2010-10-17 53 9
According to Google Earth, on a field just outside a residential area. According to my GPS, right inside someone's house... But I'll get to that!
This was planned as the second hash in an attempt to get a Consecutive geohash achievement. The conditions were great, the pair of hashes being on a Saturday and Sunday and relatively close to the city. We decided to get rental bikes for this one, but we had a rough start. Let's just say almost half a bottle of Ingwerschnaps (which is ginger liquor, but try and say Ingwerschnaps, especially if you're a native English speaker—it sounds hilarious!) is one of the less ideal things to be drinking the night before you attempt an early geohash.
The OpenStreetMap volunteers in Hamburg seem to have a peculiar sense of humor when it comes to the definition of "Footway/Path", and we were lucky to get the bikes through the near-swamp my GPS navigated us through. We were lucky to get the bikes through, because I'm certain the bicycle renting terminals don't have a button labeled "We lost one or more of our bikes in a marsh because we blindly followed our GPS while geohashing."
I drew many puzzled looks from the way I studied my GPS while riding, occasionally glancing at the road to compare OSM with RL and circumnavigating all the pesky children permeating the forest, but with the help of good reflexes and many apologies, we managed to get through.
Next came a perfect example of physicist behaviour. We were running late and both had plans with other people for the afternoon, and because the ETA on my GPS was way too optimistic, it dawned on us that time could be a problem.
...as we were nearing the hash, it dawned on me from my GPS' display that there must have been quite a discrepancy between where Google Maps had shown the hash to be and where it actually was according to the navigational satellites. The residential area we were in was obviously inhabited by elderly, well-to-do Germans, which are generally, shall we say, not the most sociable and open-minded sort of people.
Now, we still decided to ring the doorbell and ask for permission to stand there and take pictures, lest somebody call the police. An extremely wary and grouchy elderly woman opened the door (or tried to, because at first it was locked from the inside—doubly). Now, I realized we had a problem in explaining our request: As far as anybody in Germany who is over 55 is concerned, the internet is good for nothing but child pornography, fraudulent crime and terrorists. So while explaining what we were doing, I carefully avoided the word internet, but still had to say game, which made the lady even more wary and almost hostile. Only after assuring her we were only taking pictures of ourselves, she muttered her consent and immediately slammed the door shut, immediately locking it two or even three times.
We wondered how she was going to explain this incident to her husband later in the day, as she was bound have gotten our story wrong and would probably only be able to recount that two young men with electronic devices has come, asked for permission to be in front of their house, and left again. In order to avert outright panic on their part, we posted the "Internet was here" message on the other side of the street and not on their premises. Still, we are positive that they will have come to the conclusion that Google sent us to photograph their house and post high-definition pictures of it (and of what's behind the house, and possibly even what's inside!!) on the internet out of pure malice, thus, of course, enabling child molesters, fraudsters and terrorists.
When we headed back, we decided to take the metro in order to make it to our appointments. It had been an exciting geohash, featuring quite a bicycle ride and very delicate contact with muggles!
Tracklog in GPX 1.1 format (XML Document) accessible in a pastebin.ca post. It looks funny to play it back and see how we went really fast when we were on the metro on our way back.
"Look!", I exclaimed: "It's Olbers' paradox, only with, like, tree poles or somethin'!"
| Is it true that mtu and seamus_d earned the land geohash achievement?
| Is it true that mtu and seamus_d earned the Bicycle geohash achievement?
| Is it true that mtu and seamus_d earned the consecutive geohash achievement by reaching 2 consecutive hash points starting on 2010-10-16?