Friday 18 May 2012

Berlin, wieder

Driver Chandor and guide Karin were surprised today - and so were we: on our 580 km drive from Warsaw to Berlin, we were on excellent motorway all the way, so someone's been spending some money. Fortunately, not yet quite enough to erect the planned high barriers along its length, designed to make driving safer in winter conditions, but stuffing up any chance of enjoying the scenery for even high-up coach passengers like us. The lengths of fence already in place are mostly solid, with see-through panels occasionally that I was pleased to note had hawk silhouettes on them, to scare away the birds that would otherwise crash into them. Nice touch.

There were more storks today, stalking through the grass, and some deer, but few other animals apart from the odd tethered cow: small farms across these plains, growing wheat mostly, fruit and trees. Green and lush, but not spectacular, so it was just as well there was lots to listen to. "And now we have to mention Adolf Hitler," Karin began, after summing up over 1000 years of pan-European history delivered without notes.

The day ended with an uber-jolly evening at Ziko's Grill, where there was unlimited beer and wine, an efficiently-delivered 4-course meal that was generally good, a literal joker of an owner who took as much delight in pretending to spill soup on people as the customers did, and a stand-up musician who started with 'Lili Marlene' and 'Valederi, valdera' and ended up with 'New York, New York' and conga lines round the crowded restaurant. Not really my scene, but amusing enough to witness from behind the safety of my sling.

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