Day 1 of our trip to Berlin.
After roughly 3 hours sleep, Naomi and I jumped (/slithered slightly unwillingly) out of bed and into plane appropriate clothing, before zipping up our suitcases, calling an Uber and arriving at Victoria station in London ready for a train down to Gatwick Airport in order to catch our very early flight.
We made it in plenty of time (thanks to accidentally getting on a Gatwick Express train) and strolled through security. Well, I had the joy of standing in a machine with my arms up because of my suspicious choker – obviously fashion is not at the forefront of security’s minds, which is fair enough, but aside from that it was without hinderance. It was strangely busy in the airport for 5 30am, but it wasn’t the end of the world.
Our flight was also busy, but again, not an issue. We checked in at midnight before the flight, and were put in the front row of the plane which was pretty sweet. I mean, for Easyjet that’s the best you can get really. I slept the entire journey though, so didn’t truly get to revel in the luxury.
It meant I felt half rested for our arrival into Berlin though, which was handy, seeing as we still had the joy of a bus, followed by a train, then the underground and a very short walk before getting to our hotel. It was around 11.30am by the time we got to the Titanic Chaussee Berlin (yes, I agree it’s a strange name for a hotel chain, and no, it did not appear to be themed).
We booked this trip last weekend by the way; we knew we wanted to go away, and had booked the Friday off in advance, but didn’t really think through where we wanted to go. We hadn’t ever been to Berlin, so we made a last minute choice and got a deal on a four star hotel. We aren’t generally that fancy.
Feeling pretty proud of ourselves for managing all that on 3 hours sleep, and in seemingly no time at all, we started the next part of our Friday morning adventure; an afternoon at Charlottenburg Palace.
I’ll mention at this point that Naomi had been amazing and researched Berlin, meaning I relaxed and happily followed her around. She had found out before hand that such a thing as a ‘Berlin Welcome Card’ exists, which means you get discounts to museums, and your travel is completely paid for for however many days you buy one for, (we got one for 3 days), for only €30. I mean, I say only, the exchange rate is so terrible everything felt that bit more expensive! Nonetheless, this meant that all our travel for the 3 days was covered.
Train travel in Berlin is a little different to what I’m used to, as it’s almost based on a trust system. The underground runs 24 hours a day, and there are no barriers. That’s right, none. They do have ticket inspectors that go around to check you have a ticket, but I never encountered one. This basically means you could just not get a ticket. Considering how cheap it is though, I wouldn’t say it’s worth it.
Back to Charlottenburg though:
We grabbed some savoury Germany baked goods en route, and arrived at the palace in good time to witness something we have very much become used to; we saw it at the Trevi Fountain, Capitol Hill, and now, Charlottenburg Palace… Scaffolding. All across the front of the palace.
It was not quite insta ready.
I won’t lie, we considered turning back. I mean, why now? Why us? Why did this have to happen when we were there? Why do bad things happen to good people? (I jest)
Nonetheless, we bravely ventured inside and I’m glad we did. It’s stunning. And for €12 doesn’t cost that much.
The only points I would have to make, are that A) they haven’t quite mastered the circular tour yet; you walk right to the end of everything and walk back instead of in a circle, B) You aren’t allowed to take photographs on a phone inside and C) the grounds don’t seem quite as well kept as other properties I have been to. Nevertheless, it was lovely.
We wandered the grounds a little bit, but it was sweltering hot, so we mostly sat and admired from a bench, before going back to the hotel where we planned on taking a quick nap in order to revive ourselves for dinner…
We woke up the next morning.
The danger of early flights, eh?