Berlin is a great European capital I had never visited. We have friends in Berlin, so in thinking about how to get to Europe this summer, Chris expressed a desire to stopover in Berlin. Fortunately, the one airline that flies directly between Chicago and Berlin is a OneWorld alliance member (Air Berlin) and economy award seats are relatively easy to obtain, even for summer travel.
As I said in my last post, we arrived at our Berlin hotel around 7:30 a.m., napped from around 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., played with kittens and munched on fruit from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and then left our hotel to explore.
Berlin appears to have a good subway system, with a stop very close to the hotel. We walked over to the stop, but had trouble getting subway tickets there. After some frustration, we watched native German speakers also fail to get tickets and felt better. Another stop was nearby, so we walked over there and successfully obtained tickets.
We were going to go directly to Brandenburg Gate, but during the train ride, we decided to get off early and walk from Potsdamer Platz to Brandenburg Gate. That turned out to be a great idea: we stumbled into a street festival, had some bratwurst, found the Holocaust Memorial, walked around the city a bit, and got some coffee.
We then met with our friends for dinner and enjoyed quite a bit of great Reisling. We had such a great time, and the sun set so late, that we stayed up later than we meant to!
That was a minor problem, in that we had a 6:10 a.m. flight from TXL to Paris Orly (ORY). Our friends advised us to arrive about 45 minutes prior to departure, and that proved to work well. Even though the security lines seemed long, they moved quickly and we boarded our flight without a problem and headed off to Paris!