After a late night – again – we slept in and got up for breakfast around 7:00. The Radisson breakfast is impressive (not as good at in Berlin) because of the numbers. The person checking you in marks off your room and then makes a note of how many there are in the party. Her list is an impressive series of rows of groups of five. Looks like markings on an Egyptian tomb.
After breakfast John went off to the convention and the general assembly while Peggy went back to studying for Asian Art Museum tours. John visited the House of Friendship project hall and then walked over to the General Assembly, the first of two today. In order to move 10,000 people into the auditorium the logistics required winnowing the massive number of people down to a steady flow of three to five at a time entering the building. This was achieved in a huge tent and required lots of close work with your neighbor before entering the funnel of back and forth roped walkways. After finally getting into the venue it was amazing how many people were still to come with only 40 minutes to spare. The technology
– backdrops, music, video and such – was impressive, even before the event started. Upon starting we enjoyed some well rehearsed messages, a singer from Korea with a singular story of deprivation and success, and the parade of flags. This last item is a special and most enjoyable part of the opening ceremony as it honors all 201 countries supporting rotary clubs. The audience members go nuts when their flag is on stage and the pageantry is infectious. The finale is the singing of the German national anthem (the host country) and the current president’s home country (Bahamas).
After the singing of national anthems and the young man from Korea, John rented a bike and hooked up with Peggy at City Hall. A little wandering and we found a nice lunch place – Colln’s Mutterland restaurant, started in 1760. The food was very good and very German: beet soup, fish and potatoes and an egg and cheese sandwich. Peggy determined that the dessert cappuccino was the best she had had in Germany so far. John shared a little of his cheese cake and both were happy as we wandered down the lane toward the water. After a few blocks
and some heat (highest temperature today was 83 Fahrenheit) led to catching a cab back to the hotel for a brief rest. As we looked at our map to see where to catch a cab a nice elderly gentleman came up and asked if her could help us. How incredibly civilized the city is!
We shared a little libation at the bar downstairs and then walked over to our dinner event at the Munchen Hofbrau House nearby. The local rotary District 5150 (made up of 45 clubs including John’s San Francisco Club) had a terrific feed for over 100 people who had come over for the convention. Great time to catch up and to enjoy each others company before retiring to bed. A long and enjoyable day.
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