Reasonably decent night’s kip in a very decent room with a decently comfy bed. Result.
Managed to exit the hotel expeditiously and found our way to the check-in, having previously sussed it out last night.
Checking the bags in was speedily accomplished and – then, Security, the bit I hate most about air travel.
This was supposed to be Fast Track. Anything but.
Initial entry to the security zone was via a scan of your boarding pass. This, as usual, worked in only about 10% of cases (including me)!
Usual scrum with people divesting themselves of belts, coats, watches. boots, electronics, etc., etc. For once, I passed through completely unscathed.
Jean was not so lucky. Her shoulder bag got diverted to the checking station which was sparsely manned by personnel who really couldn’t give a stuff. It took at least 20 minutes for the bag to get through, the culprit being some old make-up hidden in an inner recess which Jean had completely forgotten about. Very trying.
We made our way eventually to the lounge, in which we partook of various comestibles (and me a glass of fizz).
Thence to the plane. I’d booked Club Europe, so was expecting extra legroom seats. Nope. The only concession was to have the middle seat of three blocked off, so I was jammed in and very cross about it.
Miraculously, after every passenger had boarded, there was a seat free right at the front with loads of legroom! I moved into it with considerable alacrity.
The flight itself was uneventful, leaving about half an hour late. It lasted about an hour and a half, but in that time we got served a small meal, a sweet and – Aviation G&T, one of my faves.
Our bags took a while to come onto the carousel, but once retrieved, we were through into the arrivals Hall to be met immediately by Carlotta, a Viking representative, who took charge. About 15 minutes later, we and around six others found ourselves in a minibus heading to our hotel.
I didn’t realise that Berlin Brandenburg airport was so far out of town. The trip took around 50 minutes, but we were delivered to a very nice hotel, the Grand Westin, right in the city centre.
We were then taken in hand by our tour director, Alan, who was very efficient at the initial organisation. About 15 minutes later, we were in our room with lots of informative paperwork, with our luggage being delivered a few minutes later.
We are here for four nights, so we were able to almost completely unpack. This should give us some time to get our bearings and see stuff that quite a few people have recommended. Watch this space.
To my utter chagrin, I’ve brought the wrong adaptors! I blagged one from the hotel front desk, but I may have to buy some others. Jean, I’m sure, will be looking forward to a trip to an electrical store…..
After this bombshell, we started planning for tomorrow, as we have available a full day to see what Berlin has in store.
Which, in short, is a helluva lot. We sought counsel from our Viking rep, Alan, who provided us with a dizzying amount of detail. Brain-frazzling.
Armed (?) with this info, we dazedly made our way to the bar for a drink and something to eat. Very tasty, but very expensive, unsurprisingly.
I managed to put a list together for tomorrow, starting in the west at the Brandenburg Gate and finishing (if we get that far) at the Alexanderplatz. Check in tomorrow to see how we got on.
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