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Unread 23 Apr 17, 05:42 PM  
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CrispyA
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Join Date: Oct 11
Bier, Bratwurst und Bahnsteige: Day 4

Going home today

Our flight time had changed and we were now flying back at lunch time, rather than mid-morning as originally booked. I had wondered if that would give us time to do something in the morning but with the journey to the airport taking the best part of an hour, we would need to set off around 11.00am so there was just time for a leisurely breakfast.

We packed our stuff and got ready for breakfast. Evan wasn't feeling too good - he had an upset stomach and a headache and we did wonder if he had had too much beer the night before, but he had only had a couple of small drinks, so we didn't think so. We thought some fresh air might help, so persuaded him to come out for breakfast.

I had got the boarding passes in the Ryanair app on my phone but wanted to get them printed as well as a back up. I finally managed to download them to my iPad and decided to see if the Reception desk could help. On the way out, we asked and they gave me an address to email them to, so I did and they printed them. 100 traveller points to me.

We went back to the bakery from yesterday in the end. Poor Evan was very pale and didn't want anything to eat, complaining he felt queasy. We ordered breakfast for the three of us and a water for him, and managed to get him to eat a nibble of bread and a slice of cucumber, thinking that eating might help. He had some calpol melts (he can't swallow tablets) but he really did look awful.

Back at the hotel, we got sorted out and then checked out. It was a great place to stay and I can thoroughly recommend it - we paid around 80 per night and that felt like good value.

We headed for the station and got the S-Bahn to Ostbahnof ready to pick up the R train to the Airport. There are no ticket barriers and we didn't see a single ticket inspector on the trains - the system must rely on people basic honesty and the fear of an on the spot fine.

We sat upstairs on the R train, getting a last look at the city as we headed south to Schonefeld. Once at the airport, we went straight through to security where we found out that I had emailed the wrong boarding passes! I had forgotten that I had downloaded the boarding passes for our outward flight as well and stupidly didn't check before emailing them to the hotel. Just as well I had the app on my phone! So my back up plan ended up not working, but fortunately the main plan did. 100 traveller points removed from me. In future, I would make sure everyone had a copy of the app on their phone as we had to keep passing it to each other which was a bit of a pain.

At the airport, there wasn't much time before the Gate was announced and we lined up. This time we weren't quick enough and got asked to put our cases in the hold. I would rather not have done but there wasn't any point in arguing, so we took all our valuables out. Evan was still looking dreadful but being very brave and not complaining.

Poor Hannah got quite an inspection at passport control. She has much longer hair in her photo and it is a very different style now, but her face hasn't changed! The officer looked at her for a long time and then asked her to put her hair behind her ears before finally agreeing it was her. He did it with a smile though, so she did wonder if he was just having a joke? Guess it must get pretty boring doing that job and maybe they like to mix things up now and again?

Once on the plane, my row got asked to swap with the exit seat row as there was a 16 year old sitting there and you have to be 18. The couple next to me agreed to swap, but then they asked me, saying could I move as well as the three people in those seats were a family, I pointed out that I was also in a family and wanted to sit with them. I had checked in as soon as it opened in order to sit together, and with Evan feeling so ill, I really didn't want to move. The cabin crew were very understanding and only moved the couple next to me. I'm not sure how someone under age got allocated an exit row seat but maybe the computer treats all of those over 16 as adults?

The flight back was fine. I wish we'd got some snacks for the plane as we got a bit peckish and they only had 1 croissant available with the coffees. Evan dozed for most of it, but I had given him a carrier bag to be sick in just in case. I think he must have had a migraine and really admire him for not whinging, as the last thing you want to do with one of those is travel.

We didn't have to wait long for our bags, being glad of Paul's forethought to mark up the cases, just in case of having to put them in the hold, especially when an identical one to his came round on the carousel. Then we called the parking people to pick us up and they arrived pretty soon after.

