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St. Michealis Reflection. Photo: HEP

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Travel Information - Hamburg & Germany - this page

Ships, Cruise Ships, Maritime - New Page

Airport, Departures, Arrivals, Trains, Ferries, Buses, Map, Delays - this page

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Annual International Oldtimer Meeting Baden-Baden - Classic Cars - external website

Header photo montage and photos by nicolls d.zine. All rights reserved ©

Hamburg Transport Quick View
Travel Information Hamburg + Germany
Air Travel
Traffic News and Live Delays
Route Planners & Town Maps
Travel Related News
Transport Features
Holiday Tips + Weekend & Day Trips etc
Towns & Places
Travelling in Germany
Traffic Laws
Taxi Services
Driving Abroad / Germany
Travel Humour
Driving Tips
Official Forms & Info




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Click image ©

S-Bahn trains to and from Hamburg Airport started December 2008 - Our Video - click here
Take care which half of the six cariaiges you sit in. The train splits in Ohlsdorf. Listen to announcements in English and see display on platforms

During the cold months Winter tyres have to be fitted by law. New stringent laws from 25.11.2010 go into force on 04.12.2010. The law is coupled with fines of up to 80 Euros. As with all legal matters in Germany, ignorance of the law is no excuse. Reportedly you are not insured, if involved in an accident with summer tyres on your vehicle. Check with your tyre stockists for laws covering summer tyres

Click here for our reports

Quick News & Live Tickers
The ICE 2 and a double-decker in Hamburg, crossing the Alster. Click here for Rail info

Hamburg Departure (Abfahrt Hamburg) Train Cancellations & Delays
Main Train Station news above. Translation below
Rough translation - click here. Original Twitter location - click here

Metronom News, Cancellations & Delays (Metronom4me)
Metronom crossing the Hamburg Alster Lake in Spring

Rough translation - click here
Original Twitter location - click here
Our short Metronom Video - click here

Please note: When using the rough translation, the tool renders some menus inoperative. Refer to original, or translate each page via Google seperately

Photos: nicolls d.zine © Banner at top of this section: Deutsche Bahn, double decker crossing the Alster lake in Hamburg. Right: Metronom double decker in Altona Train Station

Double Decker in Altona mainline train station

Hamburg Airport Twitter News
Rough translation - click here. Original Twitter location - click here
Hamburg, 17th January 2010 | Hamburg Airport de-iced well over 2000 aircraft, during the cold spell. Photos: © nicolls d.zine

Top Hamburg Transport Quick View

Hamburg Traffic Information in English New Link - Jan 2010

Hamburg Traffic Jams in English

Parking and Park & Ride - German | Rough translation

Visitors travelling to Hamburg by car, may park vehicles in the Park & Ride car parks near the motorway and take the train into the city

Parking spaces available for the event stadiums plus useful tips

Traffic cameras (German) / translation. This page includes links to other travel information sources

What to expect when approaching the  Elbe Motorway Tunnel

Public Transport in the Hamburg area. HVV trains, buses and ferries

HVV Hamburg rail network
Your personal HVV route planner

Parking and Park & Ride - German | Rough translation

Parking for coaches

U Bahn - Baumwall (Hafen City)

German Railways (Deutsche Bahn)

Your personal DB (German Railways) route planner

Twitter Hamburg Train Departures

Metronom Trains:
Twitter Metronom
Metronom Gallery

Double Decker in Altona mainline train station

Taxis in Hamburg are always cream coloured, as seen on the right. The last person to try driving a different coloured taxi, just about lived to tell the tale. Hamburg taxi drivers, know which colour they want

Taxis in Hamburg
Taxi Ranks

Taxis outside the main train station

Cycle Routes: Elbe-River Cycle Route
North Sea Cycle Route


Hamburg Map - Selection of topics:

Bike & Ride
Border Crossing Points - Customs Restricted Zones
Disabled Parking
Flood Zones
One-Way Streets - City Centre
Park & Ride
Multistorey Car Parks - City Centre
Bridge Height Restrictions
Pedestrian Precincts & Shopping Passages in the City Centre
Special Maps
Lorry / Truck Service

The section above is based upon the service provided by The photos are the property of Hamburg English Pages and nicolls d.zine - ©

This section continues here - please click here


Watch Video >>

Online Helipcopter video taken by HEP - This is more than likely EC 135 T2i (Luftrettung) ''Christoph 29/SAR 71'' based in Hamburg, Germany. The aircraft landed in Hamburg-Nienstedten on 16th January, late afternoon. There was an ambulance nearby which suggested someone had to be flown to hospital. It turned out that the person was taken to Altona Hospital by ambulance and the helicopter took off empty. It was not possible to get closer as the police always make sure the area is kept clear.


High Speed ICE

(C) Hamburg Airport
(C) Photos by nicolls d.zine for Hamburg English Pages -
(C) Hamburg Airport

The new AIRPORT S-Bahn now takes passengers to Hamburg Airport. The service started on 12th December 2008 after the official opening on the 11th. Hamburg was the only major German airport without a rail link. 2008 also saw the opening of the shopping plaza, in the middle of the two buildings, shown left (archive photo), an appealing retail centre for passengers located between Terminal 1 and 2. A new hotel opened in 2008. New car parks were opened in 2007. Many years of confusing airport road systems, due to building work, may be over.

The train splits in Ohlsdorf. Make sure you are in the correct half of the train. See signs and listen to announcments

Click the photos for more news on the AIRPORT S-Bahn

The two photos (above airport and computerised illusatration) supplied by and used with permission of Hamburg Airport ©. Others property of nicolls d.zine - ©.

Toulouse | 15th Oct 2007 - The first A380, below, was delivered to an Airline today, one-and-a-half years late. Click here for news and for official videos and news. The Hamburg English Pages exclusive videos of the A380 in Hamburg can be seen here A380 & Airport Days, including close-ups before the crowds were allowed in and shots from next to a runway. Photo nicolls d.zine

S-Bahn train interior - click here for trains and buses
A380 photo by nicolls d.zine
Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth 2nd and Queen Victoria 1st - features and ship arrival details can be found on our Out & About page

Top Airbus Extra
The A380 flies over Airbus- Finkenwerder, waves, circles and lands for the first time in November 2005. Late delivery to Singapore Airlines and other carriers may cost Airbus millions. More photos can be found in the Hamburg Gallery - link further down

The A380 flies over Hamburg-Nienstedten, Hamburg-Finkenwerder (Airbus) and the Elbe... more photos in the Hamburg Gallery.

