December 16, 2009
I made it to Berlin! First time here, so there's new stuff to discover. I'm at a hotel near the historic Checkpoint Charlie, and there's some sort of museum there, so that'll be on the list.
I got up early this morning to take the train from my home town of Grenaa to Copenhagen. That's a 5 hour train journey, but time flies onboard the Danish trains, because... they have free WiFi, and it's pretty fast too. I downloaded a couple of multi megabyte podcasts, without too much delay. I had to switch trains in Aarhus, but after that I just had to wait until the announcer told us that we've reached Copenhagen Airport. After that it's a short walk to the checkin counters. Pretty convenient. Other cities could learn something here. I got checked in for the short hop to Berlin. The plane left on time and my suitcase got here as well.
I took the TXL bus outside the terminal to the Hauptbahnhof - main train station. From the main train station I had to take an S train followed by a U train to the Stadtmitte station. This was a bit of challenge, so I went to the ticket office to get my ticket instead of fighting the automated ticket machines. The hotel was within a 1/4 mile of the station.
It's a nice big room, but there's no kettle and complimentary coffee and tea, which even the cheapest of the cheapest of hotels in the UK had. I'm staying at the Mercure Checkpoint Charlie hotel, and it's fairly upscale, but in order to get the free Wi-fi one has to move ones butt down to the lobby. Suck!
After checking in I went for a walk up to the 'Unter den Linden' street. This is the street that runs through the Brandenburger Tor. I walked down there as well and started to get a bit of an appetite. I didn't really find a restaurant that fullfilled my criterias; cheap local food, and for some reason I ended up in a French one; called Entre Cote. I knew I had made a mistake when the waiter started talking french to me. Oh well, I found a beef stew dish on the menu and it's was actually pretty good.
It's pretty cold here, well below freezing, and I was not up for more outdoor activity and it was getting a little late, so I went back to the hotel.