After an extremely early alarm of 4am :-O I caught the bus from the centre of Edinburgh out to the airport for my 7am flight to Stanstead! Arriving at the airport in plenty of time I decided to go straight through to security and of course the metal detector decided to go off, just my luck. So having to strip further I stood in a machine that xrayed my body, one body search later and it turns out I'm clean! So off I went to board the plane. Once the plane took off I was out like a light the next thing I knew it was 10 minutes till landing, happy days.
Having arrived at Stanstead it was now time to get my hand luggage off the carousel, this was due to the plane being so full that hand luggage was going in the hold. I was lucky enough to have my bag be one of the first to arrive. Thanks to that I had nearly 2 hours before the plane to Berlin was due to depart so I found a half decent spot and caught up on social media, it's surprising how quiet it is at 830 in the morning during the holidays! Gate number announced it was time to trek to the other end of the airport as the train system wasn't working, just typical! Having boarded the flight I think I was awake for all of 10 seconds after take off, surprise surprise. It seems that I don't do early mornings or 4 hours sleep well! I yet again awoke with 10 minutes to landing. Having a peek out of the window it was a lovely surprise to see Berlin covered in a layer of snow.
It was now time to navigate Berlin's train system. I tried and failed to use the machines in the airport so quickly gave up and went to the tourist information and bought a ticket there. Turns out that in Berlin you need to validate your train ticket before you board that platform or you get fined massively!
A quick 25 minute journey later and I arrived in the middle of Alexanderplatz. Now it was time to find the hostel! Having stood and looked at a tourist map for the best part of 10 minutes I gave up and just went for it. I did then decided to check google maps on my phone and it turned out I was just round the corner, how lucky.
Having checked in and dumped my stuff I decided that seeing as it was only half three that it was time for a bit of exploring! I walked through Alexanderplatz and came across this sculpture. On closer inspection it had a map of the word engaged into the pillar and the metal part at the top spins.
This next shot was taken underneath the main railway tracks looking out to Alexanderplatz.
A bit more wandering and I came across the famous TV tower. The weather wasn't the best which meant that the top was unable to be seen but did make for a cool picture.
Taking a couple of turns I ended up walking dow the side of the river Spree. With many bridges cross the Spree linking east and west Berlin it was inevitable that a bridge picture was to be taken, especially being and engineer!
Walking along the river with snow on the ground it felt like true winter which I have missed in Edinburgh this year. The next two shots, to me, seem so wintery!
One of the best things about Berlin so far is the graffiti along the streets. I feel that this next photo captures just a snapshot of the graffiti that is all around this city.
Things I have learnt so far
- Travelling alone can be really nice
- I cannot comfortably walk on snow/slush
- My German isn't bad for having not practised since my standard grade exam in 2013!
- Crossing roads is weird, it can be a green man but cars can still go. I think pedestrians have right of way though by the looks of it, who knows?!
- If you want a good nights sleep book a hotel!
- The German keyboard is slightly different but different enough to confuse you!
- Hardly anyone wears gloves. HOW?!?