Globalhash on Sun 15 Dec 2019:
This Globalhash is located in a forest in Burg Stargard, not far from a riding center.
Country: Germany; state: Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (EU:DE:MV); district: Mecklenburgische Seeplatte; Amt: Stargarder Land; municipality: Burg Stargard
Weather: cold (4-6 °C) with light rain (at around 10 a.m.)
My plan for the weekend was to go to Berlin to meet some people and found a non-profit registered association on Friday, then visit a museum on Saturday before taking the train home. Well, most of that went as planned, except for the way home. For you see, on Friday evening, after returning to the hotel from a nice string quartet concerto, I checked the coordinates for the weekend's geohashes. There were no hashpoints nearby and I almost closed the site but then I stopped. Ekorren's hashpoint tool has been making problems for a while, with the openstreetmap maps usually not loading but instead showing mostly black rectangles. But now, among many black rectangles there was one small map section that clearly showed the eastern part of Germany. Strange, why does that map have such an unusual zoom setting? It's for the globalhash coordinates! OMGOMGOMG! A globalhash in Germany, I've been waiting 11 years for this! And it's not that far and I don't have anything planned for most of the day! The next steps were very quick and easy: Where exactly is the spot - in a small forest next to a road, no indication of walls or other obstacles; How remote is it - next to a town, that town has a train station; How is the train connection from Berlin - a connection every hour (alternating between a direct line and one with one transfer). Next thing I was looking up a hotel in Burg Stargard (Burg is German for "castle" and Stargard comes from Old Pommerian "old castle", so the town is basically called "Castle Old Castle") so that I could sleep near the spot and visit it early in the morning before returning to Dresden. This felt almost too good to be true...
On Saturday I followed my original plans, visiting the Neues Museum which was nice, then taking a route past the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag building to the train station. From there I took the direct connection train that brought me to Burg Stargard within 1 hour and 40 minutes. It was already dark as I walked to the hotel and got a room for the night. A bit later I decided to scout the route to the hashpoint, as I had nothing to do and it was too early to go to bed. I walked through Burg Stargard, then along the dark country road, leaving the road whenever a car came near in order to avoid being run over. Notable sights were a farm with Christmas lights that were so bright they made looking at it painful and then the riding center near the spot where I saw people drink in the club home. The forest with the hashpoint in it loomed on the other side of the road, I didn't enter it because it was both dark and wet after the earlier rain. Then I walked back to the hotel.
On Sunday I woke up rather early, had breakfast, paid the room and started the real expedition. There was slight rain and I was glad I had bought an umbrella in Berlin (it was pink because there was no other color available during the sudden downpour when I bought it. I hate pink). Like in the evening before, I walked along the town's streets, then along the country road. At the riding center horses were being led out of a stable or trained. I left the road and entered the forest in a place where the trees were a bit further apart, then slowly made my way around trees and muddy spots towards the hashpoint, going slightly uphill. Finally I was near the correct coordinates, then a complicated GPS dance brought me to the exact spot. Hooray, I'm at the center of the world! I was very happy, took pictures and put a paper marker on a small branch of a tree, then I decided to not build a marker out of the rotten and wet branches that were lying around. With enough time to spare, I started my way back and towards the train station. When I was halfway through the forest, I saw two people walk in my direction. Who is crazy enough to walk through the forest on a rainy Sunday morning? Could it be that...
Indeed, it was Leidenfrost and User:π π π who by chance arrived at the same time. Hooray, unplanned global meetup!!!!!111 Together with them I walked back to the spot, then I watched both of them independently doing GPS dances, reaching two different (but near) spots. As they were able to plan the expedition, their celebration procedures were much vaster: Musical Achievement with ocarina and syrinx, both a world map and a globe, ... By the time we took group pictures my paper marker was soaked through. Then we left the spot and they drove me to the train station as I would have missed the train otherwise. My train ride to Dresden via Berlin was fine.
tracklog: will follow
Jan and Fippe
Day 106 of the Dark Ages.
