October 2007
Aachen and Hamburg

I spent a week in Germany, catching up with my friend Jane

It was interesting to travel by the Eurostar and continental rail networks again. I've been on African and Indian transport systems much more lately, and the slick clinical and well-functioning rationality was quite striking - even in contrast with Boston's old rickety subway network.

It was good to have a few quiet days and lovely breakfasts -
good bread and butter, seeds, fresh local fruit...

We started in Aachen, which has some charming parts of the town centre,
and extensive forests for exploring.


Jane and I then spent a few days in Hamburg, visiting her friends there.


Hamburg's Rathaus had an extraordinary interior - including the only leather 'wallpaper' I've ever seen!


Some of the murals and paintings showed the history of shipping in the city, which still continues today.

Hamburg was a fascinating city. I'm glad of the chance to explore it with Jane, who'd worked there as a Jesuit volunteer with the Bahnhofsmission, helping arrivals at the main station.

While in Hamburg we met up with Claudia, an old friend of mine from the Melville Koppies.