Thanks to Hall for providing six of the pics below.
At Duke we not only got a week off for spring break, but a week off
between quarters in the fall as well. Two of my best friends, Hall &
Josh, were doing a semester in Rotterdam, so we
had agreed to go see Germany. I remember rushing through my Supply Chain
final, worried that I may fail the thing, but being even more concerned that I
would miss my flight.
I would fly Delta- RDU through Atlanta to Amsterdam.
First afternoon in we walked around Rotterdam, and that night stayed at
the dorm, as Hall had to bartend downstairs
the cube houses
with Hall Rotterdam
The next day we would wonder into Amsterdam, hang out at The
Grasshopper, and meet up with friends for a long, leisurely dinner. The
day before we had dinner in Rotterdam I believe at a Chinese place that served
us something like Mexican, and then in Amsterdam we ate Mexican that seemed like
Italian. I believe the Dutch are a little confused with their cuisine.
I guess this
sign means you are supposed to pee here?
So I left the Netherlands on my own since those guys still had to finish
their finals, and we would meet up in Berlin. If memory serves correct, I
took a train to Cologne, then hopped on a Rhine River cruise. While this may
have been great during the summer, my experience was that it was very grey and
cold- so I didn't see crap and it wasn't very enjoyable, and therefor there
aren't too many pictures below. I also recall that I was hauling a big and small
back pack full of my stuff.
The Dom Cologne Scenery
next to the Rhine Koblenz
I would spend the night in Frankfurt.
I remember being weary, as my guide book mentioned a lot of drug users hanging
out by the station and I was getting in after dark. I do recall a few characters
being there. After checking in to my hostel, I ended up going to a local bar
with a few German students that were on a trip and staying there. I remember
even though they were probably 17 that we just hung out and had a beer since
drinking was not a novelty to them, as opposed to trips I took when we were in
high school in the States, and everyone's goal was to obtain alcohol and get
The next morning I was then off on the Romantic Roadbus
tour down to Munich. I met a Kiwi couple that was traveling the world for a
year to hang out with and we had a good time.
Kiwi busmate Mel
and me on a stop Weikersheim Reminds me of
the video for "Never Tear Us Apart" (I know, it was Prague) Probably the
third pic on my sites I say that about Creglingen View of the
"First they burn books,
then they will burn people." Site of a Nazi book
burning Bebelplatz There was an
incredible amount of construction going on. You can count a dozen cranes in this
The crew from
the Backpacker Hostel having WAY too
When Josh and Hall showed up the next morning I felt close to death, and
it was all I could do to communicate that they should spend the day on the
walking tour I had just taken the day before and that I needed to spend the day
in bed. On vacation I usually don't blow a day like that, but it does seem to
happen to me in the German speaking countries (ie Salzburg).
Around early afternoon after the tour I managed to rally
Here we are atop the Fernsehturm (TV Tower)
Too bad this
one was blurry. We're in front of the Schlossbrucke
and cool building.
front of Brandenburg
info Reagan speech-
"Tear down this wall"- click on the link to read it or scroll down to the music
player to actually listen to the speech
Back at a
different section, we had to sneak through a gate to get at this I believe
that is the Infobox in the background I know we also went to see the Topographie des Terrors Sculpture on
Kurfurstendamm, with the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial
Church in the background
discover a KFC!
I had reserved some hostel for us that had a curfew. After learning this
Josh quickly said "screw that" and had us move out. We relocated to the Hotel
Alt Hamburg in a private room for four, right in the heart of the nightlife (St.
Pauli area- entertainment and red light district). Certainly a good call.
The area where all the fast food joints and restaurants were is where we
went strolling the first night. There were many women lined up and down the
street leaning against the wall, holding umbrellas since it was drizzling this
night. Most were attractive, some wearing panties on the outside of their jeans.
They would reach out to touch us on the shoulder or engage conversation. While
we soon realized it wasn't simply our new cologne that was causing our newfound
popularity with the ladies, it was natural for us to try and shrug this off
almost like a homeless person or trinket seller trying to get money. We should
have taken the opportunity to engage in more conversation to learn the local
"You can't get that at BK back in the States"
We hit the bars pretty hard that night, including one that The Beatles
had played at in their very early days ( Star
Club?). We had a great time, and I remember they had a lone guitarist
playing, and at one point Hall and I yelled "More than a feeling!!!" and we got
We all managed to get seperated, and I made it back to the room some time
in the early morning. Josh was already there and asleep, but Hall wasn't. It
would be probably 6 or 7 am when he would burst into the room yelling "I've been
raped!" I remember shooting up in bed thinking "What!!" Turns out he'd spent the
last several hours arguing with the politzai. Long story.
I had to get up at some point the next morning to meet up with Birgit and
Jorg, two Hamburg natives. I'd met them on the beach in Ft. Lauderdale, just
after returning from Austria and right before I left for Duke. Lots of Germans
vacation there that time of year, and I heard them speaking the language and we
chatted and exchanged e-mails. Funny enough about a year later there I was in
their country- small world!
We do a tour of the city,
and also took a canal boat tour which I thought was pretty boring, but the city
is proud of their canals and shipping
Apart different attitudes about alcohol, Germany has legalized
prostituion as well, which we saw from our first night in Hamburg. As best we
could communicate I asked my German friends their opinion of this. They thought
it was a fine, positive thing. Essentially a safer way to control something that
would probably occur any way, and also a good way for men to get out their
stresses which likely led to less violence towards women. Their statement might
even offend some Americans, but this we why we travel- different strokes for
different folks. All good and well.
a famous landmark
Lake Apparently on
my street there is no open container law as well