We arrived in Berlin on a Thursday just past noon after a red eye flight from Dallas/Fort Worth to Frankfurt to Berlin on reliable Lufthansa. The flights were on time and smooth sailing except for the twin baby boys who bellowed nearly the entire first leg of the plane ride seemingly unconsollable by their caretaker. RM was validated that he had his Bose earphones for sanctuary from the bawling children and I turned my earphone volume setting to the max so to lose myself in the fine assortment of in flight movies as well in the wondrous anticipation of a week of adventure in Deutschland.
Exiting Berlin Tegal terminal, we hailed a taxi – the Berlin taxis are all a rather nondescript pale yellow – ours driven by a crazy cabbie who informed us after brief introductions that he had lived in Fort Worth for a year twenty years prior training foran assignment in Turkey somehow related to the defense industry. I wish he’d stayed there because he was a frightfully awful driver, incessantly changing lanes, whipping u-turns in the middle of the multi-lanes, honking and yelling out the window at startled pedestrians in the universal language of trash talk. I caught images of the city on the roller coaster ride to our lodging in east Berlin in the colorful and gritty Prezlauer Berg district. First impressions were of a thriving city on the rebound, busy with construction projects with a blend of old with the new. Strange pink and blue colored water pipes snaked around over the ground and up and over roadways and other impediments. Later I learn that Berlin is built on a swamp so basic water line supplies are often required to be above ground.
Finding our apartmenthaus was a bit like a child on a treasure hunt with clues left by the absent proprietor but after a brief wait at the Cafe Lois, bolstered by a cold Jever, we found the flat after a 10 minute walk on a bumpy cobblestone street, entered the large building entry marked 1B, walked down a long, cold hall to two doors leading to a back courtyard. Our rental was in the back house, on the second floor which included a living area, bath, kitchen and bedroom. I loved the large windows immediately that looked out over the courtyard as well as into other high rise apartment windows that surrounded the common inner space. We are not alone.
We are pleased with our location as we are within walking distance of the best of East Berlin’s sights and sounds. Time for a quick nap to prepare for three full days exploring the highest concentration of notable sights and colorful neighborhoods In Berlin (per Rick Steves) as well as learning about the culture and history of this marshy burg.