We started our journey in Dresden. An historic city on the banks of the Elbe River.
It was cold and rainy, unusual for this time of the year - take that Al Gore.
We did a spontaneous day trip to Berlin. Easy to get there by train.
Berlin, like Dresden, was almost completely destroyed during WWII, but has been rebuilt and restored.
The reception for the Dresden conference was in a historic building called the Panometer.
The Dresden skyline at night.
Madrid is a major bullfighting center. Perhaps the most important, and critical, stadium in the bullfighting world.
The remnants of CheckPoint Charlie.
Our hotel was right on the Elbe and had beautiful flower gardens.
The Berlin train station.
The building is cylindrical, and inside the walls are covered by a giant painting of Dresden in the 16th century.
The interior of the Zwinger Castle. Home of Augustus the Strong in the early 1700's. The peak of Dresden's power.
A section of the Berlin Wall that was left standing.
A symbol of the old German Democratic Republic. Someone told us that Germany has invested over 1 trillion euros in reunification. "Almost as much as America has spent on the Iraq War". Wonder whose money was better spent.
After dinner, you climb a 60 foot tower in the center of the building. Because the painting is done to perspective, the effect is stunningly real. Almost disturbing.
The old section of the city was destroyed in February 1945, as part of WWII. Almost everything has been meticulously rebuilt from the rubble and restored.
Alex's new culinary discovery. Currywurst, essentially a brat in spicy ketchup and curry. Pretty tasty.
Some welcome sunshine on the banks of the Smee river.
Add to that theatrical lighting and sound effects and the overall effect is surreal.
We flew to Madrid on Wednesday. While at the technical conference on Thursday, a friend of a friend invited Alex and me to attend the bullfights on Friday night.