On Day 2 in Hamburg, my good friend Claudia took the day off work to show us around the city. Claudia is one of my best friends from high school. She was an exchange student from Germany for one semester, and of all places, landed in my hometown of Topeka, Kansas!pfirst stop after arriving to Germany!
She also lives in the Schanze district, which is where we found an affordable apartment to rent for 4 days via airbnb.com.
The Schanze district is so beautiful, quaint, and yet very happening!
We passed a place that sells doner kebabs, a Turkish specialty. Apparently, Turkish people are the largest minority in Germany (comparable to how Latinos are the largest minority in the US). The meat for the doner is cooked on a vertical spit (much like Mexico does some of their street food), but I had to stop and take a picture when I saw this employee literally SHAVING the meat off with an electric razor. Now that’s something I didn’t see in Mexico!
The mail delivery guy in Germany…
This is an eatery I’m dying to try out, but didn’t manage to when we were in Hamburg-Kumpir. They sell cheap ($5 USD), giant baked potatoes of various flavors and themes–again, a Turkish thing! The nacho flavor seemed especially popular, as we saw a handful of guys with the potato dish–topped with nachos and cheese!
Firs stop? BASE, a cellular phone store that had exactly what we needed. With Claudia putting our cell phone SIM card under her name, we acquired a pay-per-minute plan (9 cents per minute), and a data plan for 5G for $25 USD per month. We’ve never had a data plan before–but since we are out and about and exploring (and also on a very different time schedule from the US), we decided it would be worth the peace of mind to know we can take care of business while traveling!
The kids found other activities while we took care of the cell phone setup…
Claudia showed us the bakeries that Germany is famous for. They sure do like their bread and pastries here!
Who said Germany is expensive? We find the food to be very inexpensive! Look at these fresh sandwiches available for less than $2 USD!
Claudia pointed out to us that in the Schanze district there is a millionaire who owns a home, who makes it available for the city’s homeless to sleep there. I’m not sure if the inside is open (probably not), but people definitely use the outside. It sticks out like a sore thumb in this area.
There were certainly people using its services, as the front patio is full of mattresses. Even with this being here among all of these gorgeous buildings, it didn’t feel creepy or make me worried. It was just part of the scenery, I guess.
We took the U-bahn to the Elbe riverside. Looking back, the city is quite beautiful.
Hamburg is a big port city, as the Elbe allows boats to come all the way inland to Hamburg on it.
Claudia pointed out a free bike rental program that Hamburg does. You can use their kiosk to pick up a bike, which you can then use to bike around town for 30 minutes. The bike has a GPS in it, to track where the bikes are. After your 30 minutes is up, you could theoretically switch it out for another bike, although Claudia says the program is well-used, and sometimes a bike may not be available at the next station. What a cool idea!
Claudia also pointed out to us Hamburg’s opera house that is still under construction. It’s goal is to rival the Sydney Australia opera house, but the concert hall is years behind schedule and millions over budget.
Once on the Elbe, we caught a boat ride that is part of the Hamburg transit system, and therefore included in our all-day 5-person group pass that cost us about 10 Euros.
We jumped on the boat that had nice seating up top, as well as covered seating on the bottom deck.
Claudia with the kids!
The dock and its many restaurant choices!
Some of these boats are privately owned, and others are part of the Hamburg transit system. Some special boats will even take you to the nearby island that has a permanent production of The Lion King Musical playing!
We got off the boat to walk on a small path leading by some beautiful old houses on the bottom end of the Altona district.
I love vine-covered houses!
A little preschool was in session, and I couldn’t help but take a photo!
We passed part of an old boat that was apparently used in the Moby Dick movie. Can you believe I’ve never seen that movie?
The walk wore out some of our kids (yay!), and we managed to squeeze two into the new stroller!
Next, we got the most delicious Italian food from a trendy joint in downtown Hamburg (see my upcoming post)!
But until then…here are a few more random photos from bumming around in Hamburg:
Here is the taxi parking lot in front of the Central Station. All taxis in Germany are this off-white color (which means people do not buy this color)…so much classier than the US banana-yellow taxis!
When is the last time you saw a Mercedes taxi? Very normal here…
The other street food I had to take a photo of is their currywurst. Basically a fried pork sausage that is cut in slices, and served with a mix of ketchup and curry powder. As tempting as the curry-element is, I still haven’t tried one.
Also, Claudia and her hubby treated us to homemade pizza at their house. Their topping choices were unique, by American standards! We enjoyed several different types of cheese, as well as mandarin oranges on our pizza!
We also tried Johannes berries for the first time. They seem to be popular around here, and have a yummy (but not incredibly sweet), almost spicey flavor to them!