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Archive for April, 2008

Germany’s history up close

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Today we got a taste of Germany’s long and tumultuous history at the Deutsches Historiches Museum, Berlin’s national history gem. After the museum we walked through the cold rainy city center, catching a glimpse of some other interesting landmarks. Check out today’s photos here…

How David Hasselhoff brought down the Berlin Wall

Monday, April 14th, 2008

I will never forget the look that Ben, the German exchange student living with my family in high school, gave to Paul, a clever classmate, when he dropped the H-word: Hasselhoff. Though I didn’t get the joke at the time (beyond finding it amusing that my host brother was being mistaken for the Baywatch star), Ben’s eyes seemed to pierce Paul’s soul, silently commanding him to hold back on the Hasselhoff humor or face serious consequences. Since our stay in Germany, we’ve caught on that the Hasselhoff thing comes up a lot for Germans. Rumor has it that he’s “big,” as they say, in Germany.

“It happens every time I have visitors here,” revealed Ayla Kiran, our host in Berlin. “One of the first things they ask is ‘Is he really a star here?’ ” Denials or explanations must then be made to put the whole story into context, and, if all goes well, put it behind them.

See how David Hasselhoff brought down the Berlin Wall in this video from First Night 1990, less than two month’s after the fall of East Germany:

On behalf of Ben, and Ayla, and all Germans, it’s time to put the story out there and settle this once and for all. It’s true, David Hasselhoff does have a special place in the hearts of Germans. But it’s more complicated than that. Germany (and Austria and Switzerland) do deserve some blame for their lack of taste (or unique sense of humor, depending on how you look at it), but they were also a victim of history. (more…)

Hamburg to Berlin

Monday, April 14th, 2008

After a sad goodbye to Ben and the housemates in Hamburg, we hopped a ride to Berlin, Germany’s hipster cool capital. We met up with a friend in Kreuzburg, a bustling neighborhood of immigrants and artists, had dinner, and took a walk in the evening to the Berlin Wall. Check out the day’s trek in the gallery…

The Hamburg Fischmarkt

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

Hamburg’s long nights roll right into the early morning at the Hamburg Fischmarkt. With the sun, thousands either rise early (or bunker on from partying through the late night) and arrive at the city’s fish market for a classic Hamburger breakfast. Get up early in today’s photo gallery

Visiting Neuengamme concentration camp

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

We spent the day just outside the city of Hamburg at Neuengamme, a former concentration camp from World War II that has been converted into a memorial and museum. The former camp houses an incredible amount of information about the camp’s history and the atrocities of Nazi Germany during World War II. Click here for photos of the day…

Hitting a fair in Germany

Friday, April 11th, 2008

Lace up your lederhosen and get ready for some German kitsch as we head to Northern Germany’s largest fair: The Dom. See it all in today’s photo gallery.

A day out in Hamburg

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

Today we headed to the University of Hamburg with Ben, got some coffee, and met some of his friends. In the evening, we went out for a night on the town. We also set a new LongJaunt record by getting rejected for two visas in one day. Check out the day’s activities…

Meanwhile in Hamburg…

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

While the rest of the team was touring Kenya and the Netherlands, Brian headed to Hamburg, Germany where he stayed with an old friend to get a true taste of “Europe’s dark horse.” From soccer to shows to ships, it was a packed week. Click here to see photos of what Brian was up to that whole time… Or, for a close up look at what it means to be a soccer fan in Hamburg, check out his trip to the St. Pauli game during his time in in the city…

St. Pauli soccer in a seafaring town

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

It is Sunday, and The Jolly Roger, a tiny bar just down the block from where I currently reside in Hamburg, is packed at about 11:30 a.m. It’s hard to tell if there was ever even a lull between Saturday night’s crowds and today’s tired looking, steadfast partygoers.

Rough edged locals, or “Hamburgers” (which, I must admit, never gets old) are downing beers under the silver sky that they long ago tired of cursing. Most of the year, the city’s lazy rain clouds only threaten from above, dropping chilly dustings of rain that dissipate into canals and make their way to the harbor. Besides, the silver sheets that drift through the sky seem to fit this industrial port city, where mossy nature seems to constantly challenge the rights that stone and metal claim over the land. (more…)

Amsterdam to Hamburg

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

Today, we took a high speed train west toward the German port city of Hamburg. Once there, we met up with Brian and Ben Stephan, our German host, and took a walk around the harbor. Ben’s a southerner, but has been living for four years in Hamburg, going to university. Take a walk along the water in today’s gallery…

About LongJaunt Equal parts lighthearted jaunt and in-depth journey, this intimately documented trip around the world has one goal: to bring you along for the ride.

Thushan Amarasiriwardena

, former Senior Multimedia Producer at The Boston Globe, has always loved telling a great story. Combining his eye for visual story telling and his technical background in computer science at North Carolina State University, Thushan has reported on business, sports and travel for The Globe. You can find his site here.

Michael Kurtz

, graduated with a degree in Ethnomusicology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His thesis research focused on the intersection of race and music in Northeastern Brazil. He worked previously as A&R and Production Coordinator for Putumayo World Music, an international music record label based in New York City. You can find his site here.

Brian Rogers

graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies, and has traveled extensively in Latin America.

Alicia Conway

is LongJaunt's home base chief and a Technical Producer for The Boston Globe. She joined and contributed with the team out in England, Kenya, Tanzania, The Netherlands and Thailand.