Friday, October 25, 2013

Road trip to Germany!!

Sept 21-29

Scott here- my second vacation of our stay in Europe was a long road trip to Munich and back. On the way, we made several stops; one night in Hamburg, two days in Amsterdam, one day in Munich for Oktoberfest, and one day in Aachen for Johannes and Eve's wedding, and then back to Vejle! A whopping 3000 km.

- Hamburg
First was a night in Hamburg with my friend/coworker Drew and another coworker named Ruben. The drive down was very nice with my first real experience on the autobahn! Here it is nice to have the Audi to keep up with the other Audis, BMWs, and Mercedes on the road. Broke my personal speed record, reaching 220km/hr (135 mph). And the car drove as smooth as it does at 60 mph. Driving on the autobahn is lots of fun and thrills when there isn't much traffic. Little did I know at the time, I would soon come to hate the German highway system.

Once in Hamburg, we checked into our downtown hostel and explored the city. Mostly walked around near the river, drank some beers, and ate some delicious and cheap (by Denmark standards) food.

Later that night we went and explored Reeperbahn, which is the central location for the city's party scene including restaurants, bars, strip clubs, a famous police station that drunk tourists were peeing on,  legal prostitutes, illegal prostitutes, lots of tourists, and some local German drunks. One drunk was very helpful helping us to find a place to eat, we gave him our empty beer glasses as a thank you.  Anyway, its a city with lots of "character" :)  We mostly walked around the area enjoying the luxury of drinking beer on the streets. At one point, our beers became empty so we decided to run back to the 7eleven to pick up a few more. Without thinking, we jaywalked across the street for the most direct route back to the store. Halfway across I saw 3 police officers waving us over to them. I was thinking, "Ah crap, here we are in city of sin jaywalking across a street lined with prostitutes and we are going to get a jaywalking ticket." Once I told the German officer, "Ich spreche nicht gut Deutsche, sprechen Sie Englisch?", he was super friendly. And kindly explained that it is illegal to drink out of glass on Reeperbahn after 8pm. It was 8:15pm. Then we confirmed that we can drink beer from a can just not from a bottle and went on our merry way without a ticket!

Needless to say, the next morning was a bit slow. We walked around the city and visited the Miniatur Wunderland museum. It was totally cool and would recommend a visit. Here are some pics!

- Amsterdam
Later in the day, I drove to Amsterdam to meet up with Jessica and her family: Sophie, Bill, and Mei. There we walked around the city, ate some delicious food, took a nice canal tour, and visited the Anne Frank museum.
View from our flat. Good job Jess on finding this gem!

Sophie in the flat on the bright bed!

Picture sent to Johannes and Eve's wedding. All guests sent a Love is... card.
Sophie, Mei, and Scott at a nice restaurant.

Mei and Bill!
Bill showing off his futuristic and practical glasses.

- Drive to Munich
The drive to Munich gets its own chapter in this blog post because it was horrible. The first two days of driving on the autobahn was great. Fast moving and poor gas mileage. This day's drive took us 11 hours with 1.5 hours at a complete stop on the autobahn. My love affair with the German highways is now over! 
View of the traffic ahead of me. Most people were out of the cars chatting at this point.
- Munich Oktoberfest
But the crappy drive was worth it!  We (Scott, Jess and Sophie) met up with our Colorado friends, Tim and Lara, late Wednesday. Caught up with them over several delicious beers in preparation for the next day. We woke up early, had some breakfast at a bakery, and got to Oktoberfest at 9:30am to stake out our table. See the photos below! We ended up staying at that single table until 11:00pm. That is 13.5 hours of drinking 1 liter beers,  and it was a blast! We met up with Bill and Mei, my friend Chris and his coworker from Colorado, my Bavarian friend Andi, my friend Kito who is in the Army stationed in Germany, and my friend Pete who is biking around southern Europe. So random and so glad everyone was able to meet up!

Early in the morning on the way to the tent!

The schottenhamel tent.

Inside the tent before the crowd around 10am.

Pete and Tim at 2pm.

Beers on the table.

The band starting.

Sophie, Jess, Mei enjoying the afternoon.

Chris, Lara, Tim, Pete

Kito, Mike?, Chris, Me, Tim


Jess, Sophie, Me
Lara, Jess, Sophie

Pete and Andi getting a bite to eat. Only beer is allowed at this table!
At the end of the night getting some delicious Bavarian good after a long day of drinking.

- Johannes and Eve's Wedding
The morning after an all day drinking event was a bit slow moving, but we managed. After meeting Bill and Mei for lunch and dropping off Sophie with them, Jess and I made the 9 hour drive back up north to Aachen, Germany. We went to my good friend's wedding, Johannes and Eve. It was a great day, the ceremony was held in the Netherlands and the reception took place 30 km away back in Germany. Check out the pictures below!

A glorious view over Aachen. From the pre-wedding guys party. I will spare the amusing photos of Johannes.

Post ceremony cocktail hour.
Front of the hotel where the ceremony was held.

Jump around.

Johannes and Eve in from of the Aachner Dom.
Balloons with notes to the newlyweds. If a stranger finds a card then they mail it to Eve and Jo.

Jessica and Philip enjoying the afternoon beer.

The morning after the "late" night of partying, we took off to head back to Denmark. I say "late" because Jessica and I only lasted until 2am while the rest of the wedding-goers made it till 5am. The whole trip was a great vacation but far from relaxing; lots of driving, drinking, and late nights. Now we need some serious recovery time :)

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