If Seattle and San Fran had a child...
Trip Start Mar 01, 2012
26Trip End Apr 30, 2012
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Where I stayed
Hotel Keiler Hof
What I did
After walking for half hour in the rain, we arrive at the Copenhagen train station and are off to Germany! Along the way, Bridget and I are so consumed with doing who knows what that we find ourselves being told that we must leave the train because we are currently on a Ferry taking us across to sea so that we can continue our journey.. As we looked out our window, we finally are aware that we are entirely surrounded by steal walls for we have trained right into the bottom floor of the boat (could have been on mars for all we knew)
We arrived in Hamburg, Germany and walk about 5 minutes to our place. Hamburg is apparently known for its modernity, with sleek architecture and very up-to-date technology running the city.. Therefore, we thought it would be quite befitting to go to a restaurant that substituted waiters with iPads, allowing every customer to select anything they wanted from the menu at any time.. While some might view this is dehumanizing the restaurant experience, Bridget and I actually became quite friendly with the food runners… You might cut out the middle man by sending your order directly to the chef, but there is no way to get around the need of a person to place your meal in front of you so it might be a win win for everyone… No need of a tip since you are doing the work yourself of communicating with the chef and the restaurant doesn't need to worry about making sure that the sections of the restaurant are distributed evenly between the waiters/waitresses… And to top off the experience, the food was fantastic! It was a tapas-style scenario, where you order small plates after looking at the pictures so conveniently displayed on your ipad… There was also a wine-line, where you could approach a wall of wines, press a button, and the wine of your choice is dispensed in your glass… Much like a fruit-juice machine at the continental breakfast.. We decided to avoid this situation and just went with a fresh squeezed carrot juice and an iced tea.. Such risk takers we are..
After dinner, we decided to venture to Hamburgs Red-Light District (there was some debate in this choice but we felt that we needed to compare the scandalous streets of Amsterdam and Hamburg to see which one was most uncomfortable and then hold an award ceremony for the winning city. Interesting enough, we found the red light district in Hamburg to not be as crazy as we imagined… Besides the 14 or so prostitutes that we encountered, wearing snow boots and fur hoods (I guess fishnets and stilettos are not norm in Hamburg), there was nothing that really made us gasp.. I am not sure if that is a good or bad sign that we are so unfazed by a street dedicated to sex, but we left the experience unscathed.. And our spirits were high enough keep us strolling right into a local fair that was bright enough to blind every customer for at least a couple of hours.. While the normal fair rides were there, very risque ones were included in the mix.. After seeing the second ride which was new to us, I decided that I needed to take one for the team and try it out… For only $3, I went on this hammer-type ride that spun in every direction imaginable while Bridget watched with amusement.. It was a whirl-wind experience and definitely left a small pounding on the side of my head, but over-all well worth it.
Grabbed a starbucks that we've been anticipating for weeks, and then headed off to our free walking tour (5th time I think? lost count to be honest).. Our tour guide Kim, was a cute little blonde from England that was sharp as a whip and had enough energy to last longer than the beloved Energizer Bunny.. It was a lovely tour which took us through the very clean and sleek city.. After this experience, both Bridget and I voted that this was one of our favorite cities and that we would return in a heartbeat given the opportunity.. Its a mix of Seattle and San Francisco (perfect combination, I know), full of canals and various harbors… Hamburg actually has more bridges than both Venice and Amsterdam combined, so you can only imagine how much water surrounds the city streets.. Hamburg is also the biggest exporter in coffee, spices, and chinese rugs (random but interesting)… This is also the place where the Beatles played for a number of years to build their repertoire.. A lot of cool facts in a city that surprised us every turn of the walk.
We then ran over to this restaurant that was recommended, and just as the drops came down fast enough to make an umbrella seem useless, we arrive at the closed lunch spot and start making new plans… We briskly walk to the first metro stop we see, and then sit there for about 20 minutes or so trying to figure out which ticket we buy and where exactly we should go since we didn't think that wandering around in the rain at a random spot would be in our best interests.. Finally after help from a kind stranger, we buy what we think is the right ticket and then head to where the walking tour started because we know that there are places over in that direction that looked appetizing.. After walking up to the main streets above our metro destination, we can only find "Closed" signs and more rain.. A little exasperated after looking for an hour and a half for anyplace that had more than a kebob on its menu, we finally decide that there is no point in risking it so we ran back with glee to our iPad restaurant where we were greeted by the same staff that served us the night prior… We dined for 2 and a half hours, taking our time on every course since we knew that this Linner needed to last us the rest of the night.. It was just as an enjoyable experience as before, with the addition of even better service since we were even more friendly with the staff.. We even got an extra serving of bread poppers since we ordered enough of those to feed every family dining in the restaurant (there were only two other tables occupied at 4:30, but we still felt privileged to get such great service)..
After linner, we walked to the under-water tunnel that brought us the other side of the harbor after strolling 0.3 miles underneath water.. A very cool experience and something that every tourist needs to do in Hamburg..
We then walked around the city some more and then trudged up to our hotel with swollen legs and drooping eyes.. 10 hours of walking made for a great nights sleep I must say, well worth the minor discomfort as our legs swelled in our too tight jeans