Early start yesterday at 0838 from Kiel Hauptbahnhof to join the ICE direct to Freiburg in Hamburg Hauptbahnhof. The ride with the Regional Express train terminated without any issues. I reached Hamburg even a minute early.
Luckily, the ICE was not as crowded as has been before. I had my window seat and two interesting seat neighbours. Both of them very much senior in age.
First, until Kassel, I spoke to a woman who acts today after her retirement as mediator for family issues. We spoke about characters of people, how to reach people in difficult cases and the different stress levels people can have. I was quite an interesting talk up to Kassel – like this we also did not really feel the delay we started to get as we were deviated via Rotenburg (Wuemme), Verden and Nienburg – and not on the direct track via Lueneburg and Celle. In Hannover, we got 30 minutes of delay – as we had a medical issue of passenger and additionally a power provision issue close to Hildesheim. I reckon this has still been as aftermath of the thunderstorms later this week.
Second, from Kassel till Freiburg – a 90+ years old gentleman sat down next to me, on the way to visit his daughter in Zurich area. He spoke quite a familiar sounding saxonian dialect, so I asked him where he is from. Eisleben, he told me. I know this area, I pointed out, as my dad grew up in Hettstedt and I still have relatives there. Then to my surprise, he told me that he worked there as engineer in “VEB Mansfeld Kombinat” after his studies of Metallurgy in Freiberg. A company I know very well because most of my relatives were working there, taking their apprenticeship and having a direct relation. Then I spoke about my dad and his time in Hettstedt. He told me that he was in Eisleben in a church organisation called “Junge Gemeinde” and he was very close to be picked up by the Staatsicherheit as young engineer – but he found some “arrangements” not to be convicted. So he stayed in GDR until his retirement. One last thing, I asked him about… if he knew a person in Mansfeld Kombinat called Wolfgang Gorgas. Yes, he said, I have been working with him from time to time, but not very close. That is interesting… as Wolfgang was a friend of my dad!
So you see, the world is small – really it is and we should think about this all the time, save resources, act responsible and just don’t be racist.
But back to the train… Once again, we had the famous words: “Wir bitten um Ihre Aufmerksamkeit!”. The ICE, still having 30+ minutes of delay in Mannheim and originally going to Chur in Switzerland was not “accepted” by SBB, the Swiss railway company, due to its delay. It was ordered to terminate in Basel SBB. That was an issue for sure for the gentlemen next to me. So he called his daughter and she drove up to Basel to pick him up. Luckily that worked out for him, but he told me that this has been already the third time that this happened to him.
In Freiburg, I took my hotel as usual close to the train station and took a walk into the old town. As I have not been in Freiburg yet in my life, I had no idea how beautiful it is.
So I went around, took several photos and took dinner in the Gasthaus Zum Kranz – as suggested by trip advisor. I took a “Sauerbraten with Rotkohl and Spaetzle” with a glass of red wine from the area. I also had nice company – a French women from Lille visiting Germany without being able to speak any English or German and a couple from Saarland area who planned to see a football match between Donostia and Freiburg today on Sunday.
I have also seen some basque people in town – and loads of fans of the Kelly family. They has a concert this weekend here in Freiburg. This explains also the number of people in town and the relatively high hotel prices.
Nevertheless, I have enjoyed Freiburg a lot and certainly will come back – sooner or later!