It’s been a higgeldy-piggeldy kind of two days, with more of the same coming up…
The Hanseatic Museum on Saturday should only be spoken of in superlatives, but I lack the skills, so … It took us almost 5 hours to do the main tour, at the end of which we decided to forsake further wanderings through adjacent historical sites. The museum is filled with the most stunning ehibits, and the information given on each area was very informative. Your ticket, with a QR code, triggered explanations and mobile exhibits, in your language of choice, and with enhanced information depending on what you chose in the setup. I chose Bergen and ‘Law & Order’, so, at appropriate points, the interactive screens added info for me – how cool is that, Norway? We had to take a break halfway through and calculated if we didn’t speed up our walking / reading / comprehension / ooh/ahhs we would be there long after dark!
Sunday saw us heading to Hamburg, intent on getting the van sorted out. We slept in a narrow, tree-lined road in a residential suburb, with passing kids staring in and making comments – perhaps not the usual sights on the way to school? That meant we had much of Sunday to walk around the main tourist harbour area, Speicherstadt, and take in the waterfront in weather more summer than autumn.
Having a beer outside in the sun Niki had a bit of a tearful moment. Her mum, Ursula, was born in Hamburg and lived through the bombings, and the last time Niki and mum were together had recounted those experiences. An interesting point I think I remember from somewhere … a greater tonnage of bombs dropped on Hamburg in the Firestorm than dropped on England in the entire war?
This was brought home with a visit to St Nikolai, left in remembrance to the horrors of war.
Monday brought hours of driving through Hamburg’s busy suburbs as we went from a) Fiat dealer to fix the fender dinged in Sweden months ago – come back next Monday b) Burstner dealer to have a water integrity check done – no, we didn’t know we had to pay for this ourselves, it’s got a 5-year warranty c) Pioneer to sort out our satnav – No, we didn’t know the data card was from 2015, but thank you for checking with Pioneer and sorting the card out, not charging us €65! Ho Hum.
So, what to do with a week while we wait for our new fender? Hmmm, how about back to Lübeck? So here we are having Grille Hax, rotkohl, kartoffel salat und weisswein … I’m fully engaging the culture! Tomorrow will see us heading north Rostock along the Ostsee to Stralsund before looping back to a national park in Müritz, north of Berlin. With a bit of luck we’ll get back on the bikes and cycle through what looks like a 1000 lakes. IF the weather holds … beach und bier for the next few days!
Last thing: Big ‘Thank You’ to Niki for navigating today. Strange city, pedestrians/bikes/buses/carscarscars, a navi that went on the blink (almost said, ‘went on the fritz’!!), and all of it on small suburban roads: Kept her cool, overrode the GPS (with 50/50 success, if truth be told) and got us to each point with minimal fuss. Really cool!