Actually this is not a particular warning for Karlsruhe, but rather a project, that I would like to bring to your attention:
there is this organisation called "Hänsel und Gretel" based here in Karlsruhe, but working all over Germany. It is an organization against sexual abuse of children and youth.
In 2003 they had the world's biggest outdoor gingerbread house here in Karlsruhe - a gingerbread house made of real ginger bread!!! They had little shows inside, mostly fairy tales - thus making their organisation known and raising some funds.
The website of Hänsel und Gretel is in German only.
In London it was Mind the Gap, here in Karlsruhe it is Mind the Tram!
The local tram network is so extensive and dense that at peaks hours in the city centre you should pay attention when crossing the street.
So keep in mind that one tram may hide another, be safe.
How bad does it hurt? I hope you never find out. I had an interesting conversation with a Tram Driver while I was here in Karlsruhe. When I asked her if she had ever hit anything, the answer was yes. 12 car in 12 years. When I asked about people the answer was only 2. Why does it happen? Because people don’t look both ways or turn cars into the paths of the trams. Trains are way too heavy to stop quickly and so are trams. The roads are very confusing because of multiple trams lines on the same busy streets in some areas. I even saw locals get confused about where to look for the trams. When in doubt – go to marked crossings and watch the lights!
When I arrived in Karlsruhe my suitcase handle broke while getting off the train, making it impossible to wheel my luggage to my hotel. I planned to go shopping for a new suitcase immediately. However with the excitement of exploring a new city, and then all of the pre pre VT meetings leading up to the big VT meetings on Friday and Saturday, I kept putting off buying the luggage. I passed many stores with luggage for sale but was just to busy to stop and purchase one. Finally on my last day in Karlsruhe I knew I had to go out and buy the luggage. I had a 7:30 train to Paris first thing the next morning. I went down to the lobby of my hotel and asked the lady working there where I could find the best deal on luggage. She laughed and asked "Today?" I said yes, I had a 7:30 train in the morning and my luggage had broken. She told me there was no place to buy luggage on a Sunday. All of the stores and shops are closed in Karlsruhe on Sunday. So on Monday morning I had to use my belt from my pants as a strap to drag my luggage to Paris. Once in Paris I bought a new suitcase for my return home. However it was much more expensive in Paris then it would have been in Karlsruhe.
Remember the stores are closed on Sunday. Do your shopping on Saturday night!
Yes, Graffiti is rude (picture 1), it sucks (pic 2) and its not for Ever (pic 3). Its not big and its not clever either. Karlsruhe is a beautiful city with parks, statues, walking paths and shocking idiots that should be beaten harshly. They think they are ‘street artists’ on the cutting edge. I say they look like clowns (pic 4) and that it’s not sexy (pic 5). These are also not cries for help, they are criminal damage to neighbourhoods. I know the morons who painted this rubbish will not read this because they don’t read – or have respect for others. I have 2 words for these ‘taggers’
What diseased mind could have not only thought of such a thing, but actually had it built? Let’s get this straight. You are looking at pictures of slides. Slides for children. Slides for children located in – bars. OK. Who can see the problem already? So let’s understand this. The child slips into the top of a multi-storey slide and comes out, blind, into an area inhabited by drunken adults. Scary.
It’s like giving the little tikes live ammunition and a firearm and wondering if they can figure it out.
Slides + children + beer = disaster.
I hope you never need to ring these telephone numbers. Please save this tip and print it and take it with you or just write them in your guidebook.
FIRE BRIGADE 112
EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES 19 222
I know you know this, but I have never seen so many signs graphically telling me the dangers of trains. I mean look at the picture! Deadly. It’s enough to give you nightmares for weeks. I guess this would explain why I saw people standing as far away from the platform edge here than I have ever seen anywhere else in the world. Good work sign fellas. Your job is done here.
No this is not a tip about Claus. Unfortunately there seems to be a lot of drunks in the nice parks here in this beautiful city. You can see them in the middle of the day with their beers and sometimes bizarre ‘singing’. They are not the nicest looking guys and I would give them a wide berth. Most are harmless, but I really wouldn’t want any kids near them.
Ever wonder where pigeons come from? Really hate that they are flying rats and sometimes s**t on you? Well I have some done investigative work and found that they originate here in Karlsruhe! I mean look at these pictures! Who would provide them with a place to live and reproduce like this? No other city in the world.
City authorities – be ashamed.
Anybody gotta a match?
LADIES! SHOES ARE DANGEROUS! Us Men have been trying to tell you for years not to buy so many. Now here is proof why you should not do it. The local authorities here in Karlsruhe have captured local shoes and placed them on display and put up prominent signs spelling out the DANGER of SHOES. They cause back problems and cost you (or more importantly someone else) way too much money. One pair of flat sensible shoes are all you safely need. Please do not mistake this exhibit and prison of dangerous shoes as a shop. Don’t see any prices do you?
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
There seems to be about 1 million signs all over Kalrsruhe telling you not to park your car in certain places. They really mean this! There are pictures that show a large vehicle towing yours if you park in the wrong place. Some are even in English on peoples’ front doors. Do not ignore these – your car will be removed and it will be very expensive and time consuming to get your car back. Rental car? Even worse.
There is also no where to hide. They use cranes to get the hard to tow cars. Don’t believe me? Look here:
Tripack’s scary car towing tip
People on bicycles are like huge locusts brining danger to all involved. Why does this happen? It’s all the way they read the street signs. They read them differently from you and I – the pedestrians. And that’s how it all goes wrong. I have set out below how you read them and how THEY read them.
You read: Women and children are safe on the right
They read: Move over – you are not safe here!
You read: Women and children have priority over bikes
They read: Women and children will be run over by bikes!
You read: Women and children are safe here – free of bikes
They read: No women and children – area free to bikes!
You read: Bikes coming both ways
They read: Nowhere is safe from these kamikazes!
You read: No bikes or cars allowed
They read: If cars aren’t even safe from us – you aren’t either! Who you looking at?
Some people are scared of dentists. This dentist has decided to give all the local people and unwary visitors nightmares for life. Right in the middle of the street this guy has mounted a huge extracted tooth like some sick trophy where anyone worried about going will have another huge reason to keep not going. This is like a barber displaying a bloody ear. And its not a small front tooth. No. This is a big tooth in the back of your mouth with huge deep roots that is going to hurt more than visiting in-laws or getting your taxes audited. OUCH!
Located on Sophienstrasse – I just don’t want anyone already scared about denistry to find this unexpectedly.
Look away now if you are easily shocked. This massive steel erection depicting 2 wild animals doing something both natural and wild is shocking. Not only is this in a place where children can see it. Its in front of a museum that encourages kids to visit! I tried to cover it up, but the statue is just too big. I hate to think what lurks inside as a ‘display’.
Location: Nature Museum, Erbprinzenstraße 13
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