The best of world on a budget of €15 a day…
Day Twenty One: Berlin to Hamburg
There has only been one city I’ve visited so far where getting around on bike would not be my method of choice: And that’s Venice…
I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that bringing along my Brompton has possibly been the best decision I have made on this trip.
Every city that I have been to, I have got out of the train, popped my pack on and cycled (with the help of screenshots taken on my phone at my previous WIFI destination – quasi-mapping!) to my host. Yes, it’s a slightly ridiculous sight that causes people to take a double check (for all the wrong reasons, especially in the rain) but the amount of time it saves me is absolutely phenomenal.
And, as we know, time is money.
But having a bike is also a money saver in it’s own right. I think of the days cycling around Vienna, Berlin and now Hamburg and the amount of money I would have spent either hiring a bike OR taking time-wasting and money-gobbling public transport around, without even getting to see the city on your journey. Day cards in Europe are a minimum of €5 and I’d like to remind fifteenadayers that that is a THIRD of your total budget.
Any bike is good; Bromptons are best. Not commonly associated with budgets, I’d still say that my Brompton’s been the best value addition to this trip thus far. Here’s why:
1. A little conversation starter: I’ve met a number of people purely because of their curiosity about my little fold up baby. Someties it’s curiosity in a good way sometimes not so much. But all press is good press, right? Right?
2.Pick a train, ANY train: Some trains in Europe, some require a reservation and many have the right to refuse entry if the train is busy. None of these issues with a Brompton. Less uncertainty, more freedom to enjoy the day. Also applies to busses and boats, btw.
3. Pick a car, ANY car: Every now and again, you’ll find yourself lucky enough to get a ride. Brompton fits in! Trust me, when you’re standing on a train platform in the pouring rain and someone offers you a ride into town, you’ll be so thankful for a slinky bike that folds up. Trust me, you won’t want to have to say no to that! Same goes for those few occasions when your fifteenaday allowances stretches far enough to get you too drunk to peddle: pop the bike in the boot of a taxi!
4. Look at what the cat dragged in: No matter where you are, you don’t really need to worry about your bike getting nicked at night, because you can bring it in to the house! Quick advice: fits good under a kitchen table!