Friday, 26 September 2014

Bonding with Berlin

After a tearful goodbye to Amsterdam, we boarded the train that would take us to Berlin. It was supposed to be 6 hours, HOWEVER a pesky delay meant that it was more like 8 hours. Praise be for having bought the book 'Gone Girl' at the airport and hefty supplies of Milka chocolate! ;)

When we eventually made it to Berlin things continued to go a bit downhill.
My boyfriend speaks zero German, and my own knowledge is fairly limited so we found the language barrier quite debilitating, much more so than in Holland for some reason (quite frankly, anyone in Europe puts us firmly monolingual Brits to shame, so this one was probably our fault haha)

Whilst in the station, the information desk was helpful and gave us good directions to our hostel, with clear instructions on how to use the public transport system... or so we thought! When we got out of the Hauptbahnhof (Berlin's central station) we realised that Berlin's transport system was quite a lot more complicated than we'd expected - I'd heard of the U-Bahn, but there was also an S-Bahn, and a tram, and buses... SAY WHAT.

When we FINALLY got our bearings and located the tram that we felt (99%) confident would take us to our hostel, we collapsed in a heap in the corner with our backpacks. However, we'd barely been sat down 5 minutes when we looked up from our tired daze to see an old man in a uniform yelling at us and gesturing to take earphones out (which we weren't wearing - he was just being a rude !*%?). We had absolutely no idea what he was saying, so we apologised and said we were English - but he just yelled at us some more. Suddenly we looked around and realised we were the only ones still on the tram, and that everyone else was walking across the street. Turns out there had been some problem with the tram line which meant we had to get a replacement bus, which would have been fine but since the bus had no stop announcements, we had no idea where our hostel was.

SOMEHOW, we found the hostel. Hallelujah, hooray, joy of joys... at least until the check in guy said "you know you guys are staying in a caravan, right?"

I wish I could say the trip got way better from there, but sadly somehow Berlin didn't quite do it for me.
I think because I was so taken with Amsterdam's architecture, Berlin disappointed me a bit. The areas we were in were quite a lot more modern, and it was also just a bit big and overwhelming for me.
Having said that, we did have some highlights there:
The Berlin Wall was really moving, and I loved the graffiti on it.
Kaffee und kuchen. NEED I SAY MORE.
Drinking beer in Alexanderplatz and doing some serious people watching.
We even had a nap in front of the Reichstag, cheeky ;)

The dreaded caravan...

Next stop, PRAGUE!