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    • Day 2

      Just getting there is a mission!

      March 31, 2023 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 10 °C

      Taking a family of six from Newcastle on a three hour train ride, then a 15 hour flight, then a three hour stopover, then another six hour flight before landing in a country we've never been to, know nothing of the language, and are to be fair, a little under-prepared ....

      What could possibly go wrong...

      Well, as it happens, not too much so far. We set off on the 3:30pm train from Newcastle to Sydney Airport, arriving with ample time to check in and allow the boys to write the first pages of their journals while we waited to board.

      A 10pm departure was well timed; the boys were excited at the prospect of stepping foot in the Northern Hemisphere for the first time, and hungrily snapped up the dinner served on the plane. The individual entertainment systems had a workout, before we all tried to get some shut eye on the longest leg of our journey.

      We made it to Doha 15 hours later and were suitably impressed by the rainforest growing inside the terminal. Not sure if it was deliberate, or if the cleaners went on strike and a rainforest grew, but either way, they should probably run with it.
      There was also a playground for the boys to spend some energy before we boarded again, this time to travel from Doha to Berlin, a 5 hour journey.

      One or two movies later, we were gliding over Bavarian countryside and touching down in Europe. It was grey and wet, however our pre-arranged driver organised to meet us in the arrivals hall, next to what I can only imagine was a solid gold BMW. Fred asked if that was the car we were hiring. I wish kid.

      A mix up in the location of our BNB saw us dropped at the wrong site. No matter, a 15 minute walk to the correct site was probably a blessing, nice to get the legs moving. We could have done without the rain however. The driver said that if you waited for good weather in Germany to commit to doing something, you'd never get anything done. So just get out amongst it and expect to get a little wet from time to time. Good advice.

      Tom and I ventured out in the evening to find dinner for everyone. We ordered some pizzas and picked up a few must haves from the local market. Tom had a chance to try out his blossoming German, but buckled a little under pressure and just asked for "white bread". We'll work on that.

      It's a quiet evening, the boys have all crashed and I don't think Sarah and I are far off either. Tomorrow: Day 1 in Europe.
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    • Day 3

      The sites in Berlin

      April 1, 2023 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 9 °C

      Our first full day on the continent was a chance to take a walk through Berlin, seeing a number of the main attractions before heading to Leipzig to watch the football match.

      We had intended on walking to the metro station and catching the metro to Berlin Hauptbahnhof Station, however as we walked towards the city, we found there was just one more thing just up ahead we wanted to check out. Soon enough, we had walked the 7km to Central Station.

      Along the way we started our sites at Checkpoint Charlie. When East and West Germany was divided, this marked the point at which you left the American controlled West, and headed into Communist East. We chatted about the state of the world 50 years ago.

      We moved along and toward Friedreichstrasse and finally turned left to bring the Brandenberg Gate into view. It's a pretty impressive structure and we walked between its huge columns. We made our way past the Tiergarten park, largely cordoned off in preparation for the next day's half marathon, before coming upon the Reichstag Building. Tom was pretty amazed by the site of it. "You don't see stuff like this in Newcastle." Well, no you don't.

      At the main train station, we had time for a bite to eat. Train station food is not a huge attraction, however Jack was pretty keen to try the currywurst, a curried sausage chopped up and smothered in sauce. It comes accompanied by pomme frites, one of my favourites.

      The Germans are nothing if not efficient, and our train departed on time to the second. As we sat watching the countryside whizz past, Jack and I got chatting to the lady and her granddaughter with whom we were sharing a booth. They are travelling from Berlin to Munich together for the school holidays where 9 year old Maria will spend her Easter break with her grandma. I enjoyed listening to her casual chat about her life in Germany. We also found it quite amazing that Jack and Maria shared a birthday, exactly 12 months apart!

      The trip to the football filled the majority of the day, and by the time we got home, we were walking zombies. Even Jack was happy to skip dinner for bed!
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    • Day 16


      July 25, 2023 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 21 °C

      Wir sind von Prag mit dem Zug nach Berlin gefahren und haben im Hotel ( übernachtet. Am nächsten Tag haben wir die Altstadt und das Brandenburger Tor angeschaut.
      (Kosten Übernachtung 248.- / Essen 60.-)Read more

    • Day 1,064

      Freitag mit Waterfront Dinner

      July 23, 2021 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

      Gut geschlafen. Frühstück mit Otto .Kaffee- Bar Prenzlberg s.a. Dienstag. Dann in Westen geradelt
      KaDeWe und so. Coffeebreak im Schleusenkrug.
      Am Abend Dinner am Spreeufer - Nähe Dom und
      Stadtschloss neu. Restaurant Balthazar.
      So schön. So delikat. Mit Sauvignon blanc Gladstone von JOHNER. Lauer Sommerabend zu zweit.
      Ein weiterer Berlin Tag der angenehmen Art.
      Morgen geht's wieder heimwärts.
      Absacker mit Whiskey Sour und Manhattan.
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