The first post after the big birthday bash of this digital lifestyle-E-paper is all about the last week I spent with Gareth and Victoria traveling through the west, north and middle of my beloved Heimat: Germany.
It all started in the Capital Berlin where we met Ben and Alexis and went to the fancy watergate club via guestlist of Jay Haze, an old friend of Bens, for free and without waiting in the long queue. So that was pretty cool for starters.
Next day lovely hangover-snack and typical berlin-food: Currywurst with fries. Unfortunately the famous Konoppke-Currywurst-Place was closed. Well - next time then I guess.
Then we went on the AUTOBAHN to Hamburg to visit Hannah. On the following days we discovered the amazing life on the Raststätte with self-cleaning-toilets, Kinder-Choclate and of course belegte Brötchen, Germanys most favourite Fast-Food.
The winter-tires were still on, so unfortunately we couldn't go above 180 km/h (111,85 m/h)
Arrival in Hamburg and of course straight to the Reeperbahn and to "Zur Ritze". Well, actually we didn't go in, but I just love the entrance. Then a couple of Astra Beers on the go and a quick Hello to the living mannequins at Hermanstreet.
The next morning we started a huge City Tour with Hannah, being a brilliant guide and host - thanks for that again - on the Top of the Michel, through old and tradional alleyways and around the harbour, of course with a Fischbrötchen on the way. because you're nobody in Hamburg if you're not always carrying a Fischbrötchen around with you.
After a delicious and exciting dinner at the Mazza (if you - dear reader should go to Hamburg once, check it out, a 3 hour long menu with tons of delicious oriental food) we started enjoying Schnapps the traditional German way.
Cologne: The city of one-way-streets, small beers and ...
...the third highest monument (first: Washington Monument, second: the Eiffel Tower) in the world, and one of the best-known architectual monuments in Germany and described by UNESCO as an "exceptional work of human creative genius".
The official name: hohe Domkirche St. Peter und Maria or just the Kölner Dom.
We actually just went to cologne to see this gothic church, that constuction began in 1248 and took until 1880 to complete. (Thanks Wiki)
On the way up we digested succesfully the delicious Schnitzels from the evening before and the meat-salad we had for breakfast. Even the weather-people were on our side and gave us sunshine when we came up the 509 steps to the top of the tower.
So thank you very much for this stunning experience Cologne, we would have loved to see more of you, especially the columba- and the chocolate museum. And of course thanks'a'lots to Tina for letting us sleep at your place for that night.
And here the famous-TAJ-Quiz: Can you tell who designed the new window (picture below) in the Kölner Dom? If So, just write an comment and you will recieve a lovely present from somewhere in Germany.
We couldn't stay longer on the river Rhein, because Max had his diploma presentation that afternoon so we rushed away to Weimar and got totally lost on the way out of cologne. Even going by constantly 160 km/h didn't help to get there in time, so unfortunately we missed the show. But not the cheering 1.0 with distinction face of Max looking totally relieved and happy about the end of this alomost one year long struggle.
So a big horray and congratulations to Max and Daniel, Bleich and Blasser, for that awesome movie they produced. As soon as their website is online - you dear reader - will know first.
To get the ultimate Weimar experience it was necessary to eat some of the finest thuringian food at the restaurant "Zum Scharfen Eck" (of course we had Klöße), to drink a Latte at the M18 Cafe with the anti-hangover-shades on and a trip to Buchenwald, to get an idea about Germanys history.
Then we took off to Leipzig, met the parents for an amazing in-door-BBQ and spent the next day on the Bikes, exploring the City that is not only famous for its fair trade, Bach and his Thomaner-Choir and the starting point of the peaceful revolution in 1989.
There is also the Monument of the Battle of the Nations (Völkerschlachtdenkmal), the largest monument in Europe for the Battle of the Nations, obviously, in 1813:
Pretty weird in there...but very impressive at the same time.
And the picture you can't leave out once you're there.
The next morning the two lovely Kiwis went back to Berlin to catch their flight and unfortunately they couldn't join the big 10 years Klub 7 Party in Halle/Saale that was totally amazing. So Congratulations to the Seven-Crew and all the best for the next at least 77 years.
Street art and graffiti is a big thing in Halle, here a piece by Thief:
To finish the big Deutschland-Tournee I fulfilled an old dream of mine and went to Weimar.
On the Bike. About 100 kilometers through 3 states, nice villages, fields and along the river Saale and Ilm. Luckily the wind was blowing from behind and I was cycling on the first real sunny spring day after an awefuly cold march and april.
A canola-field for bio-fuel with wind generators. The greener the better.
Shorts around the pale legs and tony around the sweaty neck. Today I even feel a bit sunburned. Awesome!
I would have loved to show Vic and Gareth those old castles along the river Saale, some of them are older then all the readers of this blog togehter. Here we have the Schön Burg in Schönburg, close to Leislingen, where most of the sparkling water for middle-Germany is coming from. It was built around 1130...
The Naumburger Dom is even older, from 1044 or something and only one of many amazing buildings in and around Naumburg. So, dear reader, if you haven't been there and wanna breathe some old-school-air, go to Naumburg and enjoy.
For me - I also enjoyed the lovely fresh spring air and the beautyful countryside on the ride pretty much, even though the last meters, after almost 8 hours on the bike with quite a heavy backpack were a pain. Today my whole body hurts with every movement, but it was totally worth it.
So thanks again to everyone from north, east, west and middle Germany for having us and for showing us around, Thanks to Vic and Gareth - it was an amazing time with teh two of you and I can't wait to fulfill the trip maybe next year with travelling through south-Germany, cause there is still so much to see and eat...
Oh, and before I forget - Friday night (the 25th of April) will the last big Party in our appartment in Weimar (in my decade) take place.
So - dear reader - feel free to pop in and please bring some booze or whatever.