Although I've had an apartment in Berlin since the beginning of the month, work commitments have kept me from being there so far. But on Thursday I finally make the move in earnest.
The story of my first month in Berlin has been a rather empty one, as I've barely been there. June is always a busy month in Brussels and between moderating conferences and taking on radio and video projects, I've had too much to do to make the move to Berlin just yet. It's not a bad problem to have I suppose, but I'm getting very eager to finally spend some time there.
That day will come on Thursday, when I finally move my things to my new Berlin apartment. I'm keeping an apartment in Brussels also, to have a place to stay when I come here for work. So today's packing challenge is figuring out which are the 'Brussels things', and which are 'Berlin things'.
I'm actually moving over by train - I have the ambitious plan to carry four suitcases with me. I've done this before, when I moved from London to Paris by train in 2008. But this will be a little more challenging, since I have to switch trains in Cologne. In total it's six hours on the train, plus 30 minutes for the stopover.
In true Jon Worth style, my plan is to make the train my usual method of travelling between the two cities. Flying is such a hassle, and the ICE trains have wifi so I can sit and do work. It's one hour flying between Brussels and Berlin, but you figure with all the extra time getting to the airport, checking in, etc, it's really four hours total travel time. Since you're constantly moving, there's never enough time in those four hours to actually sit down and do work. So I'd rather able to sit back and relax for six hours than be rushing around trying to make a flight for four hours.
The hitch in this plan is that flying is far less expensive. Easyjet and Brussels Airlines both do this route so the prices are very competitive. During the week it's possible to fly roundtrip between the two for €60. By contrast, the cheapest ticket you're ever going to get on the train, as far as I can tell, is €150. Ryanair is going to start direct flights between Zavantem and Berlin in September, which will drive down prices even further.
I want to take the train, but I'm not willing to pay twice as much to do it. So we'll see.
Alright, back to packing. I'm getting excited, it's finally actually happening!