Long-distance train journeys during record-high temperatures can take a bit longer than expected.
Over the past two months I've been going to and from Berlin by flight, but today, as I finally moved my things to my Berlin apartment, I decided to try out the train route. It will be my preferred way to get back and forth, because it's more comfortable and I can do work on the train.
But perhaps doing so with four suitcases, in the middle of a record-breaking heatwave, wasn't the best strategy.
I left at 10:30 this morning but am still on the train, 10 hours later. We're just pulling in to Spandau station though so it shouldn't be much longer. This journey is supposed to take 6.5 hours, but the intense heat caused lots of delays along the way.
Luckily, the ICE trains are nice and air conditioned and there is wifi, so though it's been a long journey at least it's been a productive one. I finished a radio report (I had pre-recorded the voiceover last night), caught up on emails and sent out some invoices. And in the end I will submit a request for compensation for the delay, as I am entitled to under EU passenger rights law (never mess with an EU transport journalists and his refunds!).
Coming in this late isn't exactly ideal because I'm flying to Madrid early tomorrow morning to join some friends from Brussels there for the weekend. I have a friend meeting me at Berlin central station and we'll cart all the luggage to the apartment. I probably won't even unpack before leaving tomorrow though.
Berlin really begins in earnest next Monday, when I get back from Berlin. Then it will be time to buy a new phone, get a German sim, and decide which language school I'm going to attend. And of course, to do some exploring. My aim is to not come back to Brussels again until September, so I can spend a solid two months getting to know Berlin and doing my intensive German course, which will be every day.
So, let's get this Berlin party started.