And quite a trip it was! Everything went fine until we arrived in Duisburg. There SIXT informed us that our reserved car was not available and they only had a SMART ForFour for us within the hour.

Our reserved car is missing/gone

We waited and had some curry Bratwurst (hmmm) and at 16:00 we were informed that our car was in Essen, not Duisburg and that we had to be transported there with one of the company’s student employees.

hmmmm, Curry Bratwurst

The driver had some trouble locating company building but we finally got there by 5 o’clock. In the Essen office of SIXT we were unable to pay, the lady behind the counter would only accept EC cards and credit cards (of which we had none with us) and would not accept Cash and the more modern Maestro system. Next to that, she was very unwilling to help us in any way, so we were kinda thrown out and stuck in the outskirts of Essen where we had never planned to be. We called back to the helpful lady in the Duisburg office, but she was unable to help us as well (but at least tried to!).

Relaxing in the luxurious ICE3

We took the bus to Essen Central Station after figuring out the ticket system and left with no options, we booked the (expensive and luxurious) ICE train to Stuttgart. Begin 19:00, we originally already should have been Stuttgart but still had to travel 3 hours by train. We arrived at Stuttgart Central Station at 22:12 with only one task left… get to the Youth Hostel and sleep. We used the GPS receiver, iPAQ and detailed maps to find our way to the Youth Hostel. This meant taking many many stairs and steep slopes up and down with heavy bags. We finally got there at 23:30, almost 5 hours overdue.

Settling down and making our beds in the Youth Hostel

We dropped our bags, refreshed ourselves and went for a walk in Stuttgart@night. We had some nice Yufka’s in the City Center, returned and let our tired weary feet rest…

See also the GUADEC 2005 Photo Gallery of Friday.


29 May 2005