2009-10-20 53 9

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Tue 20 Oct 2009 in Hamburg:
53.5618717, 9.8607718

peeron geohashing.info google osm bing/os kml crox




When I checked the coordinates I felt extremely lucky. I have been to the botanical garden quite often when I was younger but I hadn't been there for years. I really looked forward to visit it again, but then I found out that it closes an hour before sunset. My last lesson ended at 17:15 that day, consequently I'd have to go there earlier, in a free period. That'd leave me a very limited amount of time for geohashing.


A sign that looks like one of those they use in such gardens has been rusting in my basement for years. This hash, I thought in the evening before, would be the ideal place to set it up. I scratched the original text off it and applied the geohashing logo. It's very weak and quickly put together, but it'll last a year, I guess.

When I had finished the marker I thought about how I actually get it there. I'm always afraid people might suspect me of doing something illegal and by reverse psychology I might act suspicious although I'm not doing anything wrong. For that reason I was getting nervous as I got going the next day.


Problems started when I missed the first train. When I finally arrived in Klein Flottbeck I checked the departure plan and found out that due to train synchronization issues I had less time than I originally estimated. Instead of more than half an hour I had only 15 minutes to get to the garden, find the hash, place the marker, take photos and make my way back to the train station.

Next problem was the access to the garden. There is no entrance fee and no restrictions, but a gatekeeper who restricts access to those who look like they steal or damage the plants or the fragile irrigation system devices. I hoped he had a day off or something, but he was on duty. I had gone through this in my mind. Although I enjoyed playing the Splinter Cell game series, I know that sneaking in the darkest area is counterproductive in real life.

So I tried to disguise myself as an ordinary student (which I am) that just works there on a project (that in my case was geohashing) or something. I just walked up to the doorman with the uncovered sign in the hand and through the gate. As I had passed him, it came up to me that entering the garden with a sign is probably not suspicious at all. What could I be stealing? Realising this I exhaled in relief just to meet one of the gardeners (or biologists - hard to tell) who gave me a strange look on the sign. Of course he didn't know that I had brought the sign and not stole it somewhere in the garden.

I hurried to the hash point, trying to look as relaxed and inconspicuous as possible. I arrived at the hash and found out that the windows of the break room in the building of the garden administration were exactly facing the hash. By no means I could conceal myself setting up the marker. Through the windows I couldn't see much more than the reflections of the garden, but I assumed, no one took a break at the moment. So I just forced the sign post into the ground, noticed that it was the wrong tree, pulled it out again, installed the marker again, quickly took the photos and left. On my way back I met a stout looking man who wore a simple uniform. Instantly I thought he was some sort of garden guard who could look for me, but I continued my way to the exit without any trouble. The whole excitement was just caused by my own paranoia, I guess.

I arrived at the train station a minute too late. With a quick pace I went to the next bus stop hoping I could still make it back to the university in time. Then the train arrived that way obviously even more late than me, I hurried back to the train station and just got the train. On my way back I felt really relaxed.