Sunday, 25 July 2010

Electric push-biking in Berlin


Expensive loyalties dispensed of
I have let my Accorhotels card subscription lapse and really I cannot justify that amount spent to retain membership against the benefits one seems to get for EUR 260 a year, there are other loyalty schemes that are free and offer very good deals.
The one advantage I had with the Accor Favourite Guest Card was the late checkout – giving me up to 16:00 hours on the day of departure. The problem with late checkouts is you vegetate rather than attempt to be productive with the time you have before going to the airport.
Novelty bikes and rides
I was out of the hotel by noon, stowed my baggage with the hotel porter and walked up toward Berlin Zoologische Garten when I decided to rent a bicycle instead and arranged to meet up with my friend at Alexanderplatz in the East.
I had the choice of a blood-and-guts pedal bicycle or an electric bicycle, I decided on the novelty of the latter and what a ride it was, by the second stroke the electric motor kicked in and it was a whizz. Berlin has a good few bicycle tracks, it is quite safe to ride without helmets – Tut! Tut!
Met, reclined and visited
We then decided to meet at the Brandenburg Gate, which after going off in some strange direction, I found my bearings enough to get back on course. We met just beside the luxurious Hotel Adlon and the reclined in the tiergarten for about an hour during which we visited the homomonument and the Global Stone Project before going for coffees and blackforest cake in the Moabit area.
It was a pleasant day and on pleasant days one should indeed hire a bicycle, we returned in time to pick up my baggage, checked in early at the counter and had a latte at Starbucks with the utterly creamy carrot cake – not good for the heart at all but wonderful to taste apart from the cream.
Now, I walk through to customs and wait to board my flight back to Amsterdam.

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