We were up with the birdies to ensure we got a good run to Birmingham Airport - leaving the house at 5.30am. Weather was atrocious (so, a good week to be leaving the UK), but being a Saturday, at least the roads were fairly quiet.
We checked-in at Brum without any problem, but as boarding time approached, it became clear we weren’t going to be taking-off on time - drat!! OK, it was only a 30 minute delay, but that was just long enough to mean that on landing in Frankfurt, we just had enough time to make the dash to our connecting flight to Berlin. It wasn’t the ideal time therefore for the security staff at Frankfurt to decide they didn’t like the way I’d packed the electrical gear in the case - so that got an individual inspection, as well as Ann’s hair-dryer being taken away for extra scrutiny! (weird!)
In spite of us both legging-it like mad, we were the last to board the plane (I hate that!), which meant there probably wasn’t going to be any space to put our luggage in the overhead lockers. To make it a bit more challenging, we were almost at the BACK of the plane, so by the time did get to our seat, discovered there wasn’t any storage, then were told to reverse direction and return to the FRONT of the plane to hand over our suitcases, we were getting a little stressed! Still, our cases ended up travelling business class, whilst we slummed-it in row 32!
We’re flying Lufthansa, where the only thing there was less of than storage space was a smile from the cabin staff. English with a German accent always sounds much more aggressive to me than it’s intended, but it didn’t help the overall experience - so, by now, I was in full VM* mode!
* Victor Meldrew
Then, some good news, the flight was only going to take 45 minutes (instead of an hour), so perhaps things were looking up! And one of the benefits of having the cases up the front of the plane, was that at least we didn’t have to carry them as far when we were getting off.
Safely landed at the airport, the next stage was to locate the Express Bus that would take us to Berlin’s rather futuristic railway station. Success! It was right outside, and we were soon on our way. Thirty minutes later we arrived, grabbed the nearest cab, for the last leg of the journey.
Apartment 208 - Schoen House Apartments, Berlin
Twenty minutes later we were outside our rented apartment for the next three days - Schoen House. After a lightning-fast check-in, we soon unpacked and were back out on the streets looking for somewhere to eat. It didn’t take us long to sniff out a Bar that was serving hot food. One goulash, one braised liver and a half litre bottle of German wine later, and we were ready to stagger back to the apartment.
It didn’t last long!
By now, the early rising, the less-than-perfect travel was taking its toll, and we were knackered. Looks like the Berlin underground party animals will be two short through their doors tonight - but I’m sure they’ll survive!! We’ve got a date with a hot chocolate and a movie! Talk about living on the edge!!!
Tomorrow is an exploratory day. We’re going to try out the Underground and get our bearings in this very large city.