Germany, where to begin…for a nature and history nut it was the next logical adventure. First up was a journey through the Spreewald region of eastern Germany. The 10 day journey was comprised of mostly cycling with a final day of kayaking.
Apart from the natural beauty and the sore bum from riding 100Km+ a day, one situation really stuck out. After riding into a small village it seemed their annual summer event was well underway. There was a tractor show, food, and plenty of beer. In the village, one individual caught my eye. This man had painted three stripes down his face black, white, and red – The imperial national flag during the Nazi era. Upon closer inspection, his shirt sported a HH on the sleeve for Heil Hitler. While I’ve always known that there are parts of society who still align with his ideals, I’ve just never ran into it shown so proudly. A local said some people believe things were better under the old Regime and in time they will become an even smaller minority. But hey, overall the village was lovely and I even ended up being interviewed by a local journalist for being the furthest visitor to the village in history!
After a few rest days it was on to the next leg – Hamburg. When living out of a carry on bag in hostels you get used to a few things. One is that its always someones first or last night in a city, which means parties. In Hamburg you have the infamous Reaperbahn to service that need. After giving the parties a pass, I decided to check it out during the day. Diving off into the side streets the art and people became the main attraction.
There is something about doors – They’re your first impression of the residence, they represent the area and the people who make it what it is, so below are a few from Hamburg.
After coming across a case of beer outside a bar being redeveloped I threw a few into my pack and kept walking. I soon met some homeless men and we decided to crack into the beers and had a conversation in broken English/German. There is something about sharing a beer on a hot day that you can always seem to find common ground, no matter how big the language barriers and even if they’re homeless. They provided me with areas to explore, a bit of Hamburg history, and after giving them the rest of the beers they reached into their packs and gifted me some surprisingly nice postcards.
Fun fact from the homeless, Hamburg has more canals than Amsterdam and Venice combined. The majority of those are located within the warehouse and port district. With refurbishments and new developments being occupied with NGO’s and Start-Ups the area feels alive, and the beauty of the warehouse district was striking. After walking the city for a few days I was off to Berlin.