The drive home was okay - bit of traffic getting out of Manchester but at least we could go straight to pick the cat up and then home, without having to faff about with taxis etc. Evan went straight to bed and didn't wake up for 12 hours, the poor kid really wasn't well at all. (He was fine the day after though). It made the journey back very subdued - usually he's the real joker of the family and we missed him being silly. We even drove past a pub called "The Dandy Cock" and there was nobody to "fnar fnar" about properly.

All in all, we really loved our Berlin adventure. Doing a European City Break was quite different to our usual holiday but it was good to have a change. We love our American Road trips and weren't sure about spending so long in one city, but there is so much to do in Berlin and it's a great place to walk around and explore. We could have spent more time there which is a good way to feel about a place. We ate really well there also - it was good to have so many nice meals. I could definitely get used to bakeries on every corner, but I'm not sure my waistline would be so happy!

We were inspired to have another Deutsches Fruhstuck when we got home though.



It did the kids good to be reminded that the USA isn't the only place worth visiting and that there are fantastic countries closer to home. It was also fun to be somewhere where everyone spoke a different language - even if it was a bit stressful at times. We even found ourselves missing the announcements in German when we got back! Plus it was nice to have much shorter flights and no jetlag. Travelling with hand luggage made a nice change as well, although I don't think we could manage a 3 week road trip like that.

We all liked Germany and would definitely go back, although we might try Spain next time, especially as Evan is studying Spanish and Hannah did it as well. But for now, it's time to get on with planning the summer trip - Touring round Tennessee!

Edited at 05:43 PM.
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Unread 23 Apr 17, 07:53 PM  
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Melbatb
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Thanks for sharing the trip - sorry to hear that Evan was unwell all day though.

If you want to do a city break in Spain, Barcelona is the obvious choice! Lots to see and lively food options (thoygh veggie food can be a challenge at times! )

Looking forward to reading your next report!
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Unread 24 Apr 17, 09:34 PM  
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CrispyA
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Join Date: Oct 11
Originally Posted by Melbatb View Post
Thanks for sharing the trip - sorry to hear that Evan was unwell all day though.

If you want to do a city break in Spain, Barcelona is the obvious choice! Lots to see and lively food options (thoygh veggie food can be a challenge at times! )

Looking forward to reading your next report!
I was thinking about Barcelona or maybe Madrid? Have you been to both?
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Unread 25 Apr 17, 10:23 PM  
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katiebaz
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Shame Evan was so poorly and he must have been ill if he didn't make a quip about the Dandy Cock! We really fancy a European city break next year, we love our USA trips but there are also many great places to visit closer to home too. Great report and thanks for sharing it.
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Unread 4 Oct 18, 11:13 PM  
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smithlane
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Poor Evan, it must be horrible travelling when you're feeling ill!
Sounds like you had a fantastic time away, you have made me really look forward to our trip next month. Thank you for taking the time to post
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Unread 5 Oct 18, 10:26 AM  
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CrispyA
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Originally Posted by smithlane View Post
Poor Evan, it must be horrible travelling when you're feeling ill!
Sounds like you had a fantastic time away, you have made me really look forward to our trip next month. Thank you for taking the time to post
Thanks for reading - we had a really good trip and I'm sure you will too, especially with the Christmas markets.
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Unread 7 Oct 18, 09:32 AM  
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Goldia
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A great read, lots of tips, I'm wondering if our hotel will do coffee and cake in the afternoon as that sounded fab!

We are staying at Novotel Suites in Potsdamer Platz which looks fairly central so we may end up walking backwards and forwards to the city. I think you said you got off the train at Potsdamer Platz on one of your days.

Thanks for posting.
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Unread 7 Oct 18, 10:06 PM  
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CrispyA
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Originally Posted by Goldia View Post
A great read, lots of tips, I'm wondering if our hotel will do coffee and cake in the afternoon as that sounded fab!

We are staying at Novotel Suites in Potsdamer Platz which looks fairly central so we may end up walking backwards and forwards to the city. I think you said you got off the train at Potsdamer Platz on one of your days.

Thanks for posting.

Berlin is a really walkable city so I think youll find it easy to get around. Have a wonderful time!
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