Sun 10 Nov - Hamburg, Germany

Fischmarkt - we just had to see and experience it. And graffiti... Lots of it.

As the reader possibly noted in an earlier post, the Hamburg Fischmarkt is on Sundays between 4am and 11am so it was an early rise at 5.30am and after a quick cup of tea and a bowl of Weetabix, we were on our way not long after 6am.

Of course, it was still dark at that time and being a Sunday morning, we decided to get there via Reeperbahn and Davidstraße as we knew those streets and figured that they would be reasonably lit and with plenty of people around.

And they were, lots of punters on Reeperbahn still drinking on the streets from mostly plastic cups and sometimes bottles... At 6.30am and later.

As we got down towards the Elbe, we realized that the Fischmarkt was a lot bigger than we thought. This sign is next to the campervan parking lot which contained a lot more vehicles this morning than when we were here earlier in the week.

Hamburg Fischmarkt sold a lot more than just fish and seafood, but here is a pic to set the scene...

The crowd seemed to be evenly split between night revelers coming for a bit between ending the night and locals doing their (perhaps) weekly shopping.

It was still quite empty when we arrived, but more people came as night broke into day.

This display was just too good to pass for Hans. Fresh Brötchen with a large number of different smoked fish and seafood was on offer so Hans ordered one with smoked mackerel. Di followed suit and ordered a Brötchen with prawn and garlic sauce. Di found her combination a bit much at 7am so Hans got most of that one too.

Yum yum yum... In the rain... Which stopped not long hereafter.

Daybreak is near...

Then we suddenly saw some big movement on the Elbe... And to our amazement, Queen Mary II was sailing into Hamburg's harbour and it looked absolutely stunning in the early morning light.

Just one more photo as QM2 sailing towards Hamburg's overseas terminal.

Di was checking out the seafood to get some prawns to accompany our leftover paella for dinner tonight, but when we were going to take this photo, "Fat Belly Fritz" came up and posed. Yeah, why not?

The doors to the Fischmarkt Auctionhalle were open, with people going in and coming out so we decided to have a look.

Party. A band was playing and people were either still drinking beer or having breakfast. At 7.30am or so. It had a great atmosphere in there... amazing...

A couple of location shots from inside the Fischmarket Auctionhalle...


The band was playing Steve Miller Band's old hit "The Joker" when we arrived and we decided to check them out.

The bloke with the white shirt... What kind of shoes is he wearing?

These were the most amazing pair of shoes that we've seen in a long time. They probably had some springs like material inside that allowed him to jump and act like a real rock star.

Apart from the fun of the old hippie, who tried to sing, and the drummer who was really good, the band was pretty awful. Their singing capabilities were close to nil and it sounded like they all had been yelling and screaming all night because they did not hit many tones. Their version of "Boys of Summer" from Don Henley made us cringe.

Still, the punters liked them despite murdering a number of standard pop songs, including some German hit song that we had never heard of.

Outside, dawn...

As noted earlier, not only fish and seafood are on offer at the Fischmarkt. Here they sell flowers...

And here they sell live chooks... And small rabbits... And pigeons... Hmmm...

Chooks for sale... although most punters seemed to just have a look.

We had never seen a chook with this colour pattern before. It was quite striking and beautiful.

Di decided on getting some fresh gambas (from Spain) from these guys...

We also bought ourselves a couple of pairs of woolen socks each to fight the cold weather that we expect to get for the remainder of this trip. Reasonable prices at 2 pairs for €10, with angora for Di, or 3 pairs for €12 (Hans).

A "selfie" overlooking some of the Fischmarkt, with the side of the Auctionhalle in the centre of the picture.

At this time, the horse trading seemed to have started. Bulk deals were to be found everywhere and the punters loved it.

We reckon that if you were a bit astute and knew how the system worked, you could probably bring say €50 and buy most of your weekly food here and get the good stuff too. Why don't we have this in Sydney?

A bag of various fresh fruit for €10.

Yes, you could get a megapack of various types of chocolate too for very little.

This guy had the most punters surrounding him than anybody else we saw... We had to check it out. It turned out that he was handing out free samples of smoked eel.

Hold on, haven't we seen this guy before...?

Yes, we did see him earlier... in the dark. He wasn't that popular then.

The fishmonger was then selling an extraordinary amount of various fresh and smoked fish for €20. He seemed to randomly just chuck in a bit of this and a bit of that and even after a punter had purchased it, he still added more. Yep, the punters loved it and we were not the only one taking pictures of the showman.

BTW, did we tell you that he swung a smoked eel around his head at one stage?

Cheese... Lots of it... For €10 per basket. Absolute bargain and we wouldn't have been going to Berlin tomorrow, we probably would have bought one.

Time for another break, with coffee and pastry. All this for the ridiculous total price of €3.50.

As the church clock nearby showed 9.30am, we decided that we had experienced and sampled enough of Fischmarkt and slowly wandered back to base, full and happy, through Reeperbahn which was decidely quieter and emptier now than a few hours ago.

Given our early start this morning, and the cold (maximum 7 degrees C today) we relaxed at home until lunchtime when we just had tea and sandwiches, but as the weather now was sunny and clear we decided to go for a Sunday afternoon stroll - very European.

This is how we explored the area northwest of where we stay and included several parks in the process.

We ventured west and then north passing Hamburger Dom along Glacischaussee before turning left onto Marktstraße and then the environment changed dramatically. This is the neighborhood of Karolinenviertel.

Marktstraße was lined with what looked like grungy but trendy eateries and cafes...

...and graffiti.

Lots of graffiti...

Did we mention graffiti...?

And posters...

Even the cars had colorful if not elegant graffiti... And a mural.

We eventually came out on Schanzenstraße and turned north again, meaning that we moved on to the adjacent neighborhood of Schanzenviertel.

Clearly, gentrification has started here and it seems not everybody is happy about it. One side of the side had newish buildings with expensive boutiques and the other side of the street is the opposite - and we think someone had let the proprietor know what they thought about the boutique.

These were drill holes but there was also cracked glass that looked like somebody had given the window a boot.

And yes, this doorway formed part of the other street side.

A bit further north of Schanzenstraße, a school was advertising its presence.

Just a little bit further on we came to less interesting streets so we turned around and walked through Sternschanzenpark where the Mövenpick Hotel is with the Hamburg telecom tower in the background.

We continued into the Planten und Blumen park again, through a section that we didn't explore yesterday. These guys had a great setup and were playing old time music while dancing in the old traditions.

Planten und Blumen park is really lovely, with water features everywhere and it looked great in today's autumn colours.

Who's afraid of the stepping stones...?

At this point, after some 1.5 hours of Sunday strolling, in the clear but cold air, we decided to venture back to base, and were passing Oberlandesgericht building on the way. We were not sure what purpose it has or had. BTW, the photo is taken from Johannes Brahms Platz.

To our surprise, the bakery of our building, at ground floor level, was open this Sunday afternoon so we decided that coffee and cake were in order. This is the first time that we had sat down inside Dat Backhus but we have bought Brötchen and cookies from here several times before.

At 3.30pm we called the great outdoors a day and went inside for the rest of the afternoon and evening.

Hans was then following the Manchester United vs Arsenal football game online which United finally won by 1-0. Go boys go!!

Left over paella for dinner with additional prawns from the Fischmarkt and some extra wurst... and a small hint of garlic as well.

Last night in Hamburg before we move on tomorrow... Berlin is next. Good night.


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