It’s not always easy being a jet-setting International Partner Relations and Rates Manager. After dinner and wine with friends on Sunday evening, Paddy Hegan got up at 5am to catch a train to Gatwick for an 8am flight to Copenhagen, to meet new and existing property providers. Among the properties he saw were Charlotte Apartments and Amerika Plads Apartments, both of which, he explained, are “in convenient locations for local rail transport and have a swimming pool, restaurant, gym and sauna and very pleasant communal areas. Very nice indeed.”After that, he dashed back to the airport for an 8.30pm flight to Berlin.“Q: How many Danes and Germans does it take to board, stow their luggage and take their seats on a passenger plane in two and a half minutes flat?
A: 150. The smoothest, fastest and most fuss-free boarding of a plane I have ever seen. UK travellers, take note.”He finally reached Citi Berlin at 11.30pm. “A nearby supermarket open until midnight was a lifesaver.”Thankfully there was less travelling on Tuesday – Paddy spent the whole day in Berlin. He visited Krausenstrasse Apartment Hotel, Henriette Apartments, Grosser Kurfurst Apartments and Potsdamer Apartments. Then he headed to the Brandenburg Gate to take the usual SilverDoor photo.
“Anyone who needs a refresher course in 20th century history should visit Berlin,” he explained. “Next to the esplanade in front of the Brandenburg Gate sits the British embassy and on the other side of that is the Field of Stelae: 2711 concrete blocks arranged over undulating ground, built as a memorial to the Holocaust. From the outside these look like a level set of blocks which are each around 4 feet high, but walk among them and the ground quickly falls away to reveal hidden depths invisible from outside the field, with some blocks reaching up to 15 feet in height. Also invisible from the outside are the people walking among the blocks – I bumped into a few here and there.”
The last stop that day was Kurfurstendamm Apartments, where he spent the night in a one bedroom apartment. On Wednesday, he visited Koenigin Luise Apartments, then another new operator, then Louisas Apartments, before catching the high-speed train to Hannover in search of further apartment hotels. After finding a couple of potential property partners, he caught another high-speed train to Hamburg, where he spent the night at Beuer Apartments – after relaxing in the sauna for a while upon arrival.On Thursday Paddy looked around Beuer Apartments and then visited Oberhouse Apartments, as well as finding three more new operators. After three days of winter sunshine, the weather suddenly turned cold and wet at this point – fortunately, it was easy to get around: “As in Berlin and Hannover, the metro system in Hamburg is delightfully gateless, efficient, cheap and easy to negotiate. You buy your ticket for the day and keep it in your pocket – no painful barriers to negotiate with your luggage.”
Later that day, he headed back to the airport for a 6pm flight back to London, to negotiate the British capital’s slightly less efficient public transport system.