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Report 2073: Germany--Old Friends and Relatives

By Sharonov from Illinois, Fall 2013

Trip Description: Highlights of a trip to Berlin, Dresden, Rugen, Wittenberg and Quedlinberg along with some friend and family reunions.

Destinations: Countries - Germany

Categories: Hotels/B&Bs; Vacation Rentals; Day Tours; Sightseeing; Independent Travel; 2 People

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Page 1 of 7: Chicago to Berlin

We couldn't decide where to go for our annual Fall trip, so I decided that wherever we could find the cheapest airfare would be the deciding factor. Paris in late September would be around $1,000. Italy would be more. But we found a cheap flight on Air Berlin for under $900, and without looking up reviews we grabbed it!

Well, you get what you pay for. I'm 5'8", my husband a few inches taller. I just barely fit into my seat, and once when the guy in front of me reclined, I thought I was being buried alive. This was the smallest space I've ever experienced on an airline!! It was terribly uncomfortable. Add to that the fact that if you want to be guaranteed a window or aisle, you have to pay $25 to reserve a seat! So add $50 to our fares each way. It begins to be less than special. Also, the food was pretty bad. I am extremely unfinicky, and my husband once photographed a meal I couldn't eat if that gives you any idea of just how unfinicky I am. But I couldn't eat more than one or two bites of one of the AirBerlin meals. I strongly advise you to skip this airline unless you are under 5'6" and not at all chubby. BYO food.

Another lovely AirBerlin feature was that we disembarked down flimsy metal stairs the old fashioned way, holding our carry-ons. I was so stiff from the flight I thought I'd slip and fall down! And it was raining. We took a bus to the terminal, crammed in like sardines. I deeply regretted my "bargain" flight.

We had booked an apartment on Museum Island, and decided to spring for a taxi to get there from the airport. There are cheaper ways to get there by public transport, but we're at an age where we take small luxuries now and then to spare possible back or joint pain later. The apartment was very cheap at 75 per night; it wasn't terribly nice but it was clean and there was an elevator plus a room to which I could escape when Bob had a big snoring night. So we were satisfied. There was an Edeka (supermarket) a two minute walk away plus a U-Bahn stop. And several major museums were within walking distance!

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