(Germany) It is a bit different from my expectation


I’ve heard that Germany is on time and they value principles as being very important. I was excited to see my ideal country.



There was a unique bicycle. I guessed it was an advertisement.



There was a bicycle path beside a road. I really wished I cannot find it at the next city every time I moved, because it was too bumpy, which gave me pain. If there is no cycle path, I could cycle on the main road which had much better condition. Sadly, my wish didn’t come true; always there was a bicycle path. Germany is a big country, so maybe it could depend on the state. Some state might have a good bicycle path.



Just a few days ago, I got a contact from a German guy, who said he has read my blog for a while and he wanted to invite me. His house was located at a bit out of my route, but I was thankful about his message. So, I went to his house.



Philipp and Anne were kind to me, and I really loved to talk about their culture.



They were from Berlin, but moved to a small town. They had a farm, so I could see some horse.
(The picture was taken in the morning.)
In the night I arrived, Philipp brought me to a barn. When I came into the barn, every horse stood up and stuck their head up. They were very gentle that they let me touch their head. When I touched, I felt so special connected. Sometimes I felt so good when I touched an animal.
Since becoming a vegan, there have been many hard things. But there is one good thing. I’ve felt more comfortable and easier (or no guilty?) with an animal.



The left one is Aldi and the right one is Lidl which are a supermarket. They are rival.
I’ve seen Lidl so many times during cycling in Europe. Lidl is really different from any other grocery. They really don’t organize item by similar thing. So, at the beginning I really didn’t like Lidl and didn’t use, because it took too much time to find the item I wanted. But now I am used to it. (or I should say I remember now item’s place because all of Lidl in Europe place the item at the same position.)
At the center of market, there are some clothes, shoes and more things which are really cheap. The foods are the cheapest compared to other big markets. It is actually not super big, and there are not many items, so it is difficult to find vegan stuff. But it is the cheapest grocery in Europe, I think.
When I visited Portugal, I found Aldi. When I entered, it was totally the same as Lidl. I though Aldi was a cheater!
But Philipp told me some interesting story about it. Actually Lidl was a cheater. Aldi was the first. Aldi only had 999 items and they didn’t use barcode, but a number. The cashier remembered all item’s number so that they didn’t make a customer wait a long line.
Then Lidl started to open and followed Aldi, but they had more items and cheaper food. Aldi later changed their management philosophy that they sold more items.
Aldi and Lidl have a long barcode to scan quickly. (Actually I had many experience of waiting a long line in Aldi and Lidl)



Oh.. it is so cute. The sign says please slow.. wild accident.
I saw some other country using the picture of animal killed by car.
Here is opposite.



Kirsten gave me the place to sleep for a night. She cycled alone for a week around Germany. I think European live young compared to Korean. Many of 50 year-old Korean think it is too old to have a long trip with a bicycle.



A bicycle for a post office
I’ve seen people carrying posts with a bicycle since Western Europe.



There are many interesting houses which are made of wood and bricks. It is called Timber framing (Fachwerk).



I like a mushroom, so I bought it although it was a bit expensive for me. The taste was really bad that I thought it was spoiled. Maybe the taste of this one was originally bad. The left white one was the milk of rice!! So yummy and it made me full easily.



Jan whom I met in Croatia came home after finishing cycling in Europe for six months. He invited me at his house.
I had cycled until 2 am, because I was slow and there was a problem. I must cross a bridge to enter Hamburg. There were many bridges and I chose one of them. But I was kicked out from the first bridge by the police officer who said I have to cross the next bridge. So I went, and it was closed!!!! WRONG INFORMATION BY THE POLICE. So, I had to go around and around and cross the other bridge. I almost wasted two or three hours for it. If I would be enough lucky, I might have arrived at Jan’s house around 11 pm or 12 am…
Around Hamburg, there were so many bridges. According to Jan, Hamburg has more bridges than Venice.



Jan and Dorte, his wife took me to a city to show around.




City hall






I was very curious how a left guy could fix his body with that weird position. Jan told me a secret that actually there was a transparent stuff which is hid and connected to bottom, leg, and body. So actually he lay very comfortably, Jan said.



Dorte suddenly stopped walking, pointed to the bottom, and explained about it. It was the name of victims who lived here and were killed during Holocaust.
I thought it meant German live with cherishing them.



The black church was burned during the war. The government didn’t rebuild to memory about the wrong thing they’ve done.
Dorte said she has felt sorry for victims. Actually she was not born in that time. It means she was really not involved in the war. I could understand a little bit about German from her word.




Interesting architecture
Long time ago here was a big fire.



Irons keep the building stable.



The center of the city
The center of the picture was blurred, which had happened over two years. I stayed with this broken lens in African and Europe. Finally I just bought a new camera and lens. The detail story about a new camera will be written in a next post.



If the water goes higher, they could block the window with something.



