The Most Awesome Bike in Germany

continued

The Classic Musician in the Hippie Quarter

So I landed in Wittenburg at night. Since this place was so small, couchsurfing was not a possibility. I prayed to the God of Good Weather for Traveling to let the rain stop so I could camp outside.

It worked! At about 11 PM the rain sort of stopped, although everywhere was still wet. I found a piece of flat land on a wide field and started camping.

I thought: ‘What if it rains at night? I will be doomed and wet like a sponge again……’

However, I had no choice. To this day I still regret for not taking the rain cover of my tent with me. Why did I not take it? It was heavy……

It was cold for a while, but soon I forgot about the cold and fell asleep.

At midnight, I was awakened not by the rain, but by the wind. The wind was so strong that I longed for a room which did not shake with the wind. My tent was almost blown away with me by the wind.

One hour later I was blown into the sky and ten hours later I landed on this peculiar planet where people walked around upside down.

Just kidding. πŸ˜€

I opened my tent and saw the sky full of shinning stars. I finally felt relieved — it was not going to rain anymore! Although it seemed that it was never going to be perfect. When I got a ride, it took me to the wrong place. When the rain stopped, the wind came. It seemed that life was teaching me lesson.

I soon fell asleep again and when I woke up in the morning, it was a quiet countryside shinning day.

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I soon started hitchhiking at a roundabout. There were not many cars. When cars came, I would thumb up. When there were no cars, I would just sit there, looking at the beautiful German countryside.Β There was a windmill not far from where I camped. Near the windmill I saw yellow flowers blossoming with shinning dew. It was touchingly beautiful. I felt lucky to have the chance to appreciate this beauty of life. The people driving to work or school never got the chance I had. I felt freedom, sweet magical freedom, which made me believe everything was possible.

I came to realize: those journeys through the world, in Africa, in South America, in AsiaΒ , in North America, in Oceania had given me a stronger heart and a calmer spirit. Now, even in the busiest times, even under enormous pressure, I could still smile, look around and find every bit of beauty in this world. I found my peace.

It did not take long when a German dude took me to Hamburg. I was planning to reach Hamburg, then to visit Luneburg, which was a bit south to Hamburg, then go to the hitchgathering.

When he dropped me in a Hamburg subway (U-Bahn) station, it suddenly started to rain super heavily. It rained so heavily that the rain drops felt like bullets and could knock you down. I ran for 10 seconds and entered the station. Just 10 seconds but I was already totally wet…… I knew, life was teaching me a lesson again.

However, that was just a short shower, soon the rain stopped and I started visiting Hamburg. That was my 2nd time there. The first time I came here in 2013 with some friends from Leiden. At that time I was dating a German girl who lived nearby Hamburg. She came to meet me in Hamburg. I actually did not see much the city because we soon went to her home.

Don’t know if you have heard of it, but Hamburg is famous for being a snobbish city in Germany. The Hamburg people are known to be rich middle class snobs, with their fine clothing and arrogant attitude, which is in total contrast with Berlin.

It is the second biggest city in Germany by population and it is the hometown of Angela Merkel. Hamburg is famous for its harbor, its many banks and its connection with many famous classic musicians who were either born there or lived there.

I went to visit the houses of Brahms, Telemann and Mendelssohn, the classical musicians. It was not easy to locate all of them. Most had disappeared and only a plaque could be found. Most interestingly, one of them had become a hippie quarter, with graffiti , bikes and broken walls everywhere.

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Lotte and Fahrradbus

From Hamburg I hitched a ride to Luneburg. I was dropped at the train station. Luneburg was a small cute town famous for its salt industry in the Middle Ages. It was one of those fairy tale Central European towns, with flowers, old houses and waters.

I messaged my couchsurfing host Lotte that I had arrived.

Lotte: Do you want to walk here or I can come to pick you up.
I: Pick me up? You have a car or motorcycle?
Lotte: No, I have a Fahrradbus. It’s like a bike.
I: But I have a big backpack. I don’t think picking me up with a bike will do.
Lotte: No, it’s not exactly a bike. Very difficult to explain. You will know when you see it.
I: OK! πŸ™‚ Let’s try the Fahrradbus then!

Minutes later, the coolest bike I had ever seen arrived in front of the train station, attracting the attention of everybody.

I could not stop WOWOing and laughing when I saw it. It was like two bikes combined into one but more comfortable. It was unique, most unique! πŸ™‚ I was deeply impressed.

Among the two seats, one was the driver seat with a steering device. I was sitting on the copilot seat while Lotte gave me the best tour of Luneburg.

It was so much fun! πŸ˜€

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Fahrradbus was of course a German word. The direct English translation would be bike-bus. It was not a factory production. It was the project of several friends of Lotte, with herself included. Such was the ingenuity of the German youth! πŸ™‚

We talked, laughed, climbed the highest hill of the town to get an overview.

Lotte was studying environment en sustainability. She did traveling and some projects in Peru. Same as me, she loved Peru! πŸ™‚ She also spoke fluent Spanish. On our way to her home, which was a bit outside the city, we went to visit her friends. They were all such lovely young people! πŸ™‚ One of them had two flatmates from Argentina as I recall. Since her friend also spent much time in South America, at a certain moment we all started speaking Spanish.

Lotte lived in a big house with other girls. I even had a private room in the basement. Since it was still summer vocation, most of her flatmates had gone home. The house was quiet. They had a big garden, with beautiful flowers. Just outside the house, there was a forest. The whole place, the whole Luneburg looked like a beautiful dream.

I was planning to stay for just one night, but eventually I stayed longer. πŸ™‚ It was an intoxicating place. P already arrived at the hitchgathering and was asking me what happened, when I was going to arrive and why I had not arrived yet. Looked like my journey to the hitchgathering was delayed again.

Later I met many of her friends. As I counted, I met all together 11 friends of her. She was a sociable, positive and energetic young girl and Luneburg was a small place, with only about 2000 residents. Even when we went to have lunch, we would meet some friends of her. Most of her friends, especially those who were doing the same study as her, were very environment conscious, many vegetarian and they were involved in some projects to help the refugees in Luneburg. They were kind, compassionate and responsible. That was the image of the left wing German youth. They always tried to help those in need. The positive energy they radiated could be felt meters away. I really hope Europe and Germany would remain like this in a world turning more and more right wing.

They once did a project with the refugees. Basically speaking, they did gardening together with some refugees to help them make friends and get used to the local culture. Among those refugees in Luneburg, one used to work for German military intelligence as an interpreter and of course he was welcomed by the government to stay. Many other refugees were not as lucky. However, seriously speaking, Germany did already more than any other country to welcome refugees. No matter how rich a country was, it did not have the ability to accommodate all the refugees of the Middle East.

The town was so peaceful that when I left my backpack on the street, 40 minutes later it was still there. The day when I wanted to leave, it rained, terribly…… So I had to stay one day more.

The next day, I thought, no matter how terrible the weather would be, I would carry on, to the hitchgathering, the official end of my journey.

to be continued

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