The day shown throughout the imagery of this post was a challenge. When you’re running on empty and delirium has set in, plus in a foreign country the results can be very, very funny.
Our flight to Berlin was at 6am Germany time, which meant we were up prior to 5am. Having spent the previous mornings at adidas and then nights exploring, eating and drink dark German beer we had not had a great deal of sleep. We were able to drop our luggage off at the hotel, but we weren’t able to go to our room until 3pm – all I wanted was a shower, to put some make-up on and a lay down on the hotel bed with their incredible European pillows.
I have learned that traveling in a foreign country is a true test to your mental self, physical self and also your sense of direction. A lot of you may already be aware of this if you have been traveling for some time. Keep in mind this is only my third overseas trip, so I am still learning all the ropes!
On this day we didn’t have wi-fi and I only had a screen-grab of where I thought out hotel was – I knew a general and I mean general sense of where our hotel was in relation to where the heart of Berlin was. Our luggage drop off was brief so we didn’t get a chance to pick up a map from the concierge and in this brief moment I only had a chance to quickly speak to one of the hotel’s staff to point us in the direction of a hot coffee and breakfast. His English wasn’t strong, so I just caught on to a few words and walked in the direction he was pointing. I already knew there was a high chance I would get us lost, so I was prepared. From what my map screen-grab told me, we were about 12kms from the heart of Berlin, and with us both being so tired I was only willing to walk 1-2km, because I knew I’d have to walk that distance back to the hotel.
We got to Alexanderplatz and couldn’t find anything to eat! It was so tough – we were running on empty as we hadn’t eaten since 9pm – meaning it was nearly 12 hours since we had both eaten. We saw a Mcdonalds, we saw a Starbucks and we saw a Hungry Jacks – I imagine this is what seeing a lake on a desert must feel like. We don’t eat food like this usually, but when you’re in a foreign country and you are about to faint, something’s got to give. We ordered and then we went to pay and the guy behind the counter exclaims “No international cards”. I could’ve cried. I didn’t though, I didn’t have the energy and to cry over Mcdonalds would have just been flat out embarrassing.
For some reason we thought we’d wander around and see what else was available, because you know, that’s the smart thing to do when you’re beyond hungry. We were told by several establishments that they too didn’t take international cards – I would’ve thought Master Card would be taken everywhere, especially in global companies. I know what you’re thinking “Why don’t you have currency”, but since landing in Germany we hit the ground running and hadn’t had a chance to find an ATM and everywhere else had taken our card!
Murphy’s Law I guess!
Some 45 minutes later we found a bank and we withdrew money for the next few days and then ran back into Mcdonalds. Okay we walked. I have never had so many mixed emotions in a mouthful of processed food. We even took photos, but they will never surface!
So I guess I will end this recount with the fact that as it turns out, our hotel was only 2km from the the heart of Berlin, not 12km. The screen-grab I had was the same hotel chain, no where near ours…
I am great at maps, great at directions – except, not really.
Despite all of these turns of events, we had the best time this day!!! Travel stories are seriously the best.