We made it through a night without any problems! A great end to a really cosy stay. It was our last morning in our little boat in Weesp, and I was quite sad to leave it, having really grown font of the home. We packed our things, cleaned up a bit and closed the door to the boat behind us.
And that marked the end of our time in the Netherlands as we walked to the train station. Luckily we were at the station with time to spare, because the barcode on the back of my ticket that would get me through the gate to the platforms decided to stop working that morning. So I had to wait for an unsuspecting stranger to pass by, so I could bombard the poor woman with a quick explanation and waddle through the gate behind her. Otherwise the first of three rides went smoothly and the second as well, where we were lucky enough to find a couple of seats (after having to move a couple of times because of the seats being reserved). I finished my book salt to the sea just before arriving in Osnabrüeck. The third train ride went a bit south though, as it started by being about 40 minutes late. It wasn’t much of a problem, besides Zuzanna being cold and trying to sunbathe, that is.
When the train did arrive, though, it was completely full, so we ended up sitting on the floor of the train for about an hour. Once again I really didn’t mind it, having also done it on many other trains, but then we decided to take the seats of an elderly couple when they got off at the first stop. We enjoyed the comfort of the seats for exactly one minute before the next people with reservations claimed them. By then others had taken our spots on the floor, and so we ended up standing by the luggage for the second half of the journey to Hamburg Hbf. Besides my knee being a little tired it hadn’t been too bad, though, but we were hungry by now, and decided to find lunch first thing by arrival. We walked to Vincent Vegan that was close by, but ended up semi-lost due to my poor navigation skills which somehow landed us in a sewing store. After some assistance from Zuzanna we did find it inside a mall and ate some great burgers.
It was weird being back in Hamburg, our trip having come full circle. It was starting to actually sink in that this was the end of our Europe adventure and I wasn’t quite ready for it to end (but then again, I’m not sure I would ever be ready). At the same time starting (although only for an hour) and ending in the same place was a nice way of rounding off the trip and getting used to the thought of going home. But I will likely dwell much more on the it once we are actually aboard the train home tomorrow.
After lunch we decided to explore the city. Having already walked down the main shopping street we continued to the town hall down the road.
We walked further to the ruins of the Saint Nicholas Church, which was a somewhat weird mix of sad and beautiful.
Not too far from the church was the famous Chilehaus, with its peculiar design that Zuzanna tried to convince me was made to look like a ship (wiki says otherwise). I definitely thought it looked unique but the house we passed before it looked much more like a ship in my opinion.
We walked to a wine store close by to buy a wine for Jesper, the family friend who lives in Hamburg and has let us use his house while away, as a thank you. The guy in the wine shop was a peculiar man who started out by telling us that ”we don’t sell any crocodiles or snakes here”. Then he proceeded to ask us a million different specific questions about the kind of wine we wanted, even though we told him that we didn’t know anything about wine and just wanted a good red wine in the specific price range. He was nice though and found a wine for us after having thought over our answers to the questions, wrapping it nicely.
We took a stroll down along the canal from where we could enjoy the beautiful view over the warehouse district, Speicherstadt.
We wandered through the district and reached the beautiful Elbphilharmonie after a little while.
By that time we didn’t quite know what else to see in the area, so we walked past the harbor and continued on for a while, finally reaching the vegan Asian restaurant Loving Hut. Here we ate a really nice and cheap dinner, reminiscing over our trip, while the occasional (quite entertaining) vegan propaganda video would play on the TV in the background.
We walked to the metro and took the U-bahn a couple of stops to Klosterstern. From Klosterstern we walked to Hotel Mittelweg - a very fancy hotel where we felt very out of place walking in with our giant backpacks and relaxed travellers clothing -, where Jesper had left his house key in my name. The very fancy hotel even came with a very angry little dog that luckily didn’t bite me when I walked up to the receptionist (but Zuzanna decided to hang back) to retrieve the key. We found the address Jesper had given us but simply couldn’t get the door to open. I think we tried to get the key to work for 15 minutes - in the meantime also texting Jesper to get guidance. That was when Zuzanna tried inspecting the area and found another door right beside the one we had tried to open that had the same house number. We had tried to get into the wrong house for the last quarter of an hour, likely looking like complete criminals on the security camera. The key turned without problem in the other door and we were onside within seconds. The apartment was amazing, cosy and stylish at the same time, and we quickly got settled in. We spend the rest of the evening watching Ted Talks on the TV (we had missed TVs) on travel, equality, neuroscience and more. It was a great final evening, the apartment instantly feeling like home, and we were so grateful to Jesper for letting us stay here. We fell asleep in the big bed, for the last time in a long time sleeping in a new place and bed.
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