Ten things I learned in Hamburg, Germany…

Whenever Bill and I do a trip somewhere, I like to do a “post-mortem” kind of thing where I think about what I learned during my trip.  Hamburg is a city neither Bill nor I never visited before.  In fact, it was our first trip to “northern Germany”, though I hope there will be more.  So here’s what we found out during our travels.  Hope you learn something, too.

1.  Alsterwasser is basically the same thing as a Radler (or a shandy).  Basically, it’s beer mixed with lemon/lime soda or lemonade.  Alsterwasser is the “northern” version, while Radlers were born in Bavaria.

2.  My German isn’t good enough for me to be able to tell that the Schwabisch dialect is way different than the Hamburgisch dialect.  What little spoken German I understand sounds the same in both areas.  That could change sometime.

3.  Hamburg is a great place to go shopping.  There are lots of big name stores there, especially from well known clothing designers.

4.  Hamburg is a great place for eating, too… though there seems to be a huge number of Italian restaurants per capita.  Bill and I saw many Italian places followed by Portuguese restaurants.  We didn’t see many German restaurants.  But then, we might not have been looking in the right places.

5.  Hamburg has many bridges, supposedly more so than Amsterdam.

6.  Hamburg has a “red light” district.  There are even signs on the red light streets (which are actually public places where women can legally walk) “prohibiting” women and men under age 18.  I read that was because women may run the risk of being harassed by working girls.

7.  If you want to get to the Fischmarkt on Sunday, you need to get there early.  By 11:00, they’re closing up shop.  By noon, you might as well go somewhere else.

8.  If you go to Hamburg in January, bring a hat and gloves.  A scarf helps too.  It may not snow much there, but there’s quite a chilly northern wind coming off the water that will chill you to the bones.

9.  Don’t be surprised if you see someone in a convertible with the top down in freezing cold weather.  Germans will take their sunshine when they can get it.  😉

10.  Sometimes it’s a good thing to stand in a two hour security line for a one hour flight.  German strikes are pretty civilized.  Or… at least the one I was involved in was.

If you don’t have a dick, stay away from the danger zone…


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