It’s almost as if we are taking over where we left off yesterday – standing on an U bahn station, waiting for a train. But as you can see, it’s just past 6.35am and we are heading in the opposite direction – towards St Pauli, in fact.
The concierge had looked at us askance as we went out at such an ungodly hour this morning, but undoubtedly he’d guessed where we were headed. Along with a few other visitors, we were taking the advice of our friends and the guidebook and going out to the St Pauli Fishmarket. Well, two of us were, anyway – the youngster preferred to stay in bed!
Almost everyone on the train got off at the Landungsbrucken stop and crossed the bridge littered with more silly locks to walk the 1km to the market.
As we understood it, the market would be in full swing. The guidebook described how the market traders would call their wares, our friends described the fun of a live auction, music and Gemütlichkeit. So we continued past these first stands selling the same trashy clothes seen on any market stall and continued on towards the market proper.
There was some beautifully fresh fish on offer, that’s for sure. But we hadn’t come across the market traders, or any “life” yet. Maybe it’s a little further on?
Even further on, we were still amongst the “tourist tat”, the cheap souvenirs and the hats and handbags.
Though there was the occasional fruit seller calling their wares, there didn’t seem to be much spirit around and it wasn’t quite what we were anticipating.
Aha! We reached the market hall and headed inside, because maybe that was where it was happening?
Well, the hall was full of tables, set out in traditional lines with a band set up on stage at the end. People were here eating breakfast, but the party had certainly not started and there were no live fish auctions or anything particular to see.
Hmm. Was this why we’d got up at 6am? Looked like it!
Maybe it’s the season. Perhaps the first Sunday after the New Year isn’t the time to get the full experience? Maybe we were here too early and the activities hadn’t kicked off yet?
Or maybe we had left our own Gemütlichkeit at home? Whatevs. Rather than stand and eat a fish sandwich here in the cold, we decided we’d prefer to go back and enjoy the lavish choices of our hotel breakfast offering in comfort.
Which is why we found ourselves returning to the Landungsbrucken station shortly after 7.30am.
Catching a train back was easy and quick and we were soon back where we started.
Had we wasted our time? Not at all. We have to do these things, to give them a try and to see what’s what. If we didn’t, who knows what we’d miss?
I think the Birthday Boy will be glad he chose to stay in bed, though!