Thursday, May 1'st
A few hundred kilometers south of Vejle is a big city I have passed severel times. But I have never seen anything more than the railway-station and thats a pity. Thats why I took this little trip to Hamburg, when I had a few days of in a row.
The train from Vejle takes 4 hours to Hamburg - and my hotel Condow was right next to the Hamburg Hauptbahnhof
So it didn't take long before I was heading out to look at this city. But a main part of the city was closed on this 1'st of may. That included almost all shops and restaurants. I walk around a while and suddenly find myself in Hafen City, a huge area around the river Elben. This area is now being rebuilt. A lot of old warehouse - some has been renovated and now house offices and apartments - others are still being renovated. It's a very interesting area to take a look around.
More or less by coincidence I find myself next to a warehouse now housing a model-railway. It's supposed to be the largest in the world. I just wonder how many "largest in the world model-railways" there is. It's a day off in Germany as well so there's a lot of people here, and the queue for getting in is long. But traditionel german "ordnung muss sein" is present, so you can always see how long it will take before you get in. And there are free soda and candy for everyone waiting in the queue - so it's not that bad at all.
Friday, May 2'nd
There is no reason to hide it, that I have a strange little thing that I like. I like zoo's. So this morning I head with the U-bahn to Hagenbecks Tierpark. Here is everything that's supposed to be in a Zoo, and with the usual german thorughness the place is nicely signed, so you can see everything when walking from no.1 to no. 76. I spend a few hours here - and take a lot of pictures.
In the evening it's time for another "animal-park" - this one is called Millerntor. This is the home of Hamburgs - yes probably the whole germanys - cult-football club no. 1 - called FC St. Pauli. Football here is something speciel, somthing I have never tried quite like this before. The team of St. Pauli is probably one of the worst teams I have ever watched - but the crowd - they are probably the best in the business.
The match is taking place in the 2. bundesliga against Wacker Burghausen. St. Pauli is in deep shit - number 2 from the bottom - 4 matches left - they must win this to stay in the 2. bundesliga. So much action among the crowd before the match. The stadium is full (21.000 spectators). And it's not just a small fan-club down in the corner - no it's the whole stadium waiwing with homemade newspaper pom-pom's (you take a newspaper - tear it apart - and wave it above your head - very simple - but looks great). The club-flag is everywhere - it's a little special as well - it's a pirate-flag!! - and the music - that is real heavy-metal!!!!
The crowd is really supporting their team during the match. St. Pauli get's ahead by 1-0 - Wacker equalizes - but St. Pauli gets ahead on a penalty 10 minutes before halftime. The rest of the match is weird. For some reason Wacker puts way to much pressure on St. Pauli - eventhough Wacker is not a very good team. The crowd gets more and more noisy - maybe supported by the huge amount of beer they are drinking. This is the only stadium I have seen where you don't have to go to the bar to get a beer - no there is a "bar-transportable" bringing the beer to your seat - so you don't miss anyhing.
And suddenly - when the game goes into extra-time things go wrong. Burghausen equalizes - and suddenly everything is silent. All know that next year it's the "regionalliga".
The crowd is very silent as they leave the Millerntor, and walk across the road to Reeperbahn to get even more beers - and to find out where Aue exactly is placed on the map, because that is one of the small clubs they have to play against next year. For certain you will follow your team no matter what - going to see HSV - no - never -ever. Then rather Regionalliga Nord.
Saturday, may 3'rd
It's raining cats and dogs - and a pelican-wind is winding through the streets this morning. But when you are a tourist you must be prepared, so I bring out my rainproor clothes and head for the city.
First walking through Hamburg downtown - not much of a downtown to be honest. The downtown was heavely bombed during WW2, so there are not many old buildings left. On towards The Elben - on my way I get lost, so the walk gets a little longer than expected.
Finally down at The Elben it's time for "Der grosse hafenrundfahrt", where you get a good impression of the huge harbour-area in Hamburg. You pass the big container-terminal, some wharfs and docks - and it really doesn't matter that it's windy and rainy.
Later the weather clears, so it's time for another walk around the city. This time my walk takes me around Innenalster, a part of the big Alster-lake in the Hamburg centre. A strange competition is going on here - speedskating on rollerblades.
Sunday, may 4'th
The weather has improved dramatically. So after my check-out from the hotel I take a nice sailing-trip on the Alstern. You sail all the way around the lake, and you see some of the more wealthy parts of Hamburg. Some huge houses is nicely placed down to the lake - and a lot of love boats for the filthy rich is lying around in the small marinas.
Another lang walk through som of the citys many green areas to the more red area called called Sankt Pauli, along Reeperbahn and down to the Elben-river and Landungsbrücke, where the sailing-trips of the Elben starts. You can actually walk under the Elben, through the "Elben-tunnel", built before WW1 to make a connection between the city and the harbour. On weekdays you can actually drive your car through this tunnel with a maximum speed of 20 km/hour. There is one track in each direction, but getting down to it is a little difficult. For some reason they forgot to build an approach-road back in the old days, so you have to have your car lifted down in a huge elevator.
From here it's up to the largest church in Hamburg th St. Michaelis. You can get up in the tower with a great view across Hamburg and the river.
It's time for heading home, so I pick up my luggage at the hotel - cross the street to Hauptbahnhoff - down to track 5 where the train to Aarhus will take me directly to Vejle.