At 10.00am on Friday 11th July we arrived in Berlin. We entered the Spree River and after passing through the Charlottenburg Lock we moored at a designated place near the city centre. We had reached our final destination having travelled over 2223 km by water!
The journey started on the 25th March in Albert Lock on the River Shannon and has ended now 109 days later. We have gone through 272 locks and 20 other stair lifts or aqueducts such as The Saint Louis Arzviller Inclined Plane boat lift and Elbe aqueduct. The boat turned out to be the perfect boat for the trip and it has crossed the English Chanel, travelled through the old narrow locks of France, The Seine River, the Fast Flowing Rhine and now the big lakes of Berlin (more about these later- some are bigger than Dublin Bay). We received a great welcome in the marinas around Berlin as initially they did not believe we came all the way from Ireland.
Having moored the boat safely in Berlin we then took an Underground train to the Reichstag and spent the day touring. As we are leaving the boat at a marina outside Berlin ,we will come back for a better look at the city. First impressions are of a modern vibrant city with lots of visitors and much more cosmopolitan than other German Cities we have visited.
Nuala brought me back to the Kurfurstendamm to try and find the Irish Harp, a pub she worked in 30 years ago. It has moved but we found another Irish pub just off the street and the bar man was able to tell Nuala that he knows the owners of the Irish Harp as he himself had worked for them for many years.
Having stayed overnight, we left at 8.00 am the next morning motored through the heart of Berlin on the Spree River and out the other end of the city. We were advised to cross the city early in the morning before the tour boats started moving. That turned out to be great advice as we cleared the last lock leaving the city at 10.00am just when the tour boats were starting to show up in big numbers. The Spree was much more difficult to navigate that the Seine in Paris as it is much narrower and the bridges are smaller, some one way only.
After leaving Berlin, we then motored down the Berlin Lakes to the Boothaus Rool Marina on the Zeuthern See where the boat will stay for the next month. Once again we received a great welcome, as they were expecting us. Thanks to Ollie and Michael for helping us moor as there was a gale blowing at the time. We now can relax, clean the boat and get ready for a short trip home to Dublin next week.