2010-08-21 55 8
Ekorren called up dawidi shortly after hash o'clock, and they made plans to aim for this geohash, with dawidi bringing two other hashers along. They'll meet in Niebuell at 11:45 and go on a train to the station near the hash shortly after.
Ekorren started in Stuttgart not long after midnight and rode intercity trains through the night. Schorhr, AE and dawidi started in Kiel at 8:00 in the morning. Both parties' trains arrived in Niebuell a few minutes late, and they got on another regional train to Visby, a small station north of Tonder. While the weather had been calm and sunny in Kiel, it was cooler, overcast and very windy here closer to the North Sae coast, with the occasional raindrop.
They got off at Visby, about 1 km north of the hash, and headed southward through a small forest on a trail dawidi had spotted on satellite imagery. Walking along a little road they passed a pond and a farmyard, and then spotted the field their GPS receivers were pointing at - the farmer had just finished harvesting it, the giant harvesting machines could be heard from the next field behind a hedge. The group's faces brightened: the hash was really accessible!
With the traditional GPS dance, the exact spot was determined and the hashers put down their bags and backpacks. Time for some fun!
AE produced a bright yellow one-string Spongebob Squarepants kite, dawidi and Schorhr attached a tiny "keychain" camera to it, and the three attempted to fly it over the hash and take aerial pictures. But the wind was very gusty and the kite never stayed up for more than a few seconds at a time. Simply throwing the camera into the air produced similarly unusable results.
After the kite had been stowed again, they walked back through the farmyard but then took a left turn and strolled through the village for a bit, to take some pictures, set some books free, and simply to pass the time until the next train would arrive. Back at Visby station, Ekorren discovered that the ticket vending machine there, despite having cobwebs across the card slot, accepted their German EC bank cards, and they at least bought tickets for the way back. The number of DKR 600.00 in case of fare dodging simply seemed too big (even though they didn't know exactly how much that would be in Euros). And lucky they were - there was a "your tickets please" man on the train back to Tonder!
In Tonder, they got off again, to explore the town a bit and find a couple of geocaches, one being a travel-bug hotel hidden in the middle of the construction work for a circus-like town festival, and the other in a very neat, touristy-looking residential alley with Denmark flagpoles in front of every one of the tiny houses.
Another short train ride from Tonder back to German Niebüll followed, and a longer one from there to Husum. There, it was announced that the train to Kiel was canceled (with no useful reason given) and replaced by buses. The Geohashing group expedition Schienenersatzverkehr curse strikes again! Of course, a bus that takes the Autobahn or even smaller country roads and then has to find its way to each of the train stations along the way takes about twice as long to get to Kiel as the train would have taken. But our bus driver decided to add a bit more spice by not stopping at some of the stations (but still leaving the Autobahn to get to them), not announcing any of the stops, taking an extra loopy route to the Rendsburg central station, and then driving us through Rendsburg's autobahn tunnel that passes under the Kiel canal three times before finally heading to Kiel, where they arrived not before 22:10. Since none of them had eaten much all day, they went to a Turkish restaurant at the station before taking the bus to AE and Schorhr's home.
Ekorren and dawidi got up early the next morning to take trains back south through all of Germany, stopping for a quick geohash in Leipzig - 2010-08-22 51 12 - before parting ways.
 Ekorren's way from Stuttgart to Niebüll
... started with another large demonstration against Stuttgart-21
 The group together from Niebüll to the hash and back to Kiel
A list of achievements to consider:
- Virgin graticule
- Border hash (Ekorren and dawidi have that already)
- Meetup (At least ekorren and dawidi have that already)
- A centurion point for all of us
- XKCD-100 (1058 km one way from Tübingen, ~200 from Kiel (to be calculated))
- Try a kite