In the spirit of seeing more European cities before we head down under, we ventured to Berlin for a long Easter weekend break. Since flights and trains proved to be unacceptably expensive from Amsterdam, we decided to drive which took about 7 hours. The hire car ended up costing more than the flights, but this was due to being offered an Alfa Romeo 159 upgrade and my inability to refuse Italian sports cars.
Driving the German autobahns at high speed was a hoot. We took the Alfa up to 210 kph (130 mph) before a change of underwear was needed. Blasting along the fast lane placing your trust on those driving nervously in the middle lane is a heart pumping experience.
We stayed in the fabulous Hotel Concorde Berlin which is in the heart of the Kurfürstendamm shopping district. Special mention to the breakfast service which is in a league of its own, although everything was top notch. We decided to walk around the city to see the sights. Berlin serves up an unusual offering of modern Germany on the one hand, and old Nazi / Cold War Germany on the other, which leaves you with an enjoyable yet sad reflection at the end of the day.
If you visit Berlin, then make sure you take a trip to see nearby Potsdam which is home to the many palaces of Frederick the Great.