Wednesday, June 27, 2012

TallyHo-Traveller’s Springtime Gallop Through Northern and Central Europe 2012 - Day Seven

We awoke to a 7 AM alarm Saturday the 7th in a Hotel Ibis’ newly refurbished fourth floor triple room. After preparing for the day, we all made our way downstairs to the hotel breakfast buffet. Tasty bread, rolls, pastries, cheese, ham, leberwurst, various herring dishes and an unusual-but-tasty beet salad beckoned as different breakfast options. All the various dishes we tried were very delectable and the coffee and juice were perfect finishing touches to start another very busy day. Our morning check out of the hotel was again very efficient and friendly; a large taxi called by the front desk for us arrived within 5 minutes of the phone call. A short taxi ride to Malmo’s Trianglin train station later, we purchased tickets for the train to CPH which arrived within 1 minute of our arrival to the train platform. Talk about efficient timing (and a little luck!). Alas, we had to be back in Berlin for Easter Sunday, but wished we had planned more time to explore and enjoy the city of Malmo (a great reason for a return future visit!).

Arriving at the Copenhagen airport with time to spare, Nana and I decided to do some window shopping and complimentary food sample tastings. After purchasing some duty free souvenirs (should have bought some of those addictive caramel wafer cookies, darn) we met up with the rest of our traveling party and walked to the gate posted on the Departures board for our return trip to Berlin. Prior to boarding, there were about 10 different newspapers for reading on board our 40 minute SAS flight – I snagged a London newspaper that surprisingly contained a colorful feature article on the flowers blooming in the Netherlands (how appropriate and déjà vu). After deicing the plane (it started to snow on our arrival to CPH) due to the cold and snow, we lifted off into the low clouds. The clouds prevented us from seeing any interesting land sites below until almost time for landing again at Berlin Tegel airport.

Back in Berlin the clouds slowly parted and allowed the sun to shine. The temperature was definitely warmer outside Berlin-Tegel airport waiting for the bus than the start of the day in Malmo! We travelled by bus and train to Fregestrasse, off Feuerbachstrasse S-Bahn station for a short time to regroup and formulate plans for the remainder of the day until check-in time for our next hotel “home”. At a local ReWe supermarket we picked up smore gluten free snacks and a bottle of Easter day wine for our German cousins. Then we walked several blocks down Bundesallee to a gluten free bakery discovered by Kaitlin on a previous weekend jaunt. Debating where to eat a late lunch, we opted for one of Kaitlin’s regular haunts, Café Melanie. Nana and Kaitlin ordered chicken enchiladas, Chris opted for a specialty cheeseburger, sans bun, and Randy and I savored German-style cherry cheese cake (kirsch kase kuchen) and coffee. Being revived by the very good and extremely filling food offerings we slowly made our way via train (how else?!) to the next hotel on our itinerary – the Angleterre Hotel (which I had booked on a whim since we only needed rooms for one night).

Arriving at Friedrichstrasse 31 (does the street name sound familiar?), we walked to the Reception Desk only to learn that since the hotel was fully booked for that night, our 2 standard rooms request had been upgraded to 2 two room queen suites at no extra charge. Happy Easter one day early! Nana decided to R&R in her shared suite while the rest of us walked four blocks to Checkpoint Charlie. While at the site we saw where the Wall had been (I took a photo to commemorate the event) and discussed the information at the Checkpoint Charlie memorial wall. We marveled at the revitalization in the former East Berlin area around us as dusk settled in along with the wind and a light snow. Wandering back to the Angleterre the snow started in earnest due to the increased cold temperatures.

Back at the hotel, Chris picked up a complimentary voucher for free Internet room access at the front desk. Once back in Nana’s suite, we opted to order room service due to the reasonable prices posted on the menu and because we were being wimps, not wanting to venture outside again at night into the cold and snow. Room service was prompt, but there were some issues regarding the gluten free portion of the order. More on that in my upcoming expanded article on the Hotel Angleterre. Finally all ended well with a little patience on our part. Definitely a good night’s rest was enjoyed by all.

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