Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Gifts of Freedom - Day 2.5

We left Eisenach around noon in a nice steady snow with Berlin as our next destination.  Our trusty ole' Bavarian Panzer (the 10 year old Mercedes) handled the roads well.  It ought to - it weighs a ton and has the required snow tires!  Not only were we delighted we spent the night in Eisenach because of its historical significance, its nearness to the A4 proved to be extremely valuable.

The trip took the entire afternoon and as I mentioned in the introduction to this trip - we had no delays.  We drove through snow... up hills, over hills, and down mountains.  We were steady and never fast by German standards.  The result?  At 4:30 pm we were circling the southeast outer ring of Berlin.  The problem? We only had directions to the hotel from the northwest side of the outer ring (Tegel Airport).  We followed signs that pointed to Zentrum but after 45 minutes of never finding our way (no map) ... Peter pulled out our trusty cell phone and called the hotel.  We were close enough (within blocks) that the receptionist had us at the front door within 8 minutes!  Hooray.

By the way --- BERLIN IS HUGE!

We were a little frazzled and while we would have loved to have taken the city by storm that night, we chose to have a wonderful dinner at a recommended neighborhood Italian restaurant and return to the room for a good night's sleep.  We were wise on all accounts.  The restaurant was a 10 minute walk away in a wonderful neighborhood - Il Pane e le Rose.  (The Bread and the Roses)  Of course, it was dark and snowing and of course, German parents were out with their children in prams and on sleds.

We rested well.
Street in Berlin - in snow
Room in the Leonardo Royal Hotel Berlin -- 78 Euros/night plus an awesome breakfast!
Il Pane e le Rose

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