My colleague, Rod, very generously offered to book the hotel in Berlin for us. He had the inside on some good deals on some good hotels in Berlin. I trust Rod. So I trusted him with my hotel reservation. It also meant I didn't have to do it myself. Always a good thing.
I became a bit nervous when he announced very excitedly, that the hotel was on Freidrichstrasse. This is the famous home of Checkpoint Charlie. Last time I was in Berlin was in 1991. The Berlin Wall had fallen just a few years before (1989) and this area of Berlin certainly was a bit run down, particularly the east side. Not something to get excited about and certainly not THE place to stay. But I trust Rod.
I turned up at the hotel and was pleasantly surprised to find that this part of Berlin had been completely rejuvenated. There were shiny new buildings everywhere, including our hotel. I was very relieved and a tad bit excited to be nearing the end of the day's trials and tribulations. Ah, but not so fast.
In my best German (by now my confidence was way up), I asked for my room only to be told that my reservation had been cancelled by my company. Now this was odd indeed, since my company didn't make the reservation and had no idea where I was staying. I am a bit paranoid, however, and thought maybe this is their way of telling me where I am in the recent reorganisation: on the street. Oddly, Rod's reservation had not been cancelled. Glyn, our other travelling companion, had also had his reservation cancelled. Maybe Rod wanted to be alone. Maybe I didn't trust Rod so much after all.
Common sense prevailed and I convinced the front desk that clearly there was a mistake. Since I was standing in their lobby, the reservation should clearly not have been cancelled. Fortunately, they had a spare room (and one for Glyn).
The hotel was nice and not expensive especially considering we were in a European capital city. The restaurant wasn't all that good (and extremely over priced for what you get) so I recommend you eat at the Beer Cellar across the road. The weinerschnitzel was to die for! The Alterwasser Beir was also very good!
As a side, Tony Blair was visiting Berlin at the same time. Not at the same hotel. They probably cancelled his reservation.