A Travellerspoint blog

Germany

Raging heat

sunny 33 °C

Today I spent the morning at primarkt. Woohoo! Finally got to go shopping. And I'm not sure, but since it's in Germany it might be cheaper than in London? At any rate, I overshot my budget so no more shopping for a while for me. And I'm gonna have to scrimp for the next few days already. No moneyyyy.

Dropped off my shopping at the hostel and then went off to darmstadt for the afternoon! Ended up paying for a tageskarte (day ticket) which was expensive but turned out to be really useful, because it was hot and I got to take the trams and buses around. Lifesaver. Otherwise I really would have walked most of it and then ended up with heatstroke. I'm not whining here, it's that bad. But because when you travel you pretty much spend most of the day walking in the sun. So yeah.

First I took a bus up north to see the waldspiral, it's a residential area with an interesting architecture? Kind of like a successful Parc Guel but not quite so... Gaudi hahaha. Then I attempted to get a bus that would bring me South east, but I got a bit lost in a school compound so I asked someone to help. And somehow his sense of direction was a bit off and he ended leading me in the opposite direction, so I was pretty much back at the waldspiral lol. And he was very apologetic about it, rather annoyed at himself too, but okay la I had a nice conversation.

Then at the bus stop I got some help from 2 old people and one young black dude on how to get to Mathildenhohe. They were so nice about it!

Finally got there, had no idea what I should be looking for, but went into a museumish place with 'Mathildenhohe' on it, decided not to pay for entry fee, and used the toilet (it was so much cooler there than anywhere else, what relief), then asked the receptionist about where to walk. She showed me and then I roughly set out to see the houses.

Mathildenhohe, from what I gathered, is an art nouveau area that managed to survive ww2 bombing. I just managed to see some cool architecture, that was nice?

Then bus back to the Markt Platz to meet E. I went into a grocery store and bought carrot juice. Then sat on a bench inside the store for close to 45min because I was early haha. And also for the blessed air con!!!

I waited for the longest time. Her seminar supposedly ended at 6, we were to meet at 7, but she didn't reply til 8. I thought she'd stood me up lol. But apparently archi lecturers are crazy and are pretty terrible sometimes, and it only ended at 9. She rushed over and we met at 930, it was really cool seeing her again!

Went for a beer at a local Biergarten. Was very cool cos so far I've only been to one Biergarten and that was in München but like, before dinner time haha. We had Apfelwein because I asked for a local bier, and it was like only slightly gassy cider. Which is why I managed to drink 400ml no problem. But I really think I'm a lightweight by the way. So good conversation, also when her friend T arrived. That was a lot of fun!

Left to get my 1130 train back to Frankfurt. Then mad rush to pack. I didn't even shower that night which was really gross because I was so madly sticky. But I didn't care because it was so very late already and it wasn't my own bed anyway. But it really took me a while to fall asleep.

Posted by seaskimmer 15:48 Archived in Germany Tagged shopping germany frankfurt darmstadt Comments (0)

Heat wave

sunny 33 °C

Hello from dresden! (I am so tired now you wouldn't believe)

(and does anyone get the reference in the title or am I the only one who watches/d that?)

On Saturday I hot footed it out of my politics of science seminar, got a little flak from the coordinator from it but oh well haha. Caught bus to dresden, there was a one hour stopover in Berlin. Hello Berlin for the second time, I'll see you once more, and just as briefly.

Got to the hbf at 11, tried to catch a s Bahn 3 to the neustadt, or where my hostel is. The clock thingy said 0.01 and I stressed out cos I thought the timer was stuck at 'coming in one minute' and basically that the train was extremely late. But turns out it just meant 12.01 haha drat those 24h clocks. So I got to my hostel, it's really near the station, I just changed and went to sleep. Okay, not really, I made a lot of noise and annoyed a lot of people in the process, I'm sorry, I really tried!

Woke up a little later since I was tired and I'd gotten back so late, and finally got on my way to the sächsische Schweiz! Aka saxon Switzerland aka dresdens national park aka birthplace of free climbing.

From the outset it promised to be a hot day. Weather forecast said 29 degrees. I wore a tank and my favourite pair of black shorts (let me complain about how I've put on so much weight. I used to be able to run around in these shorts, and even climb, after hiking them up a bit. Now it's a pain to walk in) and sweated almost the whole day. The train to Kurort rathen was filled with maybe half of dresden, and the barge over the Elbe had 322 people on it (that was the maximum). I thought it was kind of funny that the barge didn't even turn to get across the river. It kinda just drifted the 20m, very anticlimatic haha.

Now, I wonder why I had to go hiking on what is probably the hottest day in Germany since last summer? Oh well, I had no choice.

