Monday, 26 May 2008
Back in the DDR
Once more we are back in Berlin, hurra!
It took some getting here though; the late afternoon flight by Ryanair kept us delayed at East Midlands airport for an hour or so, meaning we missed the last RB/RE (at 22:55) airport express into Berlin. Instead we headed for the S-Bahn, but because of work on the line we were diverted to using Ersatzverkehr (alternative transport), a word that consistently depresses our spirits. A bus took us to a station, where a train took us a few stops, where we got on another train which took us just one stop, where we got on another (ok, the wrong) train to another station, from which we got to Ostbahnhof near the DDR-themed Ostel.
When we eventuallty arrived at the Ostel at 00:10 we got an icy welcome at Reception from a woman who whilst probably being too young to be an authentic DDR relic, at least had been studying the part. Tightly drawn-back hair, arching pencilled eyebrows, she remonstrated us that Reception closed at midnight. But the delayed flight . . . the Ersatzverkehr . . . No, we should have phoned to say we were going to be late.
Anyway, we were allowed to check-in and climbed the echoing concrete steps to our fourth floor room. Exhausted we fell into bed, under the gaze of a portrait of some high-ranking SED guy, maybe Erich Honecker. Lots to do later today!