Deals of the Week: Bargain sleeper berths, Cologne, Footprint Berlin

A TRAIN

You will not be able to bag a bargain sleeper berth on ScotRail before Easter Monday, but after that overnight trains between England and Scotland will once again become available at absurdly low fares. The train operator is selling off surplus capacity between London and Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Fort William, Glasgow and Inverness for one-way fares starting at £19, and rising in £10 increments to £49 – so long as you buy online at www.scotrail.co.uk.

You can even get a bargain up to noon on the day of travel, but the chances of a cheap sleep are highest for midweek journeys booked well in advance – start looking around five weeks out.

A PLANE

Change at Cologne for the East and South. Two German low-cost airlines are based at Cologne-Bonn airport, with UK links: Germanwings (020-8321 7255, www.germanwings.com) is offering flights from Stansted and Edinburgh, while Hapag-Lloyd Express (0870 6060519, www.hlx.com) flies from Luton and Manchester. You can mix and match flights on either airline to connect at Cologne for places currently off the map for British-based no-frills airlines. Germanwings flies to Budapest, Thessaloniki, Istanbul and Izmir, while Hapag-Lloyd Express serves Olbia in Sardinia and Valencia in Spain.

A BOOK

"In Britain, it is only mass murderers who bring about street name changes. In Berlin, successive political regimes have felt the immediate need to stamp their authority by changing a large number of street names." In their new Footprint Berlin (£7.99), Neil Taylor and Nina Hamilton help the befuddled visitor by outlining the 21st-century policy for naming streets in the German capital: "Communists who died before East Germany was founded could remain honoured. Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, murdered in 1919, and Ernst Thälmann therefore still have their street, their square and their park. Anyone with a subsequent career was banished into oblivion, whether they were presidents or border guards."

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