too; they took us to some really cool places in the Castle Quarter of the city. Here are a few pictures from those:

This is actually the Old Town Square, where everybody met for the first tour.

This is kinda funny. It's a paper bag dispenser we found in a park for you to pick up your dog's droppings.

One more thing now: We were looking around in some of the little shops around the Old Town Square, and we found a store that had this huge Russian nesting doll that had like 100 separate dolls that all actually fit inside of each other. Here are three pictures of them:

That's crazy, huh? Well, I need to wrap it up, so see you later. Bye!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Cool Church and Checkpoint Charlie

Today me and Dad didn't wake up until after noon, and we didn't go to LinuxTag at all. Instead, we walked around and saw some stuff. First we went to this cool church. It was bombed in the war, and they made a kind of ugly (from the outside) memorial church that is really cool inside. There is a bunch of blue glass in the walls, and when the sun shines through it, it looks really cool. We went inside both of them. Here are some pictures.

The inside of the new church:

Sorry about the blurry picture. I had to turn the flash off. The inside of the old church:

And the outsides of both of them. The tall one is the old one, and the newer one is short and sqaut.

After that we went to Checkpoint Charlie, and that was really cool too. Here is a picture:

After that, we just walked around for a while. We saw a group of break dancers dancing as a kind of tribute to Michael Jackson, who died yesterday. They were really good, too. At about 6:00, we went out to eat with Davor, and now we're home and I'm writing this blog post. It's pretty late, so I should probably go to bed. :-)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Schloss Charlottenburg and Potsdamer Platz

Yesterday me and Andrea went to Schloss Charlottenburg, and it was awesome! We went on a tour through the building, and then walked around in the garden out back. There are a lot of old paintings and stuff in there. Sophie Charlottenburg, who was a queen of Prussia, collected porcelain, so there was a lot of that. After that we went back to the gardens; they were awesome. Here's a link to the Wikipedia page.

Schloss Charlottenburg

There were a bunch of ducks and little birds. Here are a few pictures:

Those ducks were pretty funny-looking. After that, we went home.This morning we went to LinuxTag again, and I got to play Frets on Fire. It’s just like Guitar Hero, but with a lot more songs.

That was pretty fun! Tonight we went to the Linux Nacht (Linux Night), a party. It was pretty fun. They even had a live band there!

After the party we walked around Potsdamer Platz for a while. The buildings over there are all really new. Check it out:

We also saw a memorial thing with info about the Berlin Wall. Sorry for the blurry picture.

We had lots of fun yesterday and today. And Mom, there was a Mindstorms booth, but I didn't see it until right when we were leaving. I'm going to check it out tomorrow and post about it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

First Day of LinuxTag

Today is the first day at LinuxTag. Yesterday we set up the Interchange booth, after meeting Davor. Here is a picture of the booth from then:

After that we went to the apartment and Dad, Stefan and Davor worked on their Interchange presentation for a while. Here is a picture of them:

At 10:00 or so, we went to eat dinner and didn’t get back until past midnight. I was, obviously, pretty tired and went to bed. Check out these photos from last night!

Now we’re at LinuxTag and I am writing this post. We are sharing our booth with another project, so it’s pretty crowded. There is a booth for Linux Gaming, and it is sweet! There are tons of games for you to try, even a Guitar Hero for Linux. It's called Frets on Fire. It uses a Wiimote guitar from Guitar Hero. They also have a booth for FlightGear Flight Simulator., and they have these huge setups with three giant monitors each and the whole controller deal. I got to fly it, and it was awesome! I even landed, admittedly not on the runway, but It was awesome! Here is a picture of the flight simulator.

Here is a couple of pictures of the Linux Gaming booth.

Now me and Andrea are going to a palace. It's in Charlottenburg. It's going to be sweet!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Our First Day In Germany

Hey, everybody. Right now I am in our apartment writing this blog post. I’m really tired from the jet lag. We just got back from dinner at this really good outdoor cafe, where I had some yummy lasagna, during which I fell asleep several times. Our flight over the Atlantic was really boring for most of the time, but I watched Race to Witch Mountain and part of Hotel For Dogs and listened to a lot of music, so it wasn’t too bad. I am really tired. Today we went to the Brandenburger Tor, and that was awesome. Here is a picture of me in front of it:

Also, a picture of the American Embassy.

Here are a couple of photos from a church that me and Dad went to this morning:

We also went to the Reichstag, which is where their Congress meets. It has this really cool dome at the top that has open areas in between so that air can get in, but rain can’t. It also has a bunch of awesome mirrors on the middle that are really cool. There was really a huge line in front of the Reichstag, and we had to wait for like, half an hour just to get inside, but then it was worth it. Here are some pictures, one from the front and the rest from inside the dome:

A few from our apartment in Charlottenburg:

Check out the giant geode!

And one more, this is a little store on Unter den Linden, Dad thought it was pretty funny.