A Globalhash in Germany! This is a first, not counting the water Globalhash on 2008-07-08.
From Hannover, I took the train to Hamburg. There I met Jan who had taken the train there from Essen (Oldb) via Oldenburg and Bremen. Together we took the train to Burg Stargard via Lübeck and Neubrandenburg. We arrived at 15:38, having been in trains since 6:40 and 7:07 respectively. We would have been there at 14:22, but one train was late.
The train that would take us back would leave at 16:22, so we were in a bit of a hurry, even though the Globalhash was pretty close to the train station, roughly two kilometers. With the help of our inline skates we approached it quickly, eventually arriving at a forest which we had to enter. We located the coordinates and were present at the Globalhash at 16:00 sharp.
We noticed a nearby sheet of paper on the ground saying that the internet had been here. Someone arrived and left before us. Was it Georg, or SastRe.O, or perhaps somebody else? I suppose we will find out once the wiki is online again. We also noticed mysterious map pinned to a nearby tree, which had circles around various locations, and the names of some locations written around the map, some of them crossed through. We could not figure out what it was supposed to mean. Perhaps it was also left by the earlier Globalhasher(s) who might explain this map.
Afterwards, we left the forest and hurried back to the train station where we caught our train. Unfortunately we arrived late in Hamburg, where we parted ways again. I went back to Hannover and arrived home at 00:50. Jan went to Bremen where he was very unfortunately stuck, since no more trains continued to his way home, as the train to Bremen was an hour late. Having spent the night in a hostel, he took a train back home on Monday.
On Twitter, we later learned that the map was left by Gumbledalf and the sign was left by Danatar, who met Gumbledalf and Leidenfrost at 09:50.
Leidenfrost and π π π (log from April 2020)
2019-12-13T15:30:00+01:00. We were at a choir rehearsal when I (π π π) found out. I couldn't believe it. A Globalhash in our vicinity! There had been none for 11.57 years, by this time Germany was the second largest country without a Globalhash behind Kenya, by a margin (see this list). The chances of it not landing in Germany for so long are exactly 5.22 %. We had always wanted to visit a Globalhash, but never expected it to happen so soon after we discovered geohashing. Leidenfrost even vowed to travel to any Globalhash in Germany or even Central Europe, as was able to use almost all German buses and trains free of charge.
Immediately, we began to make plans, but there was a big problem: I had a Star Wars marathon planned that day, with Leidenfrost and two other people attending in light of Episode IX starting in cinemas soon, and I neither wanted to cancel it, nor would the others understand why I did that to go to a random location in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. For me, the Globalhash chose maybe the worst day in whole December. Also, neither of us had a car, and for the ones I was able to lend only I was allowed to drive. But I didn't want to drive for seven hours, then watch a marathon. There was a train station near the hash, but no possible solution how we could get there by train and still be back in time for Star Wars. Even if we went by night and globalhashed in the dark, there was no suitable option, though I searched extensively. So we agreed that Leidenfrost would ask his father whether he could lend one of his cars. The next day, I heard that we would be able to borrow the car, and even I was allowed to drive it. So we agreed to take off at in the early morning at 5 am and postponed the marathon (had to cut one film for that). I was beyond excited.