So I walked up to the Bastei, the highest point that's near to the train station. I thought I was going to die from heat and exhaustion. But it was so gorgeous, there are these huge pillars of rock, it's really stunning. And I noticed bolts on some of them.... Hmm....

Then I walked to the amselsee which was a really uninspiring small bit of green water, and up to amselfall. Also rather uninspiring trickle of water, except for a period of 30s when water suddenly cascaded down, and then was as before.

By this time I was pretty tired and needed water and relief from the unrelentless sun. But I went backwards and then up to Hockstein. Walked a long time and finally got there, asked quite a number of people about buses down. After walking all the way there (nice views again), I went back about ten minutes walk to a bus stop. Almost decided to wait out the hour for the bus (Sunday, less frequent) but then decided to try to hitch a ride.

Thankfully this guy stopped after just 5 min! Swiss tourist. I basically had to get to any S Bahn Station so he dropped me at the furthest place he could bring me, some random part of the town Lohmen. I'd still have to wait half an hour for the bus to Pirna, so I again tried to get a ride.

This really nice couple picked me up, and they weren't actually going to Pirna. They'd rented an apartment that's slightly off Pirna, but they very very kindly drove me all the way to the station! They were German, but from a small town near München.

And this time the train was cheaper cos the distance was much less. That was great, but then I spent half an hour on the stuffiest hottest train ever! Like outside it had been hot, it was maybe even 30 degrees (the second car showed 33) but the moment the doors opened, this wave of heat went over me. Like going out of a shopping centre in sg. It was mad.

Walked around the Altstadt for a few hours, saw some of the cooler stuff but missed the supposedly great graffiti cos I was just too tired. Cooling off measures included ice cream and dipping hands in fountain water. I passed so many fountains on the way, with naked playing babies, that the urge to shower got worse and worse! Realised that on top of being tired I was also a tiny bit sunburnt and maybe a tiny bit heat-stroke-y with a slight headache. Got back to hostel, had the most amazing cold shower (that's a first, in Europe), eating lidl dinner now while blogging and waiting for my 11pm bus to Frankfurt.

Whew that was a long post. Good for a long day and the whole of dresden.

Oh, one last thing. My hostel is called kangaroo hostel, and true to its name it's really decorated and designed to look like Australia. Combined with the heat, I feel like I'm Down Under. It's a really weird feeling when German is everywhere.

PS maximum temp the next few days is above 30. I'm gonna be wearing these shorts continuously lol. Pretty much the only pair I have here.

Posted by seaskimmer 09:14 Archived in Germany Tagged germany dresden hike hot solo Comments (0)

Heat rises

sunny 35 °C

Got to Frankfurt freezing actually, because for once the bus air con was actually turned on, and I was there the whole night in shorts hahahah. Nothing new there. But I was still tired, didn't sleep much on the bus, stumbled out bleary eyed.

Got to the hostel, bummed around a while in the lounge and finally decided not to sleep in the middle of the breakfast crowd, so I went for a walk around town, seeing all the major stuff. Paid for the Goethe museum/his old house. Had pizza lunch in the garden/cemetery of St Peters church. Read a book I'd borrowed from the hostel (A Christmas Pudding by Christie, upset that it was short stories, I always get short changed by her) at the river til about 5? When I finished it. Very chill day. Except not chill. Very hot. But anyway.

Then went back to the hostel. Checked in, and was very very happy to find out that they offer free dinner!! Like when does that ever happen?? Then again I paid 2 eur for a locker in my room.

For the rest of the evening I showered and washed my tanks (only brought two. Mistake.) and read (started on lady Chatterley's lover) and had dinner (oily and vegetarian but tasty penne) and basically tried to stay alive. The heat is killer okay. You have no idea! Same as SG la except without fan, without air con, without respite. I even showered twice because I got so sticky just waiting in the lounge for dinner. Dyingggg. Can't wait for Wednesday, it's supposed to get colder then. (how am I gonna survive July? With lots of shorts and tanks and showers I'm guessing)

(HALLELUJAH ITS RAINING NOW and strangely for Europe, I see lightning? Oh shoot I think it's gonna get more humid now)

Oh and it's day 100 by the way! 56 more to go, what a milestone.

Posted by seaskimmer 14:55 Archived in Germany Tagged germany hot frankfurt Comments (0)

Dachau

On the last day... Ugh it's been a while, I have to remember now. On the last day we went to Dachau.

Woke up, then got myself breakfast and lunch from lidl with the girls, while the guys stuffed themselves with buffet brunch at the hostel. Then we waited and got on to a train with the whole of Munich. No, seriously, that train was so crowded it wasn't even funny.

