Fussball Fever

Trip Start Oct 30, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Germany  ,
Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Deciding to go to Berlin late the night before, we had managed to find some accommodation (with Angela's help) and now had risen early to pack and get to the train station. It was not a good day - it was raining and the traffic was bad - Germany didn't want us to go either!

After Erich doing an excellent job driving to avoid the worst of the traffic as much as possible, we made it to the station still thinking that we would miss the train. But we were able to get tickets with Angela's help and were soon saying our goodbyes :( Angela had also helped us to arrange our next ticket, from Berlin to Poland, but we could only get it as far as Rzepin in Poland (which we hadn't heard of) but could get our next ticket from there. Angela made sure that we were ok with that and we assured here that we would make it with no problems (see below!)

So on to the train with only a few minutes to spare. It was sad to say goodbye - we had been so well looked after and loved during our short visit. We have such wonderful family all over the world!

Leaving Hamburg, we were on an express train to Berlin - and only 1.5 hours later we arrived. Having been here before, we had some idea of Berlin, but we had trouble trying to buy tickets for the metro - which ones do we get??? It wasn't obvious, but after a lot of stuffing around and asking people, we finally worked it out - and got to the stop that we needed for our hotel. Finding our hotel was also a bit of fun, but after solving that one, we had lunch and checked out some of the world cup festivities happening nearby.

After doing a bit of window shopping, we headed for the fan mile. We decided to go on foot, rather than catching the wrong bus, but it was a lot longer than we had thought! We made it to a gated section with beefy security guards who enjoyed practicing their english on us, and we asked the best way to go. They said through the park, so we raced through the park (the game was about to begin) but it turned out to be a nudist park!!! The park seemed the long way around (we wondered if the guards had done that on purpose) and when we made it to the fanmile, the game had already started. At this end of the fan-mile, the crowds were a little thin, lacking the atmosphere that we came here for, so we decided to walk towards the Brandenburger Tor to find the real Aussie crowds. And when we did, the atmosphere was great - we had a good time, its a pity we can't say the same for the result though.

Following the game, we went to the Reichstag - which we had missed on our last visit, and it was brilliant - really impressive. Back down, on the other side of the Brandenburger Tor, we took some photos - the scaffolding had been removed this time! We passed an aboriginal guy playing the didgeridoo - doing a good job too, but to our amusement, there was a hippy chick that was grooving along - on roller blades.

After all the excitement of the game, we walked around town trying to decide on a place for dinner - and ended up eating Italian! We are such good sports (although we didn't leave a tip!)

We spent the following morning trying to fit in some shopping. We left it a little tight, but still had 45 minutes to get to Central Station for our train to Poland. We just missed a metro train, while buying our tickets. Waiting for the next one was spent watching the seconds pass slowly on our watches... when it finally came, we were worried that we would miss our train to Poland. We watched the time ticking with each stop of the train. Finally arriving at our station, we had 1 minute to spare! We were almost ready to give up, when Christie spotted a train with "Berlin to Warsaw" written across it, but it was still across several platforms. We raced to find the platform, spotted it and ran up the stairs - the train was still on the platform!!!

The conductor showed us our carriage and as soon as we stepped on the train, it pulled out of the station - a close call!!! Told you we would make it Angela!

P.S. While on the fanmile, a photographer took our photos (along with many many other people). His sample photos are in the photo album attached to this entry.
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