Driving 3000km just to buy some bootleg CDs would be just too much of a good thing. Therefore, we had no choice but to do some sight seeing as well.
Together with two friends of mine, over the course of a long weekend, I visited Berlin, Gdansk, Malbork and Warsaw. Good weather, Ice cream on the Autobahn, A hotel clerk with nothing but sex on her mind and those well deserved bootleg CDs made for an exciting and relaxing trip.
Scratch that. Having to drive more than 3000km still made it exciting, but forget about the relaxing bit.
We left Rotterdam on Wednesday afternoon at 18:00hours. I had made reservations with a hostel in Berlin. A very nice one, located next to quite a lake on the southern outskirts of Berlin. The only drawback being that we had to be in before 11pm.
Rotterdam – Berlin is little over 700km so in theory its possible to drive the distance in 5 hours. Notice the word ‘theory’. Leaving at six, on Wednesday wasn’t a good prospect at all. I already had been able to extend our allowed time of arrival to 11:30, but at 11pm I had to give the hostel a call that we wouldn’t be able to make it before 11:30. At that point, we were in Hannover. Still a grand total of 300km from Berlin.
We kept track of time and distance traveled. If we would have done 140km an hour, using the first 30 minutes to ‘get on the road’ we would have arrived just in time. At 7:30pm we were already 40km behind schedule. An hour later 67km. Another hour later, we were some 140km behind schedule. Needless to say, traffic was terrible. Let me repeat that: Traffic was T E R R I B L E. Got that?
Upto crossing the border with Germany, it wasn’t all that bad. Sure, traffic was reasonably slow, but we were continuously driving. After the border, up to Hannover, it was the worst. At some point, we came across a colony of snails. They were actually overtaking us!
Luckily, when I called the hostel, I could still convince them in taking us in for the night, saying that, at the latest, we would be arriving at 1am. Although that meant we would have to drive more than 150km an hour for the final two hours of our trip to Berlin.
Its funny; when calculating you can travel a distance at a certain speed in a certain time, you almost always have to drive some 30% faster to actually get there in the time you calculated. We drove 180km for two hours to make it before 1am. Needless to say, we didn’t make it. But we came close and they let us in.
The hostel, very modern, clean and expensive was perfect (except for the price). Very good beds, reasonable breakfast and a perfect location. Almost a pity our goal was to get to Gdansk and Warsaw. Gdansk, still another 700km away. Across mainly Polish roads.