It turns out the “rickety old train” only went as far as Hamm and we then had to switch to the newer modern ICE for the rest of the journey to Berlin. Still arrived on time. In the hotel bar now. 20:38. The Berliner Pilsener is no more; replaced by Konig Pilsener, and I would say it is colder than the old one used to be. Flowing freely, so nice to be back in Berlin which means so much to me. But it means so much to me because of memories from the past, memories of night clubs which no longer exist in an extinction event of unprecedented magnitude—is there still life in Berlin for me? We shall see. Anyway I just came for Bowie this time, and the naughty places are just a bonus, hopefully. But the memories are so strong—Berlin is where I bloomed & blossomed, Berlin is where I emerged from the chrysalis a butterfly. My repeated visits to Berlin in 2003 and 2004 were life-changing. As Bowie said of his Berlin albums “they are my DNA”, my Berlin visits from that time are my DNA. They were my womb. 903pm.
With no more beer in my minibar, and no sign of the minibar lady (who to me is like some kind of goddess, oh goddess of beer), I am forced down to the bar at 1120, which I had preferred to avoid on this trip—I don’t like the bar’s Zipfer as much as I like the minibar Gösser and in my room I can enjoy my music channel. Plans for today, perhaps the U-Bahn up to Wahringer Gurtel Kino, back down to WSK, maybe Burggasse Peep maybe not, then finish off in Café Westend before crashing out back in the hotel; ready to wake in time to go back out tonight. I will save the Belvedere for tomorrow.
1044 On my first beer of the day. This time yesterday we were just 10 minutes across the border into Austria, with another 2½ hours on the train still to come.
How lovely to be back in a Dorint hotel room. Not only was there a Granny Smith apple left in the room for me—the only kind of apple I like—but they had stocked the minibar with just the things I drink, so there were 6 bottles of Gösser beer instead of the normal 2, 2 bottles of sparkling water instead of 1 sparkling 1 flat, and 1 bottle of coke. It is like they studied my minibar habits and stocked the minibar especially for me! Amazing. That is the personal touch.
Olympique Marseille v Bordeaux on the Orient Express TV—Christ, French football is so slow & boring. No wonder PSG win the league by 20 points every year. The sun is about 1 minute away from going down behind the Midi railway tracks, and out of my eyes at least. My train to Nuremberg is not until 10.25 in the morning so at least I should be able to have a long sleep tonight. I need it. I don’t know how French football supporters don’t slash their wrists; this is dire. Barmaid just brought another beer to my table, I didn’t even ask. Well, that decides it; I am having one more then, it seems! It is supposed to rain tonight; that would be lovely; but no sign of it right now. Now the crowd at the football match are rioting. Out of sheer f–king boredom, I expect. As I have been for most of my time here, I am the only customer in L’Orient Express.
Awake by 144 and of course cannot get back to sleep. A bright spring-like day. Look forward to seeing — or —– again. But more than that looking forward to being in a spring Vienna, going into a hot afternoon WSK, a warm evening Manhattan. What else is there? Erm, that is it really. Perhaps one museum for variety. Lots and lots of Gösser beer, and Café Westend steaks! A couple of hours’ night cap in Manhattan every night. Try that Wahringer Kino as well.
Sinking prodigious amounts of the Konig Pilsener, I think I do certainly prefer it to the Berliner Pilsener. No difference in taste, I don’t think, but it is colder than I remember. I notice it comes out the tap much faster as well. The Berliner took forever to pour.