Just as I did with the previous entry for Amsterdam, I would like to start off by talking about my flight experience here on Easyjet. Dreadful! If I ever suggest flying them again somewhere, point me back at this blog entry, because they are without a doubt the worst airline I have flown on, and I semi-regularly have the joy of Jetstar in Australia.
Our flight was facing delays, weather I am told but this was not communicated effectively. Our scheduled departure was pushed back from 21:30 multiple times, with the culmination of the screw up in Amsterdam being that the whole plane boarded and doors were shut before they told us that we’d been delayed inside the plane for another hour. Wheels up was at 00:25, 5 minutes before a 3-hour delay may have given us some compensation. We made great time in the air, but faced stupid cabin crew who flat out refused to get my logbook signed, despite 100+ flights before having had no problem. Cabin crew suggested I get it signed on the ground, knowing full well what was about to happen.
We made it to Berlin earlier than expected, a quick flight time no doubt to avoid EU delay compensation. We pulled into a remote stand, and then waited onboard the aircraft until 02:30 when the first bus was available to take passengers to the terminal. It took another half an hour for us to get on the second bus. Considering our arrival time was meant to be 23:00, I’d argue that our delay lasted until we were able to at least get off the plane at 02:30, which is 30 minutes longer than the 3-hour EU261/2004 compensation rule. Although I’m sure arguing that to a satisfactory result would be pointless.
We arrived at the hotel at 04:00. Staff were very helpful, with the shuttle bus driver even stopping at a service station to allow for us to get some food/drink as there was no room service available. Understandably, we had a late start, but made it across town to our next hotel just after lunch, stopping at Berlin’s most famous kebab shop, Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap. I don’t know how to describe it, the flavours were amazing!
After dropping our bags at the hotel, we set out to Potsdamer Platz where we got into a little strife when we found out our tickets for the train had expired by about 20 minutes prior to a ticket inspector checking them, and we each got fined €60. Hard price to pay for 2 tourists that have just arrived into your city, but we took it on the chin. Still better than Amsterdam so far if you discount the fine, as the public transport prices there were atrocious!
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe was confronting. It consists of 2711 stelae (a monument usually taller than it is high) with an underground component with information. When you’re stood in a field of concrete slabs it’s hard to describe the feelings.
Brandenburg gate was about as interesting as a huge stone archway can be. I imagine the Arc de Triomphe will feel similar, although you can climb that I hear. Just up from the gate we stood in line for a bit at the entrance to the Reichstag Building before realising we needed a prior appointment. A subsequent search revealed we wouldn’t get in the next day either, so that’s one for the next visit.
Naturally, I had currywurst from one of the many street vendors in the city.
We had dinner in a historic quarter near ‘Nikolaikirche’, a 13-th century church ruined during WWII.
The next morning we visited the East Side Gallery and walked the length of the wall there.