Saturday, June 17, 2017

Non-cycling day -- Saturday, June 17, 2017

In our first week, we cycled about 225 miles. Today was a well-earned day off from the bikes while we explored Hamburg in nearly perfect weather.

We met after breakfast for a subway ride to the harbor, and then a guided tour of the harbor/port in our own chartered boat. this is a bustling seaport, although it is located on the Elbe river 60 miles from the coast. Our captain spoke very good English and gave us a comprehensive tour of the harbor. We had lots of good views of the city, including several different views of the Elbe Philharmonic hall that I mentioned yesterday. It was interesting to see that many of the boats that ply the harbor with tours are painted as large billboards for musical theater productions. We also say U-434, a soviet build submarine which is the largest hunting and espionage submarine [non-nuclear] in the world, and which is now a museum.
Floating billboard for the Lion King

After the harbor tour we were on our own, and I spent the day walking through the city, visiting the Rathouse (city hall), St. Michael's Church, and various shopping districts. No particular plan -- just exploring on foot.

Several of us met for dinner and rather accidentally, came upon a fascinating and very good Turkish restaurant. Each patron is given a card (like a credit card) and you wander through the various food and drink stations. As you order something, you swipe the card, and it is added to your bill. You are also given a pager so that you will know when your food is cooked. It is a unique business model -- sort of like a self-service cafeteria, except that all the food is cooked to order. What made it stand out is that all the food was really, really, good, and quite reasonably priced.
St. Michael's Church

Hamburg Rathaus

An interesting demonstration/protest march, although I don't know the cause.

Because we are so far north, the days have been really long. Sunrise this morning was at 4:49 am, and sunset will be at 9:52 pm.

Tomorrow we cycle the first couple of miles from the hotel, then take a ferry with our bikes to get us out of the city traffic and then continue on to Lineburg.

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