Hamburg Travel Blog› entry 6 of 11 › view all entries
Day 4: Hamburg
Well, I am on the train going to Hamburg, today is one of the days I am really looking forward to. After getting about eight hours sleep I got up had some breakfast, showered, packed up and made my way to the Hauptbahnhof. It is a cold day but sunny. Today my only real plan is to get to Hamburg, check in relax and then make my way to the game, which is fine with me as much walking as I did yesterday, a little sore today. The terrain in this part of Germany is pretty flat, but lush land, lots of trees, again reminds me of Missouri.
Hamburg is the second largest port in Europe behind, I believe Rotterdam in the Netherlands. It should be interesting to see.
Tonight Germany plays Finland in the World Cup Qualifiers, now Saturday Germany qualified for the World Cup by beating Russia 1-0 in Moskow, so tonight is not a big game for Deutschland as far as qualifying but it should be fun none the less. It is cold and I wonder what that means for the game. It will be my first time to go to a soccer game of two countries, the only soccer I have seen live is the Wizards, which is good but nothing on this scale.
Having just settled into my hotel, I went out for a little snack, I went to one of the best snack foods in Germany, brought to you by…the Turkish people. My favorite is a Döner Dürüm, which is a little like a gyro but so much better. Served on what would almost be a tortilla, it is thinly sliced lamb meat, with some tomato, cucumber, and little cabbage and some yummy sauce to boot. After this I got ready and went out to the game. The city was a buzz with this match, people everywhere dressed in Jersey’s, black, red and yellow beads flowers, etc. The atmosphere going to the game was fantastic, people were singing. When they found out that I was American with a German jersey they were interested and we talked a lot about this. People in Germany don’t look at people with a natural distrust, but they see you as a friend until you prove otherwise. People are quick to ask you to share a drink, a table or just continue your conversation with ease. In the states it can seem that we are at times the opposite.
The game was a blast, though Germany played the first half very soft and allowed Finland an early first goal. At the half I went with the family I was sitting next to, to the concourse and we were chatting about many things. Quickly in line for…well another good Germany beer I began speaking with another person from Paderborn, which is not far from where the Langner side of my family comes from. We started in German then after about five minutes he realized only then that I was not from Germany, which I found as a compliment of my language practice. People really do like us as Americans, don’t always like our policies but they don’t hate everything about us as we tend to do (remember “Freedom Fries” instead of French Fries). The second half Germany really stepped up their play and kept pushing in the final minutes of the match Lukas Podolski, finally put one in and the place went crazy! The game ended a 1-1 draw, but people went away happy. Another thing about their games is that at the end of the game people stay around and chat, beer or snack sales don’t end with the game or at half time. After a little while of chatting, they wanted to meet in an area of night life called Sankt Pauli, or St. Pauli (hence where the beer we know comes from).
I went to the hotel, then met up with them. This area of St. Pauli is an interesting place, it is a vibrant nightlife street yet with also, if you will the Red-Light district. I knew it because this is where The Beetles got their start, yeah not in Britain. There is a place commemorating this. I was tired, so were the Heidenberger family, so we did not stay out long. It was a day to remember and not as busy as the others.
Day 5: Hamburg cont’d
Today I woke up early, about 4:30 local time, after a while I was able to fall back asleep. After breakfast I set out to see the town. Today I decided that I would take a “tour bus” as I am not sure about all that this town offers if figured it was the way to go. I paid 13€ and you could get on and off at the different points. Hamburg was part of the Hanseatic League or apart of sea trading and in fact is the second largest port in Europe behind Rotterdam, NL. With that it has brought its fare share of wealth. Apparently this city has more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in Germany. I saw many things, the Rathouse and the square that it sets. St. Michael’s Church, the Harbor which has many boats coming in and out of it. The weather today is brisk but Sunny so a walk along the harbor was great. After this I hopped back onto the bus and went one more stop to the warehouse district where many of the goods worldwide were and are stored. I stopped after for the first time for an important part of the German Day, Kaffee und Kuchen or coffee and cake. Though they do work hard and efficient, there is always time in the early afternoon for Kaffee und Kuchen, over conversations with friends. From there I took some time around the Alster or a lake around one of the central and main shopping districts.From there I decided to check out the area of St. Pauli, in the day time. It is a street that is loaded with people and much activity. After wandering around I decided to take a break for a drink. On the Reeperbahn I stopped in to a place for a nice beer. There were people from all over Germany especially. There are certain cities that many people go to tour, Hamburg seems like a place that is especially popular with other Germans. It is easy to see why with the mostly clean streets, fine shops, the Harbor and so much more. I think I am going to set out here in a few for a good seafood dinner which is custom in a place with such good seafood