DRESDEN, GERMANY — The whirlwind tour continues here Friday as President Obama sees Buchenwald concentration camp and meets wounded U.S. troops.
When the press charter touched down here at midnight local Thursday night, we realized it was the third continent we’d been on that day.
At 3 a.m. we had left Saudi Arabia (Asia) bound for Egypt (Africa), where we stayed about 11 hours before heading here (Europe) as you can see in the picture above.
As most reporters filed analysis of the president’s speech to the Muslim world (read mine here), Obama put on some casual wear to see the Great Pyramids and Sphinx.
Obama spotted a hieroglyphic depiction of a man with big ears and announced it resembled him: “Hey that looks like me. Look at those ears!”
During the tour, Obama announced to the pool of reporters trailing him, “Hear that guys? No evidence aliens actually built this.”
He also stated the obvious while taking in the looming pyramid: “This thing’s huge.”
According to the pool report:
The group proceeded next to a building that houses the Solar Boat, a 43-meter vessel whose original purpose is unknown.
According to information supplied by Embassy staff, there is a scholarly debate as to whether this boat and five others found nearby were meant for the deceased king’s transportation in the afterlife or to represent the “solar boat,” used by the sun god, to travel across the sky.
Also worth noting, Obama spoke to foreign journalists after the big speech in Cairo, outlining his goals for the message.
Now, he’s transitioning to the European tour and is doing a short press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel from the covered courtyard in a castle built in the year 1200.
Obama signed two books inside the castle, one book for state of Saxony, one for the city of Dresden, with the same message: “Greetings from the people of the United States!”
A sign the president might be getting as little sleep as the press — he needed a reminder of the date from Merkel before signing.
Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel, whose father died at Buchenwald in 1945, is along for the somber visit today.
First Lady Michelle Obama and the first daughters are joining the president Friday night in Paris.
I have been posting photos on Twitter under the #preztrip hashtag and will upload more later. I’m also editing some video that hopefully will get posted in the next day or so.
— Christina Bellantoni, White House correspondent,
The Washington Times