Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Day in Hamburg

A bier garten across the street from our hostel in St. Pauli

Another carved stump in a park

Very large statue of important person (I was afraid to ask) with very, very large sword (turns out it was Bismarck)

Old and new Germany...

St. Nikolaus' was Germany's third largest church until Hamburg was bombed in 1943. What remains is the enormous tower, the carillon, and a few other remnants, now the St. Nikolaus Memorial to those "who were persecuted and who suffered, 1933-45."

Old and new, again, through a St. Nikolaus window

Hamburg's beautiful Rathaus (city hall)

Feral geese (but very family-oriented; well-organized, as one might expect)

Hamburg's inner city contains two large lakes, the Binnenalster and the Aussenalster; we had a picnic lunch on the shore of the latter

Our negotiations with shippers, brokers, agents, bankers, customs officials, and others seemingly at an end (thank you, Rebecca), we took the day to explore the Hamburg centrum, mostly on foot. (See Vicki's blog for descriptions of the interesting circumstances regarding the shipping of the Grey Wanderer). It is a very old city, capital of the Hanseatic League before there was a Germany; but little of the really old remains. It is nonetheless an attractive city, with much to see and explore. Good beer, Bitburger, is 49 cents a half-liter bottle. FWIW. A bottle of Riesling was a buck, I mean, Euro. Somehow I resisted visiting the U-boat museum.

Our explorations included the railway station ("Ich gehe zum Bahnhof"--some of my two years of German is coming back, slowly, in iotas..."the awful German language"), where we purchased tickets for tomorrow's ride to the port of Bremerhaven. Hopefully, we'll pick up the Grey Wanderer there on Friday. If not, we'll be at a hostel in Bremerhaven until we do....

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