in the valley of ass-whoopin’ (Wuppertal) on the way home after an Odyssean journey

Alas, the top tourist attraction of picturesque and weirdly alluring Wuppertal (© Owner Stadt Wuppertal)

One of the more whimsical items on my bucket list has been sorted.

First, look at this: https://schwebebahn.de/en. Cool, huh?

Left home early on a Friday morning, like Bilbo Baggins in a weird way. Made my way through Upper Franconia (Oberfranken, for the locals), where I visited the university in Bayreuth, and then kept on hauling ass towards Berlin.

Why on earth was I in such a hurry? Well, there were a plethora of reasons, but chief among them was my desire to see my friend Petra the Weddingerin, who lives in the Berlin district of Wedding. She will admit it’s not the prettiest, or even the safest place in the capital, but she and I both agree that it’s the true heart of a sprawling city.

Although I could devote an entire post to my time in Berlin, which I won’t, it was only a few long days later that my dog Amos and I were headed towards my favourite city in Germany – Hamburg!

Met my friend Nico, who I’d until then only known online, and saw one of my oldest Hamburgerin friends Christine, who’s going through a tough time. We ate amazing liquorice, and I inhaled a Fischfrikadelle and Bismarkbrötchen on the Reeperbahn. Soon after our Imperial March through the district of St. Pauli and a quick walk with Amos along the Alster, I found myself in bed earlier than the locals. Seems they’re just starting their shifts in the seedier side of Hamburg right as I’ve lost all will to stay awake.

It was an Odyssean journey, I assure you. It was full of Sturm und Drang, like they talked about in music school. There was snow in Stade (Lower Saxony) and even a lesbian wedding party in Oldenburg (also Lower Saxony)

Yet, here’s where the story gets good. You’ll never in a jillion years guess where I lay my head last night, because:

a. you don’t know about Wuppertal

and b. you don’t care.

It’s ok. I won’t hold your ignorance against you.

Here…let’s let Uncle Wikipedia set you straight:

‘The city straddles the densely populated banks of the River Wupper, a tributary of the Rhine called Wipper in its upper course. Wuppertal is located between the Ruhr (Essen) to the north, Düsseldorf to the west, and Cologne to the southwest, and over time has grown together with SolingenRemscheid and Hagen. The stretching of the city in a long band along the narrow Wupper Valley leads to a spatial impression of Wuppertal being larger than it actually is. The city is known for its steep slopes, its woods and parks, and for being the greenest city in Germany, with two-thirds green space of the total municipal area. From any part of the city, it is only a ten-minute walk to one of the public parks or woodland paths’.

the greatest source no teacher ever wants to actually see cited – Wikipedia

If you’re a loyal reader of this blog, first I must apologise. The Germans with whom I live and work insist that there has to be a “red thread” running through a text. Or a lesson. Or a life, even. I’ll talk in a later post about what the heck they mean, but that’s excellent blogging technique, Wolfgang.

You whet their appetite with a travel post and then you teach ’em about German linguistics and philosophy when they weren’t expecting it. You do it with purpose. You make sure you’re smiling.

And most importantly, in my case, the kookier and more ridiculous the better. A Hero’s Journey if I’ve ever seen one.

Wuppertal is for Lovers (© Owner Stadt Wuppertal)

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