Munich in December

A Day at the Wannsee

It’s not a short trip to Wannsee, especially with the city’s commuter rail system still lagging.  From Schmargendorf, one must head north to Theodor-Heuss-Platz to catch the 218 bus toward Pfaueninsel, Peacock Island.  It takes more or less an hour, along curved, wooded roads, before the lake comes into view.  It’s serene, and beautiful–two descriptors which make Wannsee’s historical identity all the more troubling.

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Renewing Our Energy: Berlin to Hamburg


From an empty darkness came strands of golden, glowing lace, curving through the black night like an ancient language atop a lit canvas.  It was only the Irish coast, and Manchester, England at 4 a.m.  But the beauty was vivid, and the reality clear:  my long day was about to get longer.  I had left Phoenix 14 hours before, and was set to land in Berlin to tour the country’s renewable energy sites.  I was eager to learn, and open to experience a European perspective on energy as presented by the German government and NGO InWent.

So as the passport official had me lift my cap as he compared passport photo to real guy, I hopped on the TXL bus toward Prenzlauerberg.  That evening I’d meet my colleagues, and begin the Transatlantic Climate Bridge.

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In Search of Energy

I didn’t ask for this chance.

When I returned from two months in Germany after a still-productive stint as a Burns Fellow, I planned to continue life in the states, maybe apply for a few transatlantic awards, maybe try to sell a few of my European stories to the networks here, maybe drink a smoothie or two.

But then something happened.  Networking happened.

The local honorary German consul had helped me story storm before heading abroad, and I’ve worked with him on a few feature stories in the past.  The German Embassy in Washington was looking for a handful of nominations from consular offices, of journalists with an interest in Germany and renewable energy.

And with my journalistic dossier continuing to fill with internationally-focused radio stories, my name happened to make it into the mix…

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Adapting to “Normal”

Hold fast

You could call this a precursor to the much-anticipated “In Search of Blue Water: Part 2.”  I’m sure my reflections on sailing the coastal waters of Catalina/Santa Barbara Islands will be just as potent, if not more introspective.  This post is my warm-up.  The last weeks re-acclimating to the U.S., to another time zone, to “standard” food, entertainment, and everyday trials have been interestingly frustrating.  No thanks to, but not exclusively because of, the Sandman.

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Bremen, Germany


Like much of Europe, Bremen has a well-stocked cabinet of ancient buildings and interesting avenues.  After a quick visit to Berlin for an interview I took a morning train to the port city for a talk with Lufthansa student pilots I had first met in Arizona.  I also went to Groepeling to profile an Elternschule, classes for poor, young parents.  Despite the requisite rain, Bremen offered some tid bits of interest.

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Frankfurt, Germany

Frankfurt...The European Wall Street
With a Deutschland Pass in hand, and a ready package of Energizer lithium batteries, I ventured on my first reporting trip in Germany.  I had been in talks with the Frankfurt airport folks about talking about the future of money-making in the airline industry.  I had also met the VP of the Star Alliance during a press event at U.S. Airways’ headquarters, based in Tempe.  I didn’t know when my trip to Frankfurt would come through until the press officer with the U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl got back to me–she found some Arizonans willing to talk…and I needed to come right away.

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