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Trip Report Mr. & Mrs Annhig go east - to eastern Germany that is.

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As followers of various of the threads i have started will know, I have tried several times to organise a trip to the eastern part of Germany, but somehow it never came off. Then about 6 months ago, a colleague asked if i was interested in a lawyers' exchange trip to a place called Naumburg [where? - yes, that was my reaction too!] which turned out to be about 2 hours' drive south of Berlin.

Yes, yes, yes, i said, love to, and much to my surprise DH said yes too, so on a positively sultry day in late september, we found ourselves setting off to the airport for our flight to Berlin. I say setting off to the airport; first of all we had to deliver DS back to his uni in Wales, which actually meant driving past the airport [Bristol in case you were interested] over the Severn Bridge, and through the Brecon Beacons to mid wales.

Having settled him in [took about 5 seconds,] and spent the night in a very nice B&B called Peterwell House B&B Maestir Road
Lampeter SA48 7PA 01570 421301, we set off on an even hotter day back to the airport to catch our 3.25pm flight to Berlin.

it is a strange feature of the easyjet timetable, that ALL of the Bristol - Berlin - Bristol flights are late evening ones, except this Wednesday afternoon one, so i was very pleased that we were able to book it, as it meant that we could pick up our hire car in relative daylight when we landed. That at least was the theory!

Before I go any further, a bit about the "exchange". We were not of course swapping houses - the idea is that as with school "exchanges" we go there, they come here, we go there, etc, the only difference being that we are all lawyers, and mostly judges. This particular exchange started about 8 years ago, and happens every 2 years, so this was the third visit to Naumburg for a few people, though actual personnel change on both sides as they move on, and in one case, sadly die. We had not been before, nor had the people we were due to stay with hosted anyone previously, so we were all "newbies".

As the exchange proper was not due to start until the thursday evening, we had decided to take advantage of the early flight, hire a car, and drive to Potsdam, where we would spend the night and most of the next day. the flight was uneventful, we even had a spare seat between us which was nice, and we arrived on time. However, I had underestimated the amount of time it would take to collect the car, sign the paperwork, inspect the car and go back to get the paperwork changed to reflect the fact that the car was a bit damaged, and by the time we set off, it was getting quite dark. THat should not, of course, have affected our Tomtom [nickname "that thing", as in where the bl...dy hell has that thing sent us again?] but it did affect my ability to read the map, which is why it took us a good 90 minutes to arrive in Potsdam instead of 45. why it thought that taking us across country on unnameable "Umleitungen" was preferable to the perfectly good Autobahn a bit to the south I will never know.

However, we did eventually arrive in Potsdam and at our hotel, am Grossen Waisenhaus
Lindenstraße 28/2914467 Potsdam
Tel  +49 331- 60 10 www.hotelwaisenhaus.de
 which I had found by way of TA and booking.com, where we were welcomed by name [we were the last people checking in that night so not as clever as i'd thought, but a nice touch] and given an electronic key to our room, which turned out to be in the attic of this newly converted military building.

AFter parking the car in the locked yard [an extra €6 but worth it for peace of mind] we headed off for the restaurant recommended by the girl in reception. Where this was and what we had will, I am afraid, have to wait until the next exciting installment, coming up here, on fodors!

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