Jul 4, 2017

Day 1: Travelling to London

Actually I wanted to sleep early - the night before I start to the airport.
My flight is in the very early morning!!! 
But I wasn't able at all. I think I strained myself a bit too much yesterday with running around and shoeshopping, though it was great fun with my friend Kathrin.

The result was really ugly heavy back aches. So I was not able at all to get any rest. And now I was wide awake! And the left time is too little to try again... I had to get up at 03:00 am when the action starts!!!
By 03:20 am my recent flatmate also got up and helped to take my luggage down the 93 steps of the staircase.
The Taxi came very punctual with a very nice and helpful driver.
After 20 minutes we reached the old Airport Schoenefeld and the driver brought me and my luggage to the RYANAIR check in.

There was another friendly man who checked me in before official check-in even startet.
Then I was placed in the waiting area for disabled people in the hall by the actual Special Helpguy.

Waiting in the Departure Hall Airport Schoenefeld

Other people had to queue

I didn't like the unattended luggage next to me 

He left me there and came back after 30 minutes to lead me through the luggage and person controls. Everybody was very helpful and friendly.

I then landed safely with this very nice and helpful assistent in the waiting lounge at gate 7. In between I had a coffee and also bought some water for a reasonable price of 2 EUR for 1 liter. It was a hint by the assistent.

Gate 7

Up up and away

When all formalities were done and the crew was on board he brought me and the handluggage right to my place 32C in the machine.
In the machine

The flight was smooth and short.
Landing was 07:20 am english time!
I asked the Steward when I will leave the plane after landing – first or last. He said last. 
OK, so I kept seated in there till all passenger have gone out.

I already saw a minibus with the disabled person sign on it. 
A man was there and came into the plane when the Steward called him up. But I had to force him to take my handluggage because I needed my hands for the handle of the plane staircase.
He placed me in the bus and then hunted for my wheelchair which had strangely dissapeared.
The driver then started towards the Airport Arrival Hall and there he just dumped me in the far end corner from the exit. 
He told me to stay put, till another Help Assistant would fetch me.
Two other disabled Ladies also waited. They came from other flights.
Dumped in the furthiest corner

I had planned enaugh time between Check-Out and Bustransfer to the City with STANSTED CITYLINK BUS.

I thought the assistance would be efficient like in Berlin, but I was very wrong.

We waited and waited for approx. 20-30 minutes
The husband of one Lady started also to be nervous and we all have been worried that they just leave us there like a piece of shit in a corner.

This Hubby then went to the next gate, approx. 80 meters away and asked the Assistant there. This one said he is not responsible but will ring the Center for Special Assistance.
OK. We thought – now it will go further any time soon.
No, we waited again. I also was getting nervous and started to roll myself with my handluggage between my knees and rotating the wheels with my hands.

We again complained about the missing help.
The guy said he cannot do anything about it.

So now it was already 08:00 am – my prepaid and booked bus was running at 09:00 am.
We also have been worried about our checked-in luggage. It was cruising and cruising on that luggage band and anyone could take and steal it.

After a short while I decided to roll to the luggage claim and that guy helped pushing me there. 
Thank godess both my suitcase and the additional bag were still there. I fetched it from the band with the help of other passengers and stayed there again. The guy had told us, that he will send the Assistances to that place when they ever appear.

I was in need of the bathroom and also had to get some british money from the ATM. So one Lady watched my luggage meanwhile. The second vanished with somebody else.

Then we saw an official person in a business suit and called him to come. 
He did and we talked to him and presented our situation. He was awefully friendly, got his mobile and phoned someone. 
After he came to us and tried to calm us down. He had called the Central Boss of the Help Service and this man would send 3 people immediately!!!
What a relief we thought ----

But after another 20 minutes the clock turned 08:35 am…The official „help“ wasn’t at all working either!
I was not able to wait anymore – and in danger to miss my transfer bus.

So I started to push my 4 items of luggage one by one and 5 meters by 5 meters: 
I went forward and back again. It was very exhausting, but I was just helpless and speachless what happend here in this airport.

You need to know again, that I have booked the special help in advance, but really nobody cared.

An english Lady came up to me and asked if she can help. I was so thankful. 
She took over my heavy stuff and I managed my handluggage between my knees again.
She gave me company to the point of duty where she had to return to catch her own luggage.
Then 3 other, but spanish, Ladies took over.
The time was running. It was 08:45 am now… only 15 minutes for the bus to catch.

