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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.

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