Two images are missing and I’ll update the article as soon as I receive them, but I know many people want to read this one so I decided not to wait.
The Number 23. My quest for the Berlin flower.
I cannot recall how I first heard about this treasure hunt, but I was immediately thrilled and (like everybody else) I added @mouthtapedshut tweets to my Twitter account. On a side note: At that point my Twitter account was just like 10 days or so old. And that’s just because my girlfriend convinced me that it is kind of fun to use. And that without knowing such a scavenger hunt is just around the corner. So I have to thank her for that! Danke Katrin !
When the hunt for the flowers began I was all but convinced that the quest will go abroad (as in leaving the US). As it turned out I was wrong. And ever since items were dropped in Toronto, London and Paris I thought to myself how great it would be if a flower is being dropped in Berlin. And how even greater it would be if I was the one to find it. Although I also thought that I would probably be at work and therefore couldn’t participate.
I was always hoping that Berlin will become a target when I would be off duty. But during most of these days pretty much nothing happened. Not in Europe but also not in the States.
Fast forward to November 22nd. It was a cold and already dark late evening, and I was planning on going to bed early due to a 4 am wake up call the next morning, when a new @mouthtapedshut tweet indicated a new clue. Before I even had the chance to solve this puzzle myself (which would have been an impossible task LOL) @conigs had already solved it.
My heart began to beat like crazy. Really… Berlin?! All plans for going to bed and getting a good night of sleep were gone. All I thought was “that flower is mine.”
I don’t have a car, and with public transportation it would have taken too long to get there, so I took a cab. I ordered the cabby to go to “Paulstrasse. Ignore all red lights and put the pedal to the medal.” Of course I did not say the last part out loud but I was still hoping not to experience too much traffic.
During the cab drive I constantly hit the refresh button on my iPhone’s browser to see if the countdown was still running. About 20 minutes later at about 8:35 pm, I arrived at Paulstrasse, paid 20 €, and began my search.
I checked the benches, the hedges, the handrail at the Spree, I checked a display case, the trash bins, I even went back to the point where the picture was taken hoping to find the clue. But nothing. My enthusiasm began to turn into frustration. I knew I needed to look more thoroughly, but where exactly? I went back to the benches and hedges and trash bins and checked them again. But all I found was old gum and cigarette butts.
I don’t how much time had passed since I arrived but suddenly a young girl approached me. “Are you searching as well?” she asked. Dammit, I have competition, I thought. “Yes I am”, I answered “But no luck so far. How about you?” – “Me neither. And I already have searched everywhere.”
Another hit on refresh revealed a new clue on WIHITS: “bench”. And although I had checked the benches already I did it again. And there it was… I must have been blind to not have seen it before. Taped to the back of the first bench was the small envelope I was looking for. Inside I found a Rugby Blue Steel Blade wrapping with handwritten directions. I was told to go to the back parking lot of Hamburger Bahnhof and look for the “Baked Masters Basket”-artwork. Hamburger Bahnhof, for all non-Berliners, is a museum of contemporary art about 2 km away from Paulstrasse. So I started walking and leaving my competitors well… clueless and without luck.
Approximately 30 minutes later I arrived at Hamburger Bahnhof. “Baked Masters Basket” turned out to be a small deliberately ruined building-kind-of-thing. Behind one of the semi collapsed walls I finally found what I was looking for. A black plastic bag. Inside a package addressed to Henrik Vanger.
Now I upgraded my wall with the 1970 flower.
And finally to all the future scavenger hunters I wish you all the best in luck.
**To read a recap of everything written about TGWTDT marketing campaign, click here**