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The long awaited trip report! Part 6 - Germany-FINAL

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Aug 4th, 2013, 02:21 PM
  #1
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The long awaited trip report! Part 6 - Germany-FINAL

So...we are down to our last week!

Lets start with the train ride from Prague to Berlin!

The Prague station has no English and the people aren't really that helpful especially why your online ticket is in German it made it difficult to know where to go and what to do!

Thankfully we managed to find the board with the arrival and departures and DH was able to find the train station layout. This allowed us to get to the train in ample.

However, for some reason our cartridge was not listed on the door...so this made life a little difficult but nevertheless we found our seats with time to spare since the train was delayed by 15min!

Thankfully I had bought first class which meant we had a compartment that was air condition as the other areas weren't and I. That heat it was pretty much unbearable! It was even hot I. Our air on section!

Now the drama... The train. Stopped In the middle of nowhere for a good hour! The reasons given were in German and not English but I asked a German and was told it was due to another train and the. It was due to the idiots that got off the. Train and then had to get back on!

So we arrived in Berlin at 9pm I stead of 7pm ...bit different who you have 2 kids needing dinner!

Anyhow ...here we were in Berlin ...for the first time we struggled to get a taxi ! Due to luggage and 2 children we had to have a minivan ...however the station wagon in Prague coped fine! And the golf in genoa also coped!

We got to our hotel, checked in and went out for dinner.

Thankfully our hotel was in a great location with restaurants just over the bridge...but they are not that cheap but also not too expensive ..around 15euros maybe a bit less per meal.

So that was day one!
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Aug 4th, 2013, 02:30 PM
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Day 2

Huge sleep In due to the late night ... But we still had our delicious champagne breakfast to set us up for the day!

We walked from our hotel to Brandenburg Gate and after a few happy snaps went to the information centre. Not the easiest to find...it's located inside the tourist shop right near the gate.

The lady wasn't as helpful as other cities but she recommended a HOHO bus due to the kids. So with tickets in our hands off we went. This time to had a live commentary ..done in English and the German ...I personally did not like this. Anyhow ..the bus took us to all the major sites and gave us a brief overview of Berlin. It stopped o. The main shopping strip so we got off and yes I couldn't resist doing just a little more shopping! An hour or so later we got back o. The bus finished the red line and then walked to the memorial for the murdered Jews in Europe.

I found this really moving and we decided that it would be best that we came back without the children and actually visit the museum.

So from here we then walked to check point Charlie to get a closer look. There was a great exhibition about the Cold War and Iearnt a hell of a lot.
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Aug 4th, 2013, 02:32 PM
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Argh!!!ipad and typos!!!sorry!!!

I forgot to mention that when we did the shopping there was a great little market section set up with foods from around the world...the kids love getting their daily hotdogs and my son loved the trampoline thi g they had set up.

Ok back to check point Charlie. So from here we caught a taxi back to the hotel ..rested up..skyped and then went out for tea exhausted from such a big day due to the sleep in!
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Aug 4th, 2013, 02:42 PM
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DAY 3
Due to the early night we got up sort of early ..8am..went for the yummy breakie and came back ready to hit the sites by 9ish. We decided that hubby would go first to the memorial and the come back a tag...this gave the kids a chance to relax and play in the hotel. Me a chance to pack the bags and hubby a chance to really view the site without having to worry about the kids. 2hrs later it was my turn.

WOW

So moved! I had no idea how far spread it all was ...this memorial really pulls o. Your heart strings and I can't even think of the words to describe it. You must go if you ever get the chance.

Hubby took the kids into the nearby park and then we met for lunch. After lunch we came back to the hotel and the headed to the palace of tears ..it's literally across the road and sound the back of the shops!

Again another draining but well worth a visit site!

With such a heavy start it was time to lighten up and give the kids some fun...Lego Land! My so. Loved it here! He would of been happy to sleep over and had a complete melt down when it was time to leave!

There isn't much for the 3 and unders to do...the big kids are a bit full on and so my little girl just baked her cakes and went on a ride and watched a 4D movie ..that was cool!

Anyway homeward bound ..out for tea ...now back in at the hotel.

Last day tomorrow so anything we have to go see please suggest!
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Aug 4th, 2013, 03:14 PM
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Go to the Pergamon Museum on the Museum Island (close to the city centre).