It is a new section of the city. It was a port for a warehouse, but it was not used for it anymore. So they built a new building. It was said all of house are very expensive. I like the house which has a yard.



Opera house? Or something for the culture they are building.
It was supposed to finish building a year or two years before, but they are still building. It would be finished soon, which a construction said. But nobody believes it.
Oh… sometimes not on time in Germany! Same as other country.



Undersea tunnel



The left was Jan and the right was Dorte who took me to a vegan restaurant! Thank you so much!!!

Jan had cycled 16,000 km (10,000 mi) for six months in Europe. It means he cycled 2,600 km (1,625 mi) every month. He is at middle of fifty, but super stronger!!
I think European is really stronger and they like to cycle a long distance for a short time.

Actually he said he was on a holiday for six months.

There is some system in a few German companies which gives employees a long vacation by giving less money every month for a while. In France, I met some couple who had one year vacation. After working for three years in one company, they could have one year vacation if they want. After a long vacation, they must stay in the company for a while.

There are many good systems in Europe for the employees.








German beer



While looking for buying a winter gear in the city one day, we went to a restaurant. There was nothing to order for me except fried chips. But when the food came out, I was surprised because it was not the thing I ordered. Jan asked the worker vegan thing for me. Pizza without cheese. Thanks!!
(I know you are thinking a pizza which doesn’t have cheese is not a pizza! Haha.)



Jan gave me a tent which he used. He said he didn’t use it often, because he usually stayed at a hotel. The right one was my tent on a picture.
His tent was for four seasons, so it would be really good for me in the north. But there were three poles and it was more difficult to build than mine. Mine was really easy ever. Maybe I would need the time to be used to. His tent was a bigger and had an enough place to cook in front of the tent. I also bought a new sleeping bag for the north.



Jan suggested me to introduce my trip to his neighborhood. It was my pleasure to show and explain about my trip from Americas to Europe. Wow.. it has been already three years. The time is flying. Now it is more than half way!!



I asked him what typical German food is. He answered Currywurst.
Curry…? ..hm..
Although I am a vegan, I like to try a typical food from every different country whatever there is a meat or not.
Curry sausage… I tried!
I was curious why Germany doesn’t have a culture food. In my opinion, if the country has their own language, they normally have their own food as well.



His friend gave him beers as the gift to congratulate his successful cycling for six month. All beer was from different country Jan cycled on. An interesting gift!



I stayed longer at their house to wait my package and take the ferry.
My dream is to see Aurora in the north, but I don’t have time because of Schgen visa. I tried to figure out what the best way is.
Actually there was a best deal I found. From Denmark to Tromso, Norway it was 220 $ included my bicycle. But I gave up, because I didn’t want to take the airplane, which I felt it is cheating. The airplane is only for crossing the ocean to change the continent.
There were many ways to cross Baltic by ferry, but it was more expensive than airplane.
Later I decided to take the ferry from Travemunde, Germany to Ventspils, Latvia. It would take 25 hours and cost 62 Euros (86 $)
Interesting thing is 20 Euros for my body, 20 Euros for my bicycle, and 20 Euros for a chair. To choose a cabin was mandatory, which was really expensive. But thanks that there was an option for booking a chair.

At the last day I left

Thank you for so many things!



He cycled with me to the next city. He explained many things about Germany during cycling. The right one on the picture is typical German figure.



I thought it was a good sign! Sometimes I am afraid of sitting down on the grass or leaning my bicycle because of their poop and pee.



But what does it mean??? To have gas is the problem???
He asked a farmer. The farmer said every Monday morning he found many human’s poops at his farm.
Maybe at weekend, people enjoying cycling left their poop on his farm. Jan said actually there is a toilet near somewhere.
The farmer couldn’t stand anymore one day, and he made this sign by himself. This sign was the only one in the world!
When I saw it, I though this is very dangerous chemical area. So the human could be burned once having the gas.

Actually I saw some people walking on the red light, I saw some garbage on the road, and the road was not smooth. It meant to me Germany was not much strict. Of course it was stricter than France, but not much than the Netherlands in my opinion.



Some people’s house who falls in love with a train. A flaw in the crystal was that there was no train.



Once I entered into Lebek, I saw a beautiful castle.



My host in Lebek, Martina took me her canoe. It was fantastic afternoon on the canoe. She said she had traveled with her husband by canoe for a week in the summer. Oh.. good idea! I would like to try later… ..(hm…yeah.. I know.. I have to learn swimming first…) She was also Jan’s age, but she and her husband will travel for a year with a bicycle this year. They also got a special holiday!! What a good adventure life!!!



Some special desert!



Before coming here I had really wished to talk about German reunification as being born in Korea. But I’ve stayed only for a short time that I couldn’t have many chances to talk to people.
She showed me the book about it. There were automatic guns which shoot automatically when people came near the border. It was shocking to me. At least Korea doesn’t have those much cruel guns on the border, but we are still separated.

