SF to Frankfurt to Berlin

I used to blog regularly when I was on the road. Since I have a few days, I figured I might as well start back with that habit. I’m in Europe a few days early for the Source Conference in Split, Croatia. I had a connection in Frankfurt so I’m taking the opportunity to break my travel and spend a few days in Germany as I’ve never been.

I’m currently writing from an ICE train in Germany, heading from Frankfurt to Berlin. The train is pulling in to make a stop at Kassel-Wilhemshohe. I had a rather uneventful flight from San Francisco on United to Frankfurt and then took an S-Bahn train from the airport to Frankfurt hbf. The station isn’t bad but it seemed quite empty as did all the streets around the area.

I was in the market for a SIM card for my Blackberry so I stepped outside the station while waiting for my Berlin train and found a hotel. I walked in and asked them where I could find one and they said I’d have issues today as it’s the 1st of May and a Sunday which means that nearly all stores would be closed. I figure that explains why everything outside the station in Frankfurt were closed.

At their suggestion I went to the internet cafe in the basement for the station and was able to get a Vodafone SIM card. I can get voice and text on it, plus I can get internet access via my browser, but it refused to connect to the Blackberry network so I can’t get any of my email, calendar, contacts, nor do any third party apps work (like Facebook or Gmail or Twitter). This whole carrier dependent BIS thing is lame. If I had an iPhone I could just pop in a working data SIM and it would work. I’ll try the SIM later on my iPad and see what happens.

Thus far I haven’t been particularly impressed with the infrastructure in Germany (and it’s a thing I was expecting to be impressed by). On this train ride, my cell keeps loosing signal, it was 10 minutes late, and there’s no wifi. I did have a fantastic pretzel at the Frankfurt hbf, so I guess that’s a huge plus. Let’s see what Berlin holds next.