Subject: Advent time in Germany
Dear Ziners,

two weeks ago I spent a great week in Berlin and Hamburg. I wasn´t lucky enough to get snow, but I think that I got a right mix between big cities and country ...

I spent three days in Berlin. I used (the official website for Germany´s capital city) to look for a hotel. I ended up staying at the Askanischer Hof Hotel, in the Ku´Damm. It was a lovely place, quiet and well connected thanks to the buses that run along the avenue. Their website is , and the pictures are not good enough.

I booked an opera at the Stadtoper Unter den Linden. Every big theatre in Berlin has a good website, and you can buy there your tickets, select your place and they will post it to you (I got it in 4 days...). Another interesting thing is a three day Museum Card that for 10 Euros covers most of the big places ( the Egyptian Museum, the Pergamon Museum, the Neue Galerie ...)

Public transport is very handy, but you must take into account that due to works, the S-Bahn doesn´t run from Zoo station onwards to Charlottenburg (Savigny Platz is affected). There is an alternative bus service. And, if you buy the Berlin Welcome Card, you will get 72 hours of use of public transport, including Postdam.

There were a few queues at the Bahnhof Zoo, where I bought my ticket to Berlin, but right now automatic selling machines have been introduced, and you can buy your tickets using your credit card.

About Hamburg I don´t have a lot to say, because I was staying with friends. I like that city a lot, but I think that you must get used to it. I found that the Christmas Market was better than the ones in Berlin (the market in Gendarmenmarkt charges 1 euro to visit it), and I had a great time there (including an interesting exhibition on the Max Beckmann´s beach works).

And two nice day trips : - Luneburg . I truly recommend this small town in Northern Germany A small place, full of merchant houses and good restaurants. - Sankt-Peter Ordning If you want to see the big North Sea ...

Kind regards,

Covadonga Bilbao - Spain