15:00, 27.08.2005. Photos taken by nicolls d.zine for Hamburg English Pages ( All rights reserved

Photos below by HEP except photo of aircraft, property of Airbus press section - all rights reserved
Property of Hamburg English Pages
A380 Hangar in Hamburg - Apr 2005 - above Airbus Toulouse - Apr 2003 - below
Property of Hamburg English Pages

The underpass in Toulouse with A380 - Apr 2005

Airbus press section photo - click for source

Property of Airbus - click for source

The main bridge in historic Toulouse - Apr 2003

Airbus Family Day 2005 slideshow photos including photos of the A380 flying low at 150 metres over the Elbe from the runway in Airbus-Hamburg - Click here. All photos by HEP. All rights reserved

Property of Hamburg English Pages


2004 | Trains Run Through the Night - Started 10th December 2004. Trains will be running every 20 minutes through the night for the first time, weekends only

Local train services were extended out to other towns, such as the Harburg area, Stade and Lueneburg. This means a Grossbereich day ticket could cover journies to these destinations. Ask at the information counter, or visit this website

Trains and buses: - for English click on the flag on this website

Child at Night - photo: HEP in Elbe Tunnel

Wear bright clothes at night

Do you drive with a caravan or trailer? Are you aware of the 1999 law changes in Germany? You could be driving without a licence and therefore without insurance... more

Petrol / Gas prices

Nostalgic Steam Train trips with German Railways - or Info here

 nicolls d.zine website

Top Useful Links & Tips - please report dead links
Blitzed by a speed camera, will I get a ticket? May 2008 - Forum
Travelling in Germany and Hamburg - New format and section - on this page
Ships Coming to Hamburg - The feature is on our Out & About Page
Germany For Kids European Motoring Advice
The German Information Center Winter Tyres
Expat Destination: Germany
German Railways - Deutsche Bahn Worldwide Travel Warnings
The ADAC in Germany is the same as the RAC or AA in Great Britain - ask your breakdown recovery company if you are covered when in Germany. Photo: HEP, 8th April 2004 in Hamburg. All rights reserved -

Top Transport Features
Please send us links, information and photos. Museums, historic buses, traction engines, steam, classic cars, trucks, tractors and industrial motors for example. Innovations from the past and present
Nostalgic Train Trips in Germany and from Hamburg
Hamburg English Pages Contact Page

Top Holiday Tips
The Eifel - volcanic holiday area in Germany - Link: Eifel. The Eifel is a low mountain range in western Germany and eastern Belgium. It occupies parts of southwestern North Rhine-Westphalia, northwestern Rhineland-Palatinate and the south of the German-speaking Community of Belgium).
Bodensee / Lake Constance and the Flower Island Mainau etc - Germany. Zeppelin flights, cycle routes and hire, an island full of flowers, a wonderful view of the mountains, boats, castles and a fairy tale lake steeped in history and surrounded by beautiful towns and many attractions
Lake Constance - 395m above sea level. 570 square kilometers, 63km long, up to 14 km wide. Up to 254m deep, average depth 96m, volume 55 billion cubic metres. Largest inlets: Rhine, Bregenzer Ach, Argen, Schussen. Largest towns: Constance, Friedrichshafen, Bregenz, Lindau Überlingen
Direct links replaced in 2014. The links are now Google searches. Google changed the rules and link partners have asked to be removed. Thanks Google!
Bodensee/ Lake Constance
Mainau is an island in Lake Constance. It is maintained as an excellent garden island
Konstanz is a university city with approximately 80,000 inhabitants located at the western end of Lake Constance in the south-west corner of Germany, bordering Switzerland. The city houses the University of Konstanz
Lindau is a Bavarian town and an island on the eastern side of Lake Constance, the Bodensee. It is the capital of the Landkreis or rural district of Lindau
Bodensee-radwege / Cycle Routes
Zeppelinflug / Zeppelin Flights
Send us your tip

Top Travel Information - Hamburg & Germany
Select links below to go down in this section
• Trains  
• Airport - Hamburg  
• Airport - Lübeck  
• Gatwick Airport  
• Traffic News - Hamburg
• Traffic News - Germany  
• Route Planners  
• Travel Related News  
BAA News: Following the terrorist incident at Glasgow Airport, additional security measures are in place at all BAA airports. Dropping off and picking up in front of the airport is severely restricted and passengers are warned that there may be significant delays in reaching the terminal building by car. BAA strongly recommends that you use the long stay car parks or travel to the airport by public transport.

In addition, hand baggage restrictions implemented last year remain in place. Just to remind you, passengers are only allowed to carry ONE item of hand baggage. If you need to travel with liquids, they must be in individual containers not greater than 100ml capacity. They must be placed in one transparent re-sealable bag, no larger than 20cm x 20cm (8" x 8"), and fit comfortably inside the bag so it can be fastened closed.We hope this information has been of use to you but please keep checking the website for the very latest updates (links below). We regret any inconvenience that these events have caused.

Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Southampton

Index Trains - Mainline and Underground / Metro - section index
Hamburg has five major mainline train stations: Hauptbahnhof (central station), Altona, Dammtor, Harburg, Bergedorf. Various types of train services are available
Deutsche Bahn website in English Deutsche Bahn website sitemap
Trains, Ferries, Boats in Hamburg (HVV) (Hamburg)
When buying monthly HVV (Hamburg) train, ferry and bus tickets, you'll save quite a lot, if you apply to have the monthly ticket costs taken directly from your bank account - click here. On a one day basis select T3 on the ticket machines for a day ticket, after 9am, to save. There are no return tickets as found in other countries. T3 is the closest you will get
Index Hamburg International Airport - section index
Hamburg Airport - Info Website
Live Departures WebCams
Live Arrivals Airport Continued

S-Bahn trains to and from Hamburg Airport started December 2008 - Our Video - click here
Take care which half of the six cariaiges you sit in. The train splits in Ohlsdorf. Listen to announcements in English and see display on platforms

Denied-Boarding Compensation System
2005 - The action taken by the EU in the field of air transport aims, among other things, at ensuring a high level of protection for passengers. This Regulation establishes common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights. Click here for more information in English - follow the links in the text, on this website, for more details in HTML and PDF formats in many languages
Index Lübeck Airport (not Hamburg). 60km from Hamburg - section index

