As I mentioned, my cousin and her husband were over at the weekend for a barbequeue and they offered us their flat to look after whilst away on holidays. We greatfully accepted the kind invitation to extend our stay in Berlin for another two weeks but in the course of further conversation, hubby made us another offer.
"Would you two like to visit the German Open and watch some tennis? The forecast is hot and sunny, it's a world ranking championship (ladies only) and there'll be a bit of a buffet as well."
We consulted our diary and noted that we could free up time to attend...
Monday, 8th May 2006 and we arrive at the Qatar German Open (hubby is senior sales executive with Qatar Airlines*, no less!) to be greeted with VIP passes to all areas and games. We've got a private box in the Steffi Graf Stadium (yes, her- she began her amazing career at this venue) which served complimentary drinks and snacks, including plonk, all day long and of course we had access to the Qatar Hospitality Suite!
* Gratuitous plug: Go fly with Qatar Airlines, they're brill and their country looks absolutely amazing- just take a spare suitcase for your spending money. :)
I cannot begin to do justice as to the splendour and luxuary of this Suite- dining was catered for by Intercontinental Berlin (ie first class) and we had a choice of al fresco in the beaming sunshine, or inside a huge tent which had been made up to look like an Arabian Palace. Naturally as one of the main sponsors of the event we had a great big posh table and as it was the opening day, we had it all to ourselves as the true VIPs only arrive mid-week onwards (the championship is on for a full week.)
As usual we had not taken breakfast so our appetites were set at maximum to make full use of the food. Bleedin' 'ell, what a spread!
Steaks (both lamb, beef and swordfish), bratwürste, chicken, kebabs, salads, breads/rolls, Chinese food, cold meats and cheeses, vegetarian food, fresh exotic fruits and such a choice of desserts you'd pass out just counting them. In fact there is so much I have missed off this list to save time and to avoid intense envy! Truly remarkable and off course, a free bar with all types of drinks.
Oh, and we did watch some tennis too, which was much better live than on TV. (I used to be a big fan in the days of Borg, Connors, McEnroe etc [I even saw Borg play live at Roland Garros, the French Open]) But nowadays it's all too samey with base line rallies lasting a gazillion years so I gave up watching. However, I have to say yesterday it was a pleasure to see some live tennis.
Some of the names you may recognise that are due to play this week are: Amelie Mauresmo (FRA), Mary Pierce (FRA), Martina Hingis (SUI)- saw her! Serena Williams and far too many more to list but a lot of Russian and Croatian stars.
So, that was our Monday, how was yours...?