Sunday, March 12, 2017

An Evening Stroll

This is the third part of a trilogy of blogs about my January 2017 visit to Hamburg. The other two were about my visits to Elphi and the Miniature Wunderland.

On my way to Hamburg, I became nervous about whether the train would be on time. Although our group was to meet at the hotel only at 4 p.m., I was longing to eat a Finkenwerder Speckscholle for lunch. The plaice caught in the North Sea by fishermen located at Finkenwerder, a fishing village on the other side of the Elbe river) is served fried with bacon at a restaurant called Alter Hamburger Aalspeicher (Old Hamburg Eel Storage) located on Deichstraße (Dyke Street).

Note my trolley bag.
The train was on time, and I took a taxi to Deichstraße. I arrived at twenty past one at the restaurant and took a seat. When the waitress came, she told me that all the tables were reserved. I started to cry, telling her that my only desire had been to eat a Finkenwerder Speckscholle at her place. When she noticed my despair, she told me to sit and calm down, serving me the desired food twenty minutes later. She saved my day.

Served with Hamburger Kartoffelsalat (potato salad) but foreign beer: Jever Pils
The houses of Deichstraße are built on the dike that is taming the waters of the Alster river flowing into the Elbe nearby.

The photo was taken from the waterfront.
It was here where on May 5, 1842, the great Hamburg fire started and destroyed most of the houses, including the old town hall that was even blasted to stop the fire from spreading.

The entrance porch of the house was reused.
On May 8, the fire eventually came to a halt at a place that was afterward named Brandsende (blaze's end), now a street near Hamburg's central train station.

The fire started at Deichstraße in the left lower corner and spared the buildings in red, in particular, Hamburg's newly built Stock Exchange.
Black spots are blasted buildings (©Schleiden/Wikipedia)
Slowly I walked to my hotel looking at Hamburg's old landmark, the steeple of Sankt Michaelis (Saint Michael)...


... and had a distant view of Hamburg's new landmark, the Elbphilharmonie.


The TV set in my room reminded me that I was sleeping in a Weltkulturerbe (world heritage). The Amron Hotel is built into one of the old Schuppen (storage buildings) with the breakfast room located on the other side of the Fleet (canal) and accessible via a passageway.

Hotel at the left, breakfast at the right.
When our guide arrived in the late afternoon, she invited us to an evening stroll in Hamburg's city. The first place to visit was the "new" town hall.


On our way, we passed a memorial for Heinrich Heine, one of the great German poets but badly treated in the past because he was a leftist baptized German Jew. Banned from his fatherland, he died of a broken heart in Paris in 1856 and was buried there. Here is some information in German about the fate of Heine's Hamburg memorial.

Heine memorial on Rathausmarkt

I never attached great importance to my fame as a poet and
I did not care less whether the people praised or criticized my lieder
but you shall place a sword on my coffin
for I was a brave soldier in the liberation war of mankind.
When entering the lobby of the Rathaus, I noticed for the first time that the columns were decorated by the portraits of famous persons born in Hamburg. One example is Bertold Hinrich Brockes, a poet of Enlightenment.


Another example is Heinrich Hertz, the physicist, commemorated by the SI-unit for frequencies, i.e., kilohertz. In the Nazi era, the Jew Hertz was persona non grata. So in Germany, they were using kilohelmholtz in honor of Herman von Helmholtz, another famous German but Arian physicist. They even went so far to destroy Hertz's relief in Hamburg's town hall. It was replaced in a different style after the war.


Passing the outflow of the Alster lake into the Alsterfleet, I noticed that the high waters of the Alster were evacuated.


All excursion boats are waiting for their next day while the lights of the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten (Four Seasons) are reflected in the Binnenalster (Inner Alster lake).


Before our group went for dinner, we visited Michaeliskirche (Saint Michel) with Martin Luther guarding the entrance.

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