This is a post which will be of no interest to most readers; it affects only those who may happen to be in Berlin, and may happen to be looking for a gym. I'm sorry to bore everyone else, but I feel I must warn anyone who is contemplating a membership with the Apollo Sports Club in Haupstraße, who are proving very bad to deal with.
I've dealt with Apollo Sports club for several years, and in the past have found them exceptionally helpful, friendly, and accommodating. Back in 2009 I had to go to the States at short notice to take care of my mother; I asked Apollo if I could defer the remaining months of my membership until my return and they very kindly agreed. If anyone had asked me I would have recommended them without hesitation.
Now, I would certainly not have assumed I could do this any time I chose. My last membership had lapsed when I went to the States in 2012. When I went back to Berlin in February I expected to be there only a few months before spending some months in Vermont, I didn't know how many. I did NOT think I could take out a long-term membership and take sabbaticals any time I liked. The sensible plan seemed to be to take out a membership for a few months and then extend month by month if necessary.
I went in to sort this out, and everybody was just as friendly and welcoming and apparently anxious to help as they had been in the past. But there was something I hadn't allowed for.
Apollo has made very extensive upgrades to its equipment. This has no doubt cost them a lot of money, and has made them anxious to recoup the investment.