Work and Pleasure mixed together
or Back to Hamburg for the weekend

Just a fortnight ago I spent a few hours in Hamburg. For some this was way to little and they seemed to be seriously insulted, that I would actually prefer to visit Bremen instead…
So last weekend saw me back on the motorway to Hamburg.

A plantmarket in a museum with old farm houses and many animals was the destination.
I had spent some hours at the market to sell roses, but in the late afternoon I got the chance to search for some caches. The dog stayed all morning in the car, so in order to give her some exercise I went on a tour through the forest on the trail of the fox.
Auf den Spuren des Fuchses
A lovely series of traditionals in the wood, big boxes, exact coordinates and always a gimmick in the shape of an animal, gnome or something else to bring a smile to my face.
After some 8km and 12 caches, one could solve a mystery and find a bonus cache.

Loving trees, even with a heart engraved

This bear made it into the Guinness Book of Records. He could be spotted from the trail of the fox.

I started out late in the afternoon and found a log from someone using an orange pen just one hour ago.
As I didn’t want to walk the whole tour, I took a shortcut through the forest after number four and went for number 11. There the entry of those orange pen users was five past five. But that was exactly the time, I wrote in my log, so they must have been just minutes before me. And my watch might not be very accurate.
So on my way to number 12 I accelareted my pace and went a bit faster. And lo and behold, at number 12 I met a couple just finished logging.
We chatted, while they calculated the bonus mystery.
and then we searched for that one together. I even spotted it first.
But I logged only a note, I had shortcut the tour, didn’t collect all the information along the way. To log a find would have been unfair to hw5801, who went all the way, even though I found the box.

In the evening I showed my brother and our horticulturist the famous Oberhafenkantine. The never went in the harbour area in Hamburg, and where looking forward crossing the River Elbe. They were really upset, as they realised, the bridge I used was a different one…
One thing Hamburg isn’t short of are bridges. Apparently there are even more bridges in Hamburg than in Venice and Amsterdam together.

The famous off kilter restaurant

The building is tiny and leaning

Stramon from Kiel came to meet us there and for the way back to my brothers hotel we took a drive over the huge bridge in the harbour area, Köhlbrandbrücke. We came just 10 minutes to late, as the sunset was already in it’s last stages… Would have been great with the orange ball still up.
Lucky for us tourists, the bridge is partly closed for construction work, so I didn’t need an excuse to pass real slow. I just stayed at the speed limit…

auf dem weg


Sunset at the Köhlbrandbrücke

View of part of the harbour from the huge bridge

After leaving my brother at his hotel Stramon and I went searching for a parking lot to camp for the night. He had brought his dog Fabo, and Nyssa and he got along nicely. The micro in the woods we couldn’t find at night. Why some would hide micros in the wood is a mystery to me. There are so many places to hide something a little bit bigger than that in a forest.

fabo dirty
Fabo enjoying a roll in the dirt at breakfast.

The next morning we searched for some caches along the way. We came to a lovely water mill and lake, calm in the early morning light.
Watermill, lovely restaured, but out of order right now.

calm lake

Even the signs are in the local dialekt plattdeutsch

kissing tree
A kissing tree or is it a fight for space?

We than seached for a solved mystery, the main reason for Stramon to come to Hamburg. Well, actually, this was already in Lower Saxony, but still quite close to Hamburg… This mystery had a Difficulty/Terrain rating Stramon was missing in his P81 matrix.
Some have strange goals…. My goal was always to cache in as many countries as possible, Stramon wants to fullfill all the D/T ratings.
He had solved the puzzle, which is a good thing, cause I wouldn’t for the life of me have found a solution to this. But searching for the stations I could. Interesting handy work and a huge final. To say more would be a spoiler, I’m afraid.
But we found the cache only with the help of an empty glass bottle. It was laying close to one station and I picked it up to drop it into a bin later. Stramon offered to put it in his backpack, but it was dirty, so I got a plastic bag out and put the bottle in there. But searching with GPSr and bottle in hand was tricky, so I after a while I asked Stramon to put the bottle into his backpack. His move to grab the bottle from me made him realise where the cache was. He was standing on the camouflage…
To practice CITO is always a good idea.

fabo und nyssa
Instead of helping Fabo and Nyssa just watched us searching.

We than drove to another cache Stramon said, I have to find. Apparently it is Germany’s second best rated cache with GC-Vote.
I for one ignore this Greasemonkey Script. I’m a firm believer in long and elaborate logs. If listing and logs intrigue me, that would be reason enough to drive a long distance to visit a cache. If the tool was a bit different, only give recommendations instead of negative ratings as well, I might think differently.
Anyway, on our way to Voss Margarine we searched for some caches along the way. At one cache we met with Matho, a local couple on tour by bike. Another drive by we had just hidden and were leaving as a group of cachers appeared, some of them on visit from Winnipeg.
The nice sunshine was getting the cachers outdoors…

At Mundsburg modern architecture meets old. I know, which I prefer, though.

For another example of strange architecture I had to stop at Elbchaussee. This kind of avantgarde architecture is just not what I would like.

Avantgarde house

Now, to Voss Margarine I can’t really say much. Everything would be a spoiler. The owner put great efford into making the stations fool proof. I also must say, without Stramon, I wouldn’t have dared to get to the final, the location was so much not where I like to search. Apart from the fact, that I was to small to reach there.
Should you come to Hamburg and daring enough for a challenge, try Voss Margarine. The work on the stations is tremendous and perfectly done.

Voss margarine
The building of Voss Margarine

In the afternoon Stramon went back home to Kiel, while I searched for another Earthcache. Earlier we had found an earthcache showing us a huge boulder found while they drilled the tunnel underneath the River Elbe. We had to measure the stone and luckily Stramon had his climbing gear in the car, we took a rope to measure the stone.

Huge boulder with Elli on top.

Drillhole, notice the tiny Oregon beside it.

The second earthcache was located at the edge of River Elbe, it was dug out, as they tried to deepen the River bed for those huge ocean ships to come into the harbour.
This boulder was a true giant, brought here to Hamburg from Sweden in a glacier at the last ice age.
It is placed at a small beach at the River Elbe and on a sunny day lot’s of semi clad people are visiting the area. But even on a sunday the huge container ships are piloted into the harbour.

alter schwede
The old Swede at the River beach.


Just imagine, this huge boulder came by glacier to Hamburg.

The afternoon went quickly and so I headed back to the Kiekeberg museum, to help to dismantle the market stand and then we headed back home. Well, I took several breaks along the motorway and overtook my brother three times. With the huge trailer he was slower than me…

Hamburg is most definitely worth visiting, I enjoyed my stay.