Most people I’ve met in Americas, Africa, or Europe are always curious only about North Korea and ask about it. I know why. Because North Korea has always interesting news, so they appear too often on the television. But I really don’t know about North Korea, such as Kim’s family. Always the foreigner know about Kim’s family more than me, but they don’t know how we were separated and how the sad story it is.
((Here is some tip for you who would like to meet and respect South Korean. Never ask or mention about North Korea to South Korean. If you are really wondering, you can google. Already tons of people ask your Korean friend, and you could be the thousandth person who asks about North Korea. Actually the word of North Korea is too sensitive to South Korean. Most of South Korean doesn’t like this subject, which we are educated like this. ))
To me, I am really sad to see our country… I can never go to North Korea. I’ve met all over the world’s people, but I can never meet North Korean people, my same tribe. Both of governments make everything so hard. So actually I should not say I want to see Korean reunification. If I said like this some of them would treat me like Nazi. I don’t support Kim; just I want to see my tribe, who had 5,000 years history together. Unfortunately we were separated suddenly during a cold war.

A story of the way Germany reunified was interesting to me. It could be said like Germany reunified by mistake. One politician mentioned something which was not sure on TV, and everybody watching the television thought it meant reunification. Then they run to the Berlin wall.

I hope Korea also makes some mistake to reunify peacefully.

One of my dreams is to see Korean reunification ‘peacefully by ourselves’ in my life time.



I had to cycle 20 km to go to the port for a ferry on the noon. Thanks that my host showed me her city in the morning.
She also told me about German education system. University is almost free!! It could cost only 70~300 Euros. I just check the news that since this year there would have no any fee, totally free education.
The most shocking thing is the student from other country will pay the same amount money as a local student. WHAT??? In America or Australia international students have to pay lots of money such as 20,000 $ per year. But in Germany only 400$!!!
The mandatory to enter German University is to have the test of German language. So interesting……..oh!!!!!
Actually I was thinking to study after the trip, but the problem was about money to pay. It seems now half of the problem is solved… hehehehehehe…



There was career fair.



Dolls on windows






There was a river in the city.



Every house had some special stuff in front of their door.




If the wind is too strong or there is too much rain, the house could be flooded. Before being flooded, they put iron plate.
Just curious… how they go out then?…by canoe?..



A typical Gänge – small side streets built in the middle ages to increase housing for artisans.





Many buildings look unique.



A mailbox is totally the same as a building! What a good idea!



A shop sells DIY of other people.



In the Church of St. Mary in Lübeck are the original bells, which felt down and were partly melted during a bombardment in the Second World War. They remained on the floor as remembrance memorial to teach people what the war could bring.
Martina also told me the word like Dorte said about their past. It is the reason I like Germany. They’ve learnt from the past. I believe that the people who’ve learnt their fault from the past would not make the same fault again. And it could make the future better.

Here is really opposite explanation.
During World War II, around 200,000 Korean women were forced to serve the Japanese army as “comfort women.” (forced into sexual slavery by Japanese Army)
Surviving comfort women have suffered permanent injury from disease, psychological trauma, or social ostracism. Many former comfort women are still seeking compensation from the Japanese government for their harsh experiences.
Ex-comfort women have been meeting outside of the Japanese embassy in Seoul for years in hopes that one day the Japanese government would publicly apologize for its atrocities. The Korean “Comfort Women” issue has not been resolved between the Republic of Korea and Japan and Japan’s legal responsibilities remain unsettled.
(Sadly most of them already passed away or are dying)

I always think that Japanese government must learn from German government how to apologize and go further to a better future.
If they don’t learn from their fault in the history, it means they will do it again in the future.




After touring the city, I headed to the port.



I was noticed that I had to arrive two hours before the departure and I was on time. But I couldn’t find an office easily. After asking a truck driver, I succeeded to get a ticket in a big building which was actually at the next terminal.



The ferry left at 6 pm and it would arrive at 8 pm in the next day.



The room was almost empty, because most of people used a cabin. I tried to write a journal, but I could not finish. When I felt bored while writing, I went out to have a fresh air.
While looking offline map, I suddenly got an idea. I will not go to Finland, but Russia first to save the time. My plan was to go to Finland first and turn to the Russia. But I will go to Russia first and turn to the left, Finland. I thought it would be better.

Although I didn’t spend much time in Germany, I felt some of thing was different from my expectation. Maybe the Netherlands was closer to that such as the road was clean, asphalt was very smooth, most of them spoke English, and many things were well organized.

But still Germany attract me. Let’s see… later I can come here again … or not after the trip..


Days in Germany = 10 Days
Distance of cycling in Germany = 482.18 km (301.36 mi)
Cities I stayed in Germany = 3 Cities
Lengerich, Stuhr, Lebeck
Expenditure in Germany = €119.27 ($166.97) [ferry € 62 $(86)]
(€1 = $1.4 )



The route of ferry

[14/09/11~09/20 (D+1116) Germany] 

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