Tues Sept 1/09
-VIDEO CAM CONVOs & TICKET BOOKING-
Woke up at around 9amish and went online to see if I could catch Chris since I knew she was working late and would most likely stay a bit. I was right, she was awake and we were able to talk a little bit using our web cams. My dad was awake too and though I could see them and not hear them, we would just type out our conversations and make faces at each other. Chris then proceeded in carrying her laptop around waking up everyone to tell them I was talking to her via the computer. Through her web cam, I saw my mom sleeping and being woken up rather abruptly ahaha, but she was so tired. Josie groggily waved and Chris and I continued to talk. Nina woke up early as well to get her hair done for the wedding photoshoot. She came by and waved at Chris on her way out. I left a few times when I went to take a shower and then when Harry called me down for breakfast.
After breakfast, Harry brought me to his study to look at train schedules and tickets. Both he and Dave strongly advised me to buy my train tickets in advance to save money. At the same time, Pat was trying to contact me. Chris told me to check my gmail and I saw that the gmail chat was on and Pat was talking to me. They needed to know what time I was arriving because the owner of Hotel Bregenz usually left earlier in the day and he was going to wait until I arrived. At the same time, Dave was looking up train tickets while I was talking to both Chris and Pat. He found a really good deal on tickets from Berlin to Munich for the three of us. I got the okay from Pat and Margaret to purchase the tickets. Dave got us seats in a 6 seat car on the train. They also looked up train prices for Munich to Zurich and printed them for me. I will run them by Pat and Margaret asap so that we don’t miss the deals. One of them for sure was 117 euros for three people.
-LAST-MINUTE HEROES & SAYING GOODBYE-
Jos came online for a few minutes and I think, was able to talk to Dave. I was doing too many things at once to know what they were saying. Chris also brought the cats to the screen a couple of times. Those guys are growing fast.
We got ready to leave and went to the bank to deposit money from the wedding. While we walked Harry told me about the town and brought me into one of the churches there. Nina had already returned just before we had left for the bank and was ironing Dave’s shirt. They apologized that they would not be able to drive me to Essen, but Harry would drive me to the Coesfeld station. I really appreciated how much they looked after me and made sure I was okay. I said goodbye and then we took a picture. Me in travel clothes, Dave in his TTC shirt and Nina in her wedding dress hahahaa!
-OFF TO THE STATION-
Harry told me to relax for a bit, since we had some time. I sat outside in their yard with some orange juice and then I made some sandwiches for the train. Harry sliced the meat for me and set me up with things to fill my sandwiches with. He also gave me a large bottle of water. We went to the station, but the dumb ticket machine didn’t like my credit card, so he ended up putting it on his card. Harry said that if I missed my train he would just drive me to the other station, no problem. He’s so nice. Luckily the machine worked for him, and so I paid him right away and he helped me bring my luggage to the platform as he explained to me what to do when I transferred at Dortmundt (sp?). He carried my luggage on to the train and the door closed. Luckily he was able to open it again and I gave him a hug and thanked him for all his help.
I kept all my things close by to me, since the train wasn’t extremely packed. The transfer went well and wasn’t too complicated. I looked at the schedule to find what platform I should be on, like Harry showed me, but I double-checked with someone to make sure I was getting on the right train. I also took a picture of the schedule just so I would know what stops would be coming up.
I found a seat with a table and plug and asked the man on the other side if I could use it. Unfortunately, I could not use the internet. I watched a few clips of shows I had downloaded and tried to work on these journals. I finally arrived at Berlin HBF. I took a taxi and although the driver was nice enough, he started the car before I had even closed the door! Yikes. I gave him the address and map, but he said he didn’t need it and was using his GPS.
When I got to Hotel Bregenz, a man was just going in, so he told me to go to the 4th floor. When I got up there, the hotel owner was waiting for me. He explained things to me and then was going to tell me about the room when Pat came in. They had been napping. I surveyed the room, which was pretty nice. The washroom was exceptionally clean. I rested for a bit before we headed out to find dinner. We ended up at a quaint Italian restaurant which had good food and superawesome panacotta. Nina, you got me so addicted to panacotta!! After dinner, we walked along Kurfurstdamm (sp?) just to see what was there and also to check how to walk to the Zoolichster station (sp?). We walked back and then went back to the hotel, which had no lobby lights whatsoever. We decided that whenever we returned from our day’s activities we would go up the elevator. It was too darn dark/scary to go up the stairs at night. We also used the internet but had to pay with coins, since they didn’t have wireless at the hotel and we were too tired to go to a café. I msged Dave to let him know that I arrived safely and changed my status on facebook so my family would know I was in Berlin. To be honest, we’ve been so on-the-go, I haven’t been able to properly do these journals, but hopefully I will do my trip justice with them.