Monday, September 10, 2018


Here is a map of the whole tour and how it started.

It was terribly hot when we arrived in Hamburg ! 37° C (99 F) Apparently it had never been so hot in Hamburg since weather is recorded. Fortunately it wasn't sticky, because the town is surrounded with two rivers and lots of canals.

When we arrived in the afternoon in Hamburg our first stop was the St. Nikolai memorial. The former main church was destroyed during air raids in 1943. Today, the ruin is a place for remembering the victims of war and tyranny. The tower is still the highest church tower in the city. A glass-walled panorama lift travels up to an outlook platform at a height of 76 metres. There is a museum in the vaulted cellar which provides information about the destruction of Hamburg in the Second World War. I didn't take the lift.

I looked at these ruins with very  mixed feelings. I was born in Germany in Frankfurt in the middle of the war and this city had also been nearly completely destroyed. I as child only remember ruins as playgrounds to play with my friends. Nobody cared if it was dangerous or not. People had other worries. How terrible it must have been to loose everything, lives included and live amongst ruins for a while, all that because one man had promised the heaven on earth to the German people with this result !! They paid a high price for this promise ! I had to think of my parents who lived in Frankfurt and had the chance to flee the ruins of their city and their house there and could live with my grandma on the countryside when their building had been bombed.

A dream became a nightmare, Hamburg 1945

St. Nicolai church or what remains

Today a memorial.

But fortunately 73 years later Hamburg had become again a very nice town. Although I haven't been there for long only for a little more then half a day, the city gave me a good feeling and I found it nice, the people friendly and a lot of things to see for which unfortunately we had no time.

We saw the city center with lots of shops and people, food stands with a variety of typical Northern Germany food but also international plates.

We saw the impressive Rathaus or City Hall which is Hamburg's seat of government: It is where Hamburg Parliament and the Senate assemble. The eclectic, neo-renaissance building from 1897 had fortunately survived WWII

After several relocations, fires and other turmoil, the current City Hall is the sixth edition in Hamburg's history. Construction started in 1886 with 4000 wooden poles that had to be drilled into the muddy shores of the Alster Lake, in order to carry the weight of the 133 m wide, 70 m deep and 112 m tall building. Special care was given to construct a passageway to connect the new building to the Chamber of Commerce as well as the Hamburg Stock Exchange. The courtyard between these buildings resembles an Italian piazza and is decorated with the 'Hygieia-fountain', which was named after the Greek goddess of health and built in remembrance of the cholera epidemic that took place in 1892. After 11 years of labour, the City Hall with its 647 rooms was opened in 1897.

The impressive City hall = Rathaus


In between the old  buildings ran little rivers, showing that it hadn't rained since a long time ! Which is a contradiction to the usual weather in Hamburg where people are recommended to never go out without an umbrella !

And as it was so hot we opted for a sightseeing tour on the Alster.

We bought our tickets, at the Jungfernsteg stop, the tour lasted one hour

on the table the itinerary was shown

The captain was also the guide and had a lot of humor. I took this picture inside the boat.

and then we drove along the shore, with beautiful mansions and buildings. Even if many were "new builts" they were very elegant and fitted in the landscape.

Lots of sailing clubs along the whole Alster.

and also many embassies and consulates. The captain of our boat told us that Trump's visit here at the American embassy had caused a mess on the whole lake and there were so many policemen as if they had to protect the emperor of China !

A James Bond movie had also been shot here where he was catapulted out of a window, I haven't seen this film but everybody in the boat was very interested. 

We also had a wonderful view on the skyline of Hamburg

and the very famous Jungfernstieg

The Jungfernstieg is a diverse connection between the Inner Alster and the surrounding shops and attractions.

But in the past for Hamburg residents, this street was very important !! Families came here on Sunday to walk and introduce their unmarried daughters (" Jungfern") - hence the name.

Even today, the Jungfernstieg is very special: It is enjoyable to be right on the water - the Inner Alster and why not find the right partner even without "family" ! I just imagine myself in a long dress with a flower decorated hat, walking between mum and dad looking for an adequate husband !!

After one hour of admiring the Alster shores of Hamburg we were hungry 

and had lunch directly at the "beach"

I had never seen such a huge ice cream which our table neighbor had for desert !!

I tried out a prawn salad which was absolutely delicious.

And then we had to say good bye to Hamburg, and went to our hotel the Radisson Blu, which was a little outside.

After a good rest we continued towards Copenhagen the next morning.

more participants here


Klara said...

interesting city (as lot of German cities are). I am still on vacation, hope to see you soon Gattina.

Murthy K v v s said...

True..there was lot of history behind the pictures.Thanks for sharing.

Lady Fi said...

Such impressive buildings.

William Kendall said...

Beautiful shots! I'd love to visit there someday.

Wendy said...

Great photos and commentary.

Loree said...

It's been so hot in Europe this year. We just came back from a week in Scotland and it didn't even rain once! Instead the weather was nearly sunny every day. It looks like you had fun on your trip.

Little Wandering Wren said...

Hey, a heatwave in Hamburg, it has a ring to it! I've enjoyed the tour with you, we are happy the City Hall survived the war, you must have had very mixed feelings being back there. Ice cream is a great 'bringer togetherer' of Nations though isn't it?! :) Happy travels
Wren x

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

it looks a beautiful city now and I'm glad you were able to put aside your childhood memories and enjoy what they have done since that terrible time was over.

Aditya Narayan Mohanty said...

Great black and white shot . Keep commenting on my blog because I love your comments.


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I love painting, writing, travelling and photography. My favorit models are cats which I observe with fun and humor. I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.


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