Saturday, May 30, 2015

Eurotrip - Osnabruk, Bremen, Hamburg - May 14-17

The Adventure

We had hit a wall. We were both travel weary at this point and we looked at out calendar and say in our final 6 days we were going to go to 5 cities. Morale started dipping.

We arrived back in Osnabruk and had a very relaxed day. It was needed. We sat around, read a little, might have napped. This was in preparation for going to a German barbecue for one of Axel's friend's birthdays.

Most the people we drank with our first night in Germany were there. It surprisingly was exactly like American's BBQs. I was sort of expecting something different since the British do this BBQ light version. But sure enough, there was a 22 inch charcoal grill with pork steaks and sausages on there. We sat around the fire drinking beers, eating meat on bread. Was an all around great time.

The next day we traveled to Bremen for dinner and to meet Axel's best friend. We didn't get to see much of the town, but it had an awesome river running through the middle of it and is the headquarters for Beck's Beer.

From Bremen, we went to Hamburg, which most of the German's agreed is the second coolest city under Berlin.

It's a harbor town. So of course it was rainy and sort of cold. Despite the weather, we took a 3 hour bike tour of the entire city. It was incredible. Something from a movie. Something I didn't think existed.

Hundreds of feet tall cranes lifted shipping containers onto huge ocean worthy ships. Cruise ships, bigger than anything I've ever seen docked to reload supplies. And Hamburg is also the proud city of the second largest red light district under Amsterdam, called the Reeperbahn.

That's right, on our bike tour I soon found myself staring at a walled off street. This is when the tour guide told us that this is where you can get legal prostitues, and since I've never walked the street, I now had to do it because it's tradition.

So, lead by the tour guide, my buddy, and two other German men, I walked through the gates of the world famous Herbertstra├če. Now the reason I went through and Sallie did not is because posted on the gate of this place is a sign that says, "No juveniles under 18 and no women." In fact, every German had a story of some drunk woman wandering down the street and getting beat up by the prostitutes.

So I enter the gate and am greeted by what looks like the French Quarter in New Orleans. The street smells of booze, sweat, sex, cigarettes, and vomit. On either side of the street are shop windows. And these shop windows have sort of cubicals in them where the prositutes sit and show off their goods. If interested, you walk up to the window, knock, negotiate what depraved act you want to commit, and then if a deal is struck, you get invited in.

Luckily for me, it was 10 am, there was only 2 prostitutes, and there was a guy distracting them already. It was an uncomfortable place to say the least.

After the tour took us throught the shopping district, we dropped Axel's car off at his friends house and we took the train back downtown in order to watch the Hamburg football match and have dinner with Axel's friends. Unfortunately, Sallie started feeling a bit sick after spending so much time in the cold and in cigarette smoke. We called the night, hoping to get decent sleep before heading to London the next day.

Leaving Hamburg to go to London, and finally Dublin part 2. 

Hamburg airport really didn't stick out to me at all. I have trouble remembering much, other than the main area is not set up well. A tired Dan and sick Sal wandered back and forth with our luggage looking for the British Airways ticket counter. We found it, we through security, and got on the place. Easy peasy.