Berlin a city divided?
Trip Start Jun 23, 2008
13Trip End Jul 23, 2008
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The ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam was a breeze, the sea was like a millpond and neither of us was sick. Can't ask for any more than that. There was a very entertaining band on board. Not! The usual generic Scandanavian covers band(sorry don't meant to offend) but I can live without "on the road again" in a strange accent. Although the food on the ferry was fine, I have to say that we had, what was possibly, the worst cup of tea in the world. Served to us in a glass similar to the chunky ones from Ikea, the water, for health and safety reasons, presumably, was luke warm. By this I mean it looked warm but it wisny! The next morning, we tried to pre-empt the situation by sneaking 2 Nambarrie teabags(yes we brought our own!) into a teapot with breakfast but even thay struggled to brew in the tepid waters. Ah well.
On arrival at Amsterdam port, we boarded the bus to the town centre at 9.30. Bearing in mind that the train to Berlin left at 10.57 and the journey into the centre took 45 minutes, I was anxious to leave. They waited 30 minutes to gather passengers and I was getting a bit jittery but we decided that, we made the agenda and we could change it and if it meant staying in Amsterdam for a night, so be it! However, with 4 minutes to spare and some seriously non British pushing in and queue jumping, we made it.
Travelling by train focuses your mind on taking it easy, you are captive in this thing that goes at it's own pace and the world just goes by. There was a bit of higgeldy piggledy with booked seats and someone sitting in our reserved space but he soon moved and I managed this without speaking a word of German and by using the univeral language of pointing and waving.
On arrival at Berlin, we found ourselves in a fantastic, huge train station, spotless and with its own "WC Centre", This sums up the difference between the Germans and us really. The people all along the way were so helpful. I tried a few school German phrases and they spoke excellent English. No change there then.
We followed the directions on the email from our hostel and were pleasently surprised to find we are situatied right next to the longest remaining section of the wall.
I am keeping a dictionary of "Nellyisms", these are phrases and comments made by my mum. (No doubt I'll make a few myself). How about this one:
We are walking along toward the hostel and my mum spots a group of people pointing and taking photos of something and she said "I wonder why their all looking at that wall!" Oh yes, you couldn't make it up. I'm chuckling remembering it now.
Our room is a cabin on board a houseboat moored on the river Spree and it is so cute, basic but clean with its own toilet/shower room. We had a great continental breakfast for €4 each and you could go back as many times as you liked. The best thing was we got a cup of BOILING water and had a real cup of tea. Ahhhhhhh!
I've bought a digital camera and we will be taking photos of Berlin and I'll upload these next time. We are off now to see the Brandenburg Gate and then to go to a "language" party on the boat (I don't know so, don't ask) but there's a barbeque so that's our tea taken care of.
We were worried that we would feel rushed and tired but that isn't the case so far.Let's hope it stays that way.
Okay I'm updating you all on the evening we had in Berlin on our last night. We didn't go to the language party afterall. Germany were playing Turkey in Euro 2008 and we went to the Turkish area where the place was buzzing. Every bar and restaurant all over Berlin had a TV on and people were walking around with their faces painted and waving either Turkish or German (sometimes both) flags.
Where I stayed