To be honest I wa really nervous about this travel. Mainly because I knew that we need to get to Berlin on Friday because I really wanted tp pick up my race bib on the Friday. I’ve hears horror stories about marathon expos on Saturdays. Didn’t want to risk it.
We decided to spend Thursday night up in London, because our Eurostar train was leaving at 6.13am. There’s no train services from Andover or even from Basingstoke that early in the morning to get us up there by 5am. So we stayed a lovely cosy hotel , 10 mins from St Pancras International.
Because I love being nice and early we walked to the station about 4.50am 😀 Hardly anyone in the queue and not many people in the terminal either.
Had to wait to be able to board a train, but we were on the train about 5.45am. The train did leave bang on time, so I was really pleased with it.
After a few hours of travelling we have arrived to Brussels. It’s a massive station, but so nice and clean.
While we were still on the Eurostar I’ve decided to download an app called DB Navigator. If you ever go to Germany and will use the trains you’ll need this app. It tells you exactly what platform your train will be, and to my total surprise the train formations as well. So everyone who booked a seat, like us, will know where to stand on the platform.
This train had some issues during our journey, so unfortunately it developed a bit of a delay. But the conductor announced it many times that we don’t need to worry because in Koln they will hold our connecting train. So we will all make our train to Berlin. Wow.
Also on the platforms they had massive interactive boards, telling customers about train formations and where to stand on the platform.
We did have a really nice and comfortable journey on the ICE trains. Can’t fault them at all. All conductors/guards/train managers knew about our FIP Coupons, and wished us a relaxing journey. All trains we took made announcement in multiple languages ( French, Dutch, German, English.
Catering facilities were spot on as well.
We’ve seen a few double-decker trains as well. Couldn’t resist taking a photo of them 😀
Because we reserved our seats on the DB trains, we had nothing to worry about when we got on the trains.
We were supposed to arrive to Berlin at 17.07 but at the end we got there at 17.10. So not a massive delay at all. Even though the Brussels – Koln train was late, but because the held our Koln – Berlin train our delay for the whole day was only 3mins at the end. So I don’t think that too bad for a journey like this.
The above photo shows you the front of the main train station in Berlin, Berlin HBF. It’s a massive station with many trains.
When we arrived we decided to go and check into our hotel first, then go to the expo. Luckily I’ve changed our hotel reservation, and this new one was only 10 mins walk from the station. Lovely clean hotel, massive rooms, and friendly staff. The only disadvantage that they did not have any tea making facilities 😦 So the porridges I’ve taken with my self was a waste, I couldn’t eat them before the race. But other than that everything was spot on.
In my next post I’ll write about the Expo and our Saturday, then finally I’ll write about my race.