When I posted about my fainting episode on my flight to Germany, I mentioned I had a free afternoon to spend in Hamburg, and that I and the work associate I was traveling with walked around town. I promised I would share some of the pictures I took. I’ll call this blog on these pictures a photo essay, but that’s a rather fancy title for some humble snaps. So don’t think I’m being pretentious. These photos were spur of the moment clicks off a point and shoot and I have not done any editing improvements to them.
Nonetheless, I’m going to dedicate this blog to one of the Stewardesses who came to my aid on the plane, Annkatherin. In our conversation while I had the oxygen mask over my face she told me that Hamburg was the city in which she grew up, and as I boarded off the plane she told me to say hello to her city.
I also have to admit, I have very little idea what exactly the subjects in the pictures are. I had a map as a guide as we walked, but the map was in German. The lady at the hotel told us to take the subway (hotel was by the airport, north of the city) south to the harbor, and from there we could walk around and see some of the sights. We had a heck of a time trying to get subway tickets. It was some sort of machine that you put money into and tickets come out. But it wouldn’t take the money at first—I suspect we were doing something wrong—and then we had no idea what option we were supposed to select. A kind elderly lady helped us out, but she didn’t understand English and she didn’t understand the machine that well herself. But she was persistent in helping us (God bless her) and finally we got two round trip tickets to downtown. Funny thing, at the end when she said goodbye, she said it in Italian, and found out she spoke Italian. We might have done better communicating with my pidgin Italian.
As you can read in the Wikipedia entry , Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and the ninth in the European Union. It’s got 1.8 million population, and the subway was fairly extensive, not quite as complex as New York City’s which I’m used to, but perhaps as complex as Washington D.C.’s if anyone is familiar with that one. We had to take two trains to get to the harbor. The trains were very quiet. I’m used to the rattling, jangly, grating New York City subway cars. But the Hamburg cars were smaller and more compact. Interesting too was that the doors didn’t open automatically on exit; you had to open the doors from the inside if no one was lined up outside to come in. Also I found it odd that at some stations the platform wasn’t roughly the same height as the train floor height. You had to step up into the train or down into the station, which I thought was a bit dangerous. Overall, though, I was impressed with their subway system.
Hamburg is situated on the Elbe River which flows into the Baltic Sea. The city’s key geographic feature is the river and its harbor is the second largest in Europe. So we started in what could be called an inner harbor, walked west for a couple of miles on a promenade, went inland (north) for half a mile, making our way to a section named St. Pauli (not where the beer by that name comes from, but as I’ve found out where The Beatles lived while their stay in Germany before they became famous) by a legalized red light district—no, we did not explore or stop there—to far east of the harbor, and back down to the inner harbor. We walked for a good four hours, and I’m estimating we walked for about seven or eight miles. But being tired made the beer at dinner taste exceptionally good. So here are some pictures.
Here’s a good shot of the harbor. It’s a very large river.
Here’s a view of the promenade we walked on, with a view of the buildings on the hillside overlooking the harbor.
I’m not sure what this tower is, but it seemed that every peak had a clock on it.
I think this ornate building is their equivalent to City Hall.
And in the courtyard behind City Hall is this lovely fountain.
And this stately building in a charming side street says Alle Post, which might be a post office. No clue.
Now this burnt out church is a former Lutheran Church namedSt. Nikolai. It was burnt out during bombings during WWII, but it had the distinction of being the tallest building in the world in 1876.
Hope you enjoyed it.