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Happy in Hamburg

August 2, 2016 3 Comments

And a happy birthday to all you horses yesterday!

Lynn and I are sitting in an ICE train, doing at times I guess 200km/h, by the way the scenery whistles past! We’re going from Hamburg to Frankfurt, to then jump on a plane to fly to Halifax, Canada.

We’ve been in Hamburg city since Friday last. Before that we camped in a forest, maybe a black forest, for a few days to get set up.

Our accommodation in Hamburg was compliments of Olé, a young customs officer we met in the CBD, out the front of the customs building. He has a one bedroom apartment, in a central location and we were given the run of the place, as he was going on holidays!

We met his neighbours, a lovely couple with three kids. A maths teacher and a social worker. Very interesting people. We would sit out at night in the rear shared garden, and discuss the wonders of the world over a Pilsener or red wine.

We walked all over Hamburg, lots of people living in tents or under rugs, lots of beer drunk by young ones, 24/7, lots of smoking, lots of energy. A happy enough city, aware and open to discussing it’s own city “problems”, but proud of the concept

Hamburg is a relaxed , big village, with a laid back atmosphere, not like the seriousness of Munich. And also, north Germany is more relaxed than south Germany, I agree. Lynn and I never felt threatened and we were often in all sorts of neighborhoods, at all hours. Always a friendly smile to break the barriers.
Regularly, citizens would offer help when we had that “lost” expression on our faces.

We’ve enjoyed our stay in Germany.

Of note was a visit to the general museum. There is a section devoted to WW2 and the incredible allied bombings over a three month period in 1943. 100,000 civilians killed, 70 percent homeless, yet the museum made it clear that, at the time, the Nazi war propaganda machine had the people cranky with the allies, and not asking why Germany had started the war. Hamburg and the Hamburgers who live here have had a tough life for many hundreds of years. My hat goes off to them for the outcome they now have.

As well, there is a building devoted to a miniature model display. At first I was going to ignore it, but curiosity got me.

It’s three factory size storeys of miniature trains, cities, airports and countryside. Unbelievable.

The model makers are a wacky lot. In a model of Hamburg harbour, a container ship is departing, guided by computer. Below the water are two dairy cows, with full scuba gear! Another section of a major bridge has a thousand bicycles crossing and heading up the rear are a few kids on tricycles. Then, in a country area, is a flying saucer, hovering down to a green Martian on the ground.

There’s also a full model Hamburg airport, complete with jets taking off and landing! And a NASA Shuttle landing!

On the third Friday of the month, 5000 bicycles gather in a procession through the city. It’s called “Critical Mass” and uses the Traffic Rule where a group of bikes is considered one vehicle, to demonstrate for more awareness of bicycling. The mass of bikes goes for kms, and when it goes through a set of lights, it just keeps going. It can take six sets of light changes, as we discovered, waiting to cross the road, at Reeperbahn Strausse, the Red light area near where the Beatles performed their earliest stage shows.

I’ve typed and emailed this while on the ICE train. Yeah, ok, no big deal to you who don’t even know who the Beatles were, eh.

All pretty good stuff.

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  1. alan says:

    I know its a bit weird commenting on your own blog, but I forgot something, I think important. While taking a short-cut in Hamburg Harbour, to see Customs, we got stopped by the police. No, not what you think!!
    A WW2 bomb had been found, unexploded of course, during some harbour work, and we had to backtrack to go around.
    A bit of life Hamburgers are consistently reminded of, but something that does not happen in Australia. A lucky country to be sure.

  2. Ole says:

    Hello from Hamburg,

    and thanks for the nice words about your time in Hamburg.
    Was really nice to meet you and to hear some stories about this trip.
    Wish you a nice time in Canada and enjoy the rest of your trip.

    See you next time in Australia,


  3. Judy Veitch says:

    Hi, folks!
    So good to hear more from you and your adventures.
    I was prompted to comment that we also found the ICE train travel fantastic, quick, clean, easy and far less stressful than driving. We’ll definitely consider more train travel if we’re in a country which drives on the other side of the road!
    Happy travels, dear friends. We miss you!

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