Monday, May 30, 2016

Hamburg and HafenCity

While I often dislike hotel carpets, I liked this one outside our room
In 2013 Hamburg was home to an international building exposition and Sally and I decided to do a house exchange there for 3 weeks. We enjoyed the city very much and so when Richard Henriquez said he wanted to see it since some of his relatives were buried there in the Jewish cemetery, we readily agreed to return. This time we stayed in a hotel, one I can recommend. The Kempinski Atlantic is a very beautifully appointed hotel overlooking one of the inner city lakes. While it is not cheap (are any of the Kempinski hotels cheap?) it is a good location, especially if you are arriving by train, like we did.
The philharmonic hall in 2013.
The roof of the philharmonic hall is now finished, but the building isn't
Once again we took a hop-on-hop-off tour to get an overview of the city, and then explored HafenCity on foot. It is most impressive. I wanted to see how the Herzog and de Meuron Philharmonic Hall had turned out, (I hated it last time) but discovered that 3 years later it still isn't finished. In fact, it didn't seem much different than when last viewed!
HafenCity has to be one of the largest waterfront redevelopment projects in Europe. I would say 'the world' but then again one just has to look at what is happening in China!
We ate both nights on a nearby street. On the hotel's recommendation we ate at an Italian restaurant Cafe di Roma the first night, but decided to try some German food the next night at Das Dorf, an intimate lower level restaurant.

We also took a boat of a number you can take, and I was surprised to see a small number of people camping on the side of the lake. Perhaps they have the same judge who allowed people to camp in public spaces in Victoria.

We left by train for Denmark and I was surprised to find that some people, despite having purchased a ticket, had nowhere to sit. If you book a train in Europe, it is increasingly a good idea and spend another 4 euros and book a seat!

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