Call airport for the latest news and flights

See this story, we posted on our Facebook pageand this photo
Flughafen Lübeck GmbH - Blankenseer Straße 101 - 23560 Lübeck
Tel: +49-(0)451-58301-0 Fax: +49-(0)451-58301-24

The discount airline Ryan Air operates from Lübeck airport 60km from Hamburg via the A1 motorway - ignore the fact that Hamburg-Lübeck is given as the destination, it is not Hamburg at all. Flights go to Stansted (outside London in England), Prestwick (Scotland), Stockholm Skavsta (Sweden), Milan (Italy) and Pisa (Italy). Buses connecting to flights landing or going from Lübeck, go from Hamburg's central bus station (ZOB) and cost circa 8 Euros (2004). DO NOT take a taxi from Lübeck to Hamburg unless you are very rich. Use the black and dark-red bus parked outside in the car park. 2004/2008 - Flights sadly no longer go to the best Airport in southern England, Gatwick from Hamburg - which of course makes no sense at all.Lübeck Bus? Go out of the small airport and you will usually (2004) see the bus/coach about 50 to 100 metres on your right. The bus usually costs €8 one way and goes directly to Hamburg Central Bus Station (ZOB) near the main train station. The bus waits for the aircraft, regardless of when it arrives. Last reports stated that the bus no longer drives through roads in need of serious repair and fields, but now uses the newly opened fast road. This has decreased the journey time. ZOB is also not very near Hamburg AirportIf you have problems/delays with your luggage, inform members of staff that you will be taking the bus, or else you will miss it and this could lead to serious delays or a taxi. Taxi costs are very high and could cost as much as the flight.If you need to go to Hamburg Airport from Lübeck, take the bus to ZOB. Then go across to the main train station and take the green line S-Bahn to Ohlsdorf. From Ohlsdorf take the bus to the airport. From December 2008, trains will go straight to Hamburg Airport. You could also take one of the more expensive extra-long private yellow Airport buses from selected bus stops outside the main train station and elsewhere - click for photo of yellow bus and website and click here for the logo usually seen on the extra bus stops.

If you are flying to Lübeck, take care your luggage is not overweight. The airline has a habit of adding to its profit by adding heavy fines to those who dare to be overweight. When booking flights, you have to pay extra for luggage - it is not included. There is even an extra counter and staff to cash in on overweight luggage. Nobody gets away with this. Another discount airline has stopped the weight limit in circa 2004/2005. This airline starts flights from Hamburg in 2008 - ask for current weight limits, which may change.

Index Hamburg to Gatwick
Ad Balloon over Hamburg. Property of nicolls d.zine

EasyJet fly from Hamburg to Gatwick from February 2010. We asked for a press release, but they did not answer, so details and flights do not appear to be important. We do not know, if they are flying for one season, or more. January 2008 | Hamburg to Gatwick. Gatwick is no longer in the German Wings flight plan, We were not aware of any warnings at all that Gatwick was going to be dropped from the flight plan. German Wings may have experienced a number of problems with slots in Gatwick, which we personally experienced during 2007, and these may have caused the delays and plane jams. A spokesman for BAA Gatwick told Hamburg English Pages, BAA Gatwick was disappointed by the decision by GermanWings to cease their service between Gatwick and Hamburg. GermanWings had operated a very reliable service for its passengers and, for example was in the top five airlines for punctuality in December 2007. They were well above average for on-time departures with almost 90% of all of their flights leaving within 15 minutes of schedule. We are sorry that the airline decided to withdraw the service. BAA Gatwick is keen to provide as much choice in both routes and airlines for passengers and we are constantly seeking to develop the choice further.A spokesman for German Wings told Hamburg English Pages. We stopped flying between Hamburg and London-Gatwick because the yield did not develop according to our high expectations. Although the seat load factor was quite high, the yield was not
Photos by and property of nicolls d.zine - except arial photo of Hamburg Airport, taken before the new terminal was built. There is now a curved roof in the middle

Hamburg Airport (property of)
German Wings in Hamburg - property of nicolls d.zine
GATWICK UK | London Gatwick is the sixth busiest international airport in the world and currently handles around 32 million passengers a year with its one-runway, two-terminal operation, which can occasionally lead to plane jams and minor delays - which we have experienced three times. Snow clearance appears to be excellent at Gatwick, especially after the purchase of a new fleet of snow ploughs in 2012, or 2013

From its early beginnings as a race course and small flying club, London Gatwick has come a long way in just over 70 years - and remains the busiest single-runway airport in the world.Consistently voted 'Best UK Airport' by members of the travel industry, the airport is home to more than 90 airlines flying to over 200 destinations worldwide, offering travellers a wide choice of scheduled short and long-haul operators - including British Airways and franchise partner GB Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Continental Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines, US Airways, Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways. Low-cost operators include easyJet, Ryanair,, Centralwings, Germanwings and Monarch Scheduled.Gatwick is the fast, relaxed and easy way to connect to the rest of the world - the place to begin an adventure - and a great place to come home to. With passenger numbers forecast to grow to around 40 million in the next 10 years or so, BAA is investing around £1billion in new facilities to make sure Gatwick is England's brightest airport.The new Pier 6 bridge - the first of its kind at any airport in the world that is able to span a Boeing 747-400 aircraft - links the North Terminal and offers 12 stands. BAA has invested £100 million in the project.And a £25 million extension to South Terminal Arrivals is designed to ensure the arrivals hall can meet forecasted demand with additional baggage belts and floor space to ease congestion and waiting times.

Superb facilities in the departure lounges include an extensive range of shops, bars, cafes and restaurants with great retail names such as Next, Hugo Boss, Ted Baker, Harrods, Kurt Geiger, Boots and Dixons.


There are modern, well-equipped lounges for business travellers, wireless broadband internet access in the North Terminal departure lounge and dedicated Fast Track car parking and security channel for first/business class passengers in both terminals. Click here for transport services.

