We have arrived in Berlin! H & I left Stony Plain around 11 am, picked up L & D in Red Deer and then met Kelsey & Dylan in Airdrie for the first coffee stop of our trip. A quick trip down the road to the airport and we found a nice covered parkade spot – that met with Harv’s approval – for the Escape to rest for 3 weeks. We were of course mega-early for our flight, but that made check-in uneventful. Deb & Bev even had time to take in some of the local Canadian icons and for Deb to get Macleans all downloaded!
Our Air Canada flight to Frankfurt was right on time and they fed us well. Harv, Larry & I managed to get a bit of sleep while Deb bonded with the flight attendants. Harv also watched 2.75 movies (down from his record of 4 on the way to Rome) and Larry made it through 6 episodes of Big Bang.
We had a 2.5 hour layover in Frankfurt, went through what we guess was German/EU customs, and enjoyed great focaccia sandwiches for lunch (or was that breakfast?).
Another hop in the sky, with great views of the German countryside and we landed at Berlin-Tegel Airport. An interesting efficiency – as you deplaned, the luggage carousel was right at the gate! Unfortunately, we had not previously noticed that the directions we had been given to our VRBO (vacation rental by owner) apartment were from the Schonefeld Airport. Hmmm…. but we took that in stride and investigated how to get where we needed to go. Onto a bus where a very helpful local girl advised us to hop off at an earlier stop and take the metro so we wouldn’t get caught up in the craziness of today’s Berlin Marathon. Arriving at the train station, we were again somewhat confused by the directions and after a fair hike, we decided that the taxi on the side of the street looked like a good plan. He deposited us right where we needed to be.
Our apartment is great – on the 4th & 5th floors of a building with no elevator, so we will be getting our exercise! We then wandered around the neighbourhood – Friedrichshain – and landed at a wonderful Arabic restaurant – Alarbi. The boys toasted the successful journey with good German beer and we enjoyed our dinners.
Now hopefully off to a good night’s sleep and tomorrow off to explore…