30.07.2020 – 16.08.2020 Quarantine Kommandanten in Berlin.
Towards the end of July H volunteered to baby-sit 50 Filipinos in transit to various cruise ships. They had been quarantined in the Berlin Radisson Blu hotel for a couple of weeks awaiting negative Covid-19 tests. The hotel famously houses the world’s largest circular fish tank, the DomAquaree, with 25 metres of tropical fish and seawater towering over the lobby.
Duties were light. Supervising visiting doctors, security guards and shopping for bottled water, beers and chips and racing across the city to collect testing kits but mostly we were basking in our free upgrade to a big, and normally enormously expensive suite with kitchen, meeting room, sitting room, and bedroom. From the bathroom whirlpool bath there were views across the River Spree to the Berlin Cathedral and from other windows there were views of the TV Tower, the Red Townhall and the newly rebuilt City Palace.
We discovered e-scooters to move around Berlin. Not too cutting-edge these days but a new concept for us country mice.
After a few weeks, the operation wound down when the remaining last two crewmen with suspect tests were finally shipped off to Hamburg.
Continued below the photos.
17.08-23.08.2020 Drive to Austria
We hit the road straight away for yet another drive down to Italy but this time with no bike and tent. This run was to find a replacement for our aging sailing yacht currently rotting in Greece. The strategy being to replace it with an equally aged motor yacht more suitable for the aged and rotting owners. The first stop was in Salzburg for a late dinner and an overnight stay with friends Silvia and Hermann.
18.08.2020 Drive to Italy
Through the Tauern Tunnel to Italy. Overnight was in a hotel in a strange star-shaped Venetian fortress town called Palmanova. It was a lucky find but not our first choice as we were heading to Veneto coast, but this being August, the hotel prices were beyond ridiculous anywhere near the sea.
19.08.2020 Yacht Shopping on the Veneto
The next day we tracked down some yacht-brokers around the marina in Aprilia Maritima and checked out a few old boats and then in the evening went on to Venice, parked up and took a vaporetto down the Grand Canal to a hotel in the Salute area.
20.08.2020 Art Shopping in Venice
The following day we walked over the Academia bridge to the St Mark’s area to an art gallery where we were trying to find out a price for a big bronze, semi-pornographic sculpture that our friend Mayk was interested in buying. At a 340,000 euros it was not even close to expectation, but it was fun for a while negotiating them down. We then drove across-country through the Apennine mountains to Genoa.
21.08.2020 Yacht Shopping on the Ligurian Riviera
In the morning we drove down the coast to the port of Lavagna to attempt to check out some more old boats, but in the time between arranging visits and arriving many brokers had gone out of business and their offices closed. One broker, that was still open, didn’t realize that we were talking in thousands and thought we were talking in hundreds of thousands and took us to see one boat that we liked a lot but it was easily 10 times more than we could afford. Just pretending to have lots of money is more fun than I would have thought. It was time to go home and we drove north to Parma to stock up on the local prosciutto and formaggi and then on to an alpine hotel near Bolzano for the night.
22.08.2020 An Alpine Drive
The next day we drove through the very spectacular Dolomites mountains to Cortina d’Ampezzo and on again to Salzburg for dinner and an overnight again with Silvia and Hermann.
23.08.2020 Drive to Berlin
In the morning we drove to Berlin and home. By the time we got home, the car was making a fuss about being serviced. We had only had it serviced a month or so ago, but we have all covered some distance recently.