The airport in Hamburg will be a number one security zone so it will be almost unaccessible for normal passengers during the arrivals of the presidents. There are enormous security zones in the city center. If a delegation passes, streets will be closed for all normal inhabitants of Hamburg. I feel extremely reminded on the APEC congress in Manila, when traffic to the airport took almost 8 hours within the city of Manila, when streets were closed for hours because of international delegations, when our flight back to Manila was cancelled because of Obamas arrival. Such an enormous hassle for just a congress, an important one – both of them – but still more a hassle than an honour for the city in my view. The only difference to the APEC congress in Manila is, that homeless people and children won’t be completely deleted from the city center just to give a better image of the city (but of course we don’t have as many as Manila does…).
Enjoy reading my 10 favourite and odd facts about the G20 congress in Hamburg!
- Camels in Town: Despite king Salman ibn Abd al-Aziz Al Saud not joining the summit, according to the latest news, the Saudi delegation booked 400 rooms. Alltogether the G20 participants booked 9000 rooms in the city of Hamburg! Well, the Saudi arabian delegation booked the whole #1 Hotel of Hamburg, the Fairmont Vier Jahreszeiten right at the Binnenalster. The hotel had to undergo major construction changes so the king and his delegation have all their necessities around them. Camels are said to be brought to Hamburg, so they can enjoy fresh camel milk daily. King Salman wanted to bring his personal golden escalator to roll down from the airplane as well, see below. Lets see what really happens on thursday!
- Hotwheels: the first monster car has arrived in Hamburg. the others and the worlds most famous company car “The Beast” will follow those days. They are all heavily armoured and have bulletproof wheels and tons of other gadgets.
- A plane that can refuel itself: The airforce one will attract tons of planespotters from all over Europe on thursday and saturday! But unfortunately the airport closes its best viewing point for security reasons. This monster-plane is deeply equipped with anything necessary for any case: Full medical equipment including blood supplies, an electric defence system that jams enemy radar and confuses missiles, a mid-air refuelling probe so the plane can refuel itself without landing, armoured glass in all windows, chaff and flares released from the wings to confuse enemy missiles, mirror-ball defences are hidden in the wings to dazzle infra-red guidance system and best of all: in the middle is a kitchen that can supply 2.000 meals!
- No Shopping for the Presidents: Revenue losses are estimated up to 15 Mio Euros for the inner cities retailers. Some shops started barricading themselves from fear to the G20 opponents. And many shops are closing down on friday and saturday.
- TRAINsportation of G20 opponents to Hamburg: With 11 Waggons and 1000 G20 opponents the “ZuG20” is coming to Hamburg. It is starting in Basel and opponents can get on in Stuttgart, Heidelberg, Frankfurt, Cologne and Dortmund. Besides the normal Waggons there will be a community and info wagon with all the informations about the G20, with snacks and beverages.
- Psychic support for the mental stress: It is the biggest operation in the history of Hamburg. The 20.000 policemen will even be accompanied by 50 pastors because it is expected to be one of the physically and psychologically hardest operations ever.
- Dirt in the city: Garbage will not be collected in the main security zones during the G20 days. So don´t waste too much!
- The hottest president of G20: Justin Trudeau, the Canadian President, will participate in the “Global Citizen Festival on thursday night. This concert is considered G20-critical…why can´t we just have fun and be ourselves? I love his attitude!
- Explosive dogs: 213 dogs specially trained to sniff out explosives are joining the security teams in Hamburg. most of the states have asked for carrying weapons legally.
- “Wake up Man”: The “Fritz Kola” campaign “Mensch wach auf!” is making fun of Erdogan, Trump and Putin. But actually it is meant to suggest people to make up their own opinions and fight peacefully for it. By the way it is a charity social media campaign – Fritz Kola is donating 1000 Euro for 100 comments, for 500 comments 2000 Euro and for 1000 comments 5000 Euro to the the protestant homeless organisation in Hamburg. Great work!
I hope we survive the congress and the people of Hamburg won’t have too much stress – I am flying out luckily – but lets see if I can!!!
I hope you enjoyed my article and feel free to get back to me with even more fun things that are happening around the G20.
Talk to you soon,