|We arrived to Hamburg after a week of couchsurfing/nasty hostel staying, so we were looking forward to staying in a nice, clean apartment with our own room almost as much as we were to seeing our great friend Svenni from the boat in Fiji. She picked us up from the train station (oh, I forgot to mention that we had a very interesting train day, we had like 6 connections to make to get to Hamburg, and at like the 3rd one we blew it, missing our connection. It was actually quite funny, we were at the door of the train, ready, waiting for the doors to open. All of a sudden, this woman comes running up, saying, push the button! we were like, huuuuh? but by the time we got what she meant, it was too late, and the train pulled away... but we are smart girls and we managed to jump on a different train, and then a different train after that to make it to Hamburg.) Anyway, so Svenni picked us up and it was so great to see our old friend. Back in Fiji we spent 60 days with her in veeerrry close quarters, so needless to say, we all know each other pretty well. She took us straight away to this wonderful park on the river, and it was such a perfect thing cause it was just a beautiful day. We drank german beer (YUM) and ate german sausage (even more YUM) and caught up. Svenni just moved in with her boyfriend to a nice apartment on the outskirts of Hamburg, but it is not suburban at all. It is this stunning area with forests all around for hiking and boating. Reminds me a bit of Chico mixed with Minnesota, in that it has so many nice and green places to walk. We picked her boyfriend Frithjof (we call him Frito) up and headed back to the apartment. It is such a nice place, and Svenni is a master decorator. Right away I noticed the sweetest sight in the world, a clean, large bathtub just waiting for me. We stayed up fairly late, talking about our travels and reminiscing about the boat.
The next day Sven took the day off, and we went on a lovely walk in a park about 3 minutes from their house. It was so pretty, you felt like you were miles from the city. Very cool. Svenni and Frito's dog Snoopy enjoyed as well. After that, Svenni took us for a tour of Hamburg. We went up in this old church that had been bombed in World War 2. One of their friends thanked me for that (apparently it was an American bomb). Not wanting to argue about who started what, I just apologized. We had a great night, eating crepes and playing cards.
The next day was our big trip to Berlin. What a place! I suppose I will write about it in its own entry. We had grand plans to go out on the town when we returned, but we were all too tired, so we just stayed up playing cards and hanging out. We had to save our energy, as we were going to the big Germany/Poland game the next day (or rather, to a huge place with big screens everyone goes to watch). It was Germanys first game in the Eurocup, and people were dressed in full Germany gear. It was insane. I know people love Futball, but I had never seen anything like it. There were a few Poland fans, of course I took part in heckeling them much to Frito's pleasure. It was a wild night, turned into a parade of sorts after Germany won 2-0.
Today has been a day of preperations, as we had unpacked completely, done our laundry and sort of settled in. This was a much needed recharging point, with some good relaxing time and time with friends we dont see enough.
We went to a BBQ on our last night, thrown by Fritos dad Uwe, who was such a kind and gracious cook, not to mention an expert on German wine and beer. Thanks! We will update with great pictures of the night soon.