Going GIGA!

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We were at the Block Party during the previous giga event, so I’ve said for a long time: «we’re going to the next giga!»
So when this was announced as a giga, we just had to go!

We had a really early flight from Haugesund, and arrived at Frankfurt airport before noon. Since we had decided to manage without a rental car this time, we headed straight to the railway station. After struggling a bit, we finally got the ticket we needed from the ticket machine, and after waiting about half an hour, we were finally on our way towards Mainz.

Since we were staying at the Hilton right next to the event, we jumped off at Mainz-Kastel and walked across the bridge. The hotel was nice enough to let us check-in early, and after dropping our bags, it was time to find some caches!

We didn’t get further than the first cache, before we spotted other cachers. And after we found the answers we needed for the earthcache, two other cachers came by. We traded some tokens, and we even got to buy a nice geocoin from them!

At the earthcache

They told us about an artist edition of the eventcoin, being sold at the maze. So we changed the plan a little bit, and did a «short» detour down to the maze.

This was our second GPS Maze (first was in Prague), and even though we didn’t understand much of what was written here either, this one felt a bit more like I expect a GPS maze to be. We got the coins we wanted, and turned out later that we made a very wise decision! There was absolutely no queue when we entered the maze, that was not the case the rest of the weekend…

GPS Maze

After the maze, we returned to our planned list. Since the weather was so nice, and we had more time than expected, we ended up finding a whole lot more than planned. Not bad considering how many caches that were disabled… We met a few cachers over and over again, and we got to share a few hints along the way. We fond several great caches, and had to leave quite a few favorite points. Two of the highlights were GC38FHW So ein Mystphi! Voll abgefahren… and GC551KA Hör mal wer da Piept.

It started raining a tiny bit, when we were the furthest away from the hotel, but luckily it didn’t last very long. That was the only few drops of rain we had the entire weekend!

We noticed a lot of historical places and statues around the city, some looking crazier than others.
Crazy

This was a great start on a long weekend, so we decided to call it a day a bit early. I even managed to properly log all the finds before going to bed.

We had a lot of caches planned before the meet & greet event the next day, so we started early, and decided to get some breakfast along the road.

Turned out that it was easier said than done, not many places (none at all) to get breakfast along the route we had planned. But at least we found the caches. We managed to walk right past a cache, I blame it on the steep hill we had to climb to get to the cache we had planned next. Luckily we noticed before it was too late, and we took the short detour back to log it. I’m a bit (positively) surprised at how many of the caches we found that are larger than a micro.

We decided to do the wherigo, since we were relatively close by. Had some trouble finding the start location, but once we eventually got to the correct spot, we understood why it had the name CityView of Mainz!

CityView

In the middle of the wherigo, we finally found a place to eat breakfast! Even though it was more like lunch now… After completing the wherigo, we continued as planned. Suddenly we were in a playground, and since there was no kids around, we decided to play a bit ourselves.

Playground

Little did we know that we also had to play a bit at the next cache. It was located at the very top of a tower with a slide. Getting the cache was a bit difficult, as the tower was made for smaller people than me! But I managed to both find, sign and replace! You may already have figured out how we got back down, yes, let’s just say we didn’t have to climb back down…

The tower

We found some more caches, before heading towards the event. We got a bit confused, as the coordinates to the event led us straight to a closed entrance. We decided to try the giga-coordinates instead, and found the entrance to the event.

As expected, the queue to pick up the pre-ordered stuff, was quite long. But the queue to the maze event was longer!

One of the greatest things with events like this, is all the people we get to meet! We met a lot of people we’ve met earlier, around the world. Funny how you keep seeing the same people, in different corners of the planet. Funny (but nice) how we keep meeting sandra+thorsten around the world. And as usual always nice to meet you jpbarr, and see your latest coin projects!

We stayed quite a while at the event, before we met up with Korsgat and Snilja and headed down towards Darmstadt to attend the event at midnight. We found a webcam along the way (detour), and a really nice TB-hotel! After having to give up finding a cache close to the event, we arrived a bit late. But a friendly EO greeted us, and we had a nice time here – in the middle of the night. A huge thanks to Dingo79 for hosting the event, and a huge thanks to Korsgat and Snilja that brought us with them.

We got to bed a bit late, but still managed to get up in time to go to the GIGA. Guess it was a wise decision to stay at the hotel next to the event!

Not so many people around at the start of the event, but the queue for the maze was still huge!

Me at the giga!

We walked around the area, got something to eat, looked at all the shops, and met lots and lots of nice people! Funny to see how many frogs people had in their backpacks.

After spending quite some time at the event, Imit42 and Nja42 joined us for a walk across the bridge to Mainz-Kastel, to find a few caches. We had a nice little roundtrip, and found three caches on the other side, before returning to the event.

We wanted to be there for the final presentations, and queued up with a whole lot of other people.

Just waiting to get in

We were a bit disappointed that nothing was translated to English, so we didn’t really understand much of what was being said. But at least we got to see Bryan play the drums!

We stayed at the event until it was almost finished, before heading back towards the hotel.

Since we weren’t tired enough to go to bed, we decided to bring Team-42 to the earthcache we found the first day. After they had found the answers thye needed, another geocacher came by. They helped him take a photo, before we had a little chat with him. While we were standing there, we suddenly heard a really loud bang. Curious as we are, we had to walk around the corner to see what happened.

Only seconds later we started hearing sirens, and only a few minutes after we heard the bang, several fire trucks parked next to a bank. For a minute or two, we almost thought we were going to witness a bank robbery! But there was no hole in the building, and no robbers to see anywhere. But it was really impressive to see how quickly they arrived after the bang!

Back at the hotel, we met several other Norwegians, and had a nice dinner. Tired after a long day, it was finally time to get some sleep.

We had a late flight home, so we had some caches planned for Sunday as well, in addition to the breakfast event. We started with the event, where we met our Swedish friends (which we kept bumping into the entire weekend).

We hadn’t pre-ordered food for the event, so we went straight to the food booth, where there was no queue. Turned out it was quicker if we bought the food directly here, than if we had pre-ordered.

Signal was definitely a popular sight at the event!
Signal

While sitting there, we suddenly found ourselves in the middle of an interview with kati1988 for her blog.

After chatting with our Swedish friends Team-Prince and Palmarna for quite some time, it was time to say goodbye, and head out to find some more caches. Turned out to be quite a bit longer to walk than we were prepared for, but we had more than enough time, so we just took the time we needed.

We’ve hold on to a travel bug for quite some time now, and brought it with us all over the world. Now it was finally time to leave TB603HM it in a cache, and hope that someone else will let it explore more of this wonderful world! It feels a bit strange to let it go now, but at least we’ve had a lot of fun with it while we had it!

We’ve been taking selfies with the tag at every place we brought it, like the one below. I hope the next cacher that finds it, will continue doing the same.
Us and the TB

After finding the caches we had planned to find, we headed back towards the hotel to check-out. We still had quite some time before our flight, but we decided to head towards the airport anyway.

At the security check, I had to show them the three strange objects in my backpack. Turned out to be all the coins I bought at the event. So when going through the security check at Gardermoen, I just took all of them out before sending the backpack through. They still took an extra look at the tray. Guess stacks of huge coins are not that common in the security check… 😀

We’ve had a great time in Mainz, and I’m glad we decided to do this trip! A huge thanks to everyone involved in this, and to all the nice people we’ve met, hope to see you soon again!

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