Tropical Island Resort

Robin Clower
July 13, 2015
A picture of the airplane hanger as seen from above
            Zeppelins are big. Obviously, the most memorable zeppelins in the history of the world are the Hindenburg and the one in Indiana Jones; you can get a pretty good idea of their size by thinking about those two how big they were. The one in Indiana Jones was big enough to fit Indy’s ego, so that’s pretty impressive. However, a better way to realize how big zeppelins were is by going to a former zeppelin hanger where they were built and stored. I honestly don’t know how many of these there are in the world, so I would recommend going to the one around ­­Brand, about an hour south of Berlin. Although it has some information about the building of zeppelins, this retired hanger is much cooler than a museum. The reason is that the owners decided to convert the entire interior to a tropical resort, complete with a rainforest, two large pools, hot air balloon rides, a spa with a dozen different types of saunas (there are different types of saunas! Who knew!) and even cabins for overnight guests. If that sounds like a lot to have in one building, that’s because zeppelins were big. The building could hold the Eiffel Tower lying on its side, or a four Brandenburger Tors lined up side to side.

            On Thursday I headed out of Berlin (not having Friday classes is pretty great y’all) and met up with my parents in the heart of the Spreewald. Instead of pickles, we got some quality prime ribs and freedom fries at an American themed restaurant which included a train circling the rafters, state flags hanging from the ceiling, and rifles proudly displayed on the wall. The discarded peanut shells crunched under our shoes as we stepped out of the restaurant and went back to the hotel for the evening.

            The next morning we headed out to the hanger – now known as Tropical Islands – and began our day trying out the various pools around the resort. While the interior of the hanger was kept at a nice temperature and the pools were warmer than I was expecting, there was a disappointing lack of heat in the hot tubs, forcing me to not do my normal pool routine of spending an inordinate amount of time in the hot tub, followed by a quick jump in the pool to cool off, and back in the hot tub. Instead, I replaced the warming up in the hot tub step with warming up in a sauna. The saunas were insane. Some were extremely dry and ranged in temperatures from approximately 100° to 140°, whereas others felt like walking into a fogbank about 10 feet about a volcano, where you were instantly covered in moisture, and you are not sure whether it is sweat or water droplets from the air.

            I really enjoyed the resort, and the last thing I want to mention was the cost of food on the inside. I have never been somewhere that you pay entry for and that doesn’t allow outside food or drink to have reasonable prices once you get past the turnstiles. I expect to pay $4 at a football game for a crappy bottle of water. The prices here were ridiculous though. I normally pay €2.30 for an ice cream bar in Berlin, here, they were €2! The unmitigated gall of some people. How dare they overturn such a normal societal expectation with no regard for the psychological consequences? I had to buy extra food just to feel like I spent enough.

            The rest of the weekend was spent driving through Poland (country number 29!!) and chilling up by the North Sea. It was nice getting to see my family again, although I’ll be seeing them again in less than a month and it was a great way to relax before the stress of finals week. Of course, finals week for me is a take home paper which I’ve already finished quite a bit of and an in class essay, but still! Stay tuned next time for my exciting conclusion to Berlin: AKA, I eat my body weight in Döner and pretzels to prepare for not seeing them for over a year.

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Robin Clower

<p>I am Robin Clower and currently I&#39;m earning degrees in Secondary Education: Mathematics and German, as well as an additional major in Mathematics at Oklahoma State University (Go Cowboys!) I lived in Germany as a child, but am now headed back after studying Germany&#39;s language, culture, and history for four years at OSU. My main passion in life is teaching, so I hope to teach y&#39;all something while I&#39;m in Germany and learning about myself.</p>

2015 Summer 1, 2015 Summer 2
Home University:
Oklahoma State University
German Language
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