We flew EasyJet over to Berlin. I think this is the first time I have flown with them although I had explored taking a flight back to Edinburgh from Lisbon, Portugal back in October. I was at the front of the plane and so the experience was really not all that bad. The tall young man sitting next to me was having a long chat with the women behind us and so the constant chatter was certainly interesting but a little difficult to get any additional rest. I had been up into the wee hours the night before, but all in all it was fine.
Evidently Tonya and David were subjected to a rude flight attendant who wanted to eject David from the plane because his bag wouldnâ€™t fit under the seat Â and for some reason he couldn’t fathom having the bad go in the overhead compartment where there was plenty of space. And then the unpleasant flight attendants were back there talking about the Malaysia Airlines missing airplane which was also incredibly bad taste when we were about to take off. But Tonya did say that with the cheap airlines that customer service is almost nonexistent.
While Germany is in the process of constructing a new airport we landed at the older and evidently quite remote airport at Shoenfeld. So the next step in the journey is to take a rather log walk over to where we could catch the train that would take us into Berlin and hopefully another connecting train that would then get us in close proximity to the flat that we rented through Airbnb.
It took a bit of investigation but we did eventually find the right train and the right platform and we were off on a really comfortable ride of about forty minutes into Berlin. On this leg of the journey were were able to get a little rest as the train was quiet. The first train stop was at the fabulous engineering marvel Hoptenbanff, a train station like no other I’ve seen that is both functional and architecturally interesting.
By this time it was about 3:00 in the afternoon and the only time I had eaten before was at about 7:00am. I knew I was getting hungry but I kept hearing that we were almost there so I was willing to wait. But were we having some issues locating the correct platform for the next train and concluded that eating would be good for all of us.
I hadnâ€™t actually realized that I was as hungry as all that but I believe I was shaking it was so significant. Of course the the lack of sleep from the night before wasn’t helping. At Tonya’s suggestion we landed in an Italian restaurant inside the train station called Vapiano’s. This restaurant is unique in that you go to the specified station and they prepare your selection right there as you watch. The young man Benjamin who created my beef and shrimp salad and then this carpaccio thing was really quite helpful and friendly despite the language barrier.Â
So after lunch we concluded that we would just take a taxi. And while it was a nice Mercedes and quite comfortable the driver left us off in the wrong location. It was the correct street, just the wrong location. So we marched up the street with bags and champagne.Â We had some issues finding the flat because evidently we didnâ€™t have the whole address.
We did eventually find our way there and the flat where we stayed was Â spectacular. The floors were the glimmering wide pine, there were high ceilings and the rooms were huge. Â There was even a piano in the living room. I had the largest bedroom that looks out over a nice quiet courtyard. Tonya had the next largest room that had a balcony which permitted her the ability to go out for fresh air and David had what looked like an office space also with a bed in it. The office space had a lovely gleaming silver chandelier in it as does the bathroom. The place was quite stunning. It was a much better choice than staying in a hotel.
Our only real problem was that for some reason the internet didn’t work for us. David had been back and forth with the guy about the password but without any real luck on our part to figure it out. The guy had said something to the effect that it was either this or that and for us it happened to be neither. Although David suggested that more than likely we were off by only a mere letter or some other character.
The internet issue is reminiscent of the issue I had at a hotel in Santorini-the one where they swore up and down that there was en-suite internet service and then made all sorts of excuses why it wasnâ€™t working. I do recall having looked up that particular hotel before actually arriving and all the reviews in Trip advisor were less than positive. So the lesson should be to explore those things before getting to such a location. But in the end itâ€™s all a part of the overall experience.
So when we arrived and got all settled and such we opened the first bottle of champagne and celebrated our arrival and the beginning of a splendid five days in Berlin.