Friday, 15 November 2013

Hamburg

24th January 2013
Hamburg, Germany was my next destination and it was where I was meeting up with Exchange Dude. On the train from Berlin to Hamburg, there was this middle aged woman sitting in my carriage and we struck up a conversation. Well, more accurately she started to talk to me. I don't remember too much about the conversation apart from the fact that she was from Munich but lived in Hamburg now and visited Berlin for a concert with her girlfriends.

When I imagined our reunion, I thought it would be nothing short of a movie moment. Oh boy, that didn't happen. I had received a call earlier that day informing me that Exchange Dude was late due to his delayed train. Funny story actually. When I went to check out of my hostel, the person at reception said, "Some guy called to tell you to check your email because your boyfriend's train is delayed". The most bizarre sentence since I actually thought, "wait what boyfriend?". Lol.

I didn't have a working phone with me therefore I couldn't actually contact Exchange Dude and had to hope that he wouldn't miss me when he arrived at the station. It was quite an experience standing in the cold outside the station, looking at everyone who was leaving whilst the Swan Lake piece played on repeat by the station.

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Finally, finally he arrived and it was the most anti-climatic moment of my entire existence. I actually thought I would have been more emotional, but I was just... not feeling it. The thing that struck me was that he sounded so British. We then went for a quick lunch (although I wasn't really hungry).

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Exchange Dude is actually trilingual; he knows English, Dutch and German. Also knows French but more on a basic/ intermediate level. On exchange, there was a girl called Franzi who was from Hamburg and Exchange Dude had asked her for some advice when visiting. She highly recommended the Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg.

Miniatur Wunderland (German for miniature wonderland) is a model railway attraction in Hamburg, Germany and the largest of its kind in the world, built by the twins Gerrit and Frederik Braun. As of January 2011, the railway consists of 12,000 metres (39,370 ft) of track in HO scale, divided into seven sections: Harz, the fictitious city of Knuffingen, the Alps and Austria, Hamburg, America, Scandinavia, and Switzerland. Of the 6,400 square metres (68,889 sq ft) of floorspace, the model takes 1,150 m2 (12,378 sq ft).

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City Hall

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The place was incredible!! There was so much detail and honestly, you could have spent hours at the place. Within each landscape, there were clearly stories going on with the tiny people and a lot of interesting things happening too. The one that comes to mind is a sunflower field with a man lying on a checkered picnic blanket naked and a girl hovering around his nether regions. Every 15 minutes or so, the lights would go off, switching from day to night and the landscape would completely change. One of the coolest parts was the airport where it was programmed to take off as well as land and the usual waiting in line before the runway.

By the time we left, it was dark and we went to a park with the intention of visiting a fair. I didn't do any sort of planning for the remainder of the trip since Exchange Dude wanted to plan it all. Turns out the fair wasn't on that night so we headed back to the hotel.

Forgot to mention this for Berlin post but one of the things that irritated me the most about Europe, especially Germany was the need to pay for the bathroom. It is understandable to have to pay to use a public bathroom, but it was so frustrating when I was already a paying customer at restaurant and still had to dish out to use their bathroom. Seriously.

Would I visit again?
Probably not.

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