Pre-conceived expectations usually disappoint

Trip Start Mar 17, 2012
Trip End Jun 26, 2012

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Where I stayed
Schoenhouse Apartments Berlin
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Germany  ,
Friday, June 1, 2012

The advantage of staying in a hotel just off a main arterial highway is that when you leave the next day, you are once again within minutes travelling at Super Highway speed to your next destination.  In our case today it is back to the E45 at thereafter at supersonic speed toward Lubeck, on the way to Berlin.

Lubeck is an ancient city (circa 11th century) with the Old town surrounded by water. The main attractions (for us) are the churches with high spires, the Rathaus (town hall) and the Holstentor (spired city gate). We find a park near the Holstentor inside the Old Town and spend an hour or so exploring the sights we have selected. Like all cities of note, it is impossible to see everything in a short time. However when you are passing through , to see the main attractions gives you a sense of what it is all about and whether it should be put on the agenda for some other trip in the future. Of special interest was the St Mary’s of Lubeck church. In about 1200 A.D. the magistrate and merchants of Lubeck launched the ambitious project in the centre of the city to build this church for the citizens. The Romanesque basilica was built of brick and from 1251 onwards the church was turned into a Gothic cathedral of enormous dimensions. The vault spans the impressive nave at a height of 38.5 metres and the twin spires are 125 metres high.
In the night preceding Palm Sunday in 1942, St Mary’s was heavily damaged in the British air raid in Lubeck. That night, the bells crashed to the ground and to this day they still lay in the chapel beneath the southern spire in testament to that event.

Whilst the drive to Berlin today is a long one, we are making good time on the Autobahn so we take a detour to see Schwerin Castle. It is a magnificent castle set on the Schweriner See and dated around the year 900 A.D. Sections of the castle are closed so we look at what we can and after a circuit around part of the old town we head back to the Autobahn for Berlin.We roll into Berlin in the mid to late afternoon and check into our booked apartment that we will spend the next 2 nights at. It is located just on the border of the Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg districts. Once we had unloaded our bags and parked the car we decided to walk in the direction toward Friedrichstraße for a bit of sightseeing and dinner.

The dirt and graffiti we were passing was quite a shock and certainly not what we had envisioned this cosmopolitan city to be like. After some hours and much walking we had decided that the city was far too big to do on foot, so we found a cosy restaurant on our way back to our apartment and enjoyed some good German tucker to give us the fuel to finish the walk.

2nd June 2012

After a quick breakfast and short study of all the attractions that were of interest, we set off for a day of sightseeing by car. Whether it was due to being a Saturday or otherwise, we found it quite easy to drive to all the sights chosen and to park where necessary. We covered quite a lot of ground in a short time and by the end of the day we felt that we had seen enough of Berlin and what it had to offer.

Tomorrow we are leaving Germany for Poland. This will probably be the riskiest part of our holiday, since it is a country neither of us has been to, it is in Eastern Europe, and I have only recently just read the car hire agreement that stated the car was not to be driven into Eastern Europe. Of course, whether that actually meant that I couldn’t drive into Poland and indeed if Poland was even classed as Eastern Europe, I couldn’t be sure. The plan was to drive very carefully and to obey all the traffic laws just to be on the safe side.

It all lies ahead of us as the journey continues! 

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