As I have said earlier, Hamburgers know how to party....and so again I have been treated to two very different open-air spectacles. Friday night unfolded into a massive, gala event as 1000's and 1000's of people flocked to the Port to celebrate its birthday!
There is a bit of history behind this event but it has become another chance for everyone to celebrate....and they did!! ....and we became a part of it! I have alluded to the fact that being my size is a bit of a disadvantage in Hamburg and it certainly became evident at this huge party.....I honestly felt like the 4 yr old looking at everyone's kneecaps in a crowded shopping centre!!!!..this shopping centre was cram packed!! I had heaps of fun despite this!
....GT had anticipated Queen Mary II's arrival (IT insight is useful for important events such as these!) but not many others believed she was arriving....after hours of dancing, singing, partying etc...etc... there was a sudden cry that something was happening on the water.....and immediately a serious wave of bodies surged waterside.......I had this feeling that it must have been something like it was when the Titanic took off on her maiden voyage because the mayhem that followed was amazingly frenzied.....People were cheering,shouting...pushing, shoving.....climbing whatever height they could achieve just to get a glimpse.......and cameras were snapping wildly!
THE QUEEN was arriving.....well.....Queen Mary II at least....but, boy was she impressive......Her sister ship had left about 2 hours earlier to make room for her... whilst QMII had been waiting up river until the timing was late enought to be appropriate for her to make her entrance!!!!!
The crowd went wild.....seriously.....I was just as caught up in the the excitement and revellery that welcomed her. She was imposing and had timed her presence perfectly to be more than impressive! It is a sight that will be etched in my memeory forever ....and of course, very much associated with Hamburg and the Port's Birthday celebrations!
HAVING A BALL IN BERLIN: 8 - 9th May.
....After the late night celebrating the Port's Birthday..............GT woke us with excitement and we headed off ...only to find oursleves at Hamburg Hauphanhof ONE WHOLE HOUR earlier than we needed to be!!!!!!!!!
........However, this didn't dampen GT's enthusiasm as he videod everyone (mainly the frozen little, not very impressed, block sitting on the very cold train station bench....who just happened to be me!).... and everything around the Central station, as he waited in excited anticipation for the ICE (Inter City Express) train. These trains travel between 200-300kmh so our trip was fast...just over an hour from Hamburg to Berlin. ...just time to have breakky on the way!
Arriving at Berlin Hauphanhof, which is 4 levels deep with many train lines passing through, GT and I took nearly as long to find our next train out as it did for us to travel all the way from Hamburg to Berlin!!!
Finding our Luxurious hotel near Potsdamer Platz, we set off on foot to explore. GT, the gadget man, took so long to find us on his GPS that I decided to use my own trusty method of finding myself especially when I find myself on the scenic route.....and asked The English speaking people for directions. Between the two of us we had heaps of fun emmersing oursleves in Berlins historical surrounds and marvelling at the fact that we were actually there sharing it together!We couldn't resist dining at the Aussie restaurant nestled under the impressive gigantic umbrella style canopy and having a Crowny to wash it down! Good on ya Mate....Home didn't feel quite so far away!!!
We took time out to dine before finding oursleves battling the scenic route and consequently running late to get to the Blue Man Group stage show. I learned that latecomers get punished by becoming part of the show and publicly berated for darng to enter after doorclose....fortunately for us the show was running 5 minutes late and we slid into our seats very relieved as we became witness to the fun heaped on the few latecomers!! It set the scene for an amazing, entertaining night!
Late night drinks, street side, wrapped in our red blankkies to keep the cold out......What a great night we had in Berlin!
To our delight, the hotel room was more like a 5 star appartment so we made the most of it before enjoying an extensive gourmet breakfast at the secluded dining area. It was Mothers'Day in Australia so communication with my 3 kids made my day extra special.
We were intruigued with The Ample Men who happily controlled the busy traffic through the streets.
Sadly our fun packed time in Berlin was coming to an end as we headed back to the Station, feeling confident of negotiating our was to our ICE train as we were no longer the Rail Novices who had arrived only the day before!
Having had a BALL in BERLIN we arrived back in Hamburg....extremely tired and hoping for an early night when.....climbing wearily to the top of the Reeperbahn Train Station steps, burdened with our luggage.........we were assaulted both visually and audibly with the excitement and raucous response to St Pauli's Football Club winning the ultimate football match. (soccer to you Aussies who haven't travelled!!!....yep I'm learning too) Victorians......St Pauli's fans are a bit like all the victorious Collingwood (that is....if The Pies happened to win a G'Final!!??) fans in one place at the same time but a 100 times more energetic...
We hurried up all 4 floors of stairs...(actually hurried is not an appropriate description due to our very tired bodies......!!) and dumped our gear. We couldn't resist the temptation to join in with the locals so, with revived energy...we returned to the seething streets.
Reeperbahn has a stage in the centre of its dual lane street, which is used for open air concerts and whatever they choose to celebrate really... the fans were gathered around it. The players, who were safely positioned on the first floor of the adjacent hotel, were videoed onto an enormous screen on this stage and became the visual backing to a live band who played to the delight of EVERYONE.......the chanting and enjoyment was the same as if the Beatles had returned!!!!!!!!!..... but....no.....it was simply a celebration of their own local heroes.... the revelry continued well into the wee hours of Monday morning.....We gave up quite quickly as it became rather scarey for me being absorbed into this seething, vocal, jubilant, happy,.....and I must note: non violent mass.... of tall people!!!!