Thanks to London Gatwick (BAA) for providing us with the information about Gatwick. © Property of and managed by In-Press Photography Ltd
Green Dragon Vaults. Parliament Square, Hertford, Herts, SG14 1PT. United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 1992 501134. Fax: +44 (0) 1992 501174

Index TV & Radio Traffic News for Hamburg - section index
Dead links and translation links updated - June 2007 and December 2010
NDR Regional Choices in German | Translation
Latest Traffic News - German original - NDR | Translation
Search for Reports - German original - links keep being changed, so use this if links are dead again
Search for Reports - Translation - links keep being changed, so use this if links are dead again
Roughly translated into English links. You may need to refer to the German version if road and area names have been translated. More > here
Index National Traffic News - section index
11th/12th August 2005 - BA flight cancellations - News: German | English
Verkehrsinfos / Traffic News - a selection of links >> Rough English >> German Original
Traffic Jam Links page in English
Understanding German Traffic Reports - dead link updated May 2005

TAKE CARE - "Children crossing" and while driving at night...

Overtaking tractors and slow moving vehicles can be dangerous...

Keep to the speed limits... Remember, there are speed limits on most motorways in Germany - between Hamburg and Berlin the speed limit is 100% restricted - you can only drive up to 120kmh. Elsewhere, only limited stretches have no limit and these attract the worst type of drivers - the killers who don't care about children, inexperienced drivers, about your family or you - just the need for speed and to get there first. We support a speed limit of 120kmh and harder punishment for killer drivers. A ban is required for those who import fast cars from other countries just to race on German motorways as a holiday sport.

Click for more Hamburg Travel...
Index Route Planners & Town Maps - more in column on right - section index
Route Planners & Town Maps
Route Planners - a selection of links > > Rough English > > German Original
Hamburg Map in German > > Rough English Translation
Local Train and Bus Route Planner - English service: Select flag at top of the website
Route Planner Route Service
Route Planner for Germany in English Euro Route Planner
Index Travel Related News - section index
Click for instant German Travel News
Companies wishing to sponsor this page, are welcome to contact us for details of how to advertise on them, or sponsor full pages. We are considering making Hamburg English Pages a limited commercial website, sometime during 2006 - depending on German bureaucracy

Wood Dash Kits Large selection of wood dash kits, carbonfiber dash kits and aluminium dash kits for your interiors enhancement - a Hamburg English Pages link partner

Top Towns and Places
Thredbo - Skiing in Australia - Live Australian Ski Cameras - News - add yours...
Germany: Bergedorf or Nienstedten - add yours...
Translation Page

German Railways - Left, the ICE 2. Middle, the interior and exterior of the ICE 1. Bottom, a double-decker next to an ICE 1. Photos: Hamburg English Pages in Hamburg-Altona, October to December 2003.

Photo: Chris Nicolls 2002 - Airport Classics Hamburg
Top Hamburg Transportation & General Airport Information
The airport is 8 kilometres (5 miles) north-east of the city centre. There are no train services at the airport yet, but a bus shuttle service runs to the city centre every 20 minutes, which is more expensive than the bus which takes you to the nearest metro station, (S & U-Bahn). Airport Express buses (tel: 40 22 71 06 61) to Hamburg central station nonstop (a 30 minute journey) every 15-20 minutes, and to Altona train station every 30 minutes (a 31 minute journey) from Terminals 1 and 4. The usual red and white liveried Hamburg buses run to the city centre and other points around Hamburg - from the Airport, bus services also run to nearby Ohlsdorf U-Bahn/S-Bahn station every ten minutes at peak times
Photo: Chris Nicolls 2002 - Hamburg Airport

Once in the city, parking is difficult. Most people park elsewhere and use public transportation. The U-Bahn is both fast and efficient. The S-Bahn is fast, but often late. Most public transportation services, the U-Bahn (subway), S-Bahn (city rail), A-Bahn (commuter rail), R-Bahn (Regional - Some services added in 2003 to extend city services - more services to come) numerous bus routes, and harbour ferries, are administered by Hamburger Verkehrsverbund (HVV), Steinstrasse 12, in the city centre, (station: U3 Mönkebergstrasse). Tickets are sold at ticket machines and ticket counters - see links on the right for more. Ticket counters can be found in larger, busier stations such as the main train station, Altona, Dammtor and so on. Most train stations are not manned, but there are orange pillars with intercom enquiry services)

Ticket controls are undertaken by roaming teams of controllers who wear civil clothing or uniforms. Mass controls are occasionally undertaken at station exits, usually where passengers do not expect it. The inspectors can sometimes be very unfriendly and aggressive, especially those in uniform - Hamburg English Pages has witnessed this problem more than once, although in recent times the situation seems to have improved a little. They have no understanding for mistakes made buying tickets and fines can be on the spot. If you have no ticket and no money, you have one week to pay or the fine will be raised
Even if you forget a previously bought valid ticket, you will be fined, but not as much - just take your ticket with you, when you go to pay the fine, in Steinstrasse. If you are caught more than three times without a ticket, a file will be sent to the criminal police in Hamburg and to the Ausländerbehörde (where foreigners get permission to stay in Germany - the info will be used against you, when you apply for extra permission to stay in Germany - applies to Brits as well). The authorities will treat you as a criminal, even if you made mistakes leading to being caught without a ticket. If you have no ID and no money when caught, you might be detained by the police until you have been identified - inspectors have limited police authority - inspectors will call the police. Regular offenders are taken to court. It is an offence not to have ID with you. Leaving passports in hotels, is not advised, as a passport is your ID. If for some reason the ticket machines do not work, make a note of the ticket machine number and get a ticket as soon as possible - this could help you in the event of an inspection, but be prepared that the inspectors will not believe you at first - just remain firm, calm and diplomatic - your best weapon - be prepared for comments, such as, "we have heard this excuse before" - do not become agitated, as inspectors have been known to get violent
Believe it or not, there are no cheaper return tickets and no night trains!! The night buses only run on limited main routes - all routes converge at the City Hall/Town Hall/Rathaus at night. Most people do not find night buses much use and the buses are often full of drunken disco groups. Only the lucky few who happen to live near a route get home without the addition of a taxi. By the way, we believe it's possible to get the bus driver to call a taxi, by radio, to pick you up at the bus stop nearest to your home/hotel etc - if booking a hotel, ask if it is near a night-bus bus stop. Also ask for the precise name of the bus stop and the road the hotel is in
Photos: HEP - All rights reserved
Top Always Carry Your Passport - ID German Legal Requirement
UK info - useful for all. Although the United Kingdom is part of the European Union, you are still required to carry a full 10 year British passport with you every time you travel to a European destination. This includes day trips and travel by Eurostar. Many countries have now abandoned routine passport checks at their land borders but they still expect visitors to be able to produce a valid form of identification - ESPECIALLY DURING TERROR ALERTS. In the case of UK travellers this is the British passport. Remember, your passport will be checked at immigration control on your return to the UK. Having ID with you at all times is a legal requirement at all times in Germany. You run the risk of having trouble with the police if you do not have ID with you

