Thursday, November 13, 2008

Germany Part 2

On day-7, we took another train. This time to Heidelberg, which is 1-hour train ride away from Frankfurt. It was recommended by the students and they were, again, very kind to bring us there as the navigation isn't as straight forward. Once there, I wasn't disappointed.

There was a long street of shops and at the end there was an ancient castle on top of the hill. I was told that the castle is a 'must-visit' in Heidelberg.

Standupper before walking up

On the way to the entrance of the castle

And so we made our way up. The entrance at the bottom doesn't look grand (situated behind the buildings) and the path up the hill was the ordinary stony path. But the autumn weather, the ray of sunlight and the bits of drizzle just made the walk up worth it.

Heidelberg from above

At last we got to the castle and see it up close. Sofi (one of the students) pointed out something interesting about the design. It is a 4-storey structure. The ground floor has the tallest window frame and it gradually gets smaller to the upper floors. It creates an optical illusion that makes the castle look higher and more grand. Interesting eh?

The bunch of us stayed for the sunset. It was breathtaking! Not only because I didn't wear enough layers for the weather which left me freezing most of the time. So here I am attempting to warm myself with the sunset. How I wish Mer was here with me. It truly is a romantic place.

Reverse angle

As the sun was setting, we made our way around the castle to see the rest of the place. Here's one part that is ruined after it was bombed by the French. Since it had very thick wall, the French's attempts to bomb from outside was to no avail. And so they got someone from the inside to plant the bomb.

Hey, I was never the kind who was into history...I'm suprised with my ability to remember this little detail. Hehe..

By the time we got back to Frankfurt, it was late night. But I was satisfied with our day-tour and looking forward to going to more places like it. However time wasn't on our side. It turns out a week is NOT that long.
After a week at this part of Germany, we were scheduled to go to its capital city! Now things were getting interesting.

We got on the 12.13 bullet train to Berlin...woohoo!

The train went at 230 km/h and it took 4 long hours to get there.

The Berlin Hbf is the latest and most modern train station in Germany. It was about 3-4 stories high with a whole lot of shops. But we didn't have time to explore though as our schedule was tight.

We spent the 2-nights in Berlin at the Holiday Inn Express hotel. Although it seems like a budget hotel, it was actually very nice and comfortable.

Meet our BM-speaking tourguide, Britta Bastian.

We were amazed by her ability to converse in our language fluently. She stayed in Malaysia when she was 16 for a year and attended the ordinary government school where she had to learn speak BM.

Although many years has passed, she could still put together sentences in BM and was excited that we were there as she could finally speak BM to someone. She was very helpful too. Since we didn't have much time in Berlin, I told her that there were 2 places that I needed to go for a shoot - Checkpoint Charlie and Berlin Wall. She didn't let me down.

Here we are at Checkpoint Charlie. Notice the signboard?

I had to pay 1 euro (RM5) for a picture with these guys - my friend took 10 shots, hah!

Around Berlin, we see this line going across roads and buildings. It is as a remembrance of where the Berlin Wall once stood.

And this is us at the remainder of the Berlin Wall!

At the bottom of the wall they created an 'outdoor muzeum' that shows the history of the wall and the events that took place around it.

With those 2 locations covered, we were just in time to get back to the hotel and get ready for the event at the Malaysian Embassy where Dato Lat received an award from the German-Malaysian Society.

That was where I met many other Malaysians, including this lady who claims to be one of the pioneers in TV3.

From left: Rohana, me, TV3 pioneer, Isa

Over a week in Germany, we Malaysians were missing our local delicacies. Knowing this, the Malaysian Ambassador invited us for a brunch at his official residence.

It is one of the most grand houses I've ever been to. Just look at it!

Indoor swimming pool with sauna

Living room

We thought any Datin would get their maids or the caterer to cook for a group like us. But not this Datin. The ambassador's wife actually cooked every single thing herself! Respect lah...

Dining room - that's the ambassador beside me and Dato Lat opposite him

The whole group - ITNM, Embassy and TV3

After that we made our way to Berlin city for a round of shopping and then it's back on the train to Frankfurt. All we had on board was a chocolate bar, Twix, for 1.50 euro (RM7.50) and a cup of coffee for 2 euros (RM10).

We had to wait til we were checked in the Frankfurt hotel again and settle down before we went out for a proper meal at a Thai muslim restaurant nearby. It was our 3rd and last time there as we were scheduled to go home the next day.

It was a rainy night and I was without an umbrella. Covered myself with my scarf instead.

The next day, our sponsors stayed back for other matters while the rest of us prepared for our long journey home. We said our goodbyes to ITNM representatives who were kind enough to bring us to Frankfurt and for giving me the experience that I will never forget.

No words can describe how much I enjoyed this trip. It wasn't as difficult to find food as some people claimed. We came at the right time as the October weather was just amazing. I believe I spent my time wisely to explore as many places as possible with the budget and time given, while bringing back interesting stories to share with the Majalah 3 viewers.

Just before boarding....bye Germany!

I received an SMS from a colleague saying that my 1-hour special feature on Dato Lat is confirmed for 1 November 2008. I needed to get the moderator (host's intro for each segment) script done ASAP coz the moderator part was scheduled to be shot on the day I touch down in KL.

I boarded the 12.30 pm flight and spent a few hours figuring out the storyline and then wrote the moderator script for Nurul.

To my suprise, I received an iced mocha in a glass from one of the stewards, plus sandwich and peanuts. Hehe.. thanks Ken!

I didn't sleep much on board. Spent 12 hours with the storyline, script and a few movies. Reached KLIA at 6.30 am and slept the rest of the day while dreaming of returning to Europe one fine day :D

1 comment:

Sani said...

Wow interesting view . Wish I had been there .