Frohe Weihnachten from Hamburg !

Trip Start Aug 17, 2010
Trip End Sep 16, 2011

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Flag of Germany  ,
Sunday, November 28, 2010

Time for more German Christmas markets – this time to see how a big German city does it! We train to Hamburg, and in walking across to our hostel, start to understand that the Christmas markets are setup in malls across the city. This has the advantage that one can see the next Christmas market from the one you are exploring; the idea being you wander from one to the other. The markets are similar to Cologne, but we notice some differences – some of the food we liked is not present, but there are other variations of traditional German food on offer; the markets are more commercial – in one there is a fellow sitting buried in an array of music synthesizer equipment, belting out all these cheesy hits, promoting his very own Christmas CD. No idea who he was, but the crowd loved him ! The Hamburg markets also provide fantastic opportunities to do our Christmas shopping for everyone back home. The range of homemade and local crafted goods made Hamburg the perfect Christmas pick.

The decorations are on a much grander scale also – we come across a giant sparkling Christmas tree made of strings of fairy lights. Stretched above another market is a glittering cable-way, upon which a live Santa Claus on his sleigh rides out over the Christmas stalls – halting to greet the shoppers and extol them to be good for Christmas Eve !

It's at Hamburg that Lauren discovers her favorite German expression "Mit Rum". It’s a bit colder in Hamburg than Cologne and we are enjoying a gluwien at the various market stalls when one server asked if we wanted a gluwien with a warming shot of rum in it – for the cold, this then become Lauren’s favorite role play.
Lauren: “Zwei gluwien, bitte”
Sever: “Gluwien mit rum?”
Lauren: “ Jaaaa, mit rum!”

We are keen to find a local Hamburg brauhaus, and are lucky to be advised by some passerbys to a “door in the wall” that leads into a basement microbrewery, serving platters of German goodies to accompany the excellent Pilsners they are brewing in copper vats alongside the tables ! Quieter than the Cologne brauhaus, and minus the Oompah Band, but with a charm of its own – so much so, we returned 2 nights later !

The German hospitality has been great, but now it is time to move onto the next major chapter of our Big Trip – the Swedish ski season !
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