Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Home of The Hamburger

Map picture

Yes, it is true; Hamburg, Germany is indeed the home of the hamburger. I had heard that one time and thought someone was joking, but our guide today confirmed that legend.

Hamburg is a harbor city with a 1,000 year history that is today alive and vibrant. Unfortunately for us, the day was overcast, rainy, and quite cold, so we mostly stayed close to our bus, and what few pictures I managed to get were not very good.

There are a couple of things that I think are worth sharing. 70% of the population in Hamburg is solidly middle class. 20 % of the people are millionaires, and only 10% are considered lower income. Business in Hamburg is booming, with an unemployment rate of only 3%; one of the lowest in Europe. In fact, the city has a shortage of engineers for its vibrant aircraft industry. Most couples in Hamburg are both working professionals, which is why the city only has a birth rate of .4 per couple.

As we entered the harbor last evening, we passed by the huge Airbus assembly facility. It was amazing to look through the glass hanger doors at all the aircraft that were being assembled. In addition to the aircraft industry, Hamburg is the third largest port in Europe, and is a leader in the advertising, publishing and banking businesses, not to mention that it is a center of the arts for Eastern Europe.

I explained previously that today was a “turn around” day for our ship. They did offer guests who are “in transit” a 4 hour tour of the city, which we took. Because of the heavy rain, and the morning rush hour traffic, this turned into something of a “spam in a can tour” which had us riding for what seemed forever up and down narrow streets. I clearly came away with a favorable impression of the city, and can imagine that it would be a fun place to re-visit sometime.

Our bus made only a few stops. The first was to allow us to photograph the magnificent City Hall building, and then to step inside to marvel at the interior of the entryway.

Hamburg, Germany Next, we visited Hamburg’s renowned St. Michael’s Church. The Church just underwent a $28 million dollar restoration, and it was absolutely beautiful inside.

Hamburg, Germany It had a large and beautiful organ, and an added bonus was that during our visit a concert was underway. Even though the Church dates to the 1400’s, it has burned down on three occasions, so what we see today is not the original interior. Our last stop was at an open air museum, but here it was raining so hard, that everyone pretty much stayed on the bus.

Once again SilverSea did a wonderful job of managing to dock our ship right in the downtown area. From where we were docked, it was a mere 15 minute walk to the center of town. That is pretty impressive compared to all the times on our Princess tours we were docked 2 hours or more from the city because of the large size of the vessels.

I was just looking at our schedule and the next 9 days promise to be quite exciting. In order, we will visit Amsterdam, Netherlands and Zeebrugge, Belgium, and if you can believe this, I have never been to either country. From there, we continue to Honfleur and then St. Malo both in France, before ending our second cruise in Southampton, UK. The following two days will be spent in Ireland, both Cork and Waterford, before we cross the Atlantic on our way home.

I hope everyone is well and still enjoying our travels.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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Maybe you could space it out better?

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