Hamburg 2008 - Day #1: The flight and the beach bar

Hamburg Travel Blog

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Hamburg: view of the harbor
It was a nice, cool sunny day in NYC when I left for Hamburg - the first day of my vacation. I got to the wrong terminal in JFK because the cab driver insisted that Delta was Terminal 3, even after I told him my itinerary says Terminal 1. Although I took Delta, it was operated by Air France, thus the different terminal. After taking the van provided by the airline from terminal 3 to 1, check-in was easy enough and I breezed through security. The flight was uneventful. I watched 27 Dresses which I haven't seen before, on the plane before taking a 3 hour sleep prior to landing.

The worst part of the trip was my connection to Hamburg from Paris in Charles De Gaull airport with Air France.
Hamburg: Strand Pauli and my summery drink
The walk from Terminal 2E to 2D took me over 30 minutes! Furthermore, once I reached the gate my flight was boarding, I had to wait 2 hours before my flight begins to board. And when it was time to board, there was no sign or announcement that my flight was boarding so when I came to the desk to inquire, I was told it was not in gate 57 but now in gate 65 due to several delays, thus the change in boarding gate! Even if they did announced it on the overhead, no one would've listened because they have overlapping announcements going on at the same time! That airport/terminal is a mess! If I wasn't paying close attention, I would have missed my connecting flight all together!

I slept through the 1.5 flight from Paris to Hamburg, waking up just in time for landing.
Hamburg: Strand Pauli with Eva
I thnk the two German men on my row must have been amazed on how I easily slepot through the whole flight and just as easily waking up in time just when the plane landed. There were no customs/immigration check and I proceeded to pick up my luggage before I proceeded to the exit and out the arrival gate! I remember THAT from 6 years ago. No immigration - Hmmm... now that I remember it, I donät have a Germany stamp in mz passport. Shucks! I immediately saw Eva, my friend whom I first met in Hamburg 6 years ago during a school-related trip. We kept in touch through the years and when she visited NYC, we'd meet up and hang out. Last time I saw her was the summer of 2006 when she and her boyfriend stayed in NYC for her final project for univeristy and her bf took an internship.
Hamburg: Strand Pauli


We drove to her place where she lives with her bf, Daniel, Their apartment is a wonderful 3-bedroom loft-style apartment owned by the T-mobile company! Of the 3 bedrooms, they converted two of the rooms as their individual workroom. I occupy Daniel's workroom which has the sofa bed. After dropping off my stuff, we went to have lunch at a sandwich place a few blocks away from the apartment. I had a simple grilled croissant with goat cheese, tomato and some type of ham (I forgot what it was called) that was delicious! We ate outside where they provided benches to aptrons and enjoyed the warm sunny weather Hamburg is experiencing. The area ccording to Eva used to be more rundown but recently have become popularized and hip as more stores and restaurants began popping up.

After lunch, we returned to the apartment to rest. I was tired and in need of a shower after 18hrs of traveling. I took a nap and fell asleep for 2.5 hrs! Eva woke me up for dinner. Daniel is an awesome cook! He made a Morroccan dish made of 24 spice (or was it 44?) with sweet yam, onions, red peppers and chicken! It was fantastic! Definitely restaurant quality! Yummy! On the side, we had hummus with pita bread and lettuce, cucumber in yogurt cream sauce. Fabulous dinner!

While Eva drove Daniel to his friends' house for some PS3 session after dinner, I got ready and changed so Eva and I can check out the beach bar along the pier. We walked through St. Pauli, Hamburg's red light ditrict and reached the pier area. St. Pauli has changed since I visited. It was more - clean. More chi-chi. The renovation of the area began prior to the WOrld Cup 2006 when Germany hosted the games. It is a nice transformation. As we walked through, St. Pauli, I saw some of the hookers I recall from last time. This time, they weren't wearing their signature NortFAce jacket as the weather is warmer and very summer-y. But according to Eva, they still do wear it during winter. Eva and I were even suspected as Asian hookers! What?!?! And no, we weren't loitering on the streets, we were just walking!

We hung out at "fantasy" park with its rolling hills and fake palm trees while drinking wine for me and beer for Eva. Then we moved to Strand Pauli (Beach Pauli in English). It's a manmade beach bar with wooden lounge chairs with cushions, torch lights, huge 70's looking lamps and several bars that served cocktail drinks. I ordered caprianha while Eva had "love on the strand" ("sex on the beach" in english). The drinks were great and we found a place to sit and I buried my feet in the sand and enjoyed the cool, breeze, the drinks, and my friend's company with Hamburg's shipping port in the night as the view. It was 1130pm when we returned home and found Daniel with his friends playing PS3 because his friends' tv wasn't compatible with his PS3. Eva and I played Mario Kart horribly before I succumb to exhaustion and slept.
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Hamburg: view of the harbor
Hamburg: view of the harbor
Hamburg: Strand Pauli and my summe…
Hamburg: Strand Pauli and my summ…
Hamburg: Strand Pauli with Eva
Hamburg: Strand Pauli with Eva
Hamburg: Strand Pauli
Hamburg: Strand Pauli
Hamburg
photo by: Petitsing