Tabbie and Yamavu already joined Henrieke and me the night before and we had a nice dinner at a nearby restaurant with Lisa and Wolfy. Goddy, who also planned to drive with us sadly had to cancel his plans last-minute. Since we planned to be in Berlin kind of early we got up at 5 and drove off around 5:45. We picked the worst possible day sadly as we were accompanied by a boatload of rain.. We stopped for some breakfast and had plenty more stops on the way as the rain made driving extremely straining and slow.
We finally arrived at the Estrel at 17:30, almost 12 hours after we drove off.
We ran into Itchigo right away, Tabbie and me re-parked the car to a nearby parking spot and we all checked in. Luckily we got a nice room on the first floor again, almost next door to Ace and Noodles. Tabbie got a room at the end of the floor which was also really handy! I unpacked our stuff while Henrieke took a nap and Yotie and Eko came by to say hi. We wandered around in the lobby that was filled with way too many people already and checked out the Sommergarten. The lobby also featured the usual piano player, playing bad covers of popular songs. For dinner we went to our favorite restaurant in the Estrel, the Portofino with Tabbie, Ekorren, Yotie, Lisa, Wolfy and Yamavu.
Atkelar also dropped by our table, looking not to stressed by his 2 department duties yet.
After dinner we wandered around in the Estrel Convention Center a bit, looking at the 40+ crew setting up the giant stage. We sat at the outside area of the hotel which featured a piece of the Berlin wall and chatted.
Back inside we ran into Fineas and checked if our deliveries for the charity booth were already at ConOps.
At the bar we ran into Trax. Henrieke went to the room already and when Pinky joined in, we discussed this year’s charity plans a bit. Tabbie and Trax joined to our room, Eko and Yotie also joined and we had a little room party until 23:30.
Tuesday, August 18th – Day 0
We got up at 9 after the room service tried to get in 3 times already, we should definitely not forget the Do Not Disturb sign next time. At breakfast we sat together with Lanakila and had a nice chat, Yotie and Ekorren joined as well later. Afterwards we went to Con Ops to sort out things for the charity booth and went to get our con badges at registration from Akuro. I picked up a package that was sent to Henrieke and me by Lance, containing some art supplies to try and a remote control for a quad-copter that was meant for the charity auction, sadly the matching quad-copter didn’t surface. Henrieke took a shower, I watched Djem assemble the booth and Ekorren picked up Dogs head (that sounds terrible out of context) in order to get his fursuit badge.
In the lobby we spent some time chatting with Kana, Lisa, Wolfy, Yamavu, Yotie and Eko and went to the Drugstore and Edeka to get some Strepsils, Instant Noodles and Drinks. Henrieke and me went to get a Currywurst from “By Curry” in front of Edeka, very tasty!
I spent some time talking to what appeared to be the owner of the place about Eurofurence, trying my best to explain what was going on in the Estrel while waiting for my Wurst. Back at the hotel we met Sithy, who generously lent us some supplies like military vests and ammunition boxes as decoration for the lottery booth. I ordered some tables from the hotel, which were apparently scheduled for the wrong day and assembled the aluminium frame with help from a few friends. Sadly the measurements were wrong, so we had to disassemble the whole thing again and postpone the setup of the booth until Djem was able to adjust the length of the aluminium poles again.
Henrieke and me went to ConOps in the meanwhile to cut the signs for the booth, as it turned out there was no jigsaw available and all the tools that were available the past years were actually property of the pawpet show. This created quite a problem as many people relied on a jigsaw, so Tioh had to save the day by picking up a couple of tools from the hardware store. Back at the charity booth we agreed with Chiros on meeting up later to hopefully decorate the booth tonight. Chiros came to our room to pick up his badge and we spent a while talking about bats and bat fursuits. Djem cut and set up the booth again in the meanwhile, and after checking how the signs were going we started decorating the booth with additional help from Itchigo and Tabbie. I went back again to see how the signs were doing, and as it was getting dark already, I helped Luchs and 2 other Swiss guys who spent hours cutting and assembling the standees for the con with their work, holding the plywood and providing light. Since the restaurants in the hotel were closed by now, Henrieke and me made use of the staff buffet, which featured some leftover meatballs and potato salad. We met Itchigo and a nice British security guy there, had a little chat and went back to our room. On the way we ran into Pegla, who surprised Henrieke and me with a cute Lemur plushie and a very old 9.5mm cinema camera. Also we got to say proper hi to Djem and Snowy. On the room we took a bit of a break and I finally got to present Baseball’s new wings, something I worked on until the day before EF!