So Leidenfrost arrived to pick me up at 5:20 am and we set off. The forecast was 3 h 20 min and 331 km, sunrise was at 8:30. We had agreed to listen to Isaac Asimov's Foundation on audiobook, and did so for the first hour, then we switched to Eliezer Yudkovsky's brilliant Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality. After half the distance, we ate a little and switched drivers. Shortly after sunrise, we had to refuel and sought out a petrol station, where we had a small problem with the fuel tank cap which lost us more than 20 minutes of time. But we got going again and reached the hash a litte after 9:30 am. We parked illegally at the side of the road by a gate, but there was no other option. It rained, and I grabbed most of the stuff I had packed to use at the Globalhash, which included a miniature globe, a world map, a postcard and a poster signed by Randall, an ocarina and a pan flute, among other things. We went 120 m along the road, and just as I wanted to jump over the ditch and walk straight to the hash, Leidenfrost found a forest aisle that led almost directly to it. We saw someone come out of the forest and were initially wary, he might be working there. But as we saw his GPS device, we knew he could only be another Globalhasher – the first time we ever met someone else! It was Danatar from Dresden. Everyone introduced themselves, and he came back to the hashpoint with us, talking about interesting geohasher stuff. We walked 80 m along the aisle, then another 30 m through the forest, which was already very muddy from the rain.
Danatar had attached a sheet to a branch, but Leidenfrost and I each searched the location on our own ("hashdancing", as he calls it above, which I like). We agreed on a spot, and then the photographing began. I had brought my camera, and photos were taken of Leidenfrost, me, us two, all three together, me with the signed postcard of the Earth, the surroundings, the ground, my phone with the coordinates … I had attached a world map that I had found on my desk to nearby tree to commemorate this grandiose event, and we laid xkcd on the ground with sticks. Danatar had to catch his train, so we agreed to take him there so he could stay longer. As the wiki was down, I hadn't been able to look up which achievements we could claim, but I'd remembered there was one for playing music. So Leidenfrost filmed me while I played ocarina and pan flute, both very badly. Then, we had to leave for the train and because we were all pretty wet, sadly my idea of leaving a link to some forum to discuss the Globalhash with other hashers that might arrive later in the day was not implemented. So we went back through the forest to our car, failing to keep it clean, and drove off at about 10:25 am, ca. 50 minutes after we'd arrived. We took Danatar to the train station just in time, thanking him for his company.
Then, as I didn't want to do nothing else because we drove so far, we drove 3.5 km to the actual Burg Stargard (Castle Stargard), one of few hill castles in northern Germany. We could enter into the inner ward, but all the buildings were closed and nearly no one else was there. I took photos of the old buildings, the Bergfried and some ruins (the castle was surprisingly big). After going to nearby lookout and viewing the city from above, we left at around 10:50 am. Because Google now suggested the southern route instead of the northern one on which we came, we drove south, hoping to get something of a Globalhash Tron achievement (though we'd gone back the way we came for the station). Realising we wouldn't be in time for the marathon, we delayed it a little further so that it now started one and half hours later. We put on the podcast or some music again. On our way back we crossed the Müritz, Germany's largest whole lake. After a while, Google decided that changing to the northern route would be much faster, so we did that, passing Rostock, Wismar and Lübeck again. We changed drivers after half the distance, and drove a route through Hamburg that was definitely not the fastest, stopping at a lot of crossroads and cruising some small residential streets. In the end, we arrived home at 2:30 pm after 3:40 h of driving and more than 9 h after we left, exactly at the time the marathon started, which occupied us until late evening.
So that's the story of how we visited the first Globalhash in Germany. It was an incredible experience and I'm glad we did it. The next day, I was contacted by Fippe or Jan on Twitter who found me because I had tweeted about the Globalhash, asking me about the map I left, and I explained. Only 68 days later, 2020-02-21 global landed in Germany again (probability it happening that soon: 4.62 %), but sadly I wasn't able to go and it wasn't reachable anyway. So let's see how long it'll be before I can get another Globalhash, the average time it takes to be located in Germany again is 3.938 years, though with a likeliness of 50 % it will take less than 2.729 years. Yes, I love statistics.
In total, I took 69 photos and 3 videos and Leidenfrost made some more, but I won't upload them all. I think a little less than 30 should do.
4-second video of π π π atrociously playing his ocarina to get the achievement
| Danatar, Leidenfrost, π π π, Jan and Fippe earned the Globalhash achievement
|Danatar, Leidenfrost and π π π earned the Meet-up achievement|
| π π π earned the Musical achievement