Top Hotels

Hamburg's red light districts are internationally famous, dangerous, questionable and dirty. Unfortunately for the unsuspecting business traveller some of its brothels in the St. Georg quarter look like hotels, so this area is well worth avoiding. Hamburg has a mix of stunning modern 80's style buildings and older architecture. There is a mixture of chain and independent hotels. Pensionen have some similarities with Bed & Breakfast in the UK. Breakfast is cheese, sliced ham, jam, boiled egg (occasionally German style scrambled egg - very watery) and bread rolls and much to the dislike of many visitors, black bread. There are no British breakfasts, as bacon is not readily available. German breakfasts can be similiar to US breakfasts. By the way, on a lighthearted note, try describing black pudding, or even haggis, and how it's cooked to your German friends. The reaction is always good. If you have Marmite/VeggieMite offer some to your guests!

Top Traffic Laws & Road Etiquette
Laws, By-Laws & Conventions on Conduct - click left - based on Paderborn law, but useful

Trailers/Caravans: Since 1999 driving licence rules apply to the total weight with which you can drive car/trailer combinations. You require a new driving licence and you need to calculate a little. The standard weights are in the registration papers. Whoever needs to know exactly, must weigh the combination on a weigh bridge in the TÜV/VehicleTest/MOT test centre. A VW Golf TDI, for example weighs empty 1,323 kilograms according to factory specifications. The trailer must weigh the same - 1,323 kilograms loaded. Alone the car may weigh , 1,800 Kilos loaded - passengers included - a bit difficult, if all you own are the kitchen scales - how many of you have a weigh bridge? 26TH FEB 2004 - DIRECT ROUGH COMPUTER TRANSLATION CONTINUED BELOW

Everything together may be difficult the bottom plate for a driver with driving licence class B at the most 3.5 tons. A VOLKSWAGEN Touareg weighs however already empty over 2,5 tons and loads scarcely three. After the 3.5 ton regulation remained for the driving licence class B thereby for the trailer about 500 kilogram. That is, much too few for a caravan. Calculated a particularly safe towing vehicle like a strong jeep may not take thus a trailer on the hooks, which a gulf may pull. Who makes it nevertheless without an auxiliary driving licence, a penalty does not only risk. In such the driving licence expires to a case. And that is a criminal offence existence, which can be occupied even with an imprisonment. In addition the insurance protection is void. In the case of an accident the liability insurance pays, takes however up to 5.000. - Euro recourse. The insurance against all risks does not pay. For the training as the driving licence at least 10 driving lessons are usual. A theory examination is void. Altogether the driving licence costs finally approximately 800 euro. Who acquired its driving licence of the old class three still 1999 ago, gets when describing the appropriate new classes registered. That is, also the driving licence without extra examination. And thus even nearly 8 meters long campers of the luxury class may be drawn. A special arrangement gives it for driving licence beginners: Trailers, which weigh loaded maximally 750 kilograms, may always on the hooks - also without special trailer leader license.


In mainland Europe, a driver who flashes his lights at you is warning you to get out of his way. In England, a driver who flashes his lights at you is stopping to let you go in front of him. This difference causes problems for foreign drivers in England and vice versa. In Germany, if you flash your lights, to let someone out of a junction, they may not react. We have been told that this is due to mistrust and maybe due to some drivers who have tried accident insurance claim tricks - not confirmedGerman Traffic Laws & Regulations - select the above link for an external websiteCustomising Cars. In Germany and throughout Europe, customising laws are an important factor in vehicle modification. After WW II, a technical proving institute known as TÜV came into being, putting many restrictions on cars and parts in Germany. For example, car owners are issued complete car identification papers with all the technical data such as height, weight, wheel and tyre size, motor etc, for each car. All custom parts used on the car must be listed in the paperwork. Each vehicle is inspected by TÜV every 2 years. All custom parts must be tested and approved by TÜV or the cars don't pass the inspection. If illegal parts are found on a vehicle they must be removed, and the owner is subject to losing the vehicle registration and insurance

Fortunately, there is some good news. Because the number of customised British and American cars is growing, the governing bodies such as TÜV are loosening up the laws a little each year by approving the parts used on these cars. TÜV laboratories in the U.S. test the parts for the manufacturer and can certify the parts as safe for use

A view towards the city centre, from Baumwall train station in the Harbour
Hamburg Architecture - near Baumwall
Top Green Arrows & Red Lights
German Road Traffic Regulations § 37 sect 2
Turning right at traffic lights with a green arrow is not a must, it's just an option
It is against the law to hoot, or flash your lights to force other drivers forward who do not want to go - they don't have to if they don't want to and these actions could cause an accident
Some drivers want to turn left, or go ahead - they would be breaking the law if they went through red
Turning at a red light with a green arrow also means you should never be a hinderance or a danger to pedestrians and bicycles. With this in mind and only then, are you allowed to drive very slowly towards the road in front as long as there is no traffic coming. Traffic with a green light has the right of way
A red light with a green arrow means you can only turn right and only where the green arrow is present
Always stop at the white line when turning at a red light with a green arrow
When many vehicles in a row want to turn, the law applies to all

Hamburg English Pages tip: Bicycle riders tend to ride fast over junctions like these and in a split second they are in front of you. Most danger from the right

To ignore the rules means a heavy fine and will be treated as if the person drove through a red light

Top Driving Abroad & in Germany
European Travel Advisor - Germany
Which side of the road?

