31st-Oct-2005 12:00 pm – Berlin Trip Notes (posted April 2006)

I must have a suspicious face, because I seem to get frisked a lot in airports. This time they also scanned my pedometer separately as well. Flight with AirBerlin was delayed from 12.00 to 12.35 and gate changed from Gate 11 to Gate 1. I visited the Ladies’ and when I came back the screen was showing 12.00 final call. Group of Air Berlin passengers were looking quite confused nearby. I think that Gate 11 (Stansted) is the same gate used to go to Israel.
There was a small boy (aged 8/9) with RP explaining how a private hire jet company works to his father. Group of 4 (quite well-spoken) teenagers on a trip to Florence (with A4 printed sheets in Italian for their tour of Firenze). They mooted which language they would most like to learn – Chinese – (not specifying Mandarin/Cantonese).
Finally, we boarded the plane – a small Fokker 100. The smallest plan I’ve been on to date – a column of 2 seats on one side and 3 seats on the other. Free paper on the way in, so I can’t complain.
FLight time was 1hr 25 mins. 3848 steps taken by hte time I stepped on the plan. Misty in the morning, but not too bad on take-off.
I spotted:
Harrods Aviation Warehouse
Green plane that looked quite like a silo/rocket/green painted loo roll.
Grey plane (with US flag?) that looked quite military in design.
The flight was quite empty. Disconcerting that you can feel the aircraft slowing down as it levels out – I’m not sure that I like to feel the gear changes in anything other than cars….
When I landed at Tegel, I took the TXL bus (E2.80) and had a very quick, traffic-free route into Berlin. I went past my stop but found it OK without too much of a walk. I checked into the hotel. The room was a little odd – a twin room, but it had a door between the entrance and bedroom then a door out onto the balcony. The balcony had spikes on!.
I walked down to Alexanderplatz and bought a 3 day Welcome Card and went up the Fernsehturm. Then bought some Fish and Chips (sort of) for tea and came back. In my jimjams at 7.26 German time which must be some kind of record. Total steps 9173.
Initial impressions: Berlin is very stretched out. Lots of cyclists, and no cycle helmets.
I almost got run over by a tram – I saw a man and his wife/girlfriend giving me anxious looks and then realised that I was half on the track.
Welcome Card – E22
Fernsehturm E7.50
Tea (F+C and Coke) – E5-6.

* Tags:holiday journal
* Location:On my sofa…
* Mood:tired
* Music:Dialogue on ER