A Travellerspoint blog

The Home of the Real Hamburger

sunny 25 °C

So, now we are in Hamburg – and discovered that real hamburgers are raw ground beef on half a bun topped with chopped raw onion. No self-respecting Hamburger, (a Hamburg resident), would dream of spoiling it on a grill. In the late 1800s German immigrants in New York ate the traditional raw minced beef patti, then some yankee stuck it on the fire, added mustard and a bun, and burgers were born.
Hamburg is one of the busiest ports in the world with hundreds of wharves servicing fleets of mighty ocean goers like this...
But the docks closest to the city have been cleaned up and are home to a fleet of tour boats, ferries, and several museum ships including one of the few surviving U-Boats...
Our hotel gave us free passes for all public transport during our stay so we had a great time riding the buses, the trains and the ferries to places like the Elbphilharmonie...
This modernistic concert hall sits atop an old warehouse and to reach the observation deck we rode one of the world's longest curved escalators...
Ferries also ply downstream from the city docks and we spent a warm summery day by the seaside at Blankenese, an old fishing village that has been gentrified. Long gone are the fishermen's cottages and the herring trawlers of old. Today it is home for some of Hamburg's poshest residents, but they have to contend with the passing traffic...
However, being so close to the North Sea meant that we could get a taste of delicious herrings at a beachside restaurant...
From the fjords, the Viking longships and historic ships in Norway, to the Vasa and the hotel ships of Sweden, and the numerous ferries of Denmark, vessels of all kinds have played a large part in our trip so far. Our ferry crossing from Sweden to Germany carried an entire intercity train together with 340 cars and trucks and was hybrid electric. It was clean, silent and smooth, and from the deck we saw dozens of the wind turbines that were fuelling us. Hopefully, this is the future of sea travel.

The sea has been the lifeblood of Hamburg for many centuries but much of the city was destroyed by fire in 1842 and what was left was flattened by the Allies exactly 100 years later during World War II. One building that survived the war is the city-state's parliament – the Rathaus...
This fanciful Gothic style building replaced the old parliament at a time when Germany was a series of independent states and, to impress the neighbours, the businessmen of Hamburg spared no expense in making it one of the most lavish parliament buildings in the world....
A 500lb British bomb fell on the market square outside the Rathaus near the end of the war and would have totally destroyed the building had it exploded. Luckily for the Hamburgers, it didn't. However, the detonator was removed and now has pride of place in a glass case in the Rathaus...
Despite the incredibly warm weather, autumn is catching up so we are now heading further south to Hannover in search of the ancestral home of the British monarchy.

Posted by Hawkson 06:12 Archived in Germany

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Pickled? herring, fresh bread, butter? Lovely lunch. Much more preferable than the raw hamburger.
Brave sapper that defused the bomb.

by R and B

I found your Hamburg very interesting. It is great to see they are/have cleaned up the harbour.

by keithandhelen

Interesting city. You have whetted my appetite to visit the city, but perhaps not for the burger. Not putting your grill away anytime soon I hope! Glad the weather is holding.

by Tom

In the day of legalized pot, i can imagine the royals/parliamentarians lying on the floor looking up at the ceiling of the gorgeous Rathus. Such an interesting city.

by Sue Fitzwilson

Delightful blog and very interesting. Good job the Brits sent a duff bomb!

by Annie Prince

Looks like you had a great time in Hamburg and Hannover! Keep enjoying your travels!

by Anne

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