I visited Germany with my family for a total of 5 days, two days in March 2006 and three days in April of the same year. It was a memorable trip being our first time in Hamburg and Berlin and because we were accommodated by what we consider the most hospitable hosts in Hamburg. I felt that we were so special from day one till the end of our journey.
The family we stayed with are just amazing. Inter-acting with them gave us a full view of how the local people treat their visitors. Very hospitable people and will surely be back to Germany to meet them again.
Hamburg became our base during our European tour as we flew back to the city after our trip in Denmark, Sweden, France, and Italy.
The Water-carrier Hans Hummel is a widely-used symbol of Hamburg.
A few years ago the city had one of those "artistic celebations" wherein different individuals and organizations painted a set object with different designs and color schemes. Hamburg used the Hans Hummel as its object, so you will see brightly colored men with buckets in different locations.
This swanly version of Hummel is at the Hauptbahnhof.
(The original Hans Hummel lived in the early 1800s, and was actually named Johann Wilhelm Bentz. He is said to have worked than any man before him shuffling around Hamburg with his burden. Children of the city mocked him by calling him "bumble-bee" - Hummel, in German.)
Hamburg has wonderful Christmas markets. The food is excellent near the Alster Pavillion, there are good crafts in the Gänsemarkt, and throngs of people at the main market in front of the Rathaus. That's where this festive Advent Calendar counts off the days until Christmas.
On the Saturday before Easter it is a custom to raise huge piles of wood and light them in the evening. This is to celebrate the beginning of spring, to chase away the darkness of winter.
While the fire is burning people sing and dance and have fun.
I have been to an Easter fire first time now in Hamburg in Horner Rennbahn. There was nice music, fresh beer and a wonderful fire. Fullmoon and mild air. (2005)
Hans Hummel has been a famous watercarrier in times, when not everybody had fresh tap water. So this was about 100 years ago. Children used to chase him and they yelled: "Hummel! Hummel! He got angry and shouted back: "Mors! Mors! (a..!). That is how people say the wellknown Hamburgian shout: "Hummel Hummel Mors Mors!" started.
Today the "Hummel-Mann" can be seen all over Hamburg as colorfull statues.
This is a small fair/carnival that takes place next to the Außenmühlen Teich in Hamburg Harburg with lots of food and music typically takes place in mid-August.
In the past they have had some name acts like ATC, DJ Ötzi and Baccarra. While Americans might nore recognize the names they have all been top acts in Germany and Europe.
There is plenty for things for the children to like small carousels and face painting. If you get tired of the festivities head over to the boat house and rent a paddle boat (Tretboot) for a half hour or so.
At the web address below you may find more info on this little fest .
Hummel Hummel - Mors Mors is an old saying in Hamburg. It is attributed to an old history of the 18th century. In that time when there hasn´t been a canalisation system yet there where people who carried the potable water to the houses. One of these water carrier was Johann Wilhelm Bentz, a quite crabby and grimly person. He lived in a flat where a city soldier named Christian Hummel lived before, a very nice person, favored by the street children. So, every time when the water carrier passed by the children shouted: "Hummel Hummel" to bother him. As he couldn´t defend very well against these children with his high weight of water (unto 30 liters) on his shoulders, he just answered with "Mors Mors". This is the short form of an old saying in the regional dialect : "Klei mi an Mors". ...what might be traduced with "Sod you" or more directly "lick my arse".
Nowadays it is a traditional hanseatic greeting form ;-)))
Udo Lindenberg is maybe the most popular singer from Hamburg. Since three decades he's been on stage. Although Udo Lindenberg was born in Westfalia he calls himself as Hamburger. To his honor a star in Hamburg's pedestrian zone was dedicated to him.
As I was working with such nice people as shown on this picture (from left Yuki, Axel and Michael) I got to know many facettes of the everyday life of the Hanseatic people... They are one of the finest working colleagues I have ever had!!!
I'm not sure if this is the right place to write this, but I'll do it anyway.
What I saw in Hamburg, something I haven't realise in Helsinki, was homeless people. There seem to be so many of them, just in the centre.
It was kind of a shoc for me, because as I said, in Finland there aren't that many of them.
A popular activity among Hamburgers on the weekend is a walk along the path which rings the Aussenalster. Even in the winter time, you'll see people in outdoor cafes along the path.
Along Mönckbergstrasse I saw a few street performers, the most talented of which was this gender-bending drummer. I threw in a few coins - s/he was working hard for it!
This is Katrin (she is already a rather young doctor, and excellent!) and ADW (=Andreas de Weerth), my very friendly and student-orientated 'boss' at the UKE.
This is Janina, a student in her final year, who is very ambitious and whom I hope to see in Vienna again one day. Vienna is her personal favourite city!
Frauke & Martin - they are students as me who were also working at the same ward of Internal Medicine (gastroenterology) at the UKE. How do I miss them!
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