As expected, it didn’t make suiting easier, but Baseball could suddenly hug 8 people at once. I suited for maybe 40 minutes and went back to the room. Tabbie came over and told me about a Duck flying into his window. Upon closer inspection, it actually turned out to be Mag, wearing a duck mask. That was a really awesome surprise as I didn’t count on Mag coming to EF! Ottsel, Yotie and Ekorren also joined and we had some fun on Tabbie’s and Mag’s room until 2am.
Wednesday, August 19th – Day 1
We got up at 9:30, had breakfast with Coorandilla and went to ConOps to finish the charity signs. Ekorren and some Austrian guy we met also helped us.
Allergy hit me hard that day and at 12:45 I went to the room to steam a bit. As soon as I felt better, we finished setting up the charity booth and went to the charity team meeting in Pinky’s junior suite, offering an amazing view over Berlin. Ekorren also joined and listened!
After the meeting we went to check out the Sauna and Steam room, something we didn’t get around to do last year. As it turned out, the steam room is amazing and pretty much the nicest thing for my allergy! We had some fun there and were puzzled by a big automatic ice cube dispenser that kept creating a pile of ice cubes in the sauna area.
After the sauna Henrieke and me went to see the opening ceremony which turned out to be 40 minutes delayed, so we hung around in the lobby a bit and met Tabbie and Birko. We sat at a table with Coora and Yamavu and tried to get some food, but it turned out that the hotel didn’t offer any warm snacks in the lobby yet, too bad.
We went to the room and had some cup noodles and ended up watching the opening ceremony on EF Prime with Mag and Ekorren. Henrieke and me went down to the lottery booth to help Itchigo with some more setup and cleaning up, then met Pinky at ConOps and went to the art show with her to see how Ray was doing and to pick up some lottery prizes to bring back to the lottery booth. We also checked the art show out a little, mostly Luno’s really big clay kangaroo sculptures.I also ran into Nun-Dragon, best costume at EF!
Henrieke helped out a bit more at the booth and I steamed again because the stupid headache kept coming back. I went down again, found Henrieke and went to Portofino to share a Pizza with her. Spikie also came by to say hi! I took a painkiller with the pizza and felt better soon after, having a day of lingering headache really sucks!
Tabbie, Mag and me planned to go to the steam room but sadly it already closed. We hung out in Tabbies room instead and planned to go suiting together, Tabbie got sidetracked so I went ahead and took Baseball to the 80s dance, this year at the giant main stage. The music was alright, though a bit remix-heavy and not all 80s, but I enjoyed it! I met Cassy there which turned out to be worn by Chiros, and Henrieke, Ekorren and Mag also joined. It was really dark on the dance floor with mostly only UV lights, making it really hard to see much, it turned out some part of the system crashed. Henrieke took some nice photos and Manukoa also joined the dance.
We went back to Tabbie’s room, I got out of suit and we spent the rest of the night doing things like rolling on the floor, having fun with a duck mask, dancing. We also ran into Luxen and a guy from Ukraine and had a little chat. The artist lounge wasn’t as busy anymore at that time, so we went ahead and played a round of “The floor is Lava there”, good times. Went to bed at 3am.
Thursday, August 20th – Day 2
We got up at 9:30, had breakfast with Ekorren and Coora. Afterwards we had to fix up the charity booth since some drunk people last night sat on it, pulling off half of the tablecloths. I went to Con Ops and asked for some signs asking people not to sit on there. Afterwards we got our snacks together we brought for the International Snack Exchange, pretty much the best panel at EF. There was a great variety of stuff to try including lots of thing containing salmiak on the Finnish table which I gladly avoided.
