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Hmm, factoring in travel from the airport (which is not far from downtown), this does not leave too much time for more than a coffee and a quick stroll.
In order to buy some time, I would suggest that we meet somewhere easily reachable from the airport, if not too close (due to the uninteresting nature of that part of the city). There are some nice cafes not too far from Bahnhof Zoo, and Tiergarten and the Zoo are within a short walk from this area too. There is a really nice cafe right opposite Meister Camera, Berlin's great Leica dealer, which might be interesting for some. I believe they even have a Leica S2 in stock, if that is interesting to some This is about a 15 minute stroll from Bahnhof Zoo, on Fasanenstraße.
There is the X9 bus which drives directly to Bahnhof Zoo in 15 minutes or so. I could imagine that after arriving at the airport, you could meet us within about 45 minutes, but it might also take 1 hour, depending on the airport, traffic, etc. The same time would be needed in reverse, possibly padded a bit for safety, and adding the standard check-in buffer. That would leave you with maybe 3 1/2 hours of free time. Are you sure this is worth it? There is no possibility to stay overnight? There is a new Motel One close to Bahnhof Zoo which provides spartan, but nice (Ikea-ish) and affordable rooms.
The alternative we had discussed would be to meet around Mitte somewhere, which is reachable via Alexanderplatz and the TXL bus, but this takes longer (up to 20 minutes wait, 40 minutes drive, plus plus plus), and I would be surprised if you would have enough time for anything satisfying with this option.
The TXL also drives past Hauptbahnhof, which is close to Tiergarten, but I don't know of any nice cafes there where we can meet each other. There are some standard cafes in the Bahnhof if expectations are not too high.
Perhaps Ulff, Vincent or Morpheus have other ideas which make sense in this context?
Btw, Boris sends greetings, he will be in Seattle and cannot come. Bernhard is in Bayern, and also cannot come.
Edited on Aug 02, 2011 at 02:16 PM · View previous versions