We made our way into the city of Hamburg, Germany through closed roads, construction, and Friday afternoon traffic. Hamburg is Germany’s second largest city and is in most ways born again due to a devastating fire in the mid-1800s and an Allied bombing in WWII. We are staying in an Airbnb within walking distance of Lake Alster for 6 nights.
When we dropped off our rental car the day after we arrived, we walked back halfway around Lake Alster (entire lake is 7.5k or 4.7 miles around) and stopped at a café for coffee and a sweet. Dennis is doing his best to sample all apfelkucken (apple cake/pie). Walking in the Lake Alster vicinity reminded us both of a larger Green Lake in Seattle, Washington. We spent the rest of the day getting to know our neighborhood, picking up groceries, and doing laundry. All things one must do when living on the road.
Sunday we went to the weekly early morning St. Pauli Fischmarkt in the harbor area. Traders have been selling goods there on Sunday mornings for 450 years. Early on it was more about the fishermen selling their bounty, now the traders are selling all sorts of food, flowers, clothes and crafts. Back home I would compare it to a weekly Pike Place Market in Seattle with around 600 traders vying for your attention. Here, instead of flying fish like at Pike Place, they have what’s more like an auction with vendors filling bags and shouting prices as they go. When someone feels it’s a good deal, the bags start flying off the elevated stages until they are gone. Then the traders start all over with the next mix of goods shouting prices once again. We even happened into the old fish auction hall where a rock-n-roll group was belting out the sounds of the 1980s to people who apparently were putting a wrap on the night before and still drinking beer.
After the Fischmarkt we took a harbor tour. There is an English/German guided tour once a day which helped us understand what goes on in the second largest industrial port in the world located on the Elbe River. It is an open tidal harbor and connects to the North Sea. This 1-hour tour was fascinating.
Thanks for joining us on our journey.