Friday, March 13, 2015

Baby UBlau: U55 & U4

"Good decisions" aren't my strong point. I'm in for adventure, making every day count and a bit of the crazy. Thus you might not have noticed my absence for the last few months. Maybe I finally lost my hold on reality or the Ausländerbehörde had enough of our shenanigans.

But no! We kinda, accidentally made a great decision. We had a baby. And she's awesome.

Unsurprisingly, it's taken a lot of time and I've got a new hobby of writing about her - a lot. If you wanna know about what's it like to have a babe in Berlin, I share an occasional helpful post amidst weekly videos and an astronomical ton of nonsense at In Berlin, Baby.

Another thing taking my time is work. I am writing/editing/content managing my Po (booty - learning new baby related words) off. I put up 10 Germany Travel articles a month at about.com, direct Insiders Abroad and their quarterly magazine, manage EasyExpat part-time and contribute to German-Way. This is hard work on top of watching a beautiful little lady!

And perhaps worst of all, this work stuff is eating up the things I used to write about here on the blog. Now I have to professionally present how to go to the movies in Germany or why I have come to appreciate the low water levels in toilets. In short, there is a lot less swearing.

But then we do something so ridiculous, so utterly useless to anyone but us I say, "Ah-ha! This is a post for Back to Berlin..and Beyond!". The recent such adventure, the first since the birth, is a Baby UBlau.

Yes, that's right, we took the kids on the drinking Ubahn tour with us. This sounds crazy, but....I got nothing. It's a dumb idea. But our English friends - part of the original 4 - were back in town with their brand-new daughter and it seemed like destiny.

So we did a UBlau baby-style. This meant with babies, on the city's two baby lines: U55 & U4. These two lines are only 7 stops total which makes it less nuts if not straight-up good parenting. And if you object - too late! Its been done. It was glorious.

U55

 

Brandenburger Tor

Kirstie 8.5
Hawkins 7
Porter 8
ebe 7.5


Average score: 7.75



A generally high-ranking station to start us off. This line is newish (2009) and not very well-used so it was very clean and very empty. And grey.

Eventually, there are plans for this line to connect to more than just 3 stations and hook-up with the U5. I think only tourists who aren't interested in walking to the highlights take it now. We were happy to do our UBlau of shame somewhat alone. Plenty of time for pictures. And our first Jägermeister shots since....well, a long, long time.




Bundestag

Kirstie 9
Hawkins 9.5
Porter 7.5
ebe 8

Average score: 8.5


Kirstie & Hawkins have fond memories of this station as it played a part in them shooting the trailer for their movie, Whistleblowers. Ian and I gave points for interesting columns that tie into lights. It's grand...and gray and desolate.

Again the station was nearly empty with groups of English and Spanish speakers occasionally blowing through giving us curious looks with our strollers and alcohol.



 

Hauptbahnhof

Kirstie 8
Hawkins 8
Porter 7
ebe 7

Average score: 7.5

We are well familiar with this massive station. But this platform? Not so much. It is corporately bland. And grey of course. Not bad, but nothing special.

We remembered about here (last stop that day) that we were supposed to rank for how well baby-appointed stations are. There were many elevators that actually moved along at a decent clip (a rarity in Berlin) and plenty of room to navigate. Baby accessible approved.




U4

We were supposed to both lines in one day - a piece of cake for our old drinking selves. But because of a previous engagement we could only fit one in that first day. GOOD. Because I was fairly drunk after just three stops/shots. I am embracing my new-found lightweight status.


 

Innsbrucker Platz

Kirstie 8
Hawkins 8
Porter 7
ebe 7

Average score: 7.5

So this is Innsbrucker Platz. It's pretty homeless. We were clearly out-of-place with our babies, even with our fresh bottle of booze. Sorry for intruding all!

As far as deco,we've got red brick, old-school script and a light atmosphere of despair. Let's go.



 
 

Rathaus Schöneberg

Kirstie 8.5
Hawkins 8.5
Porter 7
ebe 7.5

Average score: 7.875

In a perfect world we rank the entrances as well. The perfect opportunity happened here as we got off for a swim. Good thing because we came back in the dark and it wasn't as impressive. In the light, the tile work is lovely with large glass walls providing a view of a small pond surrounding the station. We also noticed here that everything is well-themed. The beautiful wood benches are complimented by the wood station agent huts. An added bonus for Kirstie was the serious mappage.




Bayerischer Platz

Kirstie 7.5
Hawkins 9
Porter 9
ebe 8.5

Average score: 8.5

Again we're in theme. This time all Bavarian blue. Plus - old-timey pictures! facts! This station is downright nice. And at this point we were getting a little goofy.


 

Viktoria-Luise-Platz

Kirstie 6.5
Hawkins 6
Porter 6
ebe 5.5

Average score: 6

Straight from the bottle now! We're finding our stride. Again we've got pleasant benches, a decent green color and an overall ok feel. Someone said "mini-Alexanderplatz". Nothing to get too excited about.


Nollendorfplatz

Kirstie 6
Hawkins 7
Porter 6.5
ebe 6.5

Average score: 6.5

We debated ranking this one as it is the site of me sitting on top of vending machine. How do you top that...literally?  But it is a different platform and we could really use one more shot- erm, I mean station.

My writing is pretty dicey at this point. I think I can make out "standard", "circular staircase", "grey, purple, yellow" and "quotes". So there's that.

Overall Scores

Lowest Ranking: Viktoria-Luise-Platz
Highest ranking Station: Bundestag & Bayerischer Platz

 We survived! Babies Survived! Clearly a success. And I can't believe Innsbrucker Platz wasn't lowest ranked. Sorry Viktoria-Luise.

3 comments:

~ cheryl said...

Just discovered this post - and I am again entranced with your writing and you!

Pinay Flying High said...

So you go to each train stations and drink there? You have your booze with you or do you buy it from the train station? :p Is this a thing in Germany? Or you just did it yourselves? :p

Nevertheless, it's an awesome plan in the weirdest sense. :p

ebe porter said...

Ok Pinay, it is pretty weird. Our first UBlau describes the process a little more thoroughly but basically:

So you go to each train stations and drink there?
Yes, and rate it. Can't forge the important research element.

You have your booze with you or do you buy it from the train station?
We each come equipped with our own bottle of booze and steadily work through it, shot by shot. We usually go for Jagermeister as it is not too high in alcohol and infinitely drinkable when cold.

Is this a thing in Germany? Or you just did it yourselves?
I think we're the only ones crazy enough to attempt it. And succeed. We have three under our belt at this point.

We're Back in Berlin Ja!

We're Back in Berlin Ja!
ebe & ian at Yak-toberfest 2008