Very happy that the train (s bahn actually) was cheaper than expected, so we all got the audio guides (another factor was the free entry).

Pretty much spent the entire day there walking around, listening to the audio info, and reading the written info.

It was kind of weird that it was a brilliant day, bright and sunny, but I didn't feel like I should be celebrating that! I read account after account of brutality and death, and learnt rather interesting things about how things were then. Stood in places where people had died, the barracks where they'd lived in misery, the plaza where they had to endure daily torture.

I thought I'd saturated myself with sad things, but then after close to 5 hours later, nearing the end of my visit, I walked into a room in a building. 5s later I realised it was where they'd stored mounds of bodies before they were shovelled into the crematorium (just furnaces). But it was only then that I suddenly felt a bit sick and I just had to get out of that room! Really couldn't stay there, stand in that room where so many had just been stacked there like cattle.

I don't think I yet understand God's plan in this. I mean, I know some of the prophecies and the basic reason for all this, but how could the punishment be so terrible? Hmm. Actually, thinking further it only serves to illustrate the seriousness of what the Jews did so long ago. Nonetheless perhaps I should dig a little deeper into the word.

We ended off the day pretty chill. We had a long dinner, relaxed. I went back to get my bag, then met them for a last few hours, and then caught my bus back to hamburg. So ended my Bavarian trip!

Posted by seaskimmer 11:26 Archived in Germany Tagged germany jew dachau münchen concentration Comments (0)

Museums

Woke up early on Sunday intending to climb. I don't know why. I'd planned on it the night before. So I woke up early to get to the gym at 8. When I woke up I was still tired from not sleeping enough, and I also decided to go to a museum instead of to the gym! Haha. That made much more sense.

So I got out, got to Frauenhofstrasse and walked to the Deutsches Museum. It was a very peaceful walk, along the Isar. It was about 9 plus, there were only some cars on the road and some runners and cyclists. Shady beneath the green trees lining the banks of the river. Let me repeat, it was a very nice walk , so peaceful and serene. Ironic how on the first day I'd tried to enjoy greenery but somewhat failed because I was tired and it was cold. Then on a random day I end up finding what I had sought. To me, that's partly what travel is about.

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There was a memorial to something near the museum
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Museum map with scribbled notes on what I want to concentrate on and roughly times to get to places
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Cool clocks!

Okay so I spend many hours at the museum. It's a science and tech museum, let me tell you, I got bored. There was fun stuff like the two heat imaging devices, that was really fun hahahaha but I don't need to see Carnot engines and machine elements and computer chips and engines and astronomical stuff I don't understand. Along the way I got a little jaded, like THERE IS NO MEANING IN SCIENCE until I got to the pharmaceutics area. There I was reminded that science reflects society in so many ways, and it's not just what's in history and sociology books that reflect that. So I tried to appreciate everything a little more haha.

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At the maps section. Reflecting a different world view.

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Porcelain eye!!!
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At the environment section, a solar collection system. They all reflect towards the collector tower. This was cool cos I'm learning about it in my renewable energy module.
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The mirror of a big reflector haha
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thermal imaging device #2, with temperature monitor too!
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model train
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thermal imaging device #1
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carbon fibre is really really light

Then I met the rest at the Altes Pinakothek, until they decided they'd rather go to the modern Pinakothek. So there's an old, a new, and a modern Pinakothek. The age they focus on are in that order from past to present. The modern Pinakothek consisted of architectural pieces, paintings, drawings, and sculptures, and furniture design. It was not too bad, and although we laughed at some of the paintings like the uncultured neanderthals that we are, some of them were really pretty. The architecture stuff was cool but I only took photos for KK haha. Furniture was kinda bla I guess, nothing really spectacular.

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Greetings monkey

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Ended off the day at a Chinese restaurant haha. First Chinese place I've been to here, I had lamb soup with carrots and potatoes and then FRIED RICE woohooooo. Then I chilled at their hostel for a while and headed back to mine.

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While there M and I discussed for the longest time ever whether to go to the Dachau concentration camp with Ms, L and WH, or to sit on the Alpsee Bergwelt Alpine Coaster!!!!!!!!! Honestly I've been looking forward to the coaster ever since S told me about it last year. The longest in Germany, and one of the longest in the world, and the chance to have a different experience from others by not braking??? Would've loved to. Unfortunately it's far away and pretty hard to get to, whereas Dachau can be reached by the S bahn and entry is free. Sigh. Maybe if I'd stayed an additional day? Sigh. Next time I MUST go. :'(

Posted by seaskimmer 07:09 Archived in Germany Tagged germany walk museum münchen Comments (0)

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