One thing I didn't mention in my first Berlin post was how terrifying I found the whole thing. It sounds silly now, but I was feeling more afraid than I have in quite some time — probably since my last job interview.

When I left the hotel in London, I knew theoretically how to get to the Luton airport (Luton!) and from there to the Berlin and from there to the Ostbahnhof and from there to the hostel. But theory isn't practice, and as Morpheus so wisely puts it, there's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.

So I spent the entire trip wondering what the hell I was doing and whether there would be a bed for me at the end of it all. There were momentary distractions while the plane was being shaken like an experimental cocktail, but overall doubt prevailed.

Things got a lot worse when I left the Ostbahnhof (is this the right one?) and started walking up the Strasse der Pariser Kommune (is this the right way?). I don't know if you've ever walked in the dark before along a road you don't know to a place you've never been. Whenever I've done it, time and distance seem to dilate: It can't be this far away, surely? Maybe I've passed it already? What if the address on the website is wrong? Maybe places are numbered differently in Berlin? Were the photos on the hostel website a total lie?

If you've ever been on a walk like this, you'll know the joy of seeing clear street numbers in the right order, of first seeing your destination and finally arriving there. The hostel turns out to be as nice as the pictures, and the staff were so friendly it completely caught me off guard. I went to bed with clean linen, a fresh towel and a mind perfectly ready for sleep.