Berlin

We took off for a quick trip to Berlin due to the budget airlines cheap, cheap offers. We found a hotel through an Italian website. It was nicely located with restaurants and the metro just a couple of blocks away, but the beds were unreal with a hollow in the middle. They must have know something was wrong, they added another bed during the time we were out on the first day. The other issue was that everytime we turned on the water in the room, the pipes SCREAMED and not from the water running, but from the water draining. It did not matter if it were hot, cold, or coffee being poured down, there was a groan and howl like someone was being killed. The breakfast was good and the room large, but the rest of the guests kept to themselves. No one spoke to anyone outside of their own group. Our smiles did not get us anywhere.

Just some highlights, we bought the Berlin card, which includes transportation and admission to some attractions. Right after we bought it we booked the four hour walking tour for the next day, then went to the zoo. There was no charge for the zoo that day since it was an anniversary. The admission on our card was useless.

The walking tour was great and the guide was very knowledgeable, but four hours is four hours. He mentioned a great deli like in the States if anyone needed a deli fix. We knew that was where we were going to head when we broke for lunch. As we walked, he kept talking up this deli. I had corned beef on rye with mustard, a side of cole slaw, and a large dill pickle already ordered in my head. My mental images were drooling, it had been so long since I had this. When we did break from lunch, 3 and one half hours into the four hour tour, Ron and I practically ran in the direction of the restaurant. As we entered, something struck us as different. Perhaps it was the menu? There was nothing deli-ish on it. No corned beef, no roast beef, no pickles. We ordered some sandwiches, but nothing like we had dreamt about. When we sat down, I happened to look at the small print on the napkin. This was a chain franchise operation out of Austin, Texas. What does Austin know for Jewish delis? We never continued with the last half hour of the tour.

The highlight was the Jewish Museum. It was/is magnificent. We did not get there until late, but we stayed until closing. This is a must do again when we return. We also want to see the Holocaust Memorial. It was just being put up.

During the day and at night, there was a festival in the main area by Zoogarten station. People were performing on high wires. There were beer and food booths around. We sat with a bunch of young tough guys who wanted to know all about California. They were fun.