In December 2019 I went for a two week trip to Japan. At the time I had no idea it would be the last overseas trip I would take for more than two years and just how much things would begin to change only a month later.
On the morning of my first day in Tokyo I explored the area around Ginza, the Tsukiji Fish Market and the Hama-rikyū Gardens.
The final leg of my trip was to visit Lisbon. Getting to Lisbon was meant to be a “quick” train ride from Porto. Unfortunately, the train drivers decided to go on strike, so I ended up in a very long queue, for a very long bus trip for the 300km+ journey. When I arrived in Lisbon it was night instead of the originally planned mid-Afternoon
To wrap up this European Trip I spent the last few days in Portugal.
My first stop was Porto, and to get there from Mannheim, Germany I caught a train to Frankfurt Airport and then a flight directly to Porto. This flight was the first of two rather eventful travel events in the last few days of the trip.
A few years ago I randomly stumbled on the Technik Museum Speyer while travelling in the Rhine region. Since that trip I’ve wanted to visit the sister museum Technik Museum Sensheim, and fortunately, I was able to convince my friends on a very cold and wet day that it was a good place to visit as well.
Overall the museum was excellent, with an incredibly large collection of planes, cars, tanks and trains. In particular, I enjoyed seeing the Concorde and the North Africa WWII military displays. Although I did leave thinking that the Speyer museum was slightly better (it has more variety – including space craft).
To wrap up the very cold day, and to see off my last full day in Germany we ate and drank traditional food in nearby Weinheim.
Heidelberg is a tourist town, not just any tourist town, but one of the front cover of guidebooks, where everyone who visits Germany, visits, tourist town. It is both beautiful and overrun with tourist and associated tourist nicknacks. Because of this, the experience of Heidelberg also depends on the exact time you visit and what places in the town you visit, and this certainly extends to food. The first place we opted to eat at, we ended up walking out of, due to a lack of service. Fortunately the next restaurant was divine.
After failing to make it to Lübeck on our first day in Hamburg, we did a quick trip on our last day.
It rained the entire time we were in Lubeck, despite this we still walked around the city and even stumbled on a church (St. Petri Kirche) which is now a community centre after the Soviet government refused to allow churches to be restored after the second world war.
We allocated three days to explore Hamburg and it’s surrounds.
On the train ride from Berlin, we had decided to take an immediate side trip to the nearby town of Lübeck. However, when we arrived at Hamburg’s Main Station all the departure boards for connecting trains were showing the words “Tiere Im Gleis”.
With the little bit of German I know I was left trying to figure out what “Animals on the Platform” meant, and both in a rush and not seeing any animals, we went to the nearest platform for a delayed train to Lübeck.
After sitting on this train, going nowhere, for 20 minutes, we managed to speak to someone in English and realised that the word “Gleis” isn’t just “Platform” but also “Track”, that is, there are animals on the track and the trains are not running, which also explained why our delayed train was not going anywhere either.
The next leg of my journey was to catch the Flying Scotsman train from London’s King Cross station to Edinburgh’s Waverley station. The modern day version of the Flying Scotsman is very comfortable and had onboard WIFI the entire way – useless for anyone who gets bored looking out the window (I’m not one to get bored looking out windows).