Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A visit to Hamburg - the harbour and the 'Schanzenviertel'

Next morning we decided to skip the hotel breakfast and try some vegan breakfast options. Lena and Lutz from Laubfresser (every day vegan recipes) live in Hamburg and have tested vegan breakfasts in the city. So we thought it might be a good idea to miss out on the hotel breakfast. Mostly you pay a lot of money for food you can't eat as a vegan; especially in northern Germany where milk, cheese, and sausages are dominant for breakfast.

The first morning we went to Miller in St. Pauli quarter. Miller has a rustic pub-like atmosphere; the staff was friendly and we didn't have to wait too long for our food as Laubfresser had to. Maybe because we went there during a week-day.

C decided on a traditional German breakfast (the half of a patty served with it was actually warm!)

while I went for the more English version with baked beans and tofu sausages:

Although it was nothing I couldn't have done at home myself, it was quite nice and we really enjoyed our breakfast and our speciality teas.

Our bellies satisfied, we went for a harbour tour. Well, not really a costly tour in a fancy boat; we rather took the harbour ferry (line 62, the red one on the picture) which actually gives you a nice trip on the river Elbe along the different harbours and across the river to Finkenwerder while having some hot tea at one of the tables on deck. The interesting thing is that you don't have to pay a penny for it as long as you do have a day pass for Hamburg's transport system. And we had ... :)

This was the ferry:

So the harbour tour lets you enjoy Hamburg's fresh air ...

... and interesting views:

But another good thing about taking the regular ferry is that you can hop on and off as you please. This gives you the opportunity to explore some areas more intensively, like the area around the Dockland building. The prize-winning office building called 'Dockland' was built as a parallelogram on a specially filled up area of the Elbe river. If you walk up the 25 m of stairs on the north-side to the viewing platform, you have a nice panoramic view over the area.

Close to the Dockland building you can find the 'Elbe', no, not the river but a sculpture by Wieland Förster. It is supposed to symbolise the connection between Dresden and Hamburg because obviously you cannot only travel from Hamburg to Dresden on the A2 motorway, but also along the river Elbe (Top Gear should make a challenge with a speed boat...). It looks like a nude woman to me, but then I'm more into rock art anyways.

Since we were in Altona we thought it is about time to test another vegan restaurant. So we went to the Leaf.  On the way to Ottensen we admired Altona's quarter's bicycle art,

wondered whether the residents of Hamburg take their baths on the pavement:

and learned about Hamburg's political affinities:

At last we found the vegan restaurant:

We were too late for lunch and too early for dinner, so we opted for their vegan cakes in their nice restaurant.

The cakes looked so delicious that we couldn't stop ourselves and had a bite before I even could take out the camera. They were as yummy as they looked:

Both the 'Laubfresser' tried a cake at the 'Leaf', too, and were equally happy with it. So many people can't be wrong! If you ever go to Hamburg, you just have to go there and give it a try!

On our way back to the hotel we went to the Schanzenviertel, the location for Hamburgs alternative culture with a more student connected and cheaper bar scene than for example the 'Reeperbahn' area. The 'Rote Flora' is a left-winged occupied former theatre. But apart from politics it also organises cultural events, from flea markets to exhibitions.

Even the advertisements are left oriented :). Here is an advertisement for fritz-kola in the Schanzenviertel. It roughly says 'Only water cannons wake you up more'

Next time we explore more vegan food, go underground and nearly got C killed by archaeology.


  1. I love the way that you photograph the ordinary as well as the exotic. I think every day things have great beauty and are often overlooked. The adverts are wonderful! x

  2. I would have never dreamed of finding such vegan options in Hamburg- Those desserts are simply incredible! Definitely makes me want to pack my bags and get traveling again.