July 18, 2013

Dancing Through the Night - If That Is What You Feel Like

Hamburg Nights

Hamburg is however about so much more than history even if history is found in every corner, in every part of the city (keep your eyes open and you will see a lot of little reminders of what once happened here: The big fire, the war, the ship building, and so forth) – Hamburg is a modern and trendy city.

Overlooking the inside of the Hamburg fish market,
The fish market, Hamburg
We went home in the evening, after having been out dancing, only to get up at 6 am and head down to the fish market (Fisch Markt), an enormous market open on Sunday, until 9:30. Part of it is a street market, and that's where we went, but many come here after a night out, straight from the club, only to continue dancing and drinking. The night clubs are on every corner and there is live music playing at 6:30. While we were drinking coffee (yes, that was much needed) the party goers were continuing with their beers and their singing. It's an odd mix between people looking absolutely fresh, having been in bed early the evening before, and those still continuing the party – and then those of us who had been out but went home and slept a few hours before getting the shopping done – in our case smoked mackerel, strawberries, apricots, avocado and coffee – a delicious breakfast. I liked it – but next time I am not going home in between... Or I am going to bed much earlier the night before, that is another alternative.

If you go to Hamburg, at least once the Fischmarkt should be on your to-do list, regardless if you like fish or not. The old market hall is a great spot for beers (as well as coffee, but don't try and bring some from the outside, the bouncers do NOT appreciate it) and live music, especially old rock hits, and the market stands outside contains so much more than just fish for sale; You can get gorgeous fruits and vegetables for a very decent price, you can get flowers, listen to the sounds of the auctions, drink coffee from the portable coffee stands - and yes, you can get fish as well. Plenty of it, in various way; Why not do what we did and get some smoked fish that you can eat straight away, overlooking the water? Just remember that the smell of mackerel stays on your fingers for a long time, regardless if you wash your hands once, twice, three or for times or not... It's worth it though, without any doubt.

Ferry - great public transportation
And after the fish market, why not do what we did and catch the public transportation and go out to one of the little spots along the river, where there is a beach? It's wonderful to do on a sunny day (just remember the sunscreen, the sun is stronger than you think, especially considering you are by the water! And be careful if you go into the water, the currents are strong and the big ships can pull up quite some waves! ) Even if you aren't interested in going in to the water or sunbathing, the whole area is beautiful and very very charming - well worth the few coins you need to find in your pockets to pay for the public transportation.

Don't bother about the expensive tourist tours of the harbour, unless you really want to spend a lot of time; Get a guide book or meet with someone local, and just hop on the ferry. You can even get a day pass and travel around as much as you like inside Hamburg during the rest of the day. If you went to the fish market before, to buy food, you could even have a picnic... Just a suggestion! 

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