Since we were unwilling to wait in line for the TI and DB offices the previous day, we walked to the HBF early in order to get those items taken care of. The Tourist Info office opens at 8; there was already a line of people waiting to get assistance. We wanted to know two things: where to validate our passes and where to catch the HOHO bus. We were told we didn’t need to validate the pass; the dates were listed on them. The passes gave us unlimited use of public transportation and discounted admission to various tours and museums. There were two HOHO companies to choose from. We were told that one had a longer route than the other so chose to ride the BEX tour bus. It turns out that this was affiliated with Gray Line. We could catch the bus at the train station or we could catch it at any of 18 stops around town. Rather than hang out at the bus station, we took a train in to Alexanderplatz and walked around the area until the bus picked us up at 10 am.
It was already very hot, so Clayton stayed on the lower level. I really wanted to get some pictures of some of the famous sites we would be passing, so went upstairs. I figured I could tough it out until we passed the Brandenburg Gate. From there, I would sit in air conditioned comfort.
I was able to get a few decent pictures but as usual on a HOHO, it was a challenge. Often, you are either too close or too far away or traveling too quickly to get a decent shot.
I headed downstairs to join my husband and to my dismay, there was no air conditioning on the lower level. By the time we had completed the loop, we were cooked. The commentary was good but if City Sightseeing (the other company) offers ac, I would choose them over BEX/Gray Line. I do recommend taking a HOHO for this city. It is very spread out and there is so much to see that it is money well spent.