The Anonymous Widower

Being Wise After The Event

The last two days of this trip were a bit hurried. Thinking about it a couple of days after I returned, I think I should have given myself another night in Berlin and come home via Cologne on the Friday.

This is possible at a cost of €154 in First Class leaving Berlin at 10:47. And then you have another  for €99  Standard Premier on the Eurostar. This totals at €253

Alternatively you can buy the Berlin to Cologne ticket from DB for €117 and then buy a ticket from Cologne to London on Eurostar for €114.  This route costs €231 and allows you to use any train you like between Cologne and Brussels.

I would think that on paper, the second route might not only be cheaper, but more convenient, as you could take a train to suit your Eurostar and perhaps have a good meal in Brussels, in the time you are waiting.

This joint ticket is available from several other cities like Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich. Munich to London in Standard Class costs £127, although I can’t seem to find a train to get to Brussels from Munich.

May 5, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

Would I Go Back To Heidelberg?

I would! But I would certainly go by a different route.

May 2, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Home From Heidelberg

To get back home from Heildeberg, I took the train to Brussels changing at Cologne.  And as I usually do, I took one of the last Eurostars for London that arrived just after nine in the evening.

It was a long if beautiful journey from Heidelberg to Cologne, which went right up the western bank of the Rhine. Sadly my camera had expired, so the pictures will stay in my mind.

May 2, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Heidelberg Castle And Funicular

I went up the Heidelberger Bergbahn funicular to see Heidelberg Castle.

It was after this trip, that my camera battery finally gave out.

So it was just a rush back to get my train to Cologne for Brussels.

If you are a bit nervous about funicular railways, as C was, then this railway would be a good one on which to excise your fears.

May 2, 2014 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Exploring Heidelberg

In the morning it was still wet, but at least it wasn’t raining hard. So I checked out of the hotel early and moved my bag to a left luggage locker at the station. I then bought myself a one day tram ticket for Heidelberg and started to explore.

I started in the centre and had a good breakfast of an omelette, juice and coffee in a cafe by the Rathaus.

It would appear that this is generally a safe breakfast in Germany for a coeliac, just like it was in Poland.

May 2, 2014 Posted by | Food, World | , , | Leave a comment

Welcome To Heidelberg

Up till now, I’d had extremely good weather on my trip.

But I was welcomed in Heidelberg, by one of the heaviest rain storms, I’d seen in a long time. I walked dripping wet into the Tourist Office and we had a big laugh about it.

So I immediately took a taxi to the hotel and instead of exploring Heidelberg in the evening, as I’d intended, I stayed in the hotel and had supper. But sadly the television didn’t even have CNN, as it seemed the rain had got into their satellite feed.

In fact, since I left Poland, I had been unable to find any BBC channels or France 24 on the television.

May 1, 2014 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Would I Go Back To Berlin?

Yes! But I’d certainly find a better and cheaper way to come home.

May 1, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

In DB Style From Berlin To Heidelberg

I’d always wanted to go to Heidelberg, as it was probably the first German town, of which I knew the name. This was because I spent so much time from the age of about six watching one or other of my father’s Original Heidelberg printing machines. One is shown in this post. My simple job, was to call him, if the machines dropped any paper, which is a letterpress printer’s worst nightmare, as then other shets follow and paper goes everywhere, often damaging the intricately set type.

There is no museum in the town, but I just had to go.

So I bought an extremely expensive ticket at €215 for the journey, expecting a bit of DB TLC in First.

All I got was one cup of coffee which I had to pay €2.50 for.

My €2.50 Cup Of Coffee

My €2.50 Cup Of Coffee

But I suppose the seat was comfortable and I had most of the carriage to myself.

At least on my journey from Berlin to Warsaw, which is about the same distance, I paid only €79 and got a free cup of coffee and some biscuits that weren’t gluten-free.

As Berlin to Heidelberg is virtually the same distance as London to Edinburgh, I looked up the fares on the Scottish route.  Today it would be £208, but tomorrow it would be £120.  On the other hand for the German trip for say next Thursday, it will still be €215.

There is also one big difference in the UK, in that anybody, even Germans, over 60 can purchase for £30 a Senior Railcard, which reduces the prices I’ve shown by a third. And you can buy that at a ticket office, when you take your first journey. I did try to see if I could buy a DB Card, but the lady at the ticket office didn’t want to sell me one and didn’t have good English.

But the biggest difference between East Coast or Virgin and DB, is that on many long distance journeys you get snacks and endless tea and coffee thrown in with the ticket.

I have had customer service problems with Deutsche Barn in the past, most notably at Osnabruck.

No wonder the train was empty for most of the way!

May 1, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Maps And Information In Berlin

This is a subject that I find important and feel that if a town or city wants to be a Grade One tourist destination, then they must have good maps and information.

London has always had a street map at each Underground station and this policy has been extended to most of the proper bus shelters. It’s a policy that Londoners and tourists must like, as more and more maps and information is appearing, with yellow topped liths popping up everywhere.

Warsaw it seems has started to add liths and maps for tourists, with quite a few finger posts too.

But I only one map on the street in Berlin.

A Solitary Map

A Solitary Map

There are maps at stations, but they are not up to the detailed level, you get in other cities, including some German ones.

 

May 1, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Art On The U-Bahn

The U-Bahn is Berlin’s underground railway and just like some of the older lines on the London Underground, it has some appropriate artwork.

The one thing that I didn’t like was the stick on decoration of some of the trains, which meant you had difficulty seeing out to read the station names.

May 1, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment