Germany in not a country – it’s a place of a religious cult for speed and tidyness.
Being German is not a nationality – it’s a state of mind.
The moment you drive across the border everything changes. You won’t believe how much difference a 10 kilometres drive from Holland to Germany makes. Gone are the cows, the water ways and the wind mills. You’re now entering the world of engineering, old trusted autobahns and cars… fast cars.
All you see from now on are endless stretches of old and fast roads. There is something to be said about the old Autobahn: it’s half-reclaimed by nature, small trees grow through hard shoulders and road barriers, the road isn’t particularly smooth (you will remember those silky Dutch high ways) but man do Germans know how to put roads to a good use.
Where you’d normally expect to see a 50 miles an hour speed limit, the Germans are doing 110kph, everywhere else the sign “end of road regulations” means what it’s intended to mean – END OF REGULATIONS. This is freedom, the freedom in its first and last instance. At least as far as driving goes.
Many people think that the cool thing about Autobahns is that you can go fast… it’s not exactly true. The cool thing about autobahns is that you don’t need to think how fast you’re going. And this changes the whole perception of driving. You are no longer checkeing your speed all the time so you can focus on the pleasure of driving the vehicle, the joy of controlling the beast. Something you will NEVER experience where doing excessive speeds can deprive you of driving what so ever.
And then you realise – this is what makes you as a man. I can enjoy moving in space in excess of 200 kilometers an hour… this is how I challenge myself, for myself! And from what I’ve later learned in Hamburg, women enjoy this too!
This is what Autobahns are about – they will fuse you with the car you own and the country they call Das Vaterland.
Bremen was my first stop and what a day it was to see it. There was a football game happening between Bremen and Frankfurt, the whole town was wearing green and everyone looked happily intoxicated.
There is a massive difference between a drunk German and a drunk English person especially in girls… the Germans don’t have this “no alcohol for under 18s” thing and beer drinking by the youth is mostly tolerated so by the time they grow up there is no need to get shit-faced “because you finally can” so drunk Germans are mainly nice people… just happier and louder than normally but you will rarely see someone being sick.
Bremen greeted me with amazing people I met there. I roamed the empty streets while the rest of the city were busy waiting for 75 minutes for the first (and the last) goal of the game between Bremen and Frankfurt. In the cafe a guy has spoken to me. We chatted and started watching the game together, joined by another bloke at the restaurant. My Bremen adventure has began here.
So much needs to be said about Germans’ ability to communicate. They have this rare gift of just having the balls to talk to random strangers. Yes, if they don’t like you then you’ll find that out pretty quickly but if they do, then you know you made friends.
And so I ended up having to come back to Bremen after a few days in Hamburg… for a Birthday party:)
I decided to see a friend in Hamburg and stayed there for a few days, it’s a beautiful place to be. They have a massive wide section of the river which is bound in the North and the South by the wealthier neighbourhoods of the city.
Hamburg is a chilled city, it really feels a lot smaller than it is. People are way more relaxed than they would otherwise be in a place of this size.
In Britain, if you can see something which isn’t public space and unless it’s a road or Marsh… or maybe a city park then you aren’t allowed there. Can you see those beautiful boats? It’s a sailing club, members only – you’re not allowed. See that garden? It’s a communal garden, locals only – you are not allowed. This pretty much sums my Britain up.
In Hamburg you can walk to the water! You CAN actually come over and touch the lake’s surface! In Britain there’d be a fence surrounding the entire thing!
You may wanna walk down a pier and have a look at the beautiful boats, you can be naughty and touch the wooden yachts which I must say is an experience, so much craftsmanship in those things. So yes, definitely walk around the Alster lake and check those things out.
You will also go past houses – very expensive and large pieces of German architecture. I would not call them beautiful but something tells me they don’t have problems with leaking Victorian roofs or Georgian plumbing.
Lake Alster is THE place to chill out in Hamburg, just go to one if the peers, get a Curry Wurst and enjoy the view!
So I had to say a Good-bye to the beautiful eyes and faces of the city of Hamburg but I knew I would be back, after the horrible Hannover and the busy Frankfurt I would be back.
There are states in mid-US where… you just don’t go to. Seeing Hannover made me think of that.
But there were two things I liked there’s one is the red line and if you follow that you will be taken across all important buildings and monument in the city centre.
I don’t know why more towns don’t do it. This is ingenious!
The other is the tradition at an ice cream ship in front of the main train station – the last in the queue holds this sign:
Again, why would not more street food stalls do it is beyond me!