It’s not just a classic 1935 noir thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock, or a perennial community theatre stage play – it’s how many interior stairs we climb to reach the heavy wooden entry door to our Berlin apartment, in addition to 10 exterior metal stairs from the courtyard.
Elevators in buildings of this vintage (1873) are rare, and we knew when we booked our accommodation that we’d need to haul suitcases (and groceries!) up 2-1/2 flights of stairs, which made travelling with carry-on size cases even more important.
We’re on the “second floor”, which in Europe is what we in North America would consider the 3rd floor. Here the designations are: ground floor, 1st floor, 2nd floor, etc. Additionally, our building has a level that is only half below street level, in which a lovely Italian restaurant is located, so even our “ground floor” is slightly elevated. All of that, in combination with very tall ceilings, means 49 stairs total to get us to and from “home” each time we go out.
Once inside, the apartment itself is tiny by North American standards: just an all-purpose area, bedroom, and bathroom. The main area incorporates living, dining, and food prep. There is no TV in the living room; Germans prefer to visit over coffee and drinks and just talk!
The bathroom contains European style laundry facilities (more about that after I’ve read the manual!), and the bedroom is just big enough for a European double bed, nightstand, free-standing closet and a chest of drawers on which the television sits.
Our windows are new, but, in keeping with a 150-year old building, were required to be of the original style. We’ve seen these before, in the old hotel in which we stayed in Munich in 2016.
It’s a cozy place, in an excellent neighbourhood … and provides its own exercise facility by way of those 39 steps!