Berlin airport open for one night

DSC00929.JPGDSC00932.JPGEd Cox of ICIS Heren returns from a night to remember in the old Berlin Tempelhof airport. He tells the Blog …


“You may remember my post from last year in Buenos Aires, when Russia‘s Gazprom stole the show at the World Gas Conference by building an ice palace in the exhibition centre. 


Gazprom then flew in young Olympic champion skaters to show their skills in front of some baffled business men. That was impressive but this week’s Gala dinner at the European Gas Conference in Berlin was definitely better.


One of the major German companies, RWE, managed to hire out the entire Tempelhof airport – which closed a couple of years ago – and put on an evening of entertainment for several hundred conference guests. It was a surreal experience walking round an empty old airport with familiar signs – ‘departure gates’, ‘passport checks’ but no flights to catch.

The night really encapsulated the past 100 year history of Berlin: we started off with a tour of the underground air raid shelters, still with the pictures painted on the walls by adults to keep their children entertained during months spent there. We had a tour of one of the ’candy bombers’ that brought in supplies (more coal than candy really) to the city during the Berlin airlift after the second world war when the Russians closed the city off.   


Then feeling rather humble we still couldn’t turn down the biggest of German buffets – all manner of meat and dense looking potato products while harking back to the happier days of Berlin in the 1920s with some swinging big band music. All of which made me feel rather lucky to be in Berlin in 2010 rather than at other many other points of the past century.”

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