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Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Interrail Geocaching Part 3 - Northwards

Traveling from Amsterdam to Copenhagen looked straightforward enough on paper. Changing trains in Ossnabrück and Hamburg, with enough changeover time to look for a Cache in each place. So I didn't do any further research into the geography of this trip and was thus very surprised when the train suddenly boarded a ferry and we were asked to disembark during the crossing!
On the positive side, it offered an opportunity to stretch my legs on this last 5 hour part. At the end of the day I had discovered Caches in three countries: The Netherlands, Germany and Denmark :)

The next day with wonderful weather to boot I started to explore the city. I was surprised by the large number of Caches throughout the center and had a long list of places to visit.
A highlight was Kastellet, the late medieval military fortification with a beautiful moat.
Walking along the shoreline I was surprised to see a tourist bus. The reason for this was soon discovered, the famous Little Mermaid, of which I quickly took a picture and continued onwards.

Oh, wait, that was another sculpture ;)

After passing through the government district, my way led me to Nyhavn, the picturesque old harbor which is now a tourist hotspot.
In the end I found 22 Caches on this day trip, and there are still a couple more around which weren't on my route. So I can definitely recommend a trip to Copenhagen to any Geocacher! :)

More pictures from Copenhagen can be found in this webalbum.

The next day it was time to travel back to Germany. There would have been a direct train from Copenhagen to Berlin, but that would have meant crossing four German states without caching, and that wasn't an option. So I changed trains in Lübeck, Bad Kleinen (to visit the famous egg-tunnel) and Bad Wilsnack. After a late arrival in Berlin I ended up with finds in the following four states: Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg and Berlin :).

To end my epic Interrail trip I continued on to Leipzig to spend a couple of days with good friends, playing board games and finding more Caches ;).

Part 1 - Eastwards
Part 2 - Benelux

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Saturday, January 03, 2015

Interrail Geocaching Part 2 - Benelux

Leaving Prague for Luxembourg was an astonishingly easy thing. With a direct bus from Prague to Mannheim, a train to Saarbrücken and another bus to Luxembourg, I managed the trip in about 11 hours. Luxembourg City surprised me by it's hilly nature. Walking from the main station to the Youth Hostel turned out to be a bad idea, since Google Maps led me down into a valley, up the next hill and back down again. For the way back I decided to take a cab ;).

In the evening I undertook the first trip around the city looking for some Caches, completing the circle the next morning. On my way I discovered a couple of hidden treasures, such as this small Chapel built into the hill.

More pictures from Luxembourg can be found in my webalbum.

From Luxembourg I headed to Brussels where I arrived late Saturday afternoon. After settling in I went to the city center for some sightseeing and Geocaching. I was overwhelmed by the number of people in the street. It seemed as if the whole of Belgium was up and about. Despite this I did manage to view the main attractions and find some Caches to boot :).

Sunday morning I headed out to the Atomium and its neighboring parks. The queue at Atomium was huge, so I only enjoyed it from the outside.

In the late afternoon it was finally time for one of the reasons of this trip. Scala and Kolacny Brothers had a concert in the Basilica in Koekelberg. That was a fantastic experience :).
Due to the impending strike in Belgium I headed onwards to Amsterdam the same night. Due to some spotty information I ended up buying an extra ticket for the Thalys service, because it wasn't sure whether the regular train would be stopped on the way or not...

More pictures from Belgium can be found in this webalbum.

Geocaching in Amsterdam is a bit more difficult than in other cities. Due to the heritage listing of most of the center the number of possible hiding spots is limited and thus the number of Caches isn't too big. During a long walk along the many canals I still managed to find a handfull.

What I found most amazing were the large number of different bridge types encountered. Next to old drawbridges, there was also a bridge which slid to the side to make room for passing ships.

Another fun find was the Petrus & Paul Church which is in the middle of the shopping mile and which has a revolving door!?!

More pictures from Amsterdam can be found in this webalbum.

Part 1 - Eastwards
Part 3 - Northwards

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