Germany

Germany

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  • Day274

    Another day, another day-trip! Our new "hub and spoke" model of travelling means that we'll be doing quite a few of these over the next couple of months. Makes way more sense this way since we don't have a car. So off we went again, on the train out of Hamburg headed south-west towards the city of Bremen.

    Bremen is another of the northern German "Hanseatic League" cities that was very important for trading during the middle ages and Renaissance. Many of the buildings in town date from this era. But the WHS here is actually quite small - it's just the town hall, in constant use and largely unchanged since the 13th century, and a Roland statue out the front which I'll explain later.

    Arrived at the station, walked the 10 minutes down to the main square and checked out the town hall. It's not super large, but has a very impressive facade with lots of statues, coats of arms and other decorations. There's also a cute statue of the "Bremen Town Musicians", from a Brothers Grimm fairy tale about four animals escaping death at the hands of their masters and running away to become court musicians in Bremen. Weird.

    The interior of the town hall is apparently super impressive, and they offer day trips - but it was closed today! It still gets booked for functions and official business etc, and there was only one day in November the tours were available - and it wasn't today! Damn.

    Finished up our filming of the town hall and also did a piece about the Roland. This is a large statue just in front of the town hall, of a paladin named Roland - a knight in the service of Charlemagne. He was a very popular figure in the middle ages and the medieval periods, and in northern Germany is seen as a defender of the independence of city-states and so on. This statue is quite deliberately placed facing the main cathedral in town, defending the council administration against religious encroachment. This particular statue was built of stone, and had apparently stood since 1404. Pretty cool!

    Since we couldn't tour the town hall, we made up for it by having lunch in the wine cellar restaurant underneath the building! They were doing lunch specials which made it nicely affordable - only about 8 euros per main which is good value.

    After lunch we wandered around the old town as there was quite a bit to see! A cool little area called Böttcherstraße, with a bunch of really interesting art noveaux shop-fronts. Plus they had a glockenspiel playing melodies every hour which was quite nice! Another area known as the Schnoor which had a whole lot of twisting alley-ways and very old small buildings. Nice to get lost in!

    There was still other stuff to see, but by mid-afternoon we decided to head back to Hamburg on the train. Only a 40 minute ride, and we then settled in for the long, dark evening.
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  • Day273

    Out of Hamburg today, exploring other nearby cities. First up on our list was the city of Lübeck, a World Heritage site of course! Caught the train north-east out of town for about an hour, and arrived in the centre of Lübeck. This city was historically very important to the Hanseatic League, a trading league from the middle ages and early Renaissance that was very important to the Baltic and North Seas.

    We walked over into the centre of town and set to exploring. First impressive stop was the heavily fortified gate, complete with a serious lean! Apparently the original city gate was much larger, this still-impressive remainder is just the inner-most of three gates.

    Nearby were some old warehouses, where goods (mostly salt) were stored before being shipped in or out. The buildings are all red brick and done in a Gothic style which looks very characteristic - reminiscent of Bruges.

    Crossing the river into the old town, we headed next for the town hall which looked great, but sadly was difficult to film as they were setting up for the Christmas markets in the square fronting it. Managed to do a bit to camera but it's not going to be a classic highlight I don't think!

    Checked out the last few sights here, including an enormous brick Gothic cathedral - the largest in the world - and a very early hospital as well, dating from the 13th century. Grabbed a quick lunch of currywurst (sausage with curry sauce and fries), then spent another hour or so just looking around. Nice little city!

    Back to the station by early afternoon where we got the train back to Hamburg, and home by around 3pm. Settled in for the evening, only venturing out later to grab kebabs for dinner!
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  • Day275

    Final day-trip out of Hamburg today, and it was definitely the longest too. We were heading to the town of Wismar, another of the important Hanseatic League cities along Germany's northern coast. This one was to the north-east, not really much further than Lubeck, but since it's a much small city the transport connections were slower and more difficult.

    We left Hamburg around 9:30am on a train heading north-east, for about 90 minutes. Changed at a little place called Schwerin for the train north to Wismar, finally arriving at midday. Since we had to get back to Hamburg at some point, and it was going to take another 2.5 hours to get back, we didn't want to spend all that much time out here. Decided we'd get the 3:15pm train back, so that gave us just over three hours to see the city.

    Walked down to the main square which was quite nice but definitely not the greatest main square we've seen. Probably not in the top 10! But the main attractions here are the huge brick Gothic cathedrals. There are three of them in town - one was largely untouched by the war, another survived until about three weeks before the ceasefire when it was hit by Allied bombs and rebuilt in the 1990s, and a third which was heavily damaged and eventually bulldozed by the Communist government in the 1960s, though the enormous clock tower still remains.

    Was fascinating to look around the three churches and see the differences in approach and size. They're a real testament to how important the city was back in the day as well - not many cities could boast of three enormous brick cathedrals! With daylight waning, we had a look around the harbourfront where the "Schwedenkopfe" are located - literally Swedish heads. Carved wooden heads of Swedish people that guarded the harbour entrances, remembering that this area was part of Sweden for about 200 years and it's actually not very far away - just across the Baltic!

    Made a hurried trot back to the station but made it in plenty of time, where we boarded the 45 minute train back to Schwerin, then waited about 30 minutes for the connecting train back to Hamburg. Another 2.5 hour journey in total, but it was worth it! And I got to listen to a whole bunch of podcasts! Neither of us felt inclined to go back out for dinner (even though the weather had been sunny today, first time in about two weeks), so we just grabbed a feed at the station. I had Burger King and Shandos had some fried rice.
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  • Day60

    Vlotte reis naar het vliegveld. Wel een paar dikke files bij Duisburg en voor Düsseldorf gehad, echter ruim op tijd. We waren er 8 uur.
    Veiligheid controles zijn extreem. We zijn wel 6 keer gecontroleerd. Natuurlijk werd Ton op verdovende middelen gecontroleerd!
    Bleef in de gate wel erg rustig. Waren de gates gewijzigd met weer extra controles. Die 4 uur heb je wel nodig. Je stapt nu wel met een veilig gevoel naar binnen.
    Vliegtuig is half vol, is wel lekker. Vertrek is nu vertraagd vanwege een storing in de verkeersleiding.
    Onbekend hoe lang dit gaat duren.
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  • Day1

    Nachdem die letzte Woche extrem stressig war und am letzten Samstag unsere Reise auf der Kippe stand, hab’s am Freitag dann grünes Licht. Gester stand dann packen auf dem Programm. Heute morgen wachte Günter mit Zahnschmerzen auf und musste zum Zahnarzt. Eine Wurzelbehandlung stand an😟. Gegen 14:00 Gans dann vom Doc Flug-Freigabe👍Jetzt sitzen wir im Flughafen und sind noch nicht wirklich im Urlaubsmodus. Aber ein Prosecco hilft uns ein Wenig😉Read more

  • Day42

    Auf dem Rückweg von einer Ausfahrt mit unserem Feuerwehrauto haben wir spontan noch einen Abstecher zu der Zimmerei Höfle in Thaining gemacht, bei der der Matthias arbeitet. Seine Chefin hat uns bei dem überfallartigen Besuch 10 Minuten Zeit eingeräumt, um unser Anliegen vorzutragen. Nach 15 Minuten hatten wir die Zusage für das Material zum Ausbau unseres Feuerwehrfahrzeuges und eine Spende für die von uns ausgesuchten wohltätigen Organisationen.

    Wir freuen uns, ein Unternehmen das sowohl für Handwerkstradition als auch für innovativen Holzbau steht, als Unterstützer für unser Projekt gewinnen zu können.
    Jetzt betrachten wir außerdem ansprechende Holzbauwerke in unserer Nähe, die wir regelmäßig aufsuchen, mit einem ganz neuen Blick. Mehr zu dem Unternehmen erfahrt ihr auf auf unserer Hompage unter http://www.ammerseedrivers.de/partner/.

    Dank der Unterstützung der Zimmerei Höfle kann jetzt der Ausbau unseres Feuerwehrfahrzeuges zu einem „Wohnlich“-Mobil für unsere 16 tägige Rundreise um die Ostsee beginnen.
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  • Day1

    Gestern hieß es dann endlich packen... Was nicht alles in so einen Rucksack reinpasst.
    Heute um 11 sind wir dann endlich zum Flughafen gefahren. Nach der Gepäck-Abgabe schnell noch ein Weißbier.
    Dann aber ab ins Flugzeug, nächster Stopp Amsterdam...

  • Day220

    Zu nächst mal eines vorweg, dies ist mein letzter Beitrag auf „Findpenguins“. Zukünftig schreibe ich nur noch auf meiner Website www.soulgliding.asia
    Auch dort könnt ihr euch mit eurer Mailadresse registrieren und bekommt dann jedes mal eine kurze Info wenn es etwas neues gibt.

    Und so geht’s weiter:
    Am 11. Dezember 2017 sitze ich wider im Flieger nach Indonesien. Diesmal habe ich neben meinem Gleitschirm auch mein Mountainbike im Gepäck. Vorerst werde ich mich in der Umgebung von Banyuwangi Ost-Java nieder lassen. In den ersten Wochen möchte ich mir einen älteren großen Jeep zulegen und diesen zum Camper ausbauen lassen. Ähnlich wie auf dem Bild. Da viele Fluggebiete und schöne Orte meist fern ab von den Touristenrouten liegen, ist es oft schwer Übernachtungsmöglichkeiten in der Nähe zu finden. Mit dem Camper bin ich absolut flexibel und kann direkt an den Topspots übernachten. Da es in Indonesien keine Camper oder Wohnmobile gibt, gibt es auch keine Verbote oder Regeln. Ob direkt am Strand, an einer Steilküste oder am Rande eines Vulkans, alles ist möglich und erlaubt. Ein weiterer Vorteil ist, das Reisen ist nicht so anstrengend wie mit dem Roller und ich habe mein gesamtes Gepäck und auch mein Mountainbike immer dabei. Spätestens Ende März möchte ich auf die erste große Tour gehen. Schau ma mal ob das alles so klappt. Es wird auf jeden Fall sehr spannend.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

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