Day 2 was a travel day – the first of five. The hotel staff redeemed themselves by telling us about an excellent supermarket behind the Royal Palace in Amsterdam – as we were going to be on a train most of the day and we got up late, we basically had picnic breakfast and picnic lunch to buy. Then we strolled to Centraal and arriving a little early got a tip from the nice lady in the information centre to get a less frantic connection to the Berlin train. So we had a little trip to Hilversum (hil-fer-shoom) and then got on the train that would take us across most of the width of Holland and most of the width of Germany too. Not a great deal of difference in landscape except that it generally was a bit hillier in Germany and a bit grottier and grimier as we got into ex-DDR and towards Berlin. We had some occasionally noisy Portuguese interrailers next to us all the way, but they subsided eventually.
I’ve not been to Berlin in the summer before. The light is lovely, at least when the sun is shining. Having checked in we went for a walk and ate at Oranium by Tucholsky Strasse. and then we wandered down to Hackeschers Markt crossing under the S-bahn track and doubling back along the river. Then it was time to dive into the luxurious free wifi at the hotel.
This morning – Day 3 – we walked a lot again. Over to the Reichstag, down through the Brandenburger Tor which is all closed and done up for some concerts later this week – Nigel Kennedy! And then we walked down Friedrichstrasse to Checkpoint Charlie and along to Alexanderplatz where we lunched (me on Bratwurst and a cabbage heavy salad) We were bushed, so took the S-bahn back.
After I had a little snooze, we crossed over the road to the Natural History Museum – lots of fur and rocks and models of how things might have been once upon a time. I then went down to the station to get our reservations for tomorrow’s train and then we did our supermarket dash to get food for tomorrow too before heading over to White Trash Fast Food for dinner. Excellent surly service and surprisingly good quality food as usual.
Now for an early night. Our train to Vienna leaves at 8.35 tomorrow!