Mainz’s electrified tram network’s 111th anniversary celebrations coincided with the “Sommerfest in der Gaugass” (Subtitle: “Spass uff de Gass) on Saturday.
Well, it’s this fixation with the number 11, Karneval kicking off on the 11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
And why “11”, anyway?
Heaps of explanations, one of the most convincing being that there’s no 11th Commandment and thus anything goes (and it frequently does – a significant peak of maternity leave at our corporate HQ in Cologne, another Karneval-obsessed place…) during Karneval.
A tamer version links the date with the 40 day rhythm of Christian festivals – St Martin’s day to Christmas, Christmas to Maria Lichtfest (Candlemas) and then on and on to Easter and Ascension Day.
But they all had a good time thrashing up and down the Gaugass (Gradient: 9.549%) with an heritage tram.
This is what it looked like in the 1920s.
Just as steep, not quite as narrow thanks to the RAF’s masonry rearranging in February 1945…