(I’m sorry this blog is in four parts, but our computer is struggling for signal).
By Thursday, our feet were sore, and we decided to take a three hour boat trip around the City. Unfortunately after Wednesday’s downpour, the river levels had risen and as we turned off the River Spree we were met by red lights on the lock to the Landwehrkanal. It turned out that the lock mechanism was broken and as it was going to take over an hour to repair, our tour took another route along the River Spree.
Our route took us past the Eastside Gallery – a long length of the Berlin wall still standing which is covered in graffiti on the west side, and just painted white on the east. We also passed this huge structure of ‘Molecule Man’.
After that our tour took us past many of the sites we’d visited earlier.
In the afternoon we walked the length of Strasse Des 17 Juni from Brandenburg Gate through the Tiergarten to the Tiergarten Station which took us past the Siegessaule Triumphal Column; a column that can be seen from many vantage points across the City.
In the evening we treated ourselves to a meal at the steak restaurant close to our hotel and on Friday morning we set off early for our flight home. We made it back to the airport easily by train but our journey after that seemed unnecessarily problematic.
Our flight was delayed by nearly two hours, and on arrival back at Manchester we joined the longest queue ever to get through passport control meaning that we missed our intended train. Once back in Chester, we discovered that the bus time-table for Route 41A contains a typing error which meant that the 1700 hour bus didn’t go near our mooring and instead the next bus was at 18.34. As we crossed over the road in front of the railway station, a ‘shared space’ area where pedestrians roam and vehicles are supposed to give way, we nearly got run over by a mini-bus from Hull of all places, when the driver put his foot down rather than slowing down. We thought there had been plenty of time to cross the road when we left the pavement. Thank you Jim Bell Transport!
Laura invited us for tea so instead we headed straight to her house in a black cab where everyone was pleased to see us and she dropped us back to the boat afterwards.
After a good night’s sleep, and a lie in, Laura suggested we meet up for a picnic in the park this morning. This we thought was her anniversary gift to us, but a further surprise was in store.
Our two gorgeous children and their partners have arranged for us to have a night away at the luxury Rookery Hall Hotel and Spa tomorrow night where our stay is to include Afternoon Tea, Three Course Dinner, Full English Breakfast and unlimited access to the health club and pool.
We’ll start the post holiday diet on Tuesday.