Moving on to the north

Trip Start Apr 08, 2007
Trip End Oct 01, 2007

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Flag of Germany  ,
Sunday, April 22, 2007

And on to another German city! Early this morning, Mayu and I put on our packs and hoofed it to Dresden-Neustadt station to catch our train to Hamburg, via Berlin. It wasn't exactly on the back of the best of sleeps though. While the hostel staff's initial mistake put us into a bigger room and a comfy rest on the first night, last night was another thing entirely. Sometime around 11 in the evening, the loud thumping of club music started pounding next door, from what by outside appearances seemed to just be apartments. Mayu acted relatively unconcerned at first, thinking we'd just crash through it, exhausted as we were. Well, I largely did, but she - having already slept a bit earlier in the evening - couldn't get the slightest amount of shut-eye. So, I woke up at 3am to throbbing electronica beats and a very angry girlfriend.

We went down and promptly complained to the guy downstairs at reception. In fact, I had already dropped by before going to bed, concerned as I was about it earlier. It turned out that there was a gallery neighboring the hostel on the ground floor that for some reason was having a private party. I thought a gallery was built for showing off artwork, not hosting raves. The lack of adequate soundproofing is perhaps obvious in that regard. So our hostel man goes over and tells the DJ to turn it down, who promptly does so . . . for about three minutes. Mayu's anger is reaching explosion point by this time. After about five or ten minutes of this, we're back downstairs and then following him over to the place. Mayu starts barking at one of the patrons as well as the owner, who our hostel reception guy has just finished talking to. I pull her away finally, and we manage to return to a relatively quiet room. Progress at last - too bad it's about four hours before we need to wake up!

Understandably then, Mayu hasn't been in the best of moods at certain points of today. Riding in a freezing train with a broken heater from Berlin onwards didn't improve matters. We got into Hamburg around one in the afternoon, got oriented and then headed towards our hostel in Sternschanze. After we put down some lunch, we headed off on a walk round the city. Well, I chose a longer path than I should have and also managed to seriously underestimate distances in the city, which just made for more unenjoyable moments. On top of that, we did most of our wandering through the less attractive parts of the city, leaving me rather unimpressed and Mayu griping about why on earth we came to Hamburg (especially as she had been before).

Well, after some damage control, downtime, a little public transportation and some coffee, things improved. We finally got our bearings and found the nicer areas of town. Instead of the modern dump I initially thought it was, Hamburg has turned out to be just a big bustling port city with a bit of grit, industry, utilitarian architecture and sleaze mixed in with the picturesque and historic parts. We've got it in mind to do a couple daytrips across the remaining days here (that way Mayu and I can both see something new), but hopefully somewhere in there I can get to know the place better. Anyhow, it's certainly different than I expected.
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