Driving abroad is different and can often be difficult, particularly if you don't drive abroad regularly. Follow these simple guidelines and your driving should be safe and more relaxing

Driving on the right hand side of the road will seem strange at first for Brits and others who drive on that side, so concentrate all the time you are driving. Make sure you know the rules of the road in the country that you are in and obey them. Many rules and traffic regulations will be the same as in the UK and US, but some countries do have particular rules and regulations. They are often enforced with greater firmness and being a tourist may not get you off the hook. For example, French and Dutch autoroute police can calculate your average speed between toll booths, issue a ticket on this evidence alone and impose an on-the-spot fine

Top Approaching from the right
In some countries, Germany for example, vehicles approaching from the right usually have priority. Local people will mostly expect everybody to comply with this rule. In German residential areas, with a 30kmh speed limit, there are usually no white lines at junctions and cars drive straight out of roads from the right, sometimes without looking, as they have the right of way and sometimes need to prove it! Although, if there is a sign with a yellow diamond bordered in white (right) on the corner of the road, you have the right of way - crazy stuff!!!
Make sure that you understand the meaning of all road signs and obey them. Most of them will be familiar to you and the meaning of those that are not, should be fairly obvious. Remember the general rule:- triangles warn, circles prohibit and rectangles inform.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse, according to German law...It’s an offence to run out of petrol on the motorway or in tunnels in Germany...It is an offence to drive without Winter tyres in the Winter months...

Speed limits do exist on motorways! Follow the speed limit signs...

In most European countries, it is a legal requirement that drivers carry a red warning triangle (left) in case of breakdown or accident - in Germany you are required by law, to carry an up-to-date first aid kit (see left) - we have been told if you are only visiting, this is only reccomended - not confirmed. If you do break down or have an accident, put the red triangle at least 50 metres (164 ft) before the obstruction and on the same side of the road; 150 metres (492 ft) on the hard shoulder of motorways. At night or in poor visibility do not stand behind your vehicle or let anyone else do so, it could prevent other drivers seeing your rear lights/reflectors and is especially dangerous on motorways. Stand well clear of the vehicle on motorways. Do not sit in it, or do as we did, drive onto the grass, if possible. Legal or not, it's safer. Hamburg English Pages has had the experience that 2 triangles are better than one, especially if the vehicle breaks down on a blind bend. A blinking torch/flashlight is also sensible - if the batteries are not empty! Obtain one with a cigarette lighter socket option - the only sensible use for the socket!
Keep back! Safety first, always keep your distance, especially when wet. Leave a large gap when waiting at traffic lights in case you get rammed from behind - You pay if your car hits the car in front (insurance rules). Drive with lights on during the day - reduces accidents by 40% - law in Sweden! Leave your car and stand well back if you break down on a motorway. Enter motorway service stations with a maximum speed of 40kmh - reduces deaths! Don't use fog lamps unless it's REALLY foggy!
Top German Roundabouts for Brits etc - Yes, they do exist
Say "Think Right - Look Left" to yourself every time you start to drive or approach a roundabout or road junction - roundabouts are rare in Germany and the laws are different (keeping the centre white line ahead of your left hand is also a method used by a few as a rough guide and sometimes helps). This will put you in the right place on the road, travelling in the direction of the traffic flow and looking in the direction from where the first danger is most likely to come. Saying "Think Right - Look Left" to yourself will also help to avoid your natural inclination to want to drive on the left side of the road. We recommend great caution using roundabouts in Germany, because the locals do not know what to do on them and it is sometimes a case of having eyes in the back of your head. Roundabouts with two lanes are especially dangerous - stay in the outside lane if you can and if it is safe to do so. Use your indicators/blinkers only when approaching the exit, not like in the UK. Remember that buses are built in such a manner that the tail swings out on roundabouts and on corners - never try to overtake buses on roundabouts, or else you could find yourself sitting upside down with a bad headache and a large insurance claim, plus a fine for dangerous driving. Buses always have the right of way - no matter what and they need two lanes to go round a roundabout
Top Tiredness Can Kill
Do not drive too far without a break - tiredness can kill you and others. Take a break every two hours and, if possible, change drivers regularly. Plan your route and make sure you have an up-to-date map. Maps with the former East Germany in them should not be used - too much has changed since then, such as road numbers and many new roads have been built and routes have been changed
Top Overtaking
Overtaking is a difficult and potentially dangerous manoeuvre. You must always be sure that when you overtake it is going to be safe to do so. Driving a right-hand drive car on the "other" side of the road means you are not in the best position to see ahead. Always remember, the decision to overtake is yours - do not rely on the judgement of the passenger in the front seat. Driving onto motorways from the ramp, especially in a right-hand drive commercial vehicle means you cannot see if any traffic is coming. If you are the proud owner of electrically operated mirrors, move the field of vision out, as you approach the ramp, so you can see the motorway - only if this means you are not distracted from driving! Get your passenger to do it if you can. A small stick-on wide vision mirror should be bought by UK drivers before leaving the UK. You might not find this type of mirror in Germany. Remember to clean the main mirror before sticking the wide vision mirror on, because it will fall off otherwise. Interior blind-spot mirrors can be found on Ebay. We use one in our car, with great results.
Top Headlights

Make sure that the car you are driving is roadworthy and that the headlights on right-hand drive vehicles have been properly adjusted, if that is necessary, or you have taped the correct part of the lenses so you do not blind drivers with UK headlights that shine in the wrong direction. When travelling in Germany, remember that it is required by law that spare bulbs are part of the safety equipment - that means bulbs in a protective box, not bulbs lying around in areas of the car. Bulbs that are not protected are usually no good. If you drive a VW Golf you will need to check your rear lights at least 5 times more often than other drivers. If you are wondering why, try counting how many Golfs are driving without one or the other rear lights at night. If anyone knows the technical reason for that, we would like to know! Talking about lights, most cyclists don't seem to know what lights are, so be careful in GermanyReplacing Bulbs:To avoid short circuits, turn off the respective electrical components when changing light bulbsKeep bulbs free of grease and dirt. Hold them only with a clean cloth or soft paper. Do not touch them with your fingers - you will ruin them, or reduce the life of them if you touch them!Do not use chemical cleaning agents for plastic lenses. Plastic lenses should only be cleaned with water or a mild soap/water solution

Further information

Top Insurance
You must tell your insurance company if you intend to take your own car abroad. You should also ask your insurance company if you need an International Driving Licence, Green Card or Bail Bond

