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Published: August 12th 2022
Day seventeen. Today was an up and out kind of day. We are our very Austrian breakfast in our very Austrian hotel (and had to wake up a very teenaged Seth who's response was to pull the cover over his head when we said we had to go for breakfast!) The journey was surprisingly good given that it took eight hours. The stops we made were at the best ever services with a fly past of five helicopters just for us (maybe) and a couple of others and by five we'd made it to Leipzig to meet our friends for tea. This hotel felt a tad eastern block but was comfy and the room had the biggest shower known to man. An actual room size shower (Ash danced in it) that we could have got teen people in is we do were that way inclined. We headed out to meet our lovely friends, one of whom is fluent in German and the other who is German and their two kids, both of whom speak German, definitely the right people to meet up with in Germany! The restaurant was definitely the Germanist restaurant we could have chosen but the food was decent, the company great and Seth had a whale of a time making and flying paper aeroplanes with Thomas!
Day eighteen. Today was the day, the day we would finally, after what feels like decades, get to....buy corny mit milch. These are the best cereal bars, you can't get them in the UK. We've missed them (almost as much as bled cake and chicken crisps), we'd planned in a visit to kaufland before heading up to Berlin. You may have gathered I love a foreign supermarket and this one definitely didn't disappoint. Sixteem boxes of cereal bars, three bottles of curry ketchup and a few ovo goodies later and we were back on the road. For at least one minute before having to do an about turn having gone left instead of right (my fault) then four minutes later after stopping for fuel having to do a quick reverse up a one way exit to avoid similar (Ash's fault) but then we were on our way. True to form, we had a minor mechanical worry on the way, we never have a year without one, and had a brief period of not being able to rev much and a wierd light on the dashboard but Google and our mechanic friend told us what to do and we were (hopefully) back to full steam. We parked at a park and ride near our hotel (eventually after exploring all other parking options as usual) bought tickets for 9 euros which would take us on ANY public transport till the end of August (what a brilliant idea) and, after a little advice from some friendly locals, got on a double decker train to potsdamer platz. Arriving, first stop was food in a lovely restaurant where you order like Macdonald's, have buzzers like Frankie and Bennies did and eat very nice Italian food. We then wandered up to the Brandenburg gate giving Seth a brief explanation of the war, the wall and everything in between. It was hot. Veeerrry hot. So after a bit we stopped for ice cream. Wow, what ice cream giant sundaes all round and, if I'm honest, I felt a tad overdone and regretful but I pulled on my big girl pants (quite literally) and we walked to the s bahn. This is where it *may* have gone a tad awry. We took the underground to potsdamer, this was fine. But then after some discussion, we got on another underground train on what we (Ash) thought was the right line. I had doubts which after a couple of stops, I realised were entirely right. So off we popped, swapped platforms and headed back in to where we starte. Realising something wasnt quite right and the platforms didn't look much like they had this morning, we went out of a different exit and found the actual correct platform for the actual correct train which, although half an hour away, was a relief. Finally, we were on the train, got back to the car, and headed back to the hotel for a swim and a bed picnic.
Day nineteen. I woke from my position in the gap between two beds, where I had been confined to after Seth had joined us sometime in the early morning, and was instantly asked to accompany someone swimming (definitely not Ash) so reluctantly (me) we headed down to the pool. It. Was. Freezing. Seth seemed to have a built in heater as I gingerly made my way to waist height as he jumped in up and around. Fortunately he was persuaded to leave fairly soon with the promise of an evening swim later. We made our way back to the s bahn and hoped on a train to Berlin, making our way to museum island. We stopped for a drink to cool down, served by a cockney German, then wandered over to see what museums we could go into. Sadly they were all not free and for the price, probably not something Seth would enjoy so instead we headed for lunch. Once again, pizza (every year we are determined to eat different stuff but always seem to eat pizza, pasta and burgers!) And Seth not only asked for a table but also took charge in asking for the bill (in English that is), safe to say he's a good little traveller these days! We then made our way to the DDR museum. It was great, really interesting to find out about this strange chapter in history which seems so alien now. Ash particularly liked the display on naturism in socialist Germany, Seth liked the trabant and I liked anything that meant I could sit down! From there we headed to the TV tower, ice cream first just underneath (saying hello to our friends the wasps) then going into the most seventies building left in the world! The lift is quick and not too scary (Seth did hold my hand) and the view mind bending. Both myself and Ash felt decidedly wobbly up top, like the floor was lava or something! Seth loved it, we drank our extortionately priced drinks, looked through the binoculars and headed back down. Though we narrowly missed a train back, the wait wasn't too long for the next one and before we knew it we were back in the hotel for round two of swimming, a bed picnic and some well earned rest. Amsterdam tomorrow!
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