Tuesday, 26 August 2008

From Bruges to Berlin

An early start for a long day ahead. Tosca isn't very impressed with the hotel's breakast or toilet facilities:

Goodness knows what the people in the neighbouring rooms thought about the sound of four cats miaowing for their breakfast and to be let out! 

Before we set off we had to clean out the cat carriers. How do you do that in a tiny hotel room? Well, there is a small bath and shower . . . 

I hope the hotel manager doesn't recognise this!

Before we left we cleaned up the room as best we could, sweeping up bits of cat litter and cat biscuits which had escaped. And then we had to extract the cats from under the bed where they had hidden. Of course the bed was too low to get under, so in the end we had to up-end it to get at the kitties. We opened the windows to try and relieve the odour of cat-food and litter trays, and surreptitiously vacated the room. I wonder what the hotel cleaner thought had been happening there, and did the smell linger for the next occupant?

The drive to Berlin was a long, hard slog. We must have gone close-by some interesting towns - Bruxelles, Eindhoven, Duesseldorf, Essen, Dortmund, Hannover, Magdeburg, Potsdam, Berlin! - but the view from the car was of just motorway (or as we would call them in England, dual-carriageways) through flat urban landscapes.

Driving on the right wasn't so bad when you got used to it, though giving priority to cars merging with the motorway from the right was a bit of a hassel, as they were coming at you from your blind-side. When we hit the German Autobahn that was an experience; you'd be happily cruising in the fast lane at 80 mph and seemingly out of nowhere there would suddenly be a Merc or BMW behind you flashing their headlights. Once you'd pulled in to the convoy of HGV's in the slow lane (still only two lanes, note) the Merc would speed off at 120mph or so. And that's legal in Germany!

The cats were very well-behaved by now, with only the occasional miaow of protest. Somwhere just over the German border Tosca got really vocal, and would have stamped her foot if she could. We stopped at a lay-by and found that she had made rather a mess in her carrier. It was so bad that My Other Half investigated the lay-by toilets to see if it were possible to smuggle Tosca and the carrier in to give them a clean-up, but unfortunately the toilet doors had gaps under them and we didn't want to lose Tosca to the countryside of middle-Europe.

We evetually arrived in Basdorf as the sun was setting. The removal van had made it before us and was waiting to unload. Unfortunately his Germany-side assistant wasn't there to help with the unloading, as the removal man couldn't get his mobile phone to work on the continent. It was now starting to get dark, and there was no electricity connected to the house yet. An hour or so later and  we managed to get hold of the assistant, and unpacked the rest of the van by torchlight. It was about ten-thirty when we had finally done and settled into our (dark) new home.

We made a cup of tea on a camping gaz stove and settled down for a good night's kip in sleeping bags with some rather bemused cats.

We've made it!!!


  1. Congratulations!
    Kitties... welcome to Berlin!

  2. Kitties say 'Thanks!' snooker.
    Updated news on their progress to follow, just as soon as we have time from laying flooring, wiring lights, putting down a terrace, etc. :¬)

  3. Now two years later, both cats and humans are well and truly at home in Berlin


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