Day 1. London Heathrow to Berlin

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Oopstalboom Hotel, Fredrickshain
We had spent the night at the Travelodge, Heathrow Central as our flight was one of the first of the morning to depart Heathrow.  We had originally booked our outbound flight with Germanwings, however, with less than 48 hours prior to departure, we received an email from Germanwings informing us that our flight had been cancelled due to a pilots strike.  Fortunately, after lengthy calls to our booking agent, Expedia, we were able to rebook with SAS via Oslo.

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Remnants of the Berlin Wall
Both these flights were on time, and owing to our earlier start, we arrived in Berlin only 40 minutes later than originally planned.  Tegel Airport seemed very small and in need of modernisation,  but it is due to close later this year.

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Potzdamer Platz
We bought metro passes in the airport then took a bus to Berlin’s centre followed by an urban train (U Bahn) to the Brandenburg Gate / Embassy district.  Near here, we enjoyed steaming hot bowls of vegetable soup before continuing further.  After some sightseeing, it was back on the U Bahn to Fredrickstrasse Station, our hotel being a short ten minute walk from here.

The Upstalboom Hotel , Fredrickshain is a relatively modern hotel and our room on the 4th floor was spacious and furnished in a traditional style.   After unpacking, we were ready to explore, so we made our way to Potzdamer Platz in the city centre. This district has been completely rebuilt since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.  The square is now surrounded by shops, cinemas and restaurants.  We looked in the  Sony Centre and the Quartier Potzdamer Platz with its gleaming skyscrapers.

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Potzdamer Platz
Feeling hungry again, it was time for afternoon tea in the Potzdamer Platz Arkaden, an upmarket shopping mall featuring many designer stores.

It was then back on the U Bahn to Kurfürstendamm and walked some way down this wide avenue lined with shops and restaurants.   By now we were feeling the effects of our early morning start, so we decided on a quick snack and a return to our hotel for the night.

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