Friday, 30 December 2016

The Witches European Broomstick Tour – 29th November 2016 – Day 5

Current Country / City: Netherlands / Amsterdam

Morning Temperature:  MINUS 5oC

Travel Method / Rating: Train / reasonably comfortable

Travelling to: Germany / Berlin

Accommodation:  Apartments am Brandenburger Tor

Day Time Temperature: MINUS 5oC

Approximate Travelling Time: 6.5 hours

Currency: Euro (€)

Steps (as calculated by phone software): 11,458

Activity/Observation:  Sad to leave Amsterdam we nevertheless shouldered our packs and checked out of the hotel. We walked the 500m to the Centraal Station as T-Witch had booked us on a train to Berlin. This journey took 6.5 hours and was pretty comfortable although the carriage was too warm for me. Far nicer than working in the frosted fields racing past outside though. Everyone had bought the strangest foreign lollies and snacks they could find at the supermarket and these were shared around, to be enjoyed or spat out, whichever was deemed preferable to individual tastes.

The large windows allowed us to look upon rural and suburban scenes which passed the time. Everything is a little different to what we are used to seeing. We weren’t aware of crossing the border until a second ticket check was performed by a German official. Previous border checks must have been horribly time consuming and annoying.

My first impressions of Germany are solar panels and wind turbines. They are literally everywhere. Nuclear power station must turn over at idle these days.

We arrived in Berlin at 3pm and found our way out of the station, taking heaps of photos along the way. The huge Xmas tree in the foyer was very impressive with its ever-changing, light display.

Then we braved the cold to skirt the Bundestag towards our apartment.

Darkness was falling by the time we found the hidden doorway to the apartment block office. T-Witch checked us in and spent quite a bit of time printing our boarding passes for the next leg of our trip. Ryanair insist that their customers (sheep) check-in online or a hefty fee is charged at the airport. These types of fine print rules should be a premonition for the worst airline experience of our trip - but more on that later.

Our apartment was on the 2nd floor and had a tiny elevator. Us youngsters took the stairs, which were dark (couldn't find the light switch until the next day). The door lock was a pain in the arse but we finally got inside and placed dibs on the rooms. The apartment was warm, clean and had the amenities you'd expect to find in budget accommodation. We dived in to wash our clothes and the washing machine broke down for the second load. I blame M-Witch's socks that had been worn for too many days straight.

Broomstick Tour - Day 6

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