Friday, 28 March 2008

Flying to Berlin

We flew off to Berlin from Luton Airport today, with a laptop full of house details and a head full of dreams.

Unfortunately the heat and the excitement got to me on take-off, and I had a brief panic-attack, passed out, and woke up to find the cabin crew around me putting an oxygen mask on me. My rational centre quickly kicked in and reassured my endocrine system that we weren't all going to die and the rest of the flight passed without incident.

We stayed at the four-star Park Inn Hotel on Alexanderplatz. The room was excellent; spacious and comfortable with a well-stocked mini-bar and panoramic views from the tenth-floor window. Well okay, the view was of the building site in the street next to the Inn and nothing much else, but if you used your imagination ... The room was also getting more expensive by the minute as the pound nose-dived against the euro.

In the DDR days the Park Inn had been occupied by visiting dignitaries from across the Communist World. Thankfully they had changed the decor since then, but we did wonder if we should sweep the room for electronic bugs.

Alexanderplatz was filled with a Fr├╝hlingmarkt, which looked very similar to a Weihnachtenmarkt with small wood cabins selling everything from lace, sweets, craftwork to the inevitable Bratwurst and Bier. But they also had a cute petting zoo with rabbits, lambs, and a kid goat which enjoyed leaping on and off bails of straw, its mother, and (much to their annoyance) the lambs.

And so to sleep, with lots ahead to do in Berlin.

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