M and Z's Grand Tour travel blog

Zsolt in Hamburg

The real Axle and the "fake" or little Axle!

Warming up for the big race! Philip and Z in their team...

After a brief visit to Munich, we have arrived to Hamburg.

Unfortunately, Munich was plagued by rains until we have left, but c,est la vie... U2 was still unforgettable!

After arriving from Vienna we found a hotel near the station and had schnitzel and a beer, in true Bavarian fashion. The next morning, after a hearty breakfast (a most extensive selection of tiny cheeses, frankfurters, salamis and muesli) we set off on a bus to explore the city. The hour-long tour was just enough to show us what we were not going to see on this trip, but one day we,ll have to come back...

Around 7pm we joined the crowds in the Ubahn and took the U2 (line) to see U2. Quickly purchased and donned (Z) the mandatory "Vertigo Tour 2005" t-shirt and then came 2-plus hours of uninterrupted fun in the form of U2. For Stephen (koenig),s benefit, I am happy to report that the pre-band was Keane... Anyway, Bono and Co played a solid set in the rain (we were just lucky enough to have seats on the side of the stadium with the roof - thanks Goose), from Vertigo to Sunday Bloody Sunday to With or Without you etc. One of the best gigs ever (for me). Bono even grabbed a "juergen" out of the crowd who joined them on stage to play the guitar - unexplicably this has not been reported in any of the papers the next day... Behind us sat a grubby fellow from Belfast, who has seen them some 20 times since their beginnings, he tried to rouse the crowd a bit more, but all he could do was to get piss-drunk by the end, so nobody cared.

The train to Hamburg was very plush. We went from Egyptian to Hungarian, to Austrian to German trains, and it keeps getting better. DB is apparently their Lufthansa on wheels... (and nobody checks our Eurail pass, so we already have 2 extra days on it...) It was a longish (6 hours) trip through some very neat countryside, enough to bring our scrapbook almost up to date. Arriving in Hamburg Hbf, we were met by Doro (Dr Dan,s sister) and Philip, who took us around a bit and then we all had a dinner in an Italian place near their home to finish the day. Filip just told me that he now has managed to secure an entry for me in tomorrow,s Hamburg City Triathlon, so I guess I will brave the waters and the pavement of north Germany. (it might be a bit of a test of will)

Race report to follow...

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