Since 1952 every ship with more than 500 BRT that passes by between sunrise and sunset will be welcomed and said goodbye
by a signal and a voice. Have a look at the follwing link, unfortuantely it does not seem to be in english so far.
Intersting is as well the web cam view here.
Yes, Wedel has a beach, the Strandbad.
And on warm, sunny summer days many people enjoy it. At the beach there is a beach club bar, where one can have something to eat and to drink. Behind the beach club there also is a playground for children.
During the last years the quality of the water of the river Elbe has become better again, so that today bathing in the Elbe again is possible! And on the weekends from early May to end of September the DLRG (german life savers organisation) post next to the beach club is operating.
Nevertheless, don't underestimate the dangers of bathing in a river where large vessels pass by! The outgoing undertow and the returning surge can be really dangerous!
There is an observation post of the NABU (Naturschutzbund = Nature Protection Organisation) in Wedel. It is situated just behind the dyke about 2km west of (downstream from) Wedel.
They offer information on many topics from
seasonal bird watching excursions to
information about the ecologic system of the Elbe marshlands.
Their regular opening hours are on
Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and legal holidays
from 10:00 to 16:00 hours
(info from Aug-2010)
If you would like to know more about the history of Wedel, visit the Heimatmuseum.
It gives information about the time from the first mentioning of Wedel in 1212 up to the 1950es. They also show archeological finds from the old Hatzburg, a residence of the Counts of Schauenburg in the 14th century.
Take a trip across the Elbe to the "Altes Land", to the "Lühe" estuary.
You will have a nice boat trip on the Elbe, and on the other side you can go for a walk in the quiet scenery of a very typical fruit growing area. Excursions to the Altes Land are especially popular during cherry of aple blossom time.
Or you can take your bicycles with you on the ferry boat and go for a bicycle tour through the Altes Land. There, on your way, you can discover some very beautiful traditional buildings.
You can find their time table and tariffs on their web page.
Don't miss the Welcome Point. It is in the Schulauer Fährhaus.
The Schulauer Fährhaus is a restaurant directly at the Elbe river, and you can watch all in coming and out going ships, while you enjoy your meal or coffee and cake.
All ships visiting or leaving Hamburg are greeted by having their national anthem played while the flags are dipped (lowered), they are welcomed and while the flags are rising again, some more music is played. And for the visitors in the restaurant also information about the ship is given.
They have a webcam: http://www.welcome-point.de/
This is the birthplace of the artist Ernst Barlach (Jan.2nd,1870 - Oct.24th,1938), who is most famous for his sculptures.
But he also was a writer.
Since 1987 this building is used for exhibitions.