I’ve just come back from a long weekend in Berlin and have managed to put this post together in record time. It helped that on the airplane I succeeded in pilfering not just any seat – but the entire row with extra leg-space. It’s about as close to luxury as Ryanair gets – the VIP Flight Lounge of Ryanair, if you will.
Usually when I do these little weekend excursions I have a travel partner (or a few) with me, helping the travel arrangements to run smoothly and obviously adding a great deal to the fun of exploring the destination of choice. This time I decided, kind of spontaneously, to book a flight to Berlin since it’s been six years or so since I was last there. Alone. A lone wolf in Berlin. In actual fact I wasn’t completely alone in the end; thankfully we have a few family friends in the area so I was lucky enough to be put up for the few days, on the edge of the River Havel, no less.
Now firstly, I will say this: You won’t find any hugely touristy things in this particular post. I’ve been to the city a few times before and didn’t feel any particular urge to revisit the Berlin Wall or the Reichstag Building this time. I went purely for some relaxation and recuperation after a rather stressful exam week.
Secondly I will tell you that the journey there (surprise, surprise) was less than straightforward. Are you shocked? You shouldn’t be. If this is your first time reading one of my posts you should know that every single time I travel abroad, something goes awry in the process (missed plane to internship in Stuttgart, got lost on way to own house in the dark in London, forgets to validate ticket and gets fined on train home from Budapest, and so on). So I’ll take a moment to explain what exactly happened in this particular instance.
Flight was at 5pm from Bratislava, which is 1.5 hours from Vienna, give or take. Bus at 1.30 pm, according to timetable, get in at 3pm – two hours to mill about the smallest airport in the world consisting of one room and a cooler box of five-year-old icecreams. Simple.
Arrived, pleased as punch, at the Hauptbahnhof in Vienna to find that timetable has changed for summer and next bus was at 3.30pm.
Immediately bought train ticket to Bratislava city centre, where I would have 5 minutes to change to an airport bus. Airport bus got stuck in traffic, and what should have been a 12 minute drive to airport was a 28 minute crawl. At this stage I’d given up and was planning my evening on the banks of the Danube, trying to figure out how to casually alter my latest Instagram, proudly boasting an upcoming German adventure. Eventually arrived at airport with four minutes ‘til gate closes. Next minute, a speaker sounds out: “Dear passengers for Berlin – your flight is delayed and will now take off at 5.30”. Thank God. Might have a beer to calm the nerves. Another speaker: “Dear Berlin passengers – LOL, false alarm. Flight not delayed. Please get ready to board.” Downs beer, teeters to join the queue, with a new, rosy, beer-infused outlook on the whole situation.
So. Having eventually arrived and found Ulrike, a family friend with a penchant for nonsense, we headed straight to a lakeside lodge for a calming ‘Grill-Fest’ evening (lots of salad for me, the Veggie, and also a Weissbier the length of my leg).
Honestly what I mostly got up to for the weekend was lots of sunbathing, swimming, reading and bumbling. Ulrike’s garden is like a fairy’s grotto, so just being there is quite soul-soothing, and since she lives on the lake, the beach was about a minute walk from the house.
On day three, mind you, we went to a very fancy Old-Timer Show (for old cars, not old people. But there were lots of those too) which was quite exciting. Last year Marilyn Monroe’s car was even there, apparently. Sadly this year it was not. But there was this little elderly man driving along what looks like a baked bean:
Also, as you may have seen from my Instagram, I got a balloon after longing for a helium-filled balloon for quite a while. It wasn’t in the shape of an animal or anything which deducted marks, but overall I was very pleased and took it everywhere, even to the Hard Rock Café, where it kept bashing people over the head.
The other place where I went before heading homeward (well, Home away from Home – Vienna, I’m talking) was to the KaDeWe on Kurfurstendam, which is a must for any avid shoppers or food-lovers (eg, everyone on the planet). It’s probably one of the biggest shopping malls in Europe. It must be – it’s 6 storeys high and literally sells everything, but only the nicest kinds of everything. I skipped out on photos of Chanel, BVLGARI and the likes, partly because I feared I might seem suspicious but also because everyone knows what a collection of very expensive handbags on shelves look like. I finally got to the top floor which is the food hall and actually is the most exciting place of all.
Topped off with this incredible rooftop bar and restaurant with views over the whole city. I think if you were to ask me my favourite things to visit in different cities I’d say rooftops. I just love them.
Then I topped off the morning with a burrito (do I just go from city to city sampling Mexican snacks? Yes) and I was off to Schonefeld for the journey home.
So that’s the end of that little trip. That’ll be the last excursion abroad before heading back to the Emerald Isle, if you’ve believe that. Fear not, though, there are plenty more cheery posts to come. Come back soon and see 🙂
As always, big hugs,
PS: If you’d like to keep up with my delightful, disastrous and downright silly everyday life, add me on Snapchat: kikiblack – see you there! x