Berlin adventure is over… for now.
Berlin in one word. Berlin is funny. Free. Happy. Busy. Crazy. Awesome. Big. Creative. A foodie. Colourful. Sleepless. Rush. Different.
Berlin is all that and more. My favourite thing about it is its uniqueness and different perspectives. About anything and everything.
And the Berlin adventure is not going to stop here. I felt it before, after my first visit to Berlin, and I feel it now. We will meet again. Same place, but a different time. Next time make your trams work better.
As I had 45 min to get to the trains station and a 15 min tram ride, the tram was delayed. Ok. The tram arrives. The driver says something in German. My poor German helped me understand that the next stop is the final stop and I have to take the U-Bahn. That is the metro. That was the moment I wished I have taken the metro in the first place since it was taking me back to the original station. The moment I realize how things could have been worse without the all-day transport ticket which I had from the Berlin Welcome Card.
Have to change the U-Bah, and take the S-Bahn at Alexanderplatz. The s-Bahn is delayed. At this point, I was already uncertain whether I will make it or not.
The delayed is not shown anymore. Full of people, sign that no train passed by in a while.
S-Bahn finally arrives. Smashed by some others, I hop on. Making plans in my mind about taking my revenge on the city. Scorpio style.
Make it to the central train station Berlin Hauptbahnhof.
Elevators not working. For those of you who don’t know, the station is huge, on 3 levels. I was at the top, where the s-Bahn trains arrive and needed to get on the -1 level where the long-distance trains are. The screens with the timetable were not working, so I had no idea which platform to go to.
I get to the ground floor, in search of information (to ask about my lost train, which I couldn’t see on the departures list). Huge queue, so I head to the ticket office, as I wanted to ask if I can do anything with my already paid ticket for the missed train. 50 people were waiting in a queue to buy tickets, so I give up. I go to the tickets machine, all I see are some letters on a screen. It was supposed to be English.
I choose the flexible ticket (you can take any train of the day heading to your destination) to make sure I will make it today to Munich. 150 Euro. How would you like to pay? (Oh, I got that. It was the universal language or numbers)
Card. Quickly checking in my mind my balance card. No conclusion. I feed it to the machine. The reading was …. some dead pixels. 1 sec panic. Recovering, asking for the pin. Sweety hands.
PIN OK. Printing tickets. Tine piece of paper. 10 min until the next train departures.
Running to the -1 level for the train on the 2nd platform. I jump on, as people were getting off. I ask ” Is this the train for Munich?” 2 boys freeze and do not answer. Then a lot of people were in a hurry to get off the train.
I realize I have no seat reservation and the trains seemed full. So I waited for a while for people to sit down. After checking the wagons, front and behind I realize most seats are reserved. I find I free spot next to a nice lady and ask if it’s free. Because it was no reserved. The German trains have an electronic tag for each seat saying from where to where is the seat reserved.
Oh, I almost forgot. My back is giving me hell at the moment. The real-life puzzle pieces that Ikea delivers, that I assembled last weekend twisted some nerves and I have a constant stabbing pain in my middle upper back.
Now I am at the second stop of the train, Leipzig, and I managed to find a window seat. So this is the story of how to miss your train in Berlin. As a self-considered traveller. Which started as a Facebook post and turned out to be an entire post. A true reminder that our best work is not when we are in our comfort zone, but when we are forced to step out of it.
At this point, you might be interested to read more about my interesting writing and discover the things I’ve learnt from travelling alone. How to miss your train was not one of them.