Day 1-2 - Saturday-Sunday 23-24 April - Canberra to Berlin

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Saturday morning I mostly finished packing and organising, and headed for Sydney around 10am. I didn't manage to get any music to listen to put onto my phone, so didn't end up listening to anything.

When I got to mum's, we went down for the village trivia afternoon. We did quite well in the three question rounds (actually we won that part of the scoring), but did really badly in the filler round which let us down so we came second.

Then we got ourselves ready and went and caught the five o'clock train from Kirrawee and caught the train out to the airport.

Checked in (the Etihad signage was a bit bad and it was sending economy to the business class checkin.. fail!!), did the automatic machine thingie for immigration then through security. Had a wander through the duty free store and stocked up on some whiskeys. Then went and found something to eat for a light dinner (since dinner on the plane wasn't going to be for a while), and finally found some of the others travelling together with us.

We had an A380 for the first flight. I still think they're ugly and overrated. And this time I couldn't get a strong enough GPS signal. I finally got it by going to an exit door which gets a lot closer to the sky. But it struggled to maintain a lock. Very frustrating.  So missed out on any sort of GPS track for most of the trip.  The planes so have internet and mobile reception though, so was able to SMS the sweetie from over the Indian ocean and over India :)

I had some pasta for dinner, but didn't eat quite all of it. Watched Slumdog Millionaire which was pretty good. At midnight I attempted to doze. In fact attempted to doze for the next seven hours. I don't really know how successful I was. But the time did feel shorter than seven hours, so probably did get a bit of sleep. Then I watched The Heat (pretty silly), while having breakfast, followed by Star Wars The Force Awakens. But unlike Qantas, they don't allow you to play movies right up to the gate, so missed the end. At least, unlike Qantas, Etihad have pretty good quality screens to watch things on.

At Abu Dhabi we wandered through the security check for transfers, then wandered up to the pretty circular terminal to hang out for a couple of hours before the next flight. We looked around the shops, then had some Scottish Restaurant for our next meal (breakfast had been a few hours ago, and it was still a few more hours til our next one).

Our next flight was an Air Berlin A330.

I finished watching Star Wars. Brunch was a choice between chicken rolls and cheese rolls, so I had a cheese one.

Then I watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which I didn't think I'd seen, but part way through I realised I had. Oops.

I got spun out by all the snow on the mountains of Iran and Turkey (they fastidiously avoided Iraqi and Syrian airspace). Flew over Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland, but they were all covered in clouds and couldn't see anything.

I tried watch Maze Runner, but it was too dark to see it (a lot of people had their windows open and it was very bright). So watched The Incredibles instead.

"Dinner", although lunch time Berlin time, was a chicken and veggies thing.

So got to Berlin and parked out on the tarmac and took a bus to the terminal which is always cool. Took ages to get through passport control though - too many people all at once (it was totally deserted after we got through). I suppose most flights there are "domestic" (EU) flights, so they probably don't deal with huge numbers of international flights - they all tend to go to Frankfurt etc I'm guessing.

Met up with the tour guide (Roberto) and our bags were taken to the coach. It was pretty cold, I think they said 6C, but I didn't find it unpleasant. Got driven straight to our hotel.

Hotel is nice enough. Although has the european "all or nothing" setup with the doonas, and we couldn't get the air conditioning to get cold. We dumped our stuff. I had a shower. After forty hours since my last shower, it felt great.  Also reorganised our bags from flying mode to ground mode.

Then we headed out for a wander. Mum wanted to find a Deutsche Bank cause she can withdraw with less fees. We ended up half way to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, so wandered down there to have a look. Last time we couldn't go in and they were repairing the mosaics on the floors. Now you can go in and it's quite beautiful inside.  Because the hotel was so hot I didn't think to take a jumper.  It was pretty cold in the wind and everyone was all rugged up.  I think I was the only crazy person in a tshirt :)  But didn't get very cold.

Came back to the hotel and had some dinner - a delicious soup, some pork and some nice chocolate mousse with raspberry sauce.

Then to bed. Went to bed around 9pm I think and pretty much passed out. Woke up to pee (and all hot and sweaty cause the room was so hot), then back to sleep (with no doona at all) till quarter to seven. Epic win!

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Kazza and her Mum do two big tours of Europe