About 10 minutes before the Dealers Den opened, I went there with Henrieke and helped her set up the table. I also ran into Hazel there who set up her fabulous table.
Afterwards I got into line for the charity Otter photo shoot. I didn’t mention it earlier, but the charity actually brought a baby otter called Hobbit to the convention. There were photo shoots, one today and one tomorrow with 24 time slots each. Ekorren joined me in my 1.5 hour mission to get a slot and we made good use of the time in line and did an art trade. While waiting in line I put up some silk ropes to make sure the people in line didn’t block the charity booth and I helped a bit with giving out lottery prizes. I got a slot for me and Henrieke, then I went to ConOps to get some signs printed because the room of the photo shoot apparently changed. I brought Henrieke some lunch and then took the chance to check out the art show. Of course I can’t post any photos, but there was some cute art by Kiguren and some really amazing little sculptures.
Back at the Dealers Den I managed to pick up the last Artistic Visions book Henrieke and me were missing in out collection by Ursula Vernon. Since there wasn’t too much else going on, Ekorren, Tabbie, Mag, Coora and me decided to go to the steam room. Had some fun with the ice cube dispenser. When we were done the Dealers Den almost closed and the Otter photo shoot was scheduled for 18:15, so I went to help Henrieke pack up her stuff. The otter photo shoot was nice, even though the poor baby otter was stressed out a bit by the long day as they just arrived earlier that day. We got a nice photo together with Rosi, the photographer who happened to be a huge fan of otters couldn’t hold back his tears because of all the cuteness.
It became a bit less cute when the otter pooped on the floor, but.. shit happens. Lisa and Ekorren also showed up and we spent a few extra minutes looking at Hobbit before the next people arrived. We went back to the room, watched some EF prime and saw a really nice animated short, then Henrieke went to the art show. Mag and me had some fun with the remote controlled inflatable dinosaur in the lobby in the meanwhile. I ran into Shivon and Blastdav (who wears toe adorable Ári) and stood in line to get a slot for the fursuit photo shoot next day, which luckily worked out. I met up in the lobby with the others, spotted Templa in suit and we ended up going to King Döner with Ottsel, Ekorren, Coora, Blastdav, SilentRavyn and some other people.
There was not much space there and the food was really bad there. Sadly I also missed out on the fursuit group photo that way. After dinner we went to the giant artist lounge where I waited for Chiros and Kiguren to show up.
I was lucky enough to to a trade with Kiguren, whose art is super adorable! I got Baseball with his new giant wings out, with some help from Chiros, who helped me into suit and spotted. Baseball roamed around in the lobby and the artist lounge. Baseball ran into Tabbie and Mango and they had some fun with Djem at the Fursuit Friendly Dance. Back in the room Baseball switched to his small wings again for practical reasons and went to the artist lounge and the dance again. The music was a bit less nice, so Baseball, Tabbie, Birko and Mango had some fun outside the main stage where the karaoke was happening. The group of critters ran into Hazel, SilentRavyn and Rave Fox who were delighted to see them. After that it was time for Baseball to get back to the room and for me to get a shower. I went back down to the artist lounge, had a nice chat with GothWolf and went to bed at 2.
Friday, August 21st – Day 3
We went down at 9:50 and had breakfast with Birko and Spikie. A bit later, Pinky came and hurried to get us to the charity team photo shoot which we completely forgot about. We did some fun poses and went back to breakfast. Henrieke went to set up her dealers table again and I got into Baseball and sat in the Artist Alley a bit, doing doodles for donations.
Baseball did well and earned 70 Euro! After that Baseball changed his wings and went to the photo shoot where NewEinstein took some great photos! At the Artist Alley, Baseball ran into Manukoa and another blue bird and got some nice photos taken.
