My lovely interpreter, The Pope and me arrived in Berlin safely, after a long, cramped flight with bad movie. After a few mental adjustments( the 'lift' in the Hotel Kurfürst is the size of a telephone booth- bad for the claustrophobic- and we're staying on the 5th floor), and a small nap, we were out on the prowl in Berlin. Walking, walking, walking tree-lined avenues with swanky retail establishments-Chanel, Gucci, YSL, etc.
The Pope is having a smashing good time so far, getting his picture taken at every possible turn for a complete travel diary. He has quite the sense of humor and my interpreter and me agree, we should have packed 'Depends'.
We had tea and chocolate torte at a proper 4pm, purchased flowers for our hotel room, visited a WW2 bombed-out church and window shopped for outrageously priced shoes.
Like typical Americans, we were seen struggling down the Avenue carrying a case of bottled spring water before we retired for the day. And now we are ready to happily drop.
The most striking thing about our first glimpse of Berlin? How utterly clean it is. And even when Europeans are dressed down, they still look a cut above most Americans. There is a flare and subtle statement of character and pride, even if they are simply wearing jeans. Not a sweat pant to be seen. How damn refreshing.
Tomorrow we're taking the Pope to the Egyptian Museum to meet the Queen of Berlin, Nefertiti. His palms are already sweaty...