In a mere week I have managed to completely nail down my Berlin trip. Last Wednesday, I jumped on airfare early and managed to get the dates I wanted at the price I'd seen a few weeks ago. When I last checked, the fare on Aer Lingus for my dates had gone up and I was going to go a week later in order to get the lower fare. No such need! So I now have 11 days in Berlin burning a hole on my calendar! And it didn't take me long to start jumping on accommodations either.
Sometime in the last few years I must have considered a trip to Germany, because I had a "Saved Trip" folder on Trip Advisor with some hotels I'd eyed at the time. As good as they looked then, I managed to find better. At least I think so. I'm starting with five nights in Berlin in a pensione/B&B. The location is near Charlottenburg, southwest of the city. It is just off Kurfurstendamm (the main shopping thoroughfare) and very accessible to the subways and trams. The price is spectacular (60 euro per night) and will afford me the opportunity to get bed and breakfast while enjoying a nice residential neighborhood and stay with Berliners to start my trip.
After those five nights, I head to Dresden for two nights. I had read on Fodor's forums that a major 5* hotel chain just opened a location in the historic district there, and I managed to score an opening week deal there, so I'm splurging on a 5* experience for two nights there for about 100 euros, including breakfast.
Lastly, I decided to stay in a different part of Berlin for my last two nights, so I found an apartment-style hotel in the former East Berlin in a trendy neighborhood close to the old Berlin Wall and Alexanderplatz. I should be able to get an entirely different feel for the city here. I am curious though, because each apartment is designed in a different "theme" and I'd love to know what apartment I'll get!
So it's a good feeling to have this nailed down. Up next is to reserve times at the Reichstag and the Green Vault in Berlin, both of which I could miss if I don't have reservations. And to start learning some German and reading like a maniac...