Top Travel Humour
A collection of jokes, pictures, cartoons and stories relating to the lighter side of aviation
German Roadsign Humour - in German
Garages - His and Hers Speed limit 30 kmh?
Why it is important to learn English... signs written in English
Wierd Places in the USA - Some of these other websites are travel related and have a serious side to them. Others however, have absolutely nothing to do with travel and have been included because this external website found them amusing...
Driving on the left was first... Lighthearted Info - The majority of the World is right handed... why do three-quarters of the World drive in a left-handed way? There ain't nothin' odd about the Brit's.. and no they don't all live in London...
About a quarter of the world drives on the left, and the countries that do are mostly old British colonies. Japan also drives on the left - click here for this explanation.
This sensible practice perplexes the rest of the world; however, there is a perfectly good reason that these countries do not drive on the right.
Up to the late 1700's, everybody travelled on the left side of the road because it was the sensible option for feudal, violent societies of mostly right-handed people.
Jousting knights with their lances under their right arm naturally passed on each other's right, and if you passed a stranger on the road you walked on the left to ensure that your protective sword arm was between yourself and him.
Revolutionary France, however, overturned this practice as part of its sweeping social rethink. A change was carried out all over continental Europe by Napoleon. The reason it changed under Napoleon was because he was left handed and his armies had to march on the right so he could keep his sword arm between him and any opponent. From then on, any part of the world which was at some time part of the British Empire was thus left hand and any part colonised by the French was right hand - silly really.
In America, the French colonised the southern states (Louisiana for instance) and the Canadian east coast (Quebec). The Dutch colonised New York (or New Amsterdam). The Spanish and Portugese colonised the southern Americas. So the British were a minority in shaping the 'traffic'.
The drive-on-the-right policy was adopted by the USA, which was anxious to cast off all remaining links with its British colonial rulers.
Once America drove on the right, left-side driving was ultimately doomed. If you wanted a vehicle in a few countries, you bought American, for a period they only manufactured right-hand-drive cars. From then on many countries reluctantly changed out of necessity. Now the Americans are slowly realising they have been missing out on one quarter of the World's markets, which almost coincided with the slow demise of large gas guzzlers.
Today, the EC would like Britain to fall into line with the rest of Europe, but this is no longer possible and would never be accepted. It would cost billions of pounds to change everything round.
The last European country to convert to driving on the right was Sweden in 1967. While everyone was getting used to the new system, they paid more attention and took more care, resulting in a reduction of the number of road accident casualties.
The only place you can legally drive on the right in England is in front of the Savoy Hotel in London. This is so that taxi passengers can get out directly into the hotel entrance... send us your story.

Top Driving Tips - Winter Motoring
Section Navigation
About Winter Tyres
Fog Lights
21 Tips
Links to External Websites
Preparing to Travel
Battery & Electrics
Driving in Snow & Ice
Winter Tyres
Driving in Floods
Washing Your Car is Illegal
Take it easy in icy conditions! Ice rain, as shown above right, is the worst road condition of all. Pulling windscreen wipers off a screen covered in ice will destroy them. Using hot water, will weaken or destroy glass! What usually happens is, the glass remains intact, then later on a sunny day, the screen could shatter without warning - fatal on motorways! Never drive in the Winter, in Germany, with Summer tyres. Photos: Jan 2004: HEP in Hamburg. Car shown, is totally encased in ice
Driving in an open top car in the Autumn and Winter could seriously damage your health. This said, some people still feel the need to show off

Top Fog Lights
Do not use fog lights when it is not foggy. Believe it or not, some boy racers think cars look sportier or even go faster with fog lights switched on! The first sign of dangerous drivers are lowered cars and fog lights on a fog free day. Others switch the fog lights on at the first sign of rain. Heavy fines can be imposed on those who need to show off or blind others. An 18 year old man was convicted of causing a fatal accident, by blinding oncoming traffic, while using fog lights in 2002 in Germany. We welcome this decision

Top Anti-freeze
Anti-Freeze Link 1 Anti-Freeze Link 2
Make sure the anti-freeze and water mix can withstand minus 35 degrees Centigrade in Hamburg, as temps as low as minus 28 degrees Centigrade can be reached. Most garages can tell you if you have the correct mix in 5 minutes with the help of a special float, or various other methods. 50 - 50 is the norm

Top 21 Tips For Driving on Motorways - click here - dead link removed, Jan 2004
The text on the above website, is useful for driving on any motorways/freeways, but was written for UK motorists/drivers. For example, where left is sometimes mentioned, swap the word for right when driving in Germany - a case of adapting the tips a little and good practice for driving in the many lands who drive on that side of the road

