We left Lubeck after an early start (by me anyway) gave me a proper coffee with a view of the Rathaus for £1.60. I love German bakeries with their self services cafes and bargain prices.
The normal highlight of the city is the Holstentor, the city gate apparently sinking into the ground. After a night in Lubeck’s basic pubs, I knew how it felt.
We arrived in Hamburg on the slow train, just as Donald the Trump left the city in a state of self-destruction. Undeterred, we headed for the schnitzel/burger place at Gerüchte Küche at Altona, Hamburg’s Richmond-upon-Thames.
Alongside proper burgers, this was our first introduction to Ratsherrn, who seem to have established themselves as the local BrewDog, popping up in restaurants and cafes everywhere. That Pale Ale was quite wonderful.
Hamburg is, apparently, the richest city in Germany, but the prices here were less than half those in Copenhagen. And the Schnitzel was sublime. Or certainly calorific.
Our hotel/hostel at Meininger made a forlorn attempt to look hip, offering Astra on tap as an English hotel would offer you Landlord. So 2001.
We did a quick recce of Hamburg that confirmed;
- It’s all about the water.
- Modern architecture lovers (pick me !) will be in heaven.
- It’s not very well pubbed.
Only one place to kick off Hamburg, of course. Mrs RM and I took elder son James in search of the famous beach bars, and the area made famous by the Blue Oyster Cult.
Two minutes out of the Reeperbahn station, we were traumatised.
Not by the stag groups, but the deprivation in the filthy streets down to the docks. It made Coatbridge seem smart.
We were glad to make it to the river.
The Strand Pauli is the traditional place for artificial sand and cocktails, full of people who I assume live nowhere near the ‘Bahn.
The Strand Pauli reminded us of a Jamaican beachside café, all bottled beer, barbecued meat and a slight smell of something illegal.
The Astra, in that atmosphere, was good; the first beer I’ve drank out of a bottle in 30 years. The apple cake was worth the four euros.
It’s an experience.
The Reeperbahn is deeply disappointing, unless you like policeman, flashing red windows and tat. Wigan is far more seductive.