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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Hamburg Day 3: Sightseeing and Beaders Best Opening

     We had planned to visit another museum, but I decided that we should do some exploring instead.  We started to walk to St. Michael's Church (Michaeliskirche) but got turned around and ended up going through part of the Reeperbahn, the famous red light district.  Believe me, you do not want to bother with the Reeperbahn in the daytime; everyone is asleep and nothing is going on.  It's like going to a carnival on their day off, kind of quiet and dreary.
     We finally found St. Michael's Church.  This splendid, baroque church was completed in 1786 but destroyed by fire in 1906.  Luckily, the Senate immediately decided to rebuild the church on the same site from the original plans.  We neglected to climb the 452 steps of the tower for a view of the city but enjoyed the view of the interior.

The tower at St. Michael's Church

Part of the interior

The organ or at least part of it

After that, we wandered over the bridges  and past the 19-century, brick warehouses in the Speicherstadt (warehouse district ), the largest warehouse district in the world.  Many of the buildings have now been turned into housing.

Hamburg really is a city of water

One of the many bridges to the warehouse district

An example of the beautiful 19-century warehouses

This imposing building turned out to be the firehouse.

We ate a lunch of sandwiches and iced coffee at a small bakery in the warehouse district and got our first introduction to German Eiskaffee.  Here in the U.S., iced coffee is cold coffee poured over ice but that's not the German way.  There Eiskaffee is a glass of half coffee and half whipped cream.  One version we had even added a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

I borrowed this photo of Eiskaffee from a recipe because I was in such awe that I forgot to take a photo of our glasses.

After lunch, Don continued his sightseeing with a visit to the Internationales Maritimes Museum, where he toured model ships, oil paintings, uniforms, and figureheads.

Model ship from the Internationales Maritimes Museum

I, however, headed back to the venue because the shopping at Beaders Best opened at 4 pm.  I HAD to be there because I was meeting a student....really....I did.  Okay, I looked around after my meeting.

One of the beads that caught my eye on the Perlen Poesie website was a lovely lampwork bead by Barbara Wiemers.  Not only did I get to buy one of her lovely beads, but I got to meet Barbara herself.

Hydrangea bead by Barbara Wiemers

Here are Barbara and I holding some of her glass beads.

To see more of Barbara's beads, visit Weserperlen.

My one other purchase was more lampwork beads from Christiane Imkamp of Smauggs.  I now think I should have bought more but she does have an Etsy shop.

One ring with a froggie and 2 mushrooms to make earrings-I really was good.

Here are a few more shots of the shopping taken by Freddie Ott, the creative director of Perlen Poesie.  I was too busy to take photos (I know, I know-I have to remember to take photos).

 Shopping (photo by Freddie Ott)
Some of the artisans (photo by Freddie Ott)
More shopping (photo by Freddie Ott)

More (photo by Freddie Ott)

Kerry Slade and members of the Preciosa team (photographer unknown).

I was so excited to finally meet Kerrie Slade and her husband Simon in person.  I have been friends with Kerrie in cyberspace for ages and I am so glad that we finally got to meet her and some of the people from Preciosa.

After the shopping, it was time for the barbeque.  As an American with family in Texas, I wouldn't describe it as a barbeque, but it was a nice selection of grilled chicken, beef, and sausage with a variety of salads on the side.  Plus alcohol.

Here we are enjoying dinner.  From the left: me, Simon Slade, Kerrie Slade, Andrea Janeckova, Jaroslava Ruzickova, and Helena.

Simon was kind enough to take another photo so that Don could be included.

The party outside.  Since the revelers are masked, I shall not name them.

So, after a lot of food, wine, and fun, we headed back to the hotel.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Hamburg, Day 2

     Our next day was Museum day, as we visited 2 of them in one go. But first, here I am finishing a bead crochet sample that I needed for the Florencia class while waiting for the bus.

We got turned around trying to find the Hamburg Museum, and wandered by part of the Planten un Blomen (botanic garden).  This tv tower looked like it was straight out of the "The Jetsons."

We also wandered by a war memorial from World War II.

Finally, we made it to the Hamburg Museum ( Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte),  a collection dedicated to telling the history of Hamburg through a multitude of objects like canons, work tools, period rooms, statues, model railroads-all kind of interesting things. 
This is a pair of shears that were used to slice off fluff from fulled wool fabric.

Skulls of executed criminals would be nailed up for the public to see.  Not sure if these are real skulls or reproductions.

Since both of our families emigrated to the U.S. from Europe on ships, I was particularly interested in this cleaned-up reconstruction of the steerage section of an ocean liner (where our relatives would have traveled) . 

Reconstructed steerage section

Notice that the compartment is barely high enough for a man to stand up and has little light.  The wooden bunk beds were designed to hold 4-6 people and the straw mattresses were aired out once a week.  As late as 1887, passengers in steerage had to eat their meals  sitting in bed or out in the open on deck.   Food was the equivalent of  the meager sailors' diet: hard bread, legumes, cured meat, coffee, tea, bread, and butter.  Not surprising that many passengers brought their own food for the first few days of the trip.

