Red star special May 13 2012


#1

Hi :slight_smile:

Has anyone booked for the Red star special departing May 13th (looks like this is made up of a few shorter tours as well of either just scandi or russia), keen to hear from people doing any parts of this tour!

I’m a 26 year old from Newcastle, travelling solo. Counting down the days!!

Amy


#2

Hi Amy,

I’m doing the Northern Exposure which is the first 22 days of the Red Star Special. I’m also on the tour departing May 13. I’m from Melbourne and travelling solo as well. I’ll be arriving in Berlin the day before (May 12) and staying the night at the same place that our tour departs from (Wombats Hostel). I booked a couple of months ago and haven’t seen any other posts about this tour before now so it’s good to finally hear from someone else on the tour! :slight_smile:

Adam


#3

Hi Amy & Adam,

I’m going the Red star special departing on 13 May as well and also travelling solo. I’m from Sydney and will be arriving on the 13th. Will you be doing all of the Red Star tour Amy, or just part of it.

Jules


#4

Glad to hear from you both :slight_smile:

I am arriving in Berlin on May 8 - haven’t looked into where il be staying for the few nights beforehand yet although i have been told by a friend that wombats is really good. I am doing the full red star tour, will be the longest time iv spent on a tour but its so much cheaper to combine the trips!

Jules it looks like you have travelled with topdeck before? I take it as a good sign that you are coming back for more!! This will be my second time to Europe but first to these areas and first time with top deck


#5

I have indeed. I did 2 tours back to back last year, and had so much fun. Everyone got along really well and were up for a good time and seeing the sights which made it all so much easier to just relax and enjoy. Definitely the reason I decided to use them again for this tour.


#6

Hey everyone, I will be on the Northern Exposure aswell leaving May 13. I will be on the ANZAC patrol in April then spending 2.5weeks in the uk before flying to Berlin the night before the tour. I am also staying at Wombats (which is a great hostel! ).

I did the European Pioneer in 2010 with Topdeck and it was INCREDIBLE! The Tour guide and bus driver were fantastic, full of information and more then happy to assist with anything :slight_smile: So I am really looking forward to traveling with topdeck again.

I was originally booked on the Red Star Special but had to cut my trip short :frowning: I am a little gutted as I would love to have seen Russia! But I guess there is always next time.

Will anyone be in the UK prior to going to Berlin?

Can’t wait!

I’m Ashleigh by the way :slight_smile:


#7

Hi Ashleigh,

What a shame you had to cut your trip short. I was hoping to have a longer trip myself and spend some more time in London as I missed out on a couple of sights last time I was there, but unfortunately I only had enough leave to just cover this trip and work restrictions meant I couldn’t go later in the year, so I guess I will just have to wait for another trip.

A friend of mine did the ANZAC trip last year and she really enjoyed it though said it was quite cold at night still.


#8

Hey Jules!
Yeah it was abit of a shame, but it’s all ok! I bought a house which is why… money isn’t there like it used to be haha! The good news is I will still have about 6 weeks leave when I get back so I should be able to take another 2 months off next year and hopefully by then I will have enough money saved to do the Russia - Scandi trip. Travel takes time :slight_smile:

I always travel alone, and going in 2010 on the Pioneer was fine, but I found that being alone at Oktoberfest wasn’t the greatest experience. I am hoping that the ANZAC experience is brilliant (like the Pioneer one) and not a let down (because I am so excited for it!!! Its a life long dream!). I think at least, with the ANZAC day tour everyone is there to pay their respects etc, whereas Oktoberfest (as fun as it was in the actual Oktoberfest grounds!) was a little strange - camping with strangers and people didn’t really talk. By no means am I a shy person, but I found it really difficult to converse with people there. I will take on board your advice and pack warm clothes… given we are going to Scandi aswell I think I will be well prepared!

London is fantastic! What sights did you miss out on that you would have liked to have gone to? I kind of just walked around and took it all in last time (as well as the iconic sights and touristy things to do - london eye etc)… i did a fair bit though and have fallen in love with the new europe walking tours (free!) and broadway!

What trips did you do last year?

I did have one question actually… When I was in Berlin it was when I was already on tour. Trying to book my flights there from Dublin is confusing me with all the different airports. TXL is the main one as far as I can see, though SXF seems to be the cheaper one to fly to. Does anyone know about transfers/ taxi services and costs to get to wombats from either airport? From memory, when I stayed in Munich, a taxi to the airport was quite expensive, like 70euro or something.

Getting super excited to meet everyone!!!


#9

Hey Ashleigh,

I’m flying from Melbourne to Tegel airport (TXL) the day before the tour. I found out that there is an express airport bus (see link below) that leaves every 10 minutes and takes you right into the centre of Berlin (Alexanderplatz train station). The bus trip takes between 28-40 minutes.

From there it is only a few blocks walk to Wombats (or one stop on the train if you don’t want to walk). Regular public transport tickets are used for the bus so as far as I can tell it will only cost about 2.30 Euros (around $2.80 AUD). Hope that helps you out!

http://www.bvg.de/index.php/en/17131/name/JetExpressBus+TXL.html

I’m not sure about the other airport but I’ll get back to you if I find out anything :slight_smile:

Adam.


