Berlin was definitely the place in Germany that I was most excited to visit (but *spoiler alert* – it didn’t end up being my favourite German city). Day 2 of our inter-railing trip ended up being very dramatic in the end, but we learnt a valuable lesson – if you’re travelling you need to be organised and alert!
From Hamburg we had to make the relatively short train journey to Berlin. My sister and I both had Interrail Passes which made hopping from one location to another really easy and not too expensive. The option I decided on was 4 days of travelling (which I could use up in a month) and cost £127. When we arrived in Berlin we took a quick U-Bahn to U Berlin Hostel and to our relief, dumped our heavy bags straight away. The hostel was clean and really good value, so that was another big bonus.
Soon after our arrival, we realised that my sister, the complete muppet, had managed to leave her interrail pass and PASSPORT on the train from Hamburg. We both tried not to panic and decided to make our way back to the train station to ask someone if they could locate the lost items. We were very very lucky that a lady called Sylvia found them contacted us to tell us not to worry. Long story short – with the help of a caring member of the public, as well as the kind German train staff, we managed to get the passport back to Berlin by the late afternoon.
After that big sigh of relief, and boost in our faith in humanity, we had so much fun exploring the city. We walked round the Tiergarten, which was a vast park with beautiful lakes and gardens. It was the perfect relaxing stroll needed to quell our worries. After the gardens, we headed to Brandenburg Gate, which was absolutely majestic and it was exciting seeing a monument I’d seen so much of online in the flesh. Finally, we walked to the Reichstag, which was an equally impressive building. As a history nerd I delighted in seeing the place where the Reichstag fire occurred in 1933.
Mood was suitably uplifted after our amazing touristy afternoon and evening as we headed back on the trains. (We even tried some of our first ever Dunkin Donuts which was an experience).
Unfortunately, we ran into more trouble on the way home as the ticket inspector came around to check our underground tickets. Even though we had the correct tickets – as we splashed out on all day travel cards – we had not stamped in at the station we bought them at (which was the equivalent of not tapping an oyster card). This resulted in us each getting fined 40 euros which was more than the cost of our room for two nights. I could have cried not because we had to pay the fine, but mainly because the ticket inspector laughed at us for being stupid tourists. He walked us to a cash point and held my passport until we paid it which was pretty intimidating.
Having said that, after this happened to us we would triple check we had the right tickets and that we stamped in at all the correct stations. I was determined that just because one man had been rude to us, that it was not going to ruin the rest of our time in Berlin. After venting in my diary and having a nice long sleep I managed to get over the incident by morning.
Tune back tomorrow for our second day in Berlin (which was a lot more fun and a lot less drama!)