It all started with the car repairs in Lithuania and the back in 17 years trip to Riga on family affairs, from where there was that Ryanair flight to Bremen, at just the right price and time to get to the Nordstern festival in Hamburg. We arranged for a ride from Bremen to Hamburg with Steffi via blablacar.de and met our first couchsurfing friend, Birte via couchsurfing.org.
It was time to meet Steffi. We were waiting for her silver car at the gas station near Weserpark. Another German girl joined us and thus, we made it to Hamburg in an hour or so, having shared the gas expenses. Mitfahrzentrale services like mitfahrgelegenheit.de, blablacar or carpooling.com are really cool in terms of meeting new people, saving money, gas and even reducing the auto emissions. Especially when it comes to German trains, which 'cost like heroin' according to the words of one Russian blogger.
Upon arrival, we examined the city map available at every S-Bahn and U-Bahn station and went to the Central Station (Hauptbahnhof), which is pretty often in the heart of the city.
We strolled in the Speicherstadt, along its peaceful old channels, red-brick embankments and the old historic warehouses:
...until it was time to go to Birte's place where we had a nice chat listening to music and getting to know each other.
Nordstern Festival Day 1
In the morning we're very pleased to find little notes from Birte in the kitchen with some tips re the coffee machine and breakfast, as well as the things to see in Hamburg. Birte turned out to be not only a like-minded and interesting person, nice to talk to and hang around with, but also a kind and caring hostess with an apartment neat and beautifully decorated in purple and white colors. It felt like too nice an encounter, to let it go so fast..*_*
We arranged to meet with Birte at 2pm on the bridge at Jungfernstieg station where we talked eating Franzbroetchen and strawberries under the tree overlooking Alster lake. We walked through some shops and went to Landungsbruecken, where one can take a boat trip to the Hafen City and just look at the harbour and try Fischbroetchen, the local speciality rolls with fish or crab meat (which we tried the following day).
Walking through the Old Elbtunnel (Alter Elbtunnel), an engineering marvel constructed in 1911 under the Elb river between the St. Pauli and Steinwerder districts:
After a walk and a beer/Alsterwassers in Reeperbahn street [Kiez] in St.Pauli, which is the center of nightlife and the city's red light district, we parted with Birte and went to the festival, which started at 7pm in Markthalle club (Klosterwall 11).
The first day of the festival featured:
Binary Park — Worlds Collide
EMPIRE IN DUST 19.00 Uhr
IN GOOD FAITH 19.40 Uhr
TERROLOKAUST 20.20 Uhr
FABRIKC 21.10 Uhr *dance-dance*
NOISUF-X 22.15 Uhr
WINTERKÄLTE 23.20 UhrMARKTHALLE scene
BINARY PARK 19.20 Uhr *cool ebm*
PATENBRIGADE WOLFF 20.00 Uhr *lots of fun*
NEUROTIC FISH 20.50 Uhr
ICON OF COIL 21.55 Uhr
IN STRICT CONFIDENCE 23.00 Uhr
HOCICO 00.10 Uhr *love*
Patenbrigade Wolff were so much fun, a true performance with construction guys pouring beer from a big orange tube right into the mouths of the fans and breaking the keyboard with a hammer :)
Patenbrigade Wolff — Der Brigadier trink Bier!
Icon of coil with a conceited front-man and In strict confidence with sexy guitar players in skirts were so boring that we got a little bit tired waiting for Hocico. Erk showed up without Racso, who supposedly was ill or something, and the whole 'El Ultimo Minuto' performance was not as compelling as at the concert in Nachtleben (Frankfurt am Main).
Afterparty the same night, with Birte: