After we dined at O Cafe Central for lunch, Bill and I went back to the hotel to pick up our bags and get a cab to the airport. I could hear Bill talking to the concierge guy, who asked where we were from. Bill said he’s from Texas, which is kind of true, since he’s spent more of his life there than anywhere else (but since he’s a military guy, that’s not saying much). The concierge guy beamed at him and said, “Ah! That’s where Mr. Bush is from!”
It turned out the guy was from the Turkish part of Kurdistan. The war in Iraq was a good thing for the Kurds, who finally got rid of Saddam Hussein. Many Kurds think of George W. Bush as a hero. I know a lot of people hate former President Bush. Personally, I don’t think he was any better or worse than a lot of presidents. Yes, America took a downturn when he was in office, but there’s plenty of blame to go around for that. At any rate, Bill’s conversation with that gentleman was a reminder that perspective is everything. Not everyone thinks the Iraq War was a disaster and not everyone thinks George W. Bush is the son of Satan.
Our cab ride back to the airport was slightly less expensive than the ride into Hamburg was, probably because the cab out used a fixed rate. For those who are thrifty minded, there is a train that will take you to and from the airport from Hamburg as well. We probably could have just as easily done that, since we had only small backpacks with us. But the cab ride gave me a chance to see more of the city and take a photo of a classic Mini Cooper!
You don’t see many of these anymore!
Compared to checking in and getting through security at Stuttgart, getting through Hamburg’s security was a breeze. We dropped my bag with Air Berlin, then took all of two minutes to get through the security line. Then we found a little cafe where we sampled a couple more of Hamburg’s beers and I paid five euros for an hour of Internet access. I would have just used my regular cell phone, but I let the battery die and the SIM card locked. And then I couldn’t remember the stupid code to unlock it.
The McDonald’s at the Hamburg Airport has a nice play area!
Flensburger Weissbier and a Pils… Nice diversion while we waited for our quick flight back to Stuttgart.
Our flight was perfect, other than my unfortunate decision not to pee one last time before we took off. By the time we were airborne, I was in agony. But once I had a good whiz, all was well. And then as we got off the plane, we were presented with yummy Air Berlin chocolates. Any airline that rewards me with decent chocolate upon landing gets my vote.
All in all, we had a great time in Hamburg. I wish we’d managed to get to a museum or something, but just the people watching and food was enough to make me want to go back. Better yet, the city is quite affordable, much moreso than Munich was (at least in our experience). I recommend Hamburg. If we have a chance to get back there, we’ll make a point of seeing and doing more and eating and drinking less…
We drew from the champagne bucket last night and the winner was Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber. Guess that’s where we’re going next!