A Travellerspoint blog

Germany

Day 20

Berlin to Cologne

sunny 8 °C

Another blog without photos as it has been mainly travelling. However, before leaving this morning we did stroll to a local park ( The Humbolthein...also called a Volkspark...people’s park from communist times). It was rather a nice open space with lots of trees and it was good to get a walk before boarding the next train. Intercity express to Cologne...very fast and very comfortable. We arrived (5 minutes late!) in Cologne just after 5 and found our hotel conveniently near the station, and very nice. We got ourselves settled then off for a walk and in search of food and Kölsch ( local beer) both of which we found in abundance...it being Germany where portion size is not an issue😀. The Kölnisch Dom as ever looks beautiful at night as it is illuminated...but as so many lovely buildings, suffers from scaffolding! In spite of a seemingly lazy day, we still managed about 5 miles. Yesterday, while a few entries were still available on th errant “mock Fitbit “, using them plus some stuff I’d put on here, I calculate our walking over the holiday has totalled to date about 115 miles!- not bad for two old codgers like us.

Posted by nanny0gg 02:42 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Day 19

Berlin

semi-overcast 9 °C

All time record for walking today as ( if mock Fitbit is to be believed) we did over 10 miles...and even cheated a bit by using the U-bahn. Trouble was, we decided as it was such a good day, we’d walk into the city and we did. We found a path that followed the river then a footbridge by the modern parliament buildings to get to Tiergarten/ Reichstag.
Reichstag

Reichstag


On we went to the Brandenburg Gate then walked down some of Unter den Linden
Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate


On we walked - in my case enjoying the posh shops and then wondering why compared with other cities, Berlin is very poor at providing public loos. However, we solved the problem with a welcome visit to Galeries Lafayette where the facilities are superb! We continued on to Potsdamer Platz and then towards Checkpoint Charlie. We spent some time at the Topographie des Terrors where there is the largest bit of wall preserved and the dreadful history of the rise of Nazism as it was the site of the gestapo headquarters. The place has an very sad atmosphere...must be bad as Keith commented on it and he never usually notices. The interpretation centre tells the story of the persecutions...so many millions murdered because they didn’t fit the “ideal” one way or another. I’m afraid I had to come out before completing the reading as I found it really harrowing. Even the segment of wall adds its own stories to compound the sense of mans inhumanity to man.
Wall

Wall


Then it was back to crowds, shopping, an unintentional visit to the site of Hitler’s bunker... it was on our way back to Galeries Lafayette ( not for shopping)! Sufficiently exhausted we hopped on the underground to return to our hotel. So much to see in Berlin...I’d like another visit, but I doubt it’s going to happen.

Posted by nanny0gg 02:27 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Day 18

Warsaw to Berlin

sunny

This will be a short entry (hooray!) because we spent most of the day on a train travelling to Berlin. It was very comfortable in the First Class coach and the scenery was very restful being mainly fields punctuated by villages with the occasional forest thrown in. The tricky bit came on arrival in Berlin as the Warsaw train arrives at a suburban station and then we needed to get the S-Bahn to get to the main station and thence to our hotel. So we had to change platforms and find the correct train...but it all worked well and we made it to the Central station and found a very pleasant taxi driver to convey us to Hotel Graf Pückler.
The hotel is fascinating...it is in the Wedding district ( not wedding...Vedding!) which was in East Berlin but within walking distance of the centre. It looks as if it was once flats for the proletariat but it has been converted into a comfortable place to stay. I haven’t yet worked my way through the story of it in the welcome pack as I was too tired to think in German after a day’s travel. Keith found a wonderful restaurant last night using TripAdvisor as all those closest to the hotel are ‘Ethnic’ - Vietnamese, Indian, Thai, Chinese, Turkish etc which we weren’t looking for here in Berlin. It was a bit of a walk, but well worth it for the food and beer.
Bit of a disaster this morning, although I’d noticed my mock Fitbit had lost all my data from before the holiday and part of the first week with no idea why, it had behaved well ever since...so I had the plan of working out how much we’ve walked since being away as we’ve done a lot! Checked the interface to get the data, and it’s done it again and wiped all the previous records 😩😡...and the moral of the story as that you get what you pay for!

Posted by nanny0gg 00:36 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Day 1-2 Colchester to Hamburg

Other countries have delayed trains too

sunny 22 °C
View Anniversary expedition on nanny0gg's travel map.

Well the train from Colchester was on time and then the fun started. Long taxi ride to Highgate where the hotel was lovely but not quite ready for use...and they were hosting a very loud birthday party. However, we managed a good night’s sleep and were in good time for our Eurostar train to Brussels. Delays due to train ahead having technical problems meant a fairly tight change at Brussels so I was relieved to be on the Cologne train. This in turn was running a total of 35 mins late - because we had to take a detour to reach Aachen due to vandalism on the line ( remind me again where Goths and Vandals come from?). But the Cologne to Hamburg connection wasn’t tight and anyway the Hamburg train was running 15 mins late but that was better than some of the others we saw on the boards in Cologne which were up to 75 mins behind schedule. It actually makes one feel slightly less embarrassed about our trains when you see others having similar problems...especially at weekends. So finally we settled in for the 4+ hours to Hamburg...partaking of a quite unimaginative ham and potato salad meal from a Swiss menu as that particular service was run by Swiss trains (why?)... but the Weizer bier was very good. We arrived in Hamburg before 10pm and soon found our hotel, Novum Graf Moltke, which is lovely. This morning and after an excellent sleep and breakfast, we have a couple of hours for a quick look round then back to the station for the train to Copenhagen.

Posted by nanny0gg 23:43 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

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