Touchdown at Berlin Schonefeld was at 12:39, and boy that was not a smooth landing by any stretch.
Now remember: Schonefeld was rated the worst airport in the world in 2016 (I think that should be the worst airport among developing or developed countries). Coupled with that, there was a huge strike that grounded nearly all traffic at both Schonefeld and Tegel exactly one week ago, and the union is still threatening further strikes. Coupled with the humongous failure that is Brandenburg Airport, which ironically was to replace Schonefeld and Tegel, one has to wonder, where is that German efficiency and technical prowess? On top of this whole mess, there’s Germany precarious security situation to consider: It pretty much has one of the highest terror threat levels after Paris and alongside Brussels, and it was attacked at Christmas last year. So you can see, the gateway to the city itself doesn’t inspire any sort of confidence in arriving travelers.
I would not venture too deep into the gritty details of Schonefeld, but I would say that I was freezing my arse off all the way after deplaning till I was in the baggage collection area. Merlin, have you people never heard of heating? And for your information, it was raining, 2 degrees Celsius discounting windchill and one helluva long walk from the plane to the terminal, including going up and down stairs with nary a staff in sight.
Picking up my pack, I went out into the arrival hall and spotted a visitBerlin counter in the corner. Perfecto! There was a little queue, but I didn’t mind waiting. What I do mind was that the airport was so tiny and claustrophobic that once the queue builds up, it pretty much blocks off one whole section of the airport from the other, and you have people pushing past you to get to the other side. Thankfully, the guy manning the counter understood what I wanted from the get-go, and I got 2 separate day tickets for Zones ABC (since they stuck Schonefeld out in Zone C). The walk from the terminal to the bahnhof was another massive PITA. It was freezing, and it was another long walk. You’ll get the idea.
A/N: If you have a group of 3 to 5 pax arriving in Schonefeld, it is advisable to get a group ticket for 20.8 Euros, since one single day ticket for ABC is 7.7 Euros.
Heading away from the miserable Schonefeld, I validated my ticket in one of the little orange machines mounted on posts around the platform, hopped on a Regio train heading into the city and changed at Alexanderplatz for the U-Bahn for my last leg.
Coming up: Hotel Big Mama!
A/N: By the time this post goes up, a three-part explanation on my drafted schedules would also be available on my Patreon page for my patrons holding Blue (Patron) status and above. Be sure to check it out!