Wandering around the port (Hafen) area I couldn't help but notice the major developments currently (Jan 2012) underway. This brought to mind a bar conversation in Dublin a few years ago when discussing Ireland's then economic problems. My optimistic drinking buddy pointed out the profusion of building work around the city and concluded - "Where there's cranes there's money."
In January 2012 Europe is supposedly undergoing a bit of economic difficulty as a whole but here in Hamburg there's plenty of cranes.
I just hope the developments are in-keeping with the existing fabric of the city (and that they haven't had to demolish too many dockside bars ;-)))
Hamburg is such a rainy city, the citizens truly relish any sunny weather to be had, and the hundreds of summer sidewalk cafes are a testament to the citizens' love of the outdoors. Should you find yourself with spare time and fair weather, it's reccomended to take advantage of the myriad of cafes and terrace restaurants easily found all along the River Elbe. For those who are the sportive type and interested in a tiny bit of excercise, descend the upper city to the riverbanks and back for your restaurant outing. For those not up to the climb and descend and interested in something more leisurely, simply go S/U Bahn Landungsbrucken , descend stairs to the pier and take Schiff (ferry) #62- Finkenwerder to any stop along the Elbe.
For the sportive/fitness route (!): S Bahn 1 or 3 to Königstrasse, Behnstrasse exit. on Behnstrasse turn left walk for approximately 2 blocks towards the river horizon. You will encounter descending steps to the river flats of the city. Once at the bottom head in the direction of Landungsbrucken (left).
For the leisurely route: S 1/3 or U3 Bahn to Landungsbrücken, then at the pier take #62 Finkenwerder and exit at any of the 4 stops after. The fair is only euro 1,65 each way, otherwise check by the HVV ticket office on the pier to see if the Schiff (ferry) is covered by any day ticket or tourist pass you have for public transport. Most ferries are equipped with ticket machines on board, but to be safe (and to avoid 40 euro ticket fines by tarrif police), you can purchase your ticket at a machine directly on the boarding dock.
Hamburg is a perfect place to watch and take photographs of cruiseships. The best place to do so is around St.Pauli Landungsbruecken, from "Jugendherberge am Stintfang" or at the opposite side from the terrace of Hotel Hafen Hamburg.
Once that the big cruiseship has passed by the well-known tower of the Ueberseebruecke,you still have enough time to follow the ship by S1 to Wedel and from there to Schulau, where you may still catch it again and wave good-bye at Willkomm-Hoeft.
Simply be there some time ahead, you will have to share the best places with thousands of other people. Check out for the departure-times of S1, because not all of these trains will go through to Wedel, some will stop in Blankenese and you loose about 20 minutes there waiting for the right train to Wedel.
click here for Giant ships in Hamburg 1-6, 2006
Giant ships in Hamburg 7-12, 2006
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The trains of S1 till Wedel and also the bus #489 are part of the transportation-system of Hamburg and included in the ordinary daytickets of sections A+B and in the Hamburg-card. The final terminus of S1 is Wedel and then you have to go on by bus #489 or take a walk of about 25 minutes.
Ships lined up in the harbour...
I shot this photo to paint the scene later; copy & enlarge.
The sailing vessel behind is a historical ship and entrance requires payment... decision required: Beer(?) or the Historical ship(?)...
I've selected the Beer because my resources were limited and must be spent very carefully - used for the urgent matters(!)
I recognized later that the the scene to have vast details beyond my ability to paint. I finally painted another simpler scene tasting my beer in the only bar at Baumwall station (harbour side).
This drawing can be seen in my 2'nd cultural tip.
Finally I ended up drawing this simple sketch from Baumwall (from the bar looking to the harbour). Displays the maximum limit of my patience in drawing something (242KB).