Some of the main exhibits are a Greek temple from Pergamon and the Ishtar gate from Babylon. They're spectacular and most children will like them even if not too interested in history just because of the size and their setting.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pergamon_Museum
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Aug 4th, 2013, 04:01 PM
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About the Pergamon Alter and the Ishtar gate: these are the original buildings which were moved to Berlin and reconstructed in the museum building. I think that especially the Ishtar gate is one of the most impressive things I've ever seen in a museum. The 2500 year old tiles have still their colours and together with the size of the procession walk and the gate you get a breath-taking effect.

If you want to sit outside, the Gendarmenmarkt with the French and German cathedral is a very nice place.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Cathedral,_Berlin

For something very typical for Berlin, try the Currywurst (Bratwurst with a kind of curry ketchup, child-friendly). One of the most famous places is Konnopke's. The main place is at a S-Bahn place in Prenzlauer Berg and easy to reach.

The Currywurst is so good that there is a queue all the time. But what I find really fascinating is that they're open only until 8 pm which is the time when most fast food places in Berlin start to make money. Konnopke' s obviously decided that they don't bother to double or triple their profits by staying open.

http://konnopke-imbiss.de/Home.html
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Aug 4th, 2013, 04:23 PM
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Second the suggestion about curry wurst. I've had it in a number of German cities and, can you believe it, in Trastevere in Rome - but Berlin curry wurst is the best! If you don't want to look for Konnopke's, you can generally buy it any Imbiss stand.
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Aug 4th, 2013, 04:24 PM
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Second the suggestion about curry wurst. I've had it in a number of German cities and, can you believe it, in Trastevere in Rome - but Berlin curry wurst is the best! If you don't want to look for Konnopke's, you can generally buy it any Imbiss stand.
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Aug 4th, 2013, 08:10 PM
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Glad you are having fun. Still with you!
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Aug 4th, 2013, 11:57 PM
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Excellent guys! Thanks for those tips! Will do this today!
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Aug 5th, 2013, 07:22 AM
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Of all the many aspects of your reports (which I've followed with enjoyment and interest), what impresses me most is how you balance yours and hubby's needs and interests with those of your kids, throughout your trip. Allowing proper time so everyone has their space. Seeing how you did this to give proper attention and respect for the Holocaust memorial is admirable and inspiring. Good for you.

Enjoy your final day and trip back home. It's been an enjoyable adventure for me following you on yours, and thank you again for taking the time to post live while on such a busy trip.
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Aug 5th, 2013, 04:02 PM
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Help!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-frankfurt.cfm
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Aug 6th, 2013, 12:55 AM
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Good morning my nights dramas are solved!

Lets go through yesterday and the events

We were staying at hotel meila in Berlin ....great hotel...amazing breakfast..sensational location and superb price! Could not fault it!

After the glorious champagne breakfast we decided to take a 1hr river cruise ..it is literally on. The door step. Sipping champagne and seeing Berlin from this angle was wonderful.

We then checked out of our hotel ..they looked after our luggage and we walked to the pergamon museum ...wow oh wow! Soooo glad we did this! All though we sped through it I loved it all the same.

By now it was 3pm...time to get our train(3:30) ...turn up...train cancelled...wt!!! Apparently there has been a flood and tracks had been damaged so I had to go down and rebook. The joy of booking first class...you get a first class line with only a couple in it while the other line is a mile or two long! We could get reserved seats on the 4pm but the 6:20pm we could ...so put our luggage into the lockers and got some food and wandered the station.

Got on the train..our seats were no in a compartment like I had originally booked...they weren't even facing each other! How the hell were we and the other passengers going to survive this 4hr Tain ride!

I saw the conductor and explained our situation and he kindly changed our seats so we were placed in a 6 sweater compartment ...someone is always looking out for us

We get to Frankfurt at 10:45pm ..yuck! Poor kids! However there was a million taxis so it was fine off we go to our hotel/apartment

He informs us that he has placed us on the 5th floor no lift ...we think..this is somewhat ok...Prague was 8

But good god....the apartment was soooo small...we were in an attic...fold out beds in the living area ...no fans ..it was just terrible ... I was so shocked...we have had such a wonderful places and this one was costing us the most!

