Leoneda Inge – Berlin to Brussels 2014

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Berlin to Brussels to Berlin!

I guess my BLOG should be called – “Berlin to Brussels back to Berlin!” That’s where I am – in the same room at the Relexa Hotel Stuttgarter Hof. The rain continues to come down in mini buckets this Sunday morning. So, I am sure I will be spending the entire weekend in my room, with a beautiful view of the mural across from my balcony – a reflection of my balcony! Nice.

This is what I see outside my balcony window at Relexa Hotel in Berlin!

This is what I see outside my balcony window at Relexa Hotel in Berlin!

The train trip yesterday from Brussels was very long, but very comfortable. Amtrak has GOT to step it up! I will admit, our fellowship director, Rainer Hasters, made sure we traveled in First Class, where I am sure the seats were bigger, and the train attendant brought you whatever you wanted – hot soup, chocolate cake, beer, coffee, and small, cute packets of those HARIBO “gummie” candies, every hour!

Graham Ulkins took this "selfie" of the gang while on a day trip to Bruges!

Graham Ulkins took this “selfie” of the gang while on a day trip to Bruges!

Saturday was a day of good-byes for my fellow RIAS German/American Exchange Journalists. A few journalists had to get back to the states for work. One person in my group left Brussels for Paris, another went to meet her sister in Geneva. My buddy Graham, from Baton Rouge, traveled to a small West German town to see his host family! He lived with them 10 years ago, study abroad. Four of us are back at the Relexa Hotel in Berlin, a pit stop before other travels or working on news stories. Our adventure has been amazing! We spent enough time together, learning and laughing, we should get three college credits!

It was definitely a festive time to return to Berlin! The soccor crazies were everywhere, dressed in all kind of ways! Red, Black and Gold! The big screen TV was set up in my hotel lobby when I arrived, but I decided to take my World Cup snacks to my room. I didn’t want to be around when Ghana whooped that German ass! Yeah, I said it! I am shocked the US beat Ghana – but it was close! After my meal, I ended up watching re-runs of “The Tonight Show” w/Jimmy Fallon rather than watching the entire soccor match. I just wanted to see the end – 2 to 2! Wow! I hope my ass is on the plane when Germany and the US play!

The main reason I’m not writing at my kitchen table in North Carolina and instead clicking away in Berlin, is because I am supposed to be meeting a group of school teachers from North Carolina this week! They’re traveling to Germany with UNC’s Center for International Understanding. This summer, they are being exposed to a teaching model developed by advanced manufacturers like German-based Siemens. It’s about jobs.