Baseball went to the Dealers Den for a bit and said hi to LuckyCoyote, then I got out of suit with help from Wikke. I went back to the Dealers Den, met Sambers and Dibs and rushed back to the room to get the Balaclavas I brought for them. I sat a bit on the floor behind Henrieke’s and Lisa’s table and wrote a bit on this very report. I went back to Mag, who was still sitting in the Artist Alley and asked him and Eko if they wanted to suit in the Fursuit Parade. We got out Tyler, Dog and Baseball and Tyler managed to film parts of the parade while Baseball collected money for charity. After the parade we all got out of suits and I got some lunch for Henrieke and me consisting of Currywurst, Estrel Fries and Chicken fingers. I helped Henrieke pack her stuff because the Dealers Den closed already. Outside the Den I ran into Nwar, a french artist I commissioned earlier and got my sketchbook back. We finally had “lunch” at one of the round tables outside the main stage. Henrieke and me quickly went to see how the bids were going while the others guarded our bags. I ended up bidding on Henrieke’s otter painting through Yotie. We went back to the charity booth to see how things were going, had a little chat with Rosi and saw some strange people arrive in the lobby. It turned out to be a “Comedy Tour” of Berlin, with hosts dressed up in drag, that made a stop at the Estrel to point out the weird furries. We quickly took the chance to get some charity donations out of the tourists as the booth was basically the first thing people would encounter in the lobby. I quickly tried to find a suiter, one of them turned me down as he was afraid to miss his DHC photo shoot, luckily Faith, who was waiting for the same photo shoot was nice enough to help out the charity and collected a bit of money.
Henrieke and me had a little chat with Kalaallit who gave us some free Club Mate he brought from CCCamp which took place directly before EF this year. Today we decided to have dinner with some people we don’t hang out with enough, so Henrieke and me went to Portofino and had dinner with Chiros, Oddity and Tifou. Afterwards we went to the artist lounge and also sorted out some issue with Tabbie’s and Mag’s room door, basically you could just push it open from the outside which was a bit worrying.
We had a great night in the artist lounge, did some drawing games, got the whole lounge to sing Happy Birthday to Hazel and did some trades. Mausie also dropped by being way too cute as usual.
Went to bed at 3:30am.
Saturday, August 22nd – Day 4
We had breakfast with Trax and Emejn and almost spent 2 hours at the table, talking about things like convincing Louve to come to NFC. Eventually Henrieke had to leave to the Dealers Den and I joined her later. I got us some lunch from the Estrel Bar again and got Baseball down to do some drawings for charity at the charity booth, which was empty since Rosi left the evening before.
Baseball drew for about 2 hours, collected quite a bit of money and then went to the Dealers Den when it closed down. I got out of suit again soon after and met Henrieke on the way, we stored the art stuff from the Dealers Den on our room and took a break. Sadly I missed out on the dance competition, which played the following video at the beginning:
If you look closely, you can see Hop at the beginning! The video was done a few weeks earlier by EzWolf in the Netherlands, it was pretty fun to do!
When looking down from our window we saw a very stressed looking Itchigo, so we decided to go down and see if we could help. It turned out all the money still needed to be counted for a preliminary amount that could be announced at the closing ceremonies. We helped with that, running around between the charity booth, ConOps and the Presidential suite where the coin counter was rattling nonstop. Eventually we got our number, gave it to Pinky and waited backstage for the closing ceremonies to start. Rosi was back home already, but the Video Team did some magic and we had Rosi join via Skype. Hobbit also joined!
After the closing ceremonies we chatted a bit with a very relaxed looking Cheetah, then had dinner at 21:40 at Portofino with Tabbie, Mag, James, Sparky, Coora, Ray, Itchigo and Chiros. The waiter was a bit annoyed at us but we all got our food and had a nice dinner. Though less nice for Ray sadly, who felt sick and left early. Itchigo and me covered his bill since he barely even ate anything. I spent a bit of time in the artist lounge after, then got Baseball down and went to the dance with Tabbie and James. Had some fun dancing on the stage with BBF, Tifou was there as well. In the lobby Baseball collected some more money from drunk furries who were very happy to give out change, with one person even paying 50€ for a Baseball hug. Baseball went to the artist lounge, annoying people and doing some great art for Rotarr and Sturmschwinge.
