What a difference a simple discovery makes.
I've a few events I need to find my way to in the coming months. So I've been looking online for help as there's precious little to be had in real life. And help I found! In the form of a clever website called the BVG Journey Planner. Just put in the street address where you live, add your destination which can be as simple as a place of interest such as a museum, and search. A detailed list comes up telling you which bus to catch, which station to disembark and underground train connections. It's amazing! It even tells you how long it takes to walk to the bus stop.
I really don't like travelling by train, so managed to find simple bus connections to most places I need to visit. Not only that, but often I can stay on one bus for the entire journey. This makes travelling around Berlin so much simpler and I wish I'd found this website a lot sooner. It would have made my isolation less depressing and much easier to deal with.
I was extolling these website virtues to our neighbours last week and they called a certain bus 'The Magic Bus' as it seems to take you everywhere of importance.
So this past week I climbed aboard the Magic Bus. And it was fantastic!
I'd decided to take a trip to Galeries Lafayette. Just to see what it was like.
My BVG website instructions were to catch the Magic Bus from the end of my road and get off at Checkpoint Charlie. Yes, that's right! Checkpoint Charlie; that familiar name from the Cold War, the crossing point between East and West Berlin.
It was a strange sight, that's for sure. The original shack was destroyed but there's a replica in it's place with fake soldiers yawning for the tourists.
I took some photos with my phone (and then spent nearly two days trying to find the cable so I could transfer them onto my PC.)
Apparently this is the Last Kremlin Flag...
And the same sign as seen from the "East".
So after this rather unexpected trip back in time, I walked up the long, straight road to Galeries Lafayette.
Checkpoint Charlie was the best experience of the day. Galeries Lafayette was a disappointment, so I retraced my steps back to the Magic Bus and headed home.
I felt infinitely better about our new home for having found my way around all by myself. Having a feeling of independence certainly makes life a lot easier.