Today was my last day in Berlin as I had a 2pm train out of to my next destination, Hamburg.

It’s there where I’ll meet Shawn and start our travels together for the remaining 2 1/2 weeks.

I purposely booked an afternoon train out of Berlin so that I’d have time this morning to go explore a flea market, the Flohmarkt am Mauerpark, that runs every Sunday.

Jennifer and I were the only ones in our room last night and she was gone bright and early this morning to catch a 9am bus to Prague.

That meant I woke up to an empty room at 7:30am and when you’re backpacking and you find yourself lucky enough to have a whole dorm room to yourself, you kind of cherish it.

So, despite waking up at 7:30am, I wasn’t out the door until 2 hours later because I just watched YouTube videos in bed.

Honestly, the flea market didn’t start until 10am and I had plenty of time so I just took it easy this morning.


At 9:30 I walked over to a different café to try one of their gluten free items.

It was a good 15 minute walk to the café and, despite it being sunny out, it was still a brisk 4C out.

Thank God I found that knit touque yesterday.

For breakfast today I had a smoked salmon sandwich on gluten free bread.

There was an option add an egg to it so it felt at least a little breakfasty.

Here I was expecting a fried egg on top of the sandwich.

Nope, there on the side of the plate was a hard boiled egg.

Wasn’t expecting that.

Anyway, the sandwich was amazing.   The bread was so nice and fresh and I’ll be honest, it’s hard to find nice fresh gluten free bread out there so when you find it, you kind of cherish it.

This café also had a cool ordering system with a different QR code on each table that took you to their website where you could order and pay online and your food would be delivered to your specific table.


Flea Market

At 11am I had arrived at the Flea Market.

There was row after row of everything from jewelry and art to clothing and shoes.

It was everything in between all of that that really made the flea market cool.

Some stands had box after box of random things thrown into it like they raided a garage sale and put it all in boxes.

Then there were other stalls that had items from Germany’s past like medals, pins, and currency.

That was the cool stuff.

There was also a whole row just dedicated to food.   All kinds of ethnic food were available and I kinda kicked myself for grabbing something to eat elsewhere.

Especially so when I saw a Kumpir stand.

If you don’t know, I fell in love with Kumpir, a Turkish version of a baked potato, when I was in Istanbul last year.

This was the first Kumpir stand I had seen since then and it killed me not to get one.

Hopefully I’ll find another one somewhere else during my travels in Germany.

After an hour of exploring the flea market, I went back to the hostel, grabbed my backpack, and headed over to the main train station to catch my 2pm train.

Well, I mean my 2:03 train.

Oh, my 2:10 train.

No, no, I meant my 2:22 train.

On platform 7.

Nope, sorry, I mean platform 5.

Ah, German trains.   Should be a fun few weeks…

Hello Hamburg!

At 5pm, my train finally pulled into Hamburg where I’ll be for the next 3 nights.

The hostel I’m staying at is run by the European hostel chain Meininger.   It’s a hostel/hotel and has over 100 rooms for 400 plus guests.

It’s just a tad bigger than the little 5 room hostel I was staying at in Berlin.

My friend Shawn would be arriving later in the evening so I had a few hours to myself tonight.

And I had a plan!

There is a huge amusement park, Hamburg DOM, here in the city and, wouldn’t you know it, today was the last day for their spring season before they open up again in June.

I mean, that’s serendipity if you ask me.

I just happen to have a few hours to kill the exact last day of the fair?

So, off I went…

Letting my inner child out

I took the bus into town and arrived at the fair grounds at 7:30.

I was already smiling.

I don’t know, something about amusement parks that makes you smile.   Maybe it’s just all the repressed memories from years ago coming back to the forefront.

This park has no admission fee and each ride has an individual booth selling tokens for that ride ranging from €3.50 to €7.00.

The best part?   No lines!   I didn’t have to wait more than 5 minutes for any of my rides.   Maybe I just got lucky with the time and day I went but, hey, I wasn’t complaining.

I hopped on the first ride I saw, an octopus ride with spinning cars that whip around and around.

I started the ride as any good blogger would – with my phone out recording video.

Now, for the first bit of the ride, it was a casual spinning around.   No problem!

And then it started getting faster.

And faster.

And, holy sh*t, I need to grab on with both hands!

I couldn’t even stop the video or put my phone away so I just clutched the bar in front of me with both hands with one with my phone in it still recording.

It honestly felt like an eternity but was actually only 4 minutes long.

Like I said, I video recorded it all.   The first 30 seconds are fine and you see me enjoying the ride and then the next 3 1/2 minutes all you see is a closeup of the bar I’m holding on.

Normally I’d just edit out the last 3 1/2 minutes but you can hear me the entire time and, frankly, there’s some comedy gold in those minutes so I left it all intact.

Highlights include a horn going off at 2:20 indicating the ride was going to speed up dramatically.   At 2:50, my first “holy sh*t” is uttered as the individual cars start spinning around as well.

From there, this is where you literally start to hear me grunt as I’m hanging on for dear life.


I finally staggered, and I mean literally staggered, off the ride and was off to the next.

This time a nice, leisurely ride through a haunted house.

It was what you’d expect from such a ride.   Lame, cheesy, and boring.   Kind of what I needed after the last one.   One problem was it lasted just 90 seconds.   I came out the exit and was like “that’s it?”   €5 wasted there for sure.

Next were the bumper cars!

This ride was actually way longer than I was expecting and was great value at only €3.50.

My car was bumped pretty damn hard a few times and my neck whipped back a couple times too.   I predict I’ll be sore the next couple of days from this park but I was loving it anyway.

After that was the Music Express ride that rolls around a circular track faster and faster.

Honestly, I hopped on the ride for nostalgic reasons since it was the same ride I went on in the amusement park next to the DMZ zone in South Korea.

This time I wasn’t going to be holding my phone out.

After the four rides I was kinda pooped.   There were other rides of course, including a ferris wheel and roller coaster, but I felt fulfilled.

Dinner with Shawn

I headed back to the hostel to meet Shawn who had landed in Hamburg and was on his way from the airport.

He finally arrived just after 10pm and we quickly headed into town to grab a very late night dinner.

There wasn’t much open at this time of night, especially since it was a Sunday, but I found a good little restaurant that was open until 11pm.

At quarter to, we were seated and soon there was a big plate of pork knuckle with sauerkraut and a side plate of potatoes with bacon and onions.

A huge meal.

A German meal.

A great way to end a wonderful day!

Germany Trip 2024, Trip Journal, Berlin, Hamburg, Germany
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