Saturday, June 25, 2011

Eurotrip 2011 - Day 7 (6/23/2011) - Hamburg

Despite waking up several times during the night/morning, I got a decent amount of sleep.  We got up at 9, showered (the bathroom and shower were separate, and not in our 3-bed room), and then had some of the bread and cheese that we had bought the day before for breakfast.  It was very sunny out in the morning and looked warm enough to wear shorts - which I did after some coaxing from Galen.  Although it did not stay sunny the rest of the day, I didn't regret this decision.

After eating we walked to the S-Bahn stop and each bought another all-day pass (which later turned out not to be the best use of €5.50).  We took an S-Bahn to the Hauptbahnhof (central station), then took a U-Bahn one stop south.  At this point I was letting Galen navigate, even though the GPS on his phone wasn't working (it hadn't been since we got to Germany, and this severely angered him).   After a while figured out that we had gotten off at the wrong stop, and then a little later he figured out how to get the GPS working again (he had previously selected some setting to use wifi over GPS for location, and it somehow didn't allow GPS location when he was offline).  He then led us to Dialog in the Dark, which was a place recommended by Steffi.  The idea is that you can experience what it's like to be a blind person navigating through the city.  She already had called to try to make a reservation for us, but they were booked until 2 days after we were to leave Hamburg.  Nevertheless we tried to see if there were any cancellations.  The attendant told us that he would try to fit us in with a school group if the group had space.  The group ended up being late (and so they would have to be split into 2 full tours instead of 3) and a tour that started while we were waiting was only in German, so we were not able to get a tour. So we next wandered down to and around Speicherstadt (the warehouse district).  We dropped by the Hamburg Dungeon and Miniatur Wunderland, but decided to skip both because they seemed too hokey and not worth the price of admission

We then walked briefly through the Hafencity then took a boat tour around the harbor. Unfortunately, we didn't check what language would be used on the tour and ended up finding out (after the boat left) that it was German. So the spoken part of the tour was pretty worthless to us. But it ended up being a worthwhile experience - it lasted about 30 minutes and showed us a nice area of the western harbor that we weren't aware of.  During all this time the cloud cover and breeze had been off-and-on, so the felt temperature fluctuated a bit.  I eventually put on my track jacket (which I had worn pretty much every day of the trip so far) and was OK despite the shorts.

After the boat we walked to/through that nice area that we had seen and then up through St. Pauli (with a stop at the FC St. Pauli stadium) back to the hostel area. For (late) lunch I wanted to have a hamburger in Hamburg, which I did, while Galen got a loaded baked potato from a place next to the restaurant - luckily, the restaurant let him eat the food from next door...though he did buy a beer from them.  While I was waiting for my food the sky became overcast and it started to drizzle a bit, so we moved to inside seating.  By the time I finished eating the drizzle had subsided.  As we readied to leave we struck up a conversation with the waitress, who recommended a club that she goes to every Thursday night (this was on a Thursday).  We were done around 4 PM, and after that it was a short walk back to the hostel (with a stop at a couple of stores on the way to pick up some replacement toiletries), where we I lounged around while Galen took a nap.

Later that night, around 10:15, we walked over toward the club the waitress had told us about - it turned out to only be 3 blocks from our hostel. Galen was a bit hungry again so we dropped by a pizza place a block further so he could snack on a slice (while I had a Fanta). Then we headed over to the club. The waitress had told us that there would be a German rap battle on the main floor and some dancehall music (which Galen had never heard of) in the basement. We couldn't find either so we stood around for a bit then asked a couple of German girls what the deal was. They explained that there was indeed a basement room and also a back room for the battle - we had already missed the battle. So we just hung out with them for the rest of the night. Oh, and the music in the basement turned out to be reggae, and not dancehall. We got back and went to bed around 2:30.

Some pictures from the whole trip:

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