Beatifully Clean Country
Germany Travel Blog› entry 1 of 9 › view all entries
First stop is Dusseldorf. We arrive there on time, late evening, not knowing where to go next.It is a few days before me and my friend are due to meet up with 5 other friends.So, with Dusseldorf not being the most vibrant of cities, we decide to head out to Dortmund on the train. The purpose of this trip was to get wasted every day like a true English fan abroad does when attending footy tournaments, and had a sly chuckle when aboard the train, the first words i hear coming out of a German's mouth is 1966, Bobby Moore and Bobby Charlton before reverting to their natural tongue.We stayed in Dortmund for a few hours before getting a much needed kebab and then set off again.
After a misunderstood converstaion with my cousin, who is based in the armed forces in Germany, we decided to head to Hamburg before we met up with the others. We decided to go there because we thought it was very close to Frankfurt-it wasn't by around 200 or so miles.The only memories i have of that place is more kebabs...a daily ritual, and the most disgusting looking women roaming the red light district, some looked alarmingley young but that didn't seem to stop most of the punters. In all, it is possibly the worst place i have ever visited. We then boarded the train once again and was woke up by the train conductor, and to this day cannot believe she was a real women. She scared around 150 euros out of me and my friend's pockets-shocking prices.Not the best start to a trip when you've only brought 1400 euros for 8 weeks.But, alas, we were in Frankfurt , ready to meet our friends who had previously travelled through Amsterdam to get there.
We met in the afternoon at the side of the river Maine. We stayed in Frankfurt for a short time but enjoyed it greatly. The way everyone travels on bicycles is refreshing but also quite annoying as they only give you a second's notice in ringing the bell and then your right on your arse. It is possibly the cleanest city i have ever visited as is most of Germany. The people are very friendly and nightlife is quite lively too. For the duration of our stay we parked our minibus in the car park of a sports complex, 10 minutes from Frankfurt's stadium. On matchday you could hear the chants echoing through the woods that seperated the two. We didn't pay anything to park there, and at night we gathered our tents to pitch up on grass inside it's grounds. Some nights,when inhebriated, we decided to sleep on the running track and pole vault landing mats. After seeing a shaky start to England's campaign ( a 1-0 win against Paraguay ), and an unconvincing 2-0 win against Trinidad we left for the destination of England's next group game against Sweden, which was to take place in Cologne.
Travelling in the minibus was probably the best part of this travel as it was spent with friends having a laugh and listening to music full blast on the CD player, whilst looking out onto the German countryside.The first day/night in Cologne, me and a friend seperated from the rest to explore the HUGE cathedral that stood in the town square. Not every visitor made it to the top though as it was that big, and trying to squeeze past them on a very narrow spiral staircase was a chore. Later that night we met up with 2 american girls ready to watch USA v Italy on one of the big screens. Lady luck wasn't with us that night though, and we hastily retreated from the presence of at least one very attractive girl. In cologne we stayed a night in the van, parked up,and the following camped on the bank of the river Rhine, before finding out that further down the bank was a few hundred England fans already pitched up. After a few chilled days drinking, on the bank and in the town centre, it was a nice feeling seeing the sea of red and white that we were fast approaching. A better performance came this time around but only managed a 2-2 draw. After, we partied heavily with the hordes of Swedes that engulfed Colgne's many beerkellers and bars.
The next test was the van as well as Ecuador, because Stuttgart was the next destination and lay miles south to Cologne. With everyone in the van it probably reached top speeds of 70 mph except when going downhill,then it might add another 5/10 to that gauge. One memory i recall is when it was blowing out of it's arse and a tricycle overtook us on an A road parralell to the Autobahn. In these tragic times the van was peaking at 10/15 mph - no lie!! On the very first night we arrived in Stuttgart, some of us slept in the van which was parked up a mile or two from the city centre, the rest of us slept in our sleeping bags outside the door to a church, which was just up the road from the van.The next day we headed out to find somewhere more suitable to stay, so naturally it was another car park, this time the zoo car park for coaches. On one night out in the city i found some much needed luck and stayed with a woman called Winnie in her apartment. The next day i strolled through a little village on the outskirts of Stuttgart ( near to the zoo ) only to bump into the rest of my friends. It seems they had an eventful night also as they were woke up by the Polizei ( police ) asking them to move from the area of grass that they had pitched their tent on, which just so happened to be overlooking a Polar Bear's HQ. After another luxury stay in Winnie's apartment i then decided to rough it up with my friends once more and slept on a chair outside the van.
The previous night, when two of my friends were playing guitars outside the van, a married german couple in the ages of 40-50 years had spoke to them about travelling and asked how many was with them. They then mentioned that if we were still there in the morning they would call by with some bits of food for us. Well that morning they woke us up with the biggest hamper of food,wine and juices that i've ever seen. There was easily 100 euro's worth of food and to this day it remains the nicest gesture i have ever seen. Obviously we ate it all within an hour. A very uneventful match saw Engalnd come away 1-0 winners, enough to see our Germany adventure continue further.This time it should've been to Gelsenkirchen where we was to play Portugal but the winners were to play the semi-final in Munich. And with the dire straits of the van, decided that it may be best to cut out another few hundred miles and just head straight to Munich.
Again, whilst we searched our sense of direction, a parking space seemed to be the best option for a couple of days, with everyone somehow sleeping inside. Although for one of them nights, a crazy night out in an Irish bar, 5 of us managed to go and get some more luxury sleeping in some local's apartments. I say local, but infact there was a Phillipino, Austrailian, and Bulgarian amongst them. On that crazy night, a few of my friends asked to get on stage and play some songs, which they were able to do between the resident band's set break. The next night saw the mighty England bow out to Portugal (let's say no more) and signal the start of plans for where next?
Well, where next turned out to be a beautiful place called Holzenkirchen which is right on the outskirts of Munich. We managed to stay within the grounds of a farmers fields who lived next to the Australian woman who one of my friends had met on the first night in Munich. Her name was Angie and she was a complete legend, who hung out with us for the next 4/5 days before we headed out through to France. The day before doing so we went to a beautiful place called Tegernesee which was further south around 30 miles from Vienna. It had an amazing lake which was both beautiful and massive. The river Isar which runs through Munich was where we spent another day out previous to that, and is the most clear river water i have ever seen, and apparently where we were, the water was so clear because it ran down from the mountains nearby. The next day saw us depart Germany and head south, down through France. But before we did we all signed an England shirt and gave it to Angie, who was then moved to tears....women!!