The Hotel Otto situated at Knesebackstrasse 10
d-10623 Berlin (www.hotelotto.com)
is a great place to stay when you visit Berlin. Its a 3 star establishment situated near public transport or a BRISK walk to the major things to see and do in Berlin.It is ideally situated in a suburb that is leafy, well to do with a vibrant street cafe scene and trendy shops – it has the feel of Norwood or Unley but without the CARS!
Moreover its not a ‘tourist’ orientated hotel as the breakfast crowd are locals. A good sign? How do I know ? Well I am the only one to speak English and for breakfast one can have any combination of fresh or tinned fruit so long as it is enveloped in a pancake, strudel or pastry. Optional ham and cheese as a side dish. Thankfully no CurryWurst!
Finally it is, for the disorientated, disorganised and compass challenged, a mere 20 minutes by the X09 bus from airport to a stop 200m from the hotel – not that 200m has not perplexed this peripatetic traveller before (that last sentence is not a double negative).
Financial hiccups! Predictably It appears that the Dept of Health pay office is not aware of my going and so no pay! Ominous if they cant sort it out before I get back! This despite filling in my Leave application twice and hand delivering it to the administration the month and again the week before I left.
Secondly on Tuesday had a message to phone the NAB card services , my VISA card had two debits for amounts of approximately 2800.00 give or take a few dollars! In other words more than 5600.00 dollars! I HAVE NO IDEA how this happened as I have not used it at any ATM or brought anything at shops using it and it has been in my safe keeping all the while. The NAB person told me that the amounts were to a company or site called ‘GO-DADDY’.
Then I considered the option that perhaps one of my straight male friends ( who would be cognisant of my credit card details – for example my accountant or financial planner) had been on some porn site for the older heterosexual male? Anyway quick action and the card is cancelled, new one issued and amounts credited.!
I have visited all those that I wanted to and observed all the others from the outside as well. As I had 4 hours to kill on Saturday (flight to Stockholm leaving 4.25 pm) I went to the museum of the GDR – the former East German State. A word of advice – avoid museums in Berlin on weekends the more so if it is raining, as it is today!
Have had a Bierenstuck for morning tea. Mandatory if I am travelling in Germany!
I am getting familiar with the excellent Berlin public transport on the very day I am leaving.
My single and overwhelming response to Berlin, is that I was constantly conscious of the fact that the awe inspiring buildings before me, apparently hundreds of years old, were rather beautiful reproductions, universally and lovingly restored over the last 80 years. This renewal activity continues frenetically to this day.