Friday, March 23, 2012

Hamburg, Germany

During the kids' half term break we made a little side trip, visiting Jon in Hamburg, Germany, while he was working there.  Admittedly, Germany was...difficult...for me at first.  The language gap was more like a huge, gaping canyon for me, and I had a difficult time communicating or figuring out where everything was.  By the end of the first day of sightseeing, the kids were whining, I was arguing with Jon via text, and we had ended up at...the mall (I usually avoid shopping malls while on holiday).  But, that just happens to be where the saving grace of our day happened.  Joe and Joci spied that there was a Build a Bear store in the mall, and I thought it might be cute to get their bears, at home, a cute German something while there.  No sooner had we walked in than I saw that they had a Build a Bear turtle and I knew that we would have to get one for Joe.  So we did the whole Build a Bear thing, relaxing while we went through it all, again, but this time in German.  It was fun, we relaxed, and the mood improved.  We headed back to the hotel that night, feeling a bit better.

The next day was much better.  The kids and I found the pier, went on a boat cruise, and ended up meeting Jon down there later for a nice evening.  That weekend Jon had a good time on the second boat cruise we took because he got to see how the port worked with all the ginormous ships and cranes.  We even saw a ship that was named Hooge!!!

All in all, Hamburg was ok, but I admit I am not in a hurry to get back.  If I get a chance to go back to Germany, I'd rather see Munich and Berlin.
The Bismarck memorial for Otto von Bismarck, Minister President of Prusasia from 1862-1890.  He is famous for creating the German empire in 1871.  Apparently, it's not a much beloved memorial and has never really been loved by the population.  We were really struck at the general disrepair and negligence it was in.  Tons of graffiti on it, but then there was A LOT of graffiti everywhere in Hamburg.

Posh Blankenese suburb of Hamburg, pics taken during our boat cruise.

The central station was MASSIVE.  We were really impressed with how well the Hamburg train system ran.

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There's 'OUR' ship!

Looking back from the port into Hamburg.

It was just a little cold on our boat cruise.

The architecture in Hamburg was very interesting.  As Hamburg was heavily bombed in WWII, much of the city was destroyed, and so you see a beautiful mix of old with modern.

Russian submarine docked in Hamburg serving as a U-boat museum.

Joci was so cute doing her sailor dance next to this sign each time she saw it.

Not exactly sure what purpose this building serves, but it's amazing how much like a cruise ship it looks like.

St. Pauli area...tons of graffiti.

The Lion King was playing across the river in this theatre which was only accessible by water taxi.

I liked this area in Hamburg.  It was a lovely little walk right off of Michaelis St.

They also have a lock bridge.  I wish we had had a lock to put on the bridge.

The Rathaus, or City Hall.

The Rickmer Rickmers.

This is St. Michaelis, or Michel as the locals call it.  It is one of 5 main Protestant churches in Germany and the main church in Hamburg.  It is dedicated to the Archangel Michael, and in the portal above the entrance is a GORGEOUS bronze statue of Michael slaying the devil. 

Yeah!  Daddy has access to the executive lounge and so we got to wait for our plane home in style.

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