Monday, February 13, 2012

Leaving Berlin

The easiest way to get to Berlin's Schönefeld airport from the city centre is of course by taxi. It is a long and expensive ride, so I preferred using public transportation. And it is also very affordable. A day ticket costs less than 7 EUR, and you can use it on buses, trams, trains and the metro system in the German capital.

The main railwaystation in Berlin, Berlin Hauptbahnhof, is an impressive sight. This modern piece of architecture is more than worth a visit. For myself, the railway station was the first step towards the flight back home. First you must take a train to Berlin Südkreuz station, where you catch a direct train to the Schönefeld airport. There is a brewpub on the Hauptbahnhof, but I did not know where to find it. Sure, I could have asked someone, but as I saw a train with the Czech ČD logo going to Berlin Südkreuz, I decided to board the train and sat down in the restaurant car.

A Czech restaurant car meant that it might be possible to find Czech draught beer. And so it was. I ordered a glass and was served Pilsner Urquell from tap. The golden lager had that beautiful aroma of grass and Saaz hops, and the excellent combination of malt, hints of fruits and tasty, bitter Saaz hops was once again a treat. Pilsner Urquell is a wonderful beer.

It was barely time to finish my Urquell before the train arrived at Berlin Südkreuz. I left the Czech restaurant car and had a walk through the station. I had some time before the train to the airport left, so I visited the little supermarket downstairs to get a water bottle and some snacks. Then it was back to the platform to get on the next train.

It was dark when I arrived at Berlin Schönefeld airport. It is probably the last time I am there, as the airport is to close later this year. Then some of the area will become part of the new Berlin Brandenburg airport. Check-in was fast and easy, and suddenly I was through security.

The departures area of the airport was very crowded. Many Brits were waiting for their Easyjet flight home, and they had turned that part of the building into a party zone. All benches and chairs were taken, so most people were sitting on the floor. The crowdiest part of departures was the little Irish pub. After a long wait, the friendly bartender gave me a Berliner Kindl Jubiläums Pilsener. It is a nice pale lager, but it pales compared to Pilsner Urquell.

There were also some kiosks in the departures area. I bought some beer to take home, and as I was given information that my flight home would be late I opened one of them. Flensburger Pilsener is an old acquaintance. I have been drinking it several times during visits to Germany. It is sold in nostalgic swing top bottles, and I am very fond of the label with the cog.

I drank the beer straight from the bottle. The nose was malty, and a combination of malts, hops and grass had a dance in the mouth before a partly bitter finish. Another fine pale lager that I felt was better than Berliner Kindl, but still average compared to Pilsner Urquell.

My visit to Berlin had come to an end, and I entered the airplane. I will be back in Berlin some day. I liked the city, and I would like to see more of Berlin's taprooms as well. In the meantime I can recommend Ronald Pattinson's Berlin Pub Guide. Fellow Norwegian beer blogger Knut Albert also has some interesting posts about the German capital. Here you can find his posts that are tagged with Berlin. Cheers!

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