Also one for Coora since today was his birthday. I got out of suit again, went back to the artist lounge and had some fun with Tabbie and Mag. We also checked out the pawpet show stage, which looked right out of FNAF due to the right lighting conditions and the eyes staring at us out of the darkness. We delivered the money that Baseball collected to the security office next door who were nice enough to store it in their safe, then went back and had some fun watching the Ariel needs legs video with everyone who didn’t see it yet.
We stayed in the artist lounge pretty damn long, Wolfy also just left and MilesDF stayed behind, alone and still working on a pile of commissions. We went to bed at 5am.
Sunday, August 23rd – Day 5
I got up at 10, went to the breakfast buffet and brought some stuff for me and Henrieke to our room. I went back to bed then, tried to sleep for another hour and then got up with Henrieke to have some breakfast in bed, watching EF Prime like in the Maritim days.
We went down at 12, met the others and spent some time on Tabbie’s room.
A bit later we went to ConOps and got the boxes and disassembled the whole charity booth in only about 35 minutes with help from Tabbie, Mag, Ekorren, Chiros, Coora, Ray, Itchi, etc.
Henrieke and me went up to Pinkies room, helped Trax to get into suit and had a quick charity recap meeting. Mag had to leave today already so we went down and said good-bye.
After that we went to get some lunch at a nearby Chinese restaurant with Ekorren, Yotie, Ottsel, Yamavu and Tabbie. We had some tasty food and made some dumb videos and panoramas.
Back at the hotel I went to the stream room with Coora for a short bit, then helped Henrieke with setting up a table where the charity booth once was in order to do some more charity art. I also looked for my red tote bag which seemed to be lost, no luck finding it though. I went to the artist lounge and quickly recruited Scarecrow and Yamavu to also sit at the improvised charity table. The whole improvised charity table thing turned out to be a huge success, especially when we announced that if people keep donating, we’d reach an amount that is over 30.000€. People gave lots of 20€ and 50€ notes and people were really excited about this result, which would be most likely the biggest amount any convention ever collected. In fact we also never even came close to collecting so much money on a Sunday after EF, it was absolutely great to see so many people willing to contribute. Huge thanks go to everyone who spent almost the entire day working in order to get in more donations, like Henrieke, Yamavu, Scary and Mstr! You rock! Also thanks to everyone who still donated so much money.
Eventually Pinky came back, I went up to her room to look for my lost bag, sadly still nothing. Baseball was just about done with making drawings for donations, so I took his place and also did some more PWYW drawings until Henrieke was done taking a shower. When I was done, I went to check out the dance for a bit, then went to the artist lounge to do a trade with Pegla for giant googly eyes. Pinkie dropped by and asked for help with counting coins, Henrieke and me ended up doing that in the security office until 1am, I went to check out the dead dog dance a bit again and sat in the lobby with Ekorren, Henrieke and Frazzle.
I finished Pegla’s drawing, got Baseball down for just a few more minutes, went to the dance for a short bit, met Mango and finally flopped on my bed at 3am.
Monday, August 24th
We got up at 9, packed a bit, had breakfast with JD and another guy from the states, packed some more and spent a long time saying good bye to everyone downstairs.
Tabbie and me got the car, I made a last attempt at asking for my red bag, which turned up at the reception! My art supplies were safe and everything was in there! Yay! We drove off around noon and had the best driving conditions! Little traffic and perfect sunny weather.
Tabbie mostly drove, we had some fun in the car singing along to music were in Vienna just 9 hours after we left, as opposed to the 12-hour trip on the way to Berlin. Tabbie continued to Bratislava and Coora spent the night at my place, along with Henrieke, Eko and Yotie. We were trying to find a place that still had proper food after 10pm, which turned out to be hard, but we ended up at a really nice Turkish restaurant I usually buy my Döner at, turned out their other food is also delicious!
We spent some time watching YouTube videos and then got some well-needed sleep.