Wanderung 24

Spring Fling

From March to May 2011

Thursday April 14: Hamburg, Germany


Having slept like a log during the night, we both felt a lot better. Right after breakfast Monika took advantage of the washing machine to do our first load of dirty laundry and I took advantage of Heinke and Gustl's web connection to check our email. After a gap of three weeks we had received several hundred unread emails, so I had to carefully check that none of those were from our relatives or friends and delete the obviously useless spam. I also logged onto my Facebook account to check some postings, but the system recognized my domain as being Germany and made me answer security questions before letting me in. Some folks were starting to worry about our lack of posting, so I put up a posting to reassure folks we were OK.

We went for a walk around Bramfelder See (American: Lake Bramfeld) and saw blue herons, ducks, grey geese flocking together with Canadian geese, and even turtles sunning themselves on a log.


First day in Hamburg was designated as doing things at home. First there was the accumulated laundry. Heinke has a beautiful front loading washing machine but no dryer instead lines to hang wash on the balcony. The sun was shining and there was a light breeze, so that was not a problem and by the time the afternoon came around all the clothes were dry.

While the washing machine did its thing, Bob and I hopped unto Heinke and Gustl's bikes to visit our favorite shops: Aldi and Lidl. These are bare bone shops with cheap prices on the basics and weekly specials on non-food items. This weeks item were rather nice thin fleece jackets for 10 Euros. We found one for each of us and were delighted with our purchases since after the balmy days on the cruise, Hamburg was slightly colder.

After lunch we did the traditional walk around the Bramfelder See, a small lake near Heinke and Gustl that has different ducks and a large colony of breeding grey herons. Always fun to watch.



I really appreciated Heinke and Gustl letting us use their bicycles as that let us get around quite nicely. Driving in Hamburg, as in almost any other major European city, a stressful business if you are a foreigner. Although in a technical sense the "rules of the road" are the same all over continental Europe, in actuality the interpretation of those rules varies markedly from country to country.

While I am OK driving in Germany, I really enjoy riding a bicycle far more. German drivers are typically both aware of bicyclists and willing to give a bicycle its legal rights, which is NOT true in the U.S.A.! The prevalence of bicycle paths and special lights also helps make bicycling a rather pleasant way to get around Germany. In fact, I would very much like to return to Germany to do a lengthy bicycle tour, either along the old West Germany - East Germany border or in southern Germany along the Danube River from Germany into Austria.

But this time we just used the bikes to go shopping and ride around to some necessary appointments. Still, it was fun trundling along the streets and seeing parts of Hamburg, one of my favoriet cities, one more time.


In the afternoon, we had an appointment at the Commerzbank. My account at the Dresdner Bank had been taken over by the Commerzbank and I wanted to know what the differences were. In addition, I like keeping in touch. So I had set up an appointment with the head of the branch near Heinke, and we had a very productive meeting with him

But this was about all for the day and we had a nice evening with Heinke and Gustl chatting about family.


Copyright 2011 by R. W. Holt and E. M. Holt
Prolog Map of Transatlantic Cruise Map of Drive in Ireland Epilog

March 2011
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