and finally, to Hamburg!
I was woken in our hotel room, overlooking the market square in Hildesheim around 4am, by the sound of a vehicle beneath our window, which we'd left open. We knew that Saturday was Market day and were expecting such disturbance, but I fell back to sleep and woke up at our normal time of 6.30am to the usual peace and quiet that we have become accustomed to. So, Imagine my surprise when I lifted the blinds to see this: A full market set up, apparently almost silently in the night, as if by magic.
We left after breakfast for the last drive of the trip, to Hamburg.
I mentioned previously that our room in Hildsheim had been black. We didn't really mind it at all, though wouldn't choose it ourselves, needless to say.
Our lovely, bright and sunny room in Hamburg came as a huge relief, for it was only then that we realised how depressing the black room had been!
In no time at all, we were out in the sunshine for real, rediscovering old favourites and enjoying sharing them with our friends. So, Schubeck's Herbs and Spices, almost next door to the hotel was a first stop, Since it's a Bavarian company, it was hardly surprising to find a small Oktoberfest theme going on there.
Though actually, on the next street over, there was more than a bit of Oktoberfest happening. Lively music, freely flowing beer and a great deal of Gemütlichkeit. It was a fun place to be.
Hamburg is so much more than the gritty port and the Alster lake in the city centre was looking lovely on this fine afternoon. No sooner had we arrived than we spotted the boat trips to-ing and fro-ing. I rather liked that idea myself!
So we spent a happy hour sailing around the whole lake, discovering hidden corners of the city we had no idea existed and agreeing that, on a sunny September weekend, there could be few better places to be. Lucky folks then, who live in some magnificent properties, so close to the city and yet so distant in terms of peace and quiet!
At one point of the trip, we spotted the newly completed Elbphilharmonie concert hall, rising above the skyline. We would love to her a concert there, but sadly, my hero and I are soon headed home and for Ellis and Mary, who are here a little longer, the total sellout of everything and anything there means they are also disappointed. We will just have to come back!
Back on dry land, we meandered through city streets, appreciating the smart shops and lively urban lifestyle.
We were heading for the restaurant in the Rathaus, appropriately named Parlament, though enjoyed this cute window display in the Berlin Porcelain Works shop!
So here we are. Glad to be here and delighted to find that it's just as spectacular as we'd remembered!