Thursday, 28 May 2015

Germany - Final Part.

Its so long since we got back, that I feel bit of a fraud posting this, but the last couple of weeks have been an absolute whirlwind, and there has been virtually no time to blog.  Please feel free to skip this post if you are bored with travel posts.

Day two of sight seeing in Hamburg saw us start off at the St Michaelis (St Michael's Church).  This has been rebuilt 3 times since 1641 - it was struck by lightning in 1750; completely destroyed by a fire in 1906; and again in the bombings of WWII.  At 10 o'clock each day there is a bells & trumpet show from the bell tower, which we happened upon quite by accident.  It was pretty spectacular.  So glad we got to hear that, but I bet you'd get sick of it if you lived nearby and had to listen to it each day.
 
 
Down an alleyway nearby, was the Krameramstwohnungen (don't ask me to pronounce that LOL).  These are the remnants of some buildings built in 1620 as housing for the widows of members of the Grocers’ Institute.  They are tiny - basically one room on the lower floor, rickety stairs, and one room above.



 
From here we headed for the waterfront, and jumped on a ferry for a ride up the river.  A nice man took our photo when he saw me trying to get a selfie.
  
 
Hamburg is a port city, so not much in the way of pretty sights.  But I did spy this.  Can you see the lips painted on the prow of this cruise ship?

 
It was a cold, bleak day, so we headed home pretty early.  We were flying out the next day, but not til late in the evening, so we headed out for another day sightseeing.  We started out in a park called the Planten un Blomen.  It is crossed by several roads and runs all the way to the waterfront.
 
Behind the flower display is a rink for roller blades, skateboards and roller skates.  In the middle is the Museum, and there are loads of lovely spots just to sit and contemplate.  There is also a large lake which freezes over for ice skating in winter, and a huge playground for kids.
 
There are some interesting cascades and fountains.....
 
And a towering statue of Bismark.
 
 
This is the waterfront

 
Where there was a whole band of street entertainment.

 
Can you see the gold man - he is sitting on nothing, just thin air.  What leg muscles!!!  And those monster soap bubbles bottom left.
 
We walked the St Pauli Elbe Tunnel - a tunnel built in 1911 under the Elbe River to carry cars and pedestrians to and from the port.  You can read a bit more about it here.

 
There are huge lifts which carry vehicles down to the tunnel, and although it is still used today, the vehicular capacity is quite limited, and there are several bridges to use instead.  This is the Hamburg waterfront from the other side.

 
And that dear peeps was the end of that trip.  Thank you for sticking with me.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Germany

After 4 days in London, I flew to Hamburg, Germany.  My paternal family is from there, so I wanted to see where they came from, and also do a bit of research at the archive.  And yes.  I did score a few goodies in the archive.  Yay!

The Dearly Beloved joined me 2 days later, and we had a few days of sightseeing.  We stayed in a nice apartment in Wandsbek. We were on the first floor above the red car.


Until the Second Schleswig War in 1864, Wandsbek was a part of the Duchy of Holstein and under the rule of the King of Denmark.  It then became part of the Prussian province Schleswig-Holstein until 1937, when the city of Wandsbek joined the city of Hamburg.  It is about 6 or 7 km out of the Hamburg CBD.

The weather was much colder than in England, and I was very glad to have my woollies.  Although the sun shone sometimes, there were many clouds, and it was always cold.  This was from our window - sunshine overhead and darkest, blackest clouds just meters away.

 
Wandsbek has a weekly Farmers Market which operates 6 (??) days a week.  LOL. 
 
A wonderful array of plants, fruit and vegetables, and meat and and just look at that display of cheeses. I would love to shop like that on a regular basis.

There is a pretty little stream running through the town, a tributary of the Wandse River.

 
Hamburg is an old city.  A castle was built there in 808AD by the Emperor Charlemagne.  However a major fire in 1842 destroyed most of the city and the bombing of World War II finishing off what survived the fire, which means that there are few buildings of any age.

Our first stop was the Rathaus, or Town Hall if you don't speak German. 

 
The city is built on a bazillion canals, some of which have locks. 

 
We watched this boat come through one of the locks, close by the Rathaus

 
There are quite a few Lutheran pastors in my ancestry.  Most of which were pastors at the St Nikolai Church, originally built in 1135.  It was destroyed by the fire in 1842, and rebuilt with the spire completed in 1874.  This is a photo taken at the time of its completion.

 
Sadly, this (and the spire) is all that remains after the bombings of WWII.

 
The spire was bombed too, and is a ruin surrounded by scaffolding.  We went up it, but with the bad weather and the scaffolding, there was virtually nothing to see.
 
This is the other church which features largely in my ancestors' lives; St Petri (St Peters).  This church was also destroyed by the fire of 1842, and rebuilt 1844-49 on the same site.

 
These two imposing statues were on either side of the Trostbruecke Bridge over one of the canals.
 
 
St Angsar, Hamburg's archbishop (801 – 865AD) on the left and Adolf III of Holstein (1160 – 1225) on the right.
 
In the warehouse district the buildings are right on the canals.
 
 
I always wonder if buildings like this are damp.  And look at these interesting turrets and towers and carvings.

 
We were puzzled by these padlocks on the Wilhelminen Bruecke (Bridge) down in the warehouse district of Hamburg.  Having taken this photograph, I realised that many of the bridges in Hamburg were festooned with these padlocks. 


A search on the Net when we got home revealed that these are love locks or love padlocks which sweethearts lock to a bridge, fence, gate, or similar public fixture to symbolize their love.  Typically the sweethearts' names or initials are inscribed on the padlock, and its key is thrown away to symbolize unbreakable love.

Hamburg is the major entry point for hand woven carpets into Europe.  The other interesting thing about this bridge is the thousands of pieces of coloured stone reproducing the design of a Persian carpet.  Can you see it in the photo?

Here are some interesting modern buildings I spied in my rambles.
 

On the left is the circular Cosco building; in the middle is a Docklands Office Building; and on the right are the Dancing Towers, on the Reeperbahn. 

Now I have to crow.  I had no idea what two of these were, and I found out be Googling the image.  You upload the image and search.  Hey presto!  Some suggestions are returned.  Totally blown away by this.

I have one more travel post to do.  Hope you aren't all bored to tears by these posts.