This lump  is a pile of melted glass buttons.

Another item that caught my eye was a reminder of the "Great Fire" of 1842.  The fire burned for 4 days and destroyed a quarter of the inner city including 3 churches, the town hall, and countless buildings.  The fire killed 51 people and left 20,000 people homeless.  So among the items touched by the Great Fire was a pile of glass buttons that melted into this remaining lump.

Crocheted socks made for the German troops in World War I

Those of us who know something of the history of knitting or war are aware that English and American women knit clothing for "our boys at war," so I found this display interesting.  It is a pair of crocheted socks made for a German soldier fighting in World War I.  They don't seem too practical to wear with boot so maybe they were meant to be worn as slippers.

We took a break to eat lunch on the patio of the museum.  It was a lovely place to eat but the large number of bees that came to check out our tasty meals were a bit of a challenge.

The outside entrance to the patio where we ate lunch.

After we finished with the Hamburg Museum, we headed to the arts and crafts museum (Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe), the one museum I definitely wanted to see.  It was a stroll through a variety of objects from many periods and styles.

The entrance to the Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe

This is one of a group of expressionist costumes

 Hilt of a samurai sword

A glass peppermill

Then it was time to wander down to the Landungsbruken piers and the water.

We took the lift down to the entrance to the Old Elbe Tunnel for pedestrians and vehicles that was opened in 1911 to allow access to the south side of the Elbe River.

Entrance to part of the tunnel

Going down was fine but then I made the mistake of agreeing to walk up the stairs. Given my fear of heights, it was too scary to be out on those suspended stairways.

Part of the scary climb back up

Part of the decoration on one of the buildings on the waterfront.  We would love to know the meaning behind the iconography but, alas, there was no explanation so you will have to come up with your own meaning.

View from ferry number 62
We bought the Hamburg Pass the day before, which gave us free access on bus, trains, and the ferry so we were able to bypass the expensive tourist boats and hop on the Hadag harbor ferry for a ride on the Elbe.
After that, it was time to eat dinner because we were starving.  The Landungsbruken area is really quite touristy but we were too hungry to go elsewhere.  We avoided the Hard Rock Café and ate at Block Brau Hamburg, a very large brewpub with 3 floors and space for 500.  Luckily it was not terribly busy late on a weekday.  The food was pretty basic but fine (wiener schnitzel with potato salad, sausage with potato salad, etc.) and Don enjoyed the beer brewed on premise.
View of part of the Block Brau restaurant and some of the brewing tanks
Than it was back to the hotel to end a very long and eventful day.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Adele and Don's Excellent European Adventure: Day 1, Hamburg

     Now that I can remember what time zone I am in and what continent I am on, I can tell you all about why it has been so long since I posted.  As you know, I was scheduled to teach 2 classes at the Beaders Best show in Hamburg, Germany (held from August 21-23) so I have been busy preparing for the classes, packing lots of kits and some clothing, and then traveling.  Even more fun, Don was able to come with me-his excuse being that he had to carry the bags.

Florencia and her sisters were so excited to have their own class that they packed their little bags early and camped on my clothes to make sure that they weren't forgotten.

The trip to Hamburg via Schipol Airport in Amsterdam was long, but without incident so we arrived in Hamburg on August 19.  I had allowed an extra day in case of travel disruption (read rain that would shut down JFK Airport and delay flights for a day) so no delays meant that I had time to explore Hamburg. We were staying at the Radisson Inn that is a convenient 10-minute walk from the venue for the bead show outside of the city center, so we checked in and headed out to explore downtown Hamburg.

This was our first view of the city center.

We first wandered around the Binnenalster, a lake at the very heart of the city that covers an area of around 45 acres.  Notice all of the swans and ducks that are more than happy to congregate to be fed by people.
The Binnenalster with just some of the birds waiting for their next meal.

Don noticed that there would be a concert in a nearby church, so we popped into some large German restaurant for a meal of sausages, sauerkraut, and potato salad.  The waitress didn't speak much English and I remember very little of my high-school German, but we managed to order dinner.

The restaurant-too bad I can't remember the name.

Then it was off to Petrikirche, Hamburg's oldest parish church dating from 1195 and rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1842, for the  concert.

Petrikirche ( St. Peter's Church)

A view of the inside

Another view

The church had some lovely carved stone decoration.

One of the door handles in the shape of a lion's head.

After the concert, we continued wandering around the city center and ran across the Chilehaus.  Completed in 1924 and commissioned by a merchant who made his fortune importing saltpeter from Chili, the building contains more than  4 million red bricks and sports charming carved figures of animals with South American motifs.

One tiny corner of the Chilehaus

We were watched by one of the carved animals.

Then it was time to go back to the hotel because we could hardly stay awake.  Here was the train that took us to a bus that dropped us off near the hotel.  Luckily, being New Yorkers, we soon got the hang of the efficient public transport system.

The train.

Our train stop.

This was our view when we got off the bus to walk to the hotel.