Top Winter Tyres
Autumn is the time for all car owners to check the anti-freeze and to make sure that winter tyres are fitted. A general service and safety check before the temps drop well below zero is a must. Many UK, NZ and Australian drivers will have no experience of changing, or using Winter tyres, but many Canadians and some US citizens already know the advantages
Winter tyres can provide a measurable improvement in stopping ability, braking and handling over all-season tyres. Any motorist who has to drive on icy or snow-covered roads should put on winter tyres in the Autumn and leave them on until spring. The reason why the term 'winter tyres' is used rather than 'snow tyres' is because snow is only one of the elements a winter driver is going to encounter. In fact, dry roads and wet roads are the predominant modes of driving once the roads have been cleared." Anything up to 50 metres, or more, braking distance can be reduced with winter tyres. Hamburg English Pages has experienced minus 28 degrees C in Hamburg and plus 40 degrees near Herford in a small town called Luebecke, not Luebeck, so your tyres have to deal with a lot in Germany
At Continental General Tyres, the company's new ContiWinterContact TS 790 premium tyre line, which was engineered in Germany, uses a number of technologies to provide optimum winter traction. Numerous tread blocks on the inner side increase braking performance in snow, and a reduced number of tread blocks on the outer side improve steering response, particularly at high speeds
We've become accustomed to the idea of using a single set of all-season tyres all year round. But does the widespread use of all-season tyres eliminate the necessity for specific winter-only tyres? Not if you live in a part of the country where sleet, ice, snow and slush are a regular feature on the roads you drive
What's the difference between single purpose winter tyres and all-season tyres? The major difference is the tread design. Winter tyres have deeper grooves to help expel water, snow and slush from the tread. The tread pattern itself is also more pronounced, providing added bite and increased traction. The other difference lies in the compounds used to build the tyres. Winter tyres are softer, for increased grip in cold weather
So how do you determine whether winter tyres are needed for your vehicle? First, assess how much driving you do in the types of conditions where winter tyres would provide added traction. Another variable is your type of vehicle and the design of its tyres. Certain tyres configurations and vehicle combinations perform quite adequately with all-season tyres. The real test is experience. You should know the way your vehicle handles in bad winter driving conditions. Don't underestimate the benefit of winter tyres in improving your traction – and your safety. If you are not sure, ask your car specialist. They can help you determine if your vehicle would benefit from winter tyres and which are best for your vehicle
Top More About Tyres
As from November 2006, it is law to have Winter tyres on your car in Germany. Rumour has it that you may have insurance difficulties if you are involved in a crash with summer tyres, when icy roads are the cause - check with your insurance company. When searching on the Internet for tyre infos, the English spelling of tyres has to be changed with tires, or else Winter related hits will be minimal
Many of you have realised, if you´ve been here for a while, that in the narrow suburban streets, the 30kmh zones, a few Hamburg drivers have a habit of not giving way and speeding straight at you. This forces others to drive up the curb onto the pavement/sidewalk. This can cause serious internal damage to tyres that cannot be seen and can lead to a fatal blow-out on a motorway. Even driving up a curb at slow speed while parking can cause
this damage. Tests have proved this and show that the metal reinforcement in the tyre had been seriously damaged by parking. If anybody forces you up the curb, make a note of the number and also the details of the person in question, in case of any damage. Check your tyres daily and make sure they have the correct pressure required by law - is your spare tyre OK and do you have snow chains, just in case? Practice fitting snow chains first. If you get stopped at one of the roadside police checks they will check the pressure and condition of all tyres including the spare tyre. It is always useful to have a bag of sand with you in case you get stuck and a small spade. If you encounter ice-rain STOP and do not drive further. This is the worst driving situation that you will encounter. A few years ago we encountered ice-rain. The car started sliding sideways while stationary and came to rest against another car. It's the same as driving on an ice rink and sadly many people think they know better and end up in an accident, or even killing others. Remember, nothing is more important than safety. Getting to work late, in one piece, is better than ending up in hospital
In case of an accident, call the police and take photos of the scene. It pays to have a camera with you at all times. Make sure you have a medical kit, spare bulbs, your car papers, identification and a reflective triangle with you at all times, as it is the law - you may be stopped by the police near an accident and be asked to give them your medical kit. If you can´t, you will be fined - it must meet the latest standards. Buy medical kits from respected retail outlets and stores/shops
Buses and taxis have the right of way, as do pedestrians and cycles. Beware of the dangerous way German traffic lights are set up. If you get green while turning into a road at a junction, believe it or not, the pedestrians get green as well - cycles come from behind you on the pavement - you need eyes in the back of your head!! Most traffic lights are hung so you cannot see them. Unlike the UK, there are no traffic lights on the other side of the junction. They are usually where you have stopped and are hard to see because of the rear view mirror. Beware of large Hamburg junctions. They are set up to create accidents. There are no yellow ´´no-mans-land´´ boxes to prevent people stopping in the middle of the junction and they are badly thought out, with vehicles coming from all directions. Whereas a roundabout in a small area would have been enough, here great areas are taken up with wierd junctions and no end of traffic lights!
In 30kmh zones all cars coming out of roads on your right have the right of way, except where the road has a sign with a yellow diamond, framed in white, on the corner of it. Cycles and cars often come straight out of these roads without looking - as to say, I have the right to do so, and I can prove it - say no more! Pedestrians and children often walk in the road and sometimes do not move out of the way and ignore you - so don´t assume they will move, take care. Although the law requires that dogs should be on a leash, most dog owners let dogs run all over the place - again be beware on the roads and take care where you take a walk - squelch! The good thing is that dog owners could be paying a 200 Euro fine for letting the dog go to the toilet all over the place soon. Hamburg's rich areas are the worst!
80 percent of cyclists ride with no lights or even reflective panels, but if you run somebody down, you are at fault!!! So keep your eyes peeled!
If you are driving a right-hand-drive vehicle fit a special small around mirror onto your offside/left mirror as there is a large blind spot on the left of the vehicle, from about 8 metres behind the vehicle to about the centre of the vehicle - this is worse with vans. If you have electrically movable mirrors, then adjust the mirror when moving in, out and entering motorways. Take care not to ride up the curb when driving left-hand-drive vehicles for the first time. Take the time to practice first in a quiet area, especially if you feel unsure
By the way, the first law determining which side of the road should be used was made in Britain, so feel free to annoy everybody with the fact that cars drive on the wrong side of the road here - only joking! As far as we know, the first traffic lights were in Brighton, England opposite palace pier - we will look into that. The German authorities have gone mad with traffic lights, you'll love that!
The German streets are badly lit, but the motorways are very bad. On most streets and motorways the white lines are hard to see when it rains and cats eyes are almost non-existant. Cats-eyes were invented in Great Britain in the 50´s and were also offered to the German authorities under licence. The authorities refused to pay for the right to use them and that´s why the motorways don´t have them. Most white lines are not raised and reflective as in the UK and are often worn out. In areas where a junction layout has been changed, you will often find when it rains, that the original lines show up in Hamburg, making driving very difficult. The bad thing about raised white lines is that they can lead to steering difficulties when using motorbikes
When driving down an avenue of trees (typical in Germany and France), it has been proved that an optical illusion occurs, making drivers go faster, but leaving them under the impression that they are going slower. A fatal optical illusion is when the avenue goes into a curve. It has also been proved that it is possible to misjudge the curve completely and to drive into the trees - many have died. The white rings painted on the trees are supposed to eleviate this problem, but it is not enough. One idea would be to plant bushes directly next to the road, creating the illusion that the road is narrower, on bends and straights. The trees also throw longer shadows onto the road in the winter. Even on a sunny day, where there is shadow, there is ice - so watch out!
Watch out for maniac drivers on the German motorways. The best lane is not the overtaking lane - sometimes wrongly called the fast lane
If you get stopped by the German police then keep your hands on the dashboard, or in sight until asked to do otherwise. This applies every time and for any reason. The German police will take any sudden movements, or suspect movements very seriously indeed. Make sure you have the documents required by law with you. It is against the law to have no form of identification on you. If you get stopped at the scene of an accident and you are asked for the medical kit, then hand it over without question - as mentioned before, it's the law
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Top Official Forms & Info
Click to download Selling your trade car - official form needed - pdf format
Click to download Selling your private car - official form needed - pdf format
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Photos: taken and recreated by Chris Nicolls in Hamburg, unless stated

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Hamburg Trains & Buses English
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