After the trial and tribulations of Lithuania and Poland we were very much looking forward to arriving back in Germany. Berlin was our first stop on Sunday afternoon and we set out to find one of the campsites that is still open in late October. Of course, we were met with another road closure, which added extra time on to our trip. Thankfully around 3pm we made it to City Camp 1, a rather picturesque campsite on the outskirts of the city with clean amenities. JACKPOT!
The reception area opened at 4pm and we headed there to pay, and ask about washing. I hadn’t washed my clothes in 8 days and was quickly running out of things to wear. The receptionist informed us that the lady who shows you how to use the washing machine and dryer wasn’t on this evening and we would have to wait until they opened at 8am tomorrow. Urm show us how to use the washing machine and dryer? Seriously? I’ve been blessed with a mother and father who more than happily do my washing for me whenever I go home, or when they visit, but I was also taught how to do it myself many years ago. I was pretty annoyed by this because a) I desperately needed clean clothes and b) it meant we would be delayed in the morning, hanging about to do washing instead of exploring. It really just came down to the typical German service which politely putting it is bloody woeful. For a country that produces great cars, technology and appliances, their other services are completely inefficient and often hostile.
On this trip we’ve waited over 20 minutes on multiple occasions to be brought a menu once we sit down, the same time to order drinks, and than an even longer wait to get their attention for the bill, and then receive said bill. Brad summed it up perfectly when we were ordering breakfast earlier in the week and said, “can I please order the bacon and eggs, and cappuccino and the bill thanks.” It all adds a lot of extra time on to your day! We also didn’t realise that Germany have decided that tipping is a thing. We were berated twice in one day in Berlin for not leaving a tip, and one waitress just added it on to the bill herself. I will tip America, I came to terms with that, but in Germany we had no idea it was expected. Still trying to work out why people should get extra for just doing their job, especially the taxi driver who said Australians were boring and then gave us a lecture on not leaving him any extra cash…
After the washing debacle, we went back to the RV and noticed the water pump had completely stopped working, and no unlike last time, it was more than fuse as Brad found out when he went to replace it and got a nice electric shock. I swear I am cursed when it comes to Berlin…
It’s rather difficult to camp without water and while we were waiting for our washing and cleaning out a waterless Scarlett on Monday morning, we decided e would drop her back a day early and book a hotel for the night in the hope of actually getting to see some of the city as we were flying to Munich at 1pm on Tuesday.
We dropped the RV back, told them about the pump and they said we should have taken it to a service centre to get replaced. I don’t think so! We made our way to the hotel we booked in the city centre and were greeted with amazing service. What a nice surprise! The lady wasn’t German…
Hotel Nikolai Residence was a lovely change from camping, we rolled in at 3pm, and were worried that most of our day had been wasted. After the receptionist made us a coffee, we set out on our own walking tour, determined to see as much of Berlin as we could.
We walked down to Brandenburg Gate, stopping and landmarks along the way and were lucky to get there as the sun was setting and it was almost full moon. Just beautiful!
We then headed to the Holocaust Memorial, wandered through the Berlin Mall and made it to Checkpoint Charlie where a piece of the original Berlin Wall is displayed. The history Berlin has to offer is nothing short of incredible and I loved reading all the information they have on each point of interest.
3 hours and 7 kilometers later we were pretty happy with our efforts and I was pleased I had finally seem some of Berlin. Third time lucky! On Tuesday morning we woke up early, explored the East Side Gallery. It’s such a colourful place & incredible hard to fathom that the wall only started being demolished in 1990.
After the gallery, we made our way to the airport for our next and final stop of the trip, Munich!