Saturday, June 15, 2013

Europe Trip Recap: Transportation with Coach Bus and Air Berlin

This will be the first of many parts about my trip to Europe with my mom from May 16 through June 1, 2013. We had a fantastic time, so I want to share our experiences with others and for my own sake, to preserve the memories we made on this special trip. I feel so blessed that I got to do this with my mom.

We started out our trip at the Coach bus depot in Milwaukee and took a bus to Chicago O'Hare. It's a really easy and cost effective way to get to O'Hare and I would highly recommend it.

I was pretty teary eyed when it came time to saying goodbye to Craig and my dad for two weeks.

Our plane! I found a great deal via the Kayak app last December, so our tickets were really cheap! We thought the service on Air Berlin was great and it was very similar to other international airlines I have flown before.

Pretty soon, we found ourselves saying goodbye to the Chicago skyline.

We received cute goodie bags on the plane filled with ear plugs, a sleeping/eye mask, toothbrush and toothpaste and grey socks (I later used everything but the dental kit while traveling).

I ordered both of us vegetarian meals and we were lucky enough to get tasty and filling meals each time.

I did not end up sleeping much at all on the flight over. My mom rested a bit. The funniest moment was when she woke up to find our steward standing above her with a wet disposable and warm cloth. I knew what it was, but she had no clue what he was presenting her with. She gave him the "dirtiest look" (as my family refers to them as) and he gave her a funny look back.

The in-flight entertainment included movies, music, games, the map showing where we were currently flying over, etc. I get a little obsessed with the map and enjoyed that we got to fly close to or over places like Iceland and Scotland.

I discovered a new musician on the flight, so I had to snap a picture of her name and album. Her name was familiar and I thought she was the actress from Inglorious Bastards and I ended up being correct. I kind of love Damien Rice, so that tune she sang with him really resonated with me.

After 8 hours, we found ourselves flying over Germany and the beautiful yellow mustard fields. You can also see a few windmills below. I think America needs many more windmills and solar panels as the Germans are way ahead of us on green energy sources!

Finally, we disembarked at Berlin's Tegel airport. We had a direct flight, which eased my mind a bit about our luggage.

Tegel airport is being replaced by a new one in three years or so. It is advertised as opening soon, but we spoke to an airport employee when we left Germany and he said that they are still a long ways away from completing it.

I think Tegel's disorganization and small size really made many connecting flight passengers angry and us tired passengers disappointed. We had a long line to wait in for Passport control, but once we were through, it also was hard to find certain things in the airport.

We took the TXL bus (2.40 Euros one way) to Washingtonplatz, which is right outside the Hauptbahnhof in Berlin. We walked into the Hauptbahnhof to find the Visitor Information station and asked the best route to our hotel. 

Traveling to another country is never easy, but I'd say that we lucked out with great transporation throughout the trip.


  1. I love all the details in this post. I wish I had done something similar back when I was blogging about Europe. I checked my email just now to see which Berlin airport we flew into because I remembered it being a good one and sure enough it was Schönefeld. The passport control lady there was hilarious asking about Americans named Pfefferkorn and Kuckleburg. You got some great photos from your window seat! I too love checking the map on those trans-Atlantic flight.

  2. So great that you had a direct flight! I always get a bit anxious with connections...especially since airlines are making them shorter and shorter. I'm traveling next week and have 30 minutes to connect...that's why I always wear my running shoes when I travel!

  3. Excited to read more about your trip!

  4. Well this reminded me of how much I hate flying! But ultimately worth it if you get a great vacation!