From Berlin to Niebüll: Our Own Great Transition

Hello from Niebüll!

Time flies when you’re having fun. We have been in Europe for one week now and it has been simply amazing. Last you heard from us we had been in Wittenberg, where Martin Luther posted the 95 theses.

On Sunday we went as a group to visit the Reichstag, the German capital building. Atop the Reichstag is a glass dome with a spiral staircase allowing visitors to look out over the entire city. Unfortunately for us, it snowed the night before and the glass was still fairly covered. Regardless, the cloudy haze that hung over the city matched perfectly with the glazed glass.

The rest of Sunday was our free day in Berlin. Some of us went to the Natural History Museum, while others visited the Berlin Wall Memorial. Later in the day the Berlin Mall, Birkenstock’s, and New Era were popular destinations. The nightlife was explored in the evening but some called it early after they tracked 15 miles on their fit bits. 

Monday was our busiest day thus far. We first met with Jörn Rauhut at the Ministry of Economics Affairs and Energy. To our surprise, we walked into the conference room with coffee and water all set out. Mr. Rauhut then talked to us about Germany’s energy plans and projections for 2022. After his presentation, we had time for a little Q&A before heading across Berlin.

We had a time for a quick lunch on our own then headed to our next meeting of the day. This meeting was with Deutsche Bahn otherwise known as DB. It is the number one public transportation company in Germany as well as the third largest logistical company in the world. We were escorted up to the 26th floor to a conference room with an incredible view over Berlin. Again, we were treated to refreshments and treated as if we were about to invest in the company. Ms. Jenss talked to us about how DB, as such a large company, was becoming green. She explained some obstacles and benefits with being such a large company.

Monday night ended our stay in Berlin with a proper German drink, the Boot! It was two liters of a golden hued Pilsner. Only one fell trap to the air bubble from the boot, getting a nice face cleanse of beer.

Tuesday we awoke early to do some last minute packing and loaded the train for a five-hour train ride Northwest, the destination- Niebüll! People played cards and started on the first big paper for the trip. We arrived midday in Niebüll, exploring the town a little before heading to the hostel. That evening we were able to relax and continue on our papers.

Yesterday we traveled by train to the Island of Sylt. Sylt is a small island and is the northern-most part of Germany. It is an extremely popular tourist destination, getting over 1 million tourists each year. We were able to visit a nature preserve, check out the ocean, and meet with a few Green party members. They told us their efforts to make Sylt as green as possible. They talked about off-shore wind as well as pumping sand to the Island of Sylt to keep it from sinking into the ocean. The Island was as beautiful as it was windy and wet. Sporadic showers would soak everyone, followed by being blown dry by the ocean winds.

Our hostel only has wifi in the main lodge. So last night, everyone was working diligently to finish their papers before the wifi quit at 10. Today we will be traveling to Husum talking about coastal protection efforts. Everything is going smoothly and we are having the time of our lives.

Sorry for the lengthy blog but we are experiencing so much! The next time you will hear from us we will be headed to the UK.

Staying dry in Sylt
The boot!
Fun times on the Island of Sylt
It's the little things that count, compliments of The Ministry of Energy.