A newfound appreciation for interpretive dance

Trip Start Jun 21, 2008
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Trip End Aug 03, 2008


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Flag of Germany  ,
Sunday, July 13, 2008

The hostel breakfast was a little bit pricey at 6 Euros, but Stefan convinced me that it was tasty and good value, so I joined him.  My first thought when I saw it was - what the heck?  There were only buns and coffee???  I didn't realize that there was a second room, where all the food was. 

Hard-boiled eggs, salami, ham, bologna, speck, chicken, two types of cheeses, yogurt, cereal, three types of bread (awesome warmed rolls!), cucumbers, tomatoes, orange juice, apple juice, coffee, tea, milk - quite the spread!  The speck was crap, but Stefan told me that it's not real speck - real speck is supposed to half fat and half meat.  I wanted to puke after stuffing myself - I don't think I'll have room for lunch today!  Unless my stomach loses containment and I puke ...

Off to find a book store - without any Hamburg info, I needed to find a travel guide.  But not to purchase (I'm Chinese and therefore cheap, remember?), only to read.  The department store I hit up only had German-language books, but the salesgirl pointed me towards the nearest bookstore.  Checked out a Lonely Planet - there wasn't much useful info in there, so I decided just to wander around aimlessly.  Given what I had seen yesterday, that's not a bad plan for Hamburg, as it seems like the bustle of the city is the highlight. 

I walked over to the Alsters, two lakes smack dab it the middle of Hamburg.  It's a pity because most of the views of one lake from the shore were obstructed by trees and foliage planted right on the waterline.  Tons of people were out sailing and jogging today. 

It was busy Saturday in town, with seemingly the entire city out shopping - the Neue Wall and Monckenbergstrasse were crammed with the most people.  Neue Wall was mostly VERY high-end shops - if you can afford to shop here, it means you can probably afford to eat in Norway.  Maybe ... The Colonnaden was also bustling, but seemed to be more of a place to sit at a cafe, rather than shop. 

I need to mention the women in Hamburg - I don't really remember the women in Berlin, or any of the other German cities I have visited (in fact, even Mary noted that Berlin was not very notable in this regard), but there are some truly stunning women walking around here, some with very exotic features.  Hamburg is quite multi-cultural, and there is a large ethnic population here - supposedly, there are a great number of Turks that live here, but I can't say that the women I've seen are Turkish.  But if not, they are definitely middle-Eastern. 

A couple of times while walking through the shopping centres, some of the sales girls almost made me walk into windows.  Don't laugh - it happens quite frequently to me!  In fact, it's rather surprising that I haven't shredded my body to bits several times by stepping through windows in Spain.  The weather today alternated between sunny and hot, and cloudy and rainy.  I did some window shopping (luckily, WITHOUT walking through any) to kill time until the women's vball finals, and also to escape the rain. 

Over to the vball stadium - I caught the end of a men's game between Denmark, and some other team.  Who really cares?  I'm here to watch the women play!  Last night's Norwegian team, Hakedal and Toerlen, made the finals against the German team of Goller and Ludwig.  I had been cheering for the Norwegians, but switched allegiance - not because I was in Germany and thought that I should cheer for the locals, but because of Laura Ludwig!  Sorry Norway, but I gotta cheer for the team that has the cutest player!  She had short hair, and had to continually tuck it behind her ears - kind of like a Spanish girl I once met ...

Ludwig is actually a pretty good all-around player, despite not being a big hitter.  The first set was tight, and it took a while for a team to win by two.  The crowd was on its feet on more than one set point for Germany.  The crowd really should have stopped cheering once Germany was ready to serve, because it might have distracted them on a few occasions.  Germany put a couple of serves into the net. 

Germany ended up winning the first set on Ludwig's lucky net serve that barely dropped over on the Norwegian side.  You know the saying - it's good to be cute, and lucky to be cute.  Wait a second ... that's not quite right ... but true in this case, nonetheless!

The Nestea Beach Girls made a return appearance today, this time doing a bit of an interpretive dance, with the aid of shiny ribbons.  I now have a newfound appreciation for interpretive dance!  It must have been the shiny ribbons ... mesmerizing ...

Perhaps their beautiful interpretive dance inspired the Germans - because they won the second set and were champions!  It was a beautiful moment, watching Goller and Ludwig embrace, and pat each other on their behinds.  But only because it was such a wonderful show of camaraderie, and for no other reason ...

I wandered over to Europa passage, where they were having some massive sales on some very nice clothing - but of course, I headed straight over to the $10-15 t-shirt rack!  I wanted to try on my shirts, but had to wait for these annoying teens that were too busy flexing and staring at themselves in the mirror. 

After dinner, the gelato shop inside Europa passage had a massive lineup - and it turned out to be excellent, and comparable to any decent gelato you would find in Italy.  That's a huge compliment for gelato, almost as big of a compliment as saying a woman is as beautiful as a Spanish senorita!  Some rockin' good nutella, hazelnut, and mascarpone.  2 Euros was a good price, considering the quality and the portion size. 

I wandered over to the St. Georg district - it's quite busy, with tons of restaurants and cafes and of course, another red light district.  It's a lot less tacky than the Reeperbahn, however.  I finally found some real grocery stores, but it does me no good since I'm leaving tomorrow.  I found a cheap internet cafe - they ended up overcharging me, but I couldn't explain because of the language barrier.  No matter, it was still relatively cheap. 

Back to the hostel - chatted with Stefan, who had just arrived back from Lubeck; sounds like an alright place to spend a day.  He told me that Flemish and Dutch were the same - who knew?  He also corrected my pronunciation of Groningen, the city that I am going to tomorrow.  We discussed future travel plans for our respective trips - apparently, he has no desire to go to Frankfurt.  I don't think anybody does!
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