I know bit dramatic but after the glorious holiday we have had arriving here was just sooo disappointing...it really was 255euros! A night. The reason for no discussion re places to stay was by the time we came to this stage of the planning the tolerance level of the people on here was slim so I didn't push my luck.

I really did assume for the price we would get better!

After going to the front desk at 6am in the morning to express the concerns I had they agreed that perhaps I had been slightly misled and allowed me to check out today and not pay for the other nights ...

So to find a new place to stay on such short notice??? As a member of score I just took a taxi to novatel ...they had a family room...two rooms interconnecting ...air con..lift....and it's less then 200euro a night!

So this is fine for us issue solved. I assume its not the best of locations but given the situation I am not going to be picky!

The hotel was hotel palmenhof and their apartments are linked from that site.

Thankfully the novatel has allowed us to check in immediately and we are not going to have a wasted day searching for somewhere to stay.

The lady also said if we just want the night then that's fine too. So here's hoping we have a great day!!!
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Aug 6th, 2013, 10:07 AM
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What a day!

Took the train to the main station ... Our hotel is a little out from the city.

Sorted out our rail tickets... Incredible helpful .. I know people font believe in paying the extra but I have seen a real difference with first class so get in early and buy those tickets nice and cheap!

However, we got some rail pass ... 3day unlimited first class travel on all trains ... You pick the days over the month ... Not that cheap $381 for 2 ... But luxbourg and Offenburg were expensive due to not booking earlier so we saved around a 100 or do euros doing it this way

From here we sat down at Starbucks ... Kids watched some you tube and we looked through what we wanted to get done for the day.

Headed into the old town by train ... My son is in heaven with this! And saw them packing away the fair! I would never have wanted to lose the day in Berlin but I was disappointed ... Had our original train worked we had planed on doing the fireworks river cruise .. These things happen and with Thomas land, Disney and the great fair in Sarlat the kids have had more then enough rides not go mention they go on every carousel we see!

Ok from the old town we had some lunch
, looked at the sites took the photos loved this little yesteryear place and I fell in live with the traditional outfits.

So want my daughter to get the traditional dress but 95euro at the end of the trip us if I do it for one then I have to do it for the other ... I wouldn't mind one either for October fest

Anyway from here went for a walk to the shops. Great sales! Better then Berlin that's for sure! Got a few more charms .. They don't weigh much and then had Anne's on doing the river cruise.

Saw the sky was grey, felt a few drops decided to just go back... I swear 2 mins later a huge storm hits! I'm talking trees and signs falling down .... Rocks falling from buildings ... Bins flying! Scary stuff ! Made it home safely!

Not sure the plan tonight ... Big day tomorrow and the kids had such a late night last night might just do room service!

Here's hoping the train is still good to go tomorrow!
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Aug 7th, 2013, 09:47 AM
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Ok, so this is where you were staying, right?
http://www.appartementhaus-mendelsso...ts1/index.html

I don't see anything near €255 a night:
http://www.appartementhaus-mendelsso...ces/index.html

Also there is a PDF of the layout, and it shows, clearly that there is only ONE bedroom: http://www.appartementhaus-mendelsso...ts1/index.html

PS: Did you even check the reviews on Trip Advisor? There are only two, but both of them touch on the problems you posted about. This would have saved you a lot of hassle.
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev...urt_Hesse.html
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Aug 7th, 2013, 10:17 AM
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"I don't see anything near €255."

Not sure why you are fixated on this, Doppio, but if you start with the 195€ per night then add cost of 2nd person, 25€, breakfast, etc. you are not far off 255€.
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Aug 7th, 2013, 10:26 AM
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Yes, weird what people fixate on.

I have enjoyed traveling along with you. I marvel at how well you navigate with 2 small children. sounds like a wonderful trip and glad everything worked out at the end.
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Aug 7th, 2013, 11:04 AM
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FIXATED on it? Exaggerate much? I mentioned it ONCE.
PS: She never mentioned add-ons or breakfast. She simply stated €255 a night.
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Aug 7th, 2013, 11:56 AM
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cath, I thought of that 195/night and the additional people, but then I realized that 195 is the cleaning fee - not the per night fee.

looking forward to an update!
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Aug 7th, 2013, 12:36 PM
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Surfmom,

I thought that at first as well but am fairly sure 195€ is the starting nightly rate, as below it states cleaning included. Just poorly formatted.
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