Thursday 28th October 2004 back to index

We didn't surface this morning until the last moments of breakfast. I didn't actually feel like eating anything but I did force down as much as I could. We were travelling home today.

Our flight wasn't until 3pm, but with our late rise and having to be at the airport two hours before departure, plus the hour it takes to get there; we only had an hour spare before making tracks.

So we packed our cases and checked out of our room at 11am; left our luggage at the hotel and went for a stroll down Frankfurter Allee.

Along the way we saw a parked Trabbant. They are a rare sight these days with most people preferring to drive real cars like BMW, VW or Mercedes.

During the last few days in Berlin this was only our second sighting!

This particular example was in an immaculate condition. Obviously a nostalgia geek's pride and joy! With only a sewing machine engine and a woefully paper thin body, surely there's no other reason to own one of these other than to hark back to the good old days.

Then again there was a certain "something" about it. Similar to the vibe of an old Mini. Perhaps BMW may start manufacturing new Trabbants next!

We wandered aimlessly around a shopping centre for a while before making our way back to the hotel. Along the way we passed this water pump. It was 2 metres tall and in perfect working order. We know this because I yanked the crank and water gushed out all over the pavement.

An old lady walked by and looked at us as if we were utterly mad. You would have thought we'd never seen a water pump before the way we were playing with it!

(Actually we hadn't!)


We caught the train to Schöenefeld airport and were there in plenty of time. Today, unlike on Monday, we weren't befriended by an Irishman. He was a cocoa supplier and was on his way to visit Chocolate factories in Hamburg.

Throughout our conversation I was biting my tongue to stop myself from asking if he had met the Umpalumpas yet!

Anyway, as I was saying, we arrived a good two hours before departure because Easy Jet don't allocate seats, it's simply a first come first serve policy, and Steve was determined to be the first in the queue.

I had been forwarned of his pathological necessity to be the first onto the plane and was ready and pepared to run whenever he gave the call. We queued to check in our luggage but we weren't at the very front.

There was another couple ahead of us, and I had to laugh when Steve actually told them "You're standing in my spot" albeit with a wink and a smile!

We were given tickets number 3 and 4.

But by the time we reached the departure gate we had managed to make our way to the very front of the queue, and were going to be the first onto the plane to have our pick of the seats.

"Window seat, window seat, gotta get a window seat, preferably front seat right"!

Then just before they opened the doors to check our boarding passes they announced that anyone with a small child or a disablity could come to the front!

Steve didn't have to say anything but the look on his face was a picture when someone was wheeled up in a wheelchair and the entire entourage of five other "helpers" waltz passed us and through the gates! Then to rub salt into the wounds the Waltons stepped up with a tribe of small children.

I know he didn't begrudge at all the disabled guy the comfort of being positioned into his seat before the crowd boarded; it was just that the seat allocated to wheelchair users was Steve's favourite. Front row right, window seat. As it happens we were the first able bodied non-assisting non-parental adults onto the plane and we did get the front row left, window seat. Consolation prize! Hoorah!

Our flight back to Liverpool was very smooth and as we flew over the Scouse City we saw the football grounds of both Liverpool and Everton. It was suprising to see how near to each other they were!

We both agreed that we had such a great time in Berlin and that booking with Easy Jet plus using their hotel service had been an unqualified success. So on the way home we discussed where we could visit next year? We listed many of their new East European destinations like Budapest or Tallin, but the favourite was Krakow.

So stay tuned for further adventures from the Achtung Boyos as we invade Poland!!

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