Then I saw the CITYLINK TRANSFER booth. 
I asked the ladies to get me there that I can get assistance from there. 
The Lady behind the desk was also speechless, was not able to believe what I told her and immediately took over – rushed me with high speed the approx. 400 meters to the bus station where the bus still was receiving passengers.

After this real nightmare in Stansted Airport - NOBODY came for assistance - I managed to sit in the Transfer Bus which I booked in advance. All helped me now and I was placed safely on a seat with enourmos place for my hurting legs.
The very nice female busdriver 

Much space for my tired and hurting legs

I felt very exhausted, but I made it nearly to my final destination in the house of my friend Deej..
The busride into town was interesting and the female busdriver was awefully nice and friendly.  
Houseboats on the Thames

The first red Double-Decker Bus

Now Mark, Deej's partner, was already at the busstop in Kings Cross. He took over my heavy luggage and brought me "home".
A glass of water and a slice of bread was the only thing I needed and after to go to bed as quick as possible. 
Before I brought my belongings a bit in order.
Wonderful bright room

and a big cosy bed --- wonderful!

I slept 2,5 hours in the late afternoon. That was necessary after 28 hours that I've been wake!
After that small nappy I felt much better.
Then I was waiting for Deej to come home. I heared her by 07:45 pm.

We had a little chat, watched some BBC reports in TV and I was introduced to the 2 cats: Caspar and Olive. Lovely small animals. Caspar has long and silky fur and loves to be cuddled. Olive, complete black, is a bit more distanced but also came to me and purred. A perfect Lady for my Othello. :-)
Good place to be.

But I still have been tired and off I went to bed for a good nights sleep.

Jul 20, 2013

Berlin in the summer - Russian Church St. Peter and Paul in Nikolskoe

High above the Havel one finds the russian Church of St. Peter and Paul

Ss. Peter and Paul Church on Nikolskoë is a Protestant church in the Volkspark Glienecke inBerlin. Its today congregation forms part of the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia.
The church has a Russian Orthodox profile, with the noteworthy difference that it has only one onion dome, instead of the five usually seen in Russia.
King Friedrich Wilhelm III had the church built for the residents of Klein-Glienicke and Pfaueninsel on a bluff on the Havel near the Pfaueninsel and the Nikolskoë Blockhouse. It was designed by the architects Friedrich August Stüler and Albert Dietrich Schadow and inaugurated on August 13, 1837.

Ss. Peter and Paul contains the grave of Prince Carl of Prussia
Its current glockenspiel leans against that of the Potsdam Garrison Church.

Beautiful light and shadow in the afternoon

The rosette with the clock.

Only one tower is not typical russian.

Many bells in the side-roof

Beautiful light-reflections fall through the church-windows

This stony floor must be original and therefor really old.

The angle shall protect the faithful people.

Some nice ornaments out of red brickstone, a typical Berliner Church-Buildingmaterial

Berlin in the summer - Peacock-Island / Pfaueninsel

    Two birds after which the island has its name

    Resting from all the tourist-visits

   One tower of the Castle

    "Peacock Island" (Pfaueninsel) is an island in the River Havel situated in Berlin-Wannsee, in southwestern Berlin,  near the border with Potsdam and Brandenburg. 
   The island of 67 hectares is part of the Palaces and Parks of Potsdam  and Berlin, UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular destination for day-trippers, 
   Pfaueninsel is also a nature reserve in accordance with the EU Habitats Directive and a Special Protection Area for wild birds.  (Source: wikipedia)

      The castle with a view to the Havel

     A wedding-party on the island

Peacefully they stroll around the lawn, looking for food

The peacocks - It's a very strange behaviour when they're closing their eyes

Unfortunately no bird was showing his whole beauty with the widespread tale

   But nevertheless their colors are stunning

The Castle mirroring in a little well

Kookooo - nobody can see me!

 "I am so pretty and proud on that!"

The castle seen from the island side

Some details

The Castle from the seaside

Their beak somehow looks dangerous

But none of them were attacking me. They are used to visitors and photographers already for centuries.

Nobody seems to be here.

The bridge between the two towers

The view over the Havel

The bridge and the built-in ruins

A nice wall-painting in the back of the Castle

Flowers everywhere

Blooming in all shining colors

Marble memorial (1850) for Mademoiselle  Elisabeth Rachel Félix (1821 - 1858), a French theatre actress. 
The sculptor was Bernhard Afinger, most famous in the 19th century.

Beautiful flowers

I I 

I would love to live in that pittoresque little house

The ferry will take us to the mainland again.

Queen Luise's name can be found everywhere.