TROTTINGS = Trip Jottings

The Fox Trots: Travel Stories from The Fox.

March 14 2011


Trottings. Hard to leave Berlin.



REMARKABLE fact about Berlin is the low prices. Just one example is travel from and to the airports. Unfortunately, German efficiency sometimes gets in the way. Last week was the second time I had a problem.

The first time I travelled from the city, starting on the S-Bahn but I did not have time after I bought the US$4 ticket for the airport to frank it – as the train had already arrived at the station.

When I got to Sudkreuz for the transfer to the bus for Schoenefeld airport, the bus driver would not let me board because I had not franked the rail+bus ticket. He even refused to sell me a bus-only ticket for the airport. So I had to wait for the next bus, by which time I had decided to tell the driver that I was boarding the bus at Sudkreuz and had not arrived there by train.

The second time, last week, the bus driver said my handbaggage had to go in the bus hold. This is handbaggage that fits the airline size-box requirement, and with which I have been travelling for 4/5 years.

For my own reasons, I would not accept being separated from the content in the bag. And so, once again, the bus left without me. And I had to wait for the next bus. But this time I emptied the bag contents from my carryon baggage onto the bus seat next to me. And loaded the empty bag into the hold.

The moral of this story is to allow plenty of time if you plan to travel by Berlin Linien Bus over Sudkreuz-Schoenefeld. Allow enough time for the second bus (20” later) after you have learned how to handle the specific problem. In both my situations, I had enough time. But on my next trip to Berlin, I will make sure I schedule time for missing the first bus.

Most of the journey from Sudkreuz is on an autoroute for which for all (even junctions), has 3m-high walls. That keeps most sound and pollution away from the population by the autoroute, but makes for a very boring ride (so take something to read), but very smooth; it takes around 20” at weekends, and up to 30” weekdays.


The Fox