#10

OK I found out about the other airport (Schoenefeld) :slight_smile: There is an express train that runs from the airport to Berlin city centre. Once again you’d get off at Alexanderplatz and get to Wombats from there (I worked out it’s a 10 minute walk). The train trip takes 21 minutes and also uses public transport tickets. Here’s the link:

http://www.berlin-airport.de/EN/ReisendeUndBesucher/AnUndAbreise/AnfahrtBusUndBahn/SXF/AirportExpressStationsplan.html


#11

ohhhh hey Adam! Thanks so much! It seems like its much of a muchness then which is good! I will most likely fly into Schoenefeld then as it is cheaper by about $80. What time does your flight get in on the 12th??? It would be nice to catch up with people the night before the tour starts!


#12

Thanks for the info Adam I was wondering how I was going to get from the airport to the hostel in the easiest way possible. Like Ashleigh, I was on tour the last time I was in Berlin so that wasn’t an issue.

That’s awesome that you bought a house Ashleigh. I myself am currently hunting around for one after selling my unit last year. Haven’t had much luck to date, but it just means I have more spending money for the trip lol.

I did the Britain & Ireland tour and then the Spirit of Europe straight after. I too like travelling alone as it was easier to do what you wanted to do instead of trying to work it out with your travelling companion and maybe not being able to see what you wanted to see and there always seemed to be someone on the tours that was doing what you wanted and you could just tag along. Both tours though were pretty much all single travellers as well with just a couple of people travelling with their friends/partners.

I was only in London for 3 days in total, and on the day I arrived I did this big walking tour, but missed out on going inside places like Westminster Abbey (just after the Royal wedding and had a 3 hour wait just to get in) and the Royal Mews and I wanted to see a West End show but I ran out of time though I was too disappointed in missing out on them overall as I still saw so much in those couple of days anyway and can always go back.


#13

Hey Ashleigh (and Jules), my flight arrives at Tegel airport on May 12 at 13:20. I’ll be heading straight to Wombats to check in and then not sure what my plans are from there but catching up before the tour sounds like a good idea.


#14

:frowning: I won’t be there until the next day, landing at 11.35am. Happy to catch up with you guys on the Sunday before we are due to check in for the tour though.


#15

You are all way ahead of me in the planning, thanks for the info!

Im spending 5 weeks in Asia before the tour - im going to try and fit in a bit of Thailand, Cambodia & Laos if anyone has any tips or suggestions for those areas. Im flying straight from Thailand to Berlin so I wont be in the UK at all.

I received my German working hoiday visa last week so will be staying on after the tour with no specific plans as yet, getting very excited but also a lil bit scared of leaving here!

Glad to hear we have a few solo travellers, i agree its the best way to do it. I will be keen for a catch up the night before, looking forward to meeting everyone :slight_smile:


#16

Hey Amy (and everyone!!)

I am strongly considering doing this tour and am from Newcastle as well!! I have a working visa for France and suppose I would fly straight from there to Berlin and back there after the tour but I also have no real plans. Was actually considering London before the tour, what are you doing in the UK before it Ashleigh?

Are you doing the whole red star tour Amy?

Great to hear everyone elses plans I to would be keen to meet you all beforehand :slight_smile:

Jess


#17

Adam, Send me an email with your flight/ contact details :slight_smile: The only flight I could get into Berlin from Dublin was to Schoen… at 9am. So I will be at the hostel early on the 12th and will try to get a few hrs sleep i think (I can’t remember if they have a lock down at wombats) If not… I will probably just go on a walking tour or something. But we should meet up and go to dinner or something on the 12th!

Hey Jess, I am going to turkey for ANZAC day then spending a few days in London, was supposed to catch up with a friend from Brazil, though she has had to go back to Brazil as her mum is sick, so I am now there by myself and think I will just tick all the touristy stuff off my list that I didn’t get to do last time. Also wouldn’t mind going and seeing Wicked. I saw the Lion King in 2010 and it was incredible! Then i’m off to Edinburgh, spend 2 days there before a 3 day Haggis tour, then to Ireland, 3 day shamrocker tour and an extra 8 days with friends I met at Oktoberfest in 2010… then into Berlin.

If you are in the UK we should meet up! I LOVE London!

Are you staying at Wombats in Berlin also??


#18

Amy, what time do you arrive on the 12th?


#19

Hi guys,

Happy I found this thread. I am also travelling solo for the Northern Exposures tour (days 1-22). Looking forward to it! I will probably book at the Wombat Hostel for the 12th and 13th night if anyone is keen to catch up.

Coming from Brisbane, but will be moving to London on 1st May, so if anyone wants to catch up in London beforehand that would be great too!

Carolyn.


#20

Hey everyone!

I’m also so glad to find this forum!! I’ll be on the Northern Exposure tour starting May 13th. I’ve booked a night in Wombat’s on the 12th as well, and would be really grateful to meet up with some of you!

My name’s Jessie and I’m from Canada, also traveling solo! I’ve never travelled on my own before or joined a group tour, so I’m anxious to see what awaits!

Jessie