Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The Hamburg Waterfront

The St. Pauli Piers are the largest landing place in the Port of Hamburg and one of its major tourist attractions.  Located on the banks of the Elbe between the lower harbor and the fish market, they form a central transportation hub, along with numerous restaurants and departure points for harbor pleasure boats.

We reach the waterfront and stroll.

The waterfront


The first pier was built here in 1839 at the edge of the harbor to serve as a steamship terminal, sufficiently far from the city center to mitigate the risk of fire from the steamships which burned coal.  The current pier was built in 1909 on floating pontoons, accessible from the city over ten movable bridges.  Today, ferries, harbor tour ships, motor launches, passenger ships serving the lower Elbe, and passenger ships to Stade and Helgoland travel to the pier.

Across the river is the Hamburg Musical Boulevard, featuring the Lion King.

Musical Boulevard

In one direction, we get views back at the city's old town, and to the left, the new Elbe Philharmonic Hall.

City view, concert hall

A quick stop at a stand hear the Elbe Philharmonic Hall provides a herring sandwich for lunch - what a treat!

Herring sandwich

Walking past the concert hall, we find a modern area build on the canals, with residences, businesses, shops, restaurants, bars, and docks.  Leading into it an oriental carpet made of stone, with love locks fastened on the bridges alongside.

Lovelocks and carpet of stone

The contrast of the old buildings and the new on the canals is quite intriguing.

Old and new

Bridges back to the city (with love locks)

What a truly great place!

Friday, September 24, 2021

A Day Trip to Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany, on the River Elbe with Europe's third-largest port.  About 150 km (93 miles) from Hannover, it's a short train ride for a day trip.  The city's rivers and canals are crossed by over 2,500 bridges, the highest number of any city in Europe.

We exit the train station and wander into the city.

Hamburg Hauptbahnhof

Passing through the commercial pedestrian zone, we reach more traditional architecture around the Rathaus, the Hamburg City Hall.

Pedestrian zone

Traditional architecture

Approaching the Rathaus

In front of the Rathaus, a covered pedestrian mall has shops, restaurants, and bars.

In front of the Rathaus

Meanwhile, across the street, Europa Passage is a modern indoor mall with over 100 shops

Europa Passage

Around the Rathaus, canals flow every block or two, with restaurants and walkways along the banks.

City canals

Passing through the center of the Rathaus, we come into a commercial district and the old Rathaus (Alten Rathaus), now a restaurant.

Center of the Rathaus

Commercial district, Alten Rathaus

A few more blocks on, the remains of the St. Nicholas church serve as a memorial and architectural landmark.  Originally completed in 1195, the church was rebuilt in brick in the 14th century and was briefly the tallest building in the world (1874-1876).  Destroyed in the second world war, the remains are still the second tallest building in Hamburg.

St. Nicholas Church

View of St. Nicholas from afar

Heading toward the harbor, we find a mixture of traditional and modern buildings on the canals.

Hamburg architecture

And, a model of Hamburg's old town for all to study.

Hamburg old Town

A few blocks from the Rathaus, more canals provide transportation (complete with locks) and dining opportunities.

More canals

And, within sight of the Rathaus square, a fountain accents the lake in front of commercial buildings.


In small shops and in a the mall, Covid-19 testing stations remind us of the times.


But, enough of wandering in the city, it's time to head over to the renovated waterfront.