Day 7, 8, 9 – MotoGP Germany and World Cup Final
Another early start, but considering I had to get three trains to Hohenstein-Ernstthal, I didnt have much choice. I got the train in the main station from Berlin, heading in the direction of Leipzig, Chemnitz and then my final destination.
As I was getting connecting trains, my views of the places were mainly of the stations, but I distinctly remember a conversation that an Englishman and a German (I think), and the German guy said that Chemnitz had been well known for its coal mining in the past.
I had a slight panic attack on one of the change overs for trains though, not because I was cutting it fine time wise, more so by that stage, I was running out of Euro’s, and neither of my cards would work in any machine I used that morning, well, until I got to Chemnitz station, and a machine worked there, I was saying my prayers of gratitude after that I can tell you!
I do mind getting a subway there, and completely misunderstanding what the counter guy was saying (my German is pretty poor), I eventually worked out, with him doing some finger pointing and odd bits of English, that the oven/grill thing they use in Subway was broken, still I got fed and watered, could’ve been worse, hungry and broke.
I then I had to do the whole running underground between the different lines, trying to figure out what line was the train for hohenstein ernstthal. I got the right train (everybody was wearing bike racing gear bit of a giveaway), then I got to the track to pick up my tickets for the Saturday and Sunday.
My idea prior to arriving at the race track, was to buy a tent and sleeping bag at the campsite, and that would be my accommodation. That was the plan, but the campsite didn’t, and I ended up trekking around the whole of hohenstein ernstthal, trying to find a shop that sold a tent and sleeping bag.
I went to 4 different supermarkets (they nearly all seem like the same idea as Lidl – sell you everything, food, handy stuff and cheap tat), for a while I thought I was going to look like the dickhead who booked into a campsite without a tent, but I got sorted out at the last supermarket, even though later on, I was to realise, that I had bought an inflatable mattress, instead of a sleeping bag.
The people beside me in the campsite helped me put it up, and seemed friendly, well, apart from the fact that the ones to the left of me (think they said they were from midlands of England), they were friendly, but never seen sight of them for the rest of the weekend.
Before I went ot the campsite, I seen Friday practice, the scenery around the track was nice, the central food area was a bit of a pain, no one really knew what direction they were walking, you ended up going left/right half the time, felt like a crab at times.
After I got set up, I went on the beer, then Jim Beam and Coke, went down very well, seen a Rammstein tribute band (I think) in a tent, and seen some dance thing outside. I woke up next day, not really hungover, but covered in muck, place was a quagmire, with rain, and people riding around on bikes, and others revving engines up too.
The qualifying on Saturday was good, really great weather, had some more drink on the Saturday evening, and seen some band in the same tent, who were a cross between Judas Priest and Spinal Tap. Bit hungover on race day, and slightly damp, but racing was good. I was still struggling with my German, more or less copying what others said, other times when I said “mein deutsche nicht so gut”, they just shouted at you in German, thinking that you would suddenly understand German.
Later on in the Sunday, I watched the World Cup Final, just outside the race track, it was a great atmostphere, even more so when Germany won! I couldn’t really sleep that night, and ended up getting an early train to Dresden, nice scenery on the way, but parts of Dresden seemed a bit run down. I got a connecting train up to Berlin, it was horrifically cramp, I think it might have come from the Czech Republic, but I got to Berlin eventually, and then used the S – Line to get to Schonfeld airport.
By this stage I was drained, tried to get a bit of kip at the airport, was glad to get back to Dublin, but felt absolutely shattered when I got home. I’m glad I done this trip, and would go back to these places again, it was definitely an experience for sure.