When Bob was planning this trip, he depended a lot on Trip Advisor.com; since we were planning to visit places we hadn’t previously been, we depended upon internet photos and ratings from other travelers for our choices. And thus far, we’ve been pretty lucky. The Shakespeare Hotel in Vilnius was delightful; the Westbury in Dublin was what one would expect of a 4 or 5-Star hotel.
But I must say, the Circus Hotel in Berlin has been the high point of our trip so far.
It isn’t much from the street, but the interior is impeccably done, whimsical and modern. Not only is the hotel artfully done, with beautifully executed details (and very high-quality fixtures–architects and their spouses notice things like windows and bathroom accessories)–but the hotel has a very obvious personality. It is seriously green–with all manner of energy and environment-saving practices. The magazine in the room explains that the owners are committed to paying staff a living wage, and to other “ethical practices.”
Not only are the rooms (at least, ours) spacious, bright and well-appointed, the restaurant (organic, local foods) is excellent. And the prices for rooms and food can only be described as “great values.” To add to that value, it is located in the midst of art galleries, cafes and music venues–what is evidently the artsy section of the city. I really recommend this hotel!
The trip here was tiring; we got up at 3 am and took Ryan Air from Dublin, the train from Birmingham to London, the Eurostar to Paris, and–in our only stressful experience–a sleeper train from Paris Est (East) to Berlin. The stress was a result of the chaos that is Paris Est and the attitude of the French personnel in the misnamed “Information” booth. To suggest that their attitude was dismissive would be kind. Nevertheless, we made it to Berlin as scheduled, if exhausted.
We’re going to bed early, and we will cram as much sightseeing as possible into the day and a half we have before we leave for Florence.
Once I figure out how to include photos in these blogs, I’ll share some. We are meeting son Stephen (also known as The Tech God) in Tuscany, so I anticipate learning this arcane skill. We will also have daughter Kelly, son-in-law Robert, son David and daughter-in-law Jackie, and grandchildren Sarah and Bert all together for a week exploring small villages in Tuscany.
So far, a fabulous vacation. (What WOULD we do without MasterCard…)