Having said that, I'll do my best not to be a total poop, but today wasn't my favorite. I will still pull out some positives...maybe tomorrow (I'm posting this unfinished).
This morning, I checked out of my hotel and asked the dude at reception, the easiest way to the Berlin Schönefeld airport. This is not the main airport in Berlin, but it's the one I'd flown into from Dublin, so I picked it when pre-booking and pre-paying for a rental car. He said there was a regional train from the Zoo train station. The zoo was a 5 minute walk from my hotel (surprise, surprise). The train station was another 5 minutes up the street, but this was not communicated very clearly and led to a small bit of confusion. Meanwhile, because it's morning and chilly out and I'm walking at a brisk pace, my lungs are rejecting everything about this. I had to stop more than once to hack and wheeze and regain some oxygen. Once I found the train station, I found the information booth and asked an employee if he spoke English. "Nein" he was kidding. Schadenfreude. It's the German version of sarcasm, I think. He told me that due to construction, I would not be able to take one train, but would have to transfer. Honestly, he gave me such good directions that only had trouble finding the platforms because they are in no order that makes any sense. Still, it was a pretty smooth go. And it only cost me 3.30 Euro rather than the 40 Euro it'd taken when I took a taxi. (It's always easier GOING to the airport).
What I noticed while on the train was that the city of (East) Berlin has a lot of buildings that look like prisons. Or public housing. Which makes sense, honestly, considering it was Communist for such a long time.
Also, I heard an American man complaining to his wife about getting a fine for not validating a train ticket prior to getting on the train. He was upset that the officer didn't speak better English, so he could argue his way out of the ticket. This is a typical American sentiment, which I frankly agree with...in America. But the customer is not always right in Germany (or Australia for that matter). I had read up on how to take public transportation and even linked to it in one of these blogs. On the site, it clearly said to validate your ticket or you will be fined 40 Euro. They do not care if you are a tourist. The rules are the rules in Germany.
<To be updated...>
- Early for rental car. No cars available.
- Got a sandwich, came back 20min later, had a car.
- GPS to English
- Car was not full of fuel, the "service" light is on
- Went to Dresden, found myself in a beautiful plaza
- Couldn't find parking
- for a while
- it sucked
- Saw cool stuff
- Ate potatoes
<enter good stuff here and captions>