A Travellerspoint blog

Germany

Hamburg Happenings

Reporting from Hamburg

sunny 25 °C
View Midnight Sun Run on aboo10's travel map.

So after all the preparations and packing, we set off with the box on the top of the car... loaded for a four week driving holiday!!
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And drove 4 hours from our house to our first AirBNB place - it was perfect... balconies overlooking the canal, clean and streamlined.
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We had two days in Hamburg, and packed it in...

The first day we wandered around orientating ourselves, starting with lunch in a pop up wine village next to the Town Hall. Apparently this Weindorf has been 'popping up' every summer for 30 years! Each stand had it's own theme and was basically a small restaurant... but no beer!
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The Rathaus is a splendid building, and we were all suitably impressed!

Then we headed down to the Speichernstadt, which is the old warehouse district, easily accessed via canals and recently nominated for UNESCO recognition. The red brick buildings are right on the canals (damp basements?) and many are being restored.
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We visited a quirky, jam packed museum called Miniatur Wunderland - the world's largest model railway! Which took us on a tour of sorts through Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Scandanavia and the US - amazing detail. Remarkable was the model airport - with taxiing, queuing, arrivals and departures, and all the
other airport activity! The kids loved it, and the whole way round Didi was planning his own model railway, making suggestions for what he (and Dad) could include!
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The next day, we were again lucky with gorgeous clear blue skies, and were headed for Hafen City - the harbour section of Hamburg, which feels amazingly like being near the ocean, even though it is actually 200km away! And we stumbled on a massive Ferris Wheel... so we went on it... 60m high - gorgeous views!
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Then we went to the iF Design Museum, which felt a bit like a showroom rather than a museum, and showcased many different design features from furniture, to mobility aids, bikes, packaging and bathroom equipment.
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After that we headed next door to the Maritimes Museum - so many model boats! With such detail, and a true international maritime history. It was pretty good - 9 floors of maritime history is quite a lot though, although Jie Jie was quite taken with it and took a thousand photos of the exhibits!
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After the Maritimes Museum, on the promise of an ice cream, we stumbled across Chocoversum, and joined a tour of the Hachez Chocolate Museum. We made our own chocolate bars, by adding ingredients like gummy bears, caramel, cinnamon and coconut to warm melted chocolate, which set while we continued on our tasting tour, and was ready for us to package at the end of the tour.
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We have had a lovely two days here in Hamburg... now today, it's off to Denmark!!

Posted by aboo10 22:26 Archived in Germany Tagged children chocolate germany museum family_travel midnightsunrun Comments (1)

Where to? What to do?

Reporting from Düsseldorf


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School's been out for a week now. We are finding our holiday legs. Enjoying the relaxed mornings. The kids have had a few sleepovers and playdates. We've had a few barbecues and drinks. Report cards and farewells are slowly fading into a distant memory. We have seven weeks left, stretching ahead of us. Where to? What to do?

Some of the requests from the children include:
I want to go to Legoland.
Swimming, we have to go swimming.
I'd like to camp again.
Can we take the iPods?

Some of the thoughts from the adults include:
Let's go somewhere we haven't been before.
We really should see more of Germany.
We need a challenge.

So: Where to? What to do?

Tomorrow we are heading off to Hamburg. We are trying something new, and staying in an AirBnB apartment. It has free parking and suggested it was good for children. It has 4 real beds, sleeps 6 and is priced right. And free wifi. We are there for 3 nights.

Then we are heading to Billund. Hmmm - what's there? Google it! Or watch this space!!

Posted by aboo10 02:28 Archived in Germany Comments (1)

Fall Break

Reporting from Düsseldorf

sunny 15 °C
View Birthday in Italy! on aboo10's travel map.

Waking up this morning was sweet. The first day of our mid-term or Fall Break. I would prefer to call it Autumn Break, but the American heritage of our school has named it Fall Break, for, well forever. Lovely to have a lie-in. Kids are downstairs watching TV. Mike is making a coffee. And we have 10 days off ahead of us!!

We are off tomorrow to somewhere in Southern Italy. It is a surprise for me, exactly where, because I am celebrating a 'milestone' birthday, or at least welcoming a new decade, during the holiday, so the preparations have been kept a secret. Can't wait to see where we land!!

Posted by aboo10 01:28 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

First camping stop

Reporting from Lyon

rain 15 °C
View Camping Adventure on aboo10's travel map.

Here it is... home for the next 5 days.

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Awesome job setting up the tent, and fortunately with no hiccups remembering how to set up the tent. It was a two hour job, to get everything sorted - tent up, pegs in, table and chairs set up, and mattresses blown up!! And loved that we didn't have any neighbours close by. Campground was really a bit of a resort, with a pool, numerous playgrounds, mini-golf, an enormous Kinder-Zelt (children's tent, read indoor play centre!) a swimming lake (was bit leechy looking) and stunning views of the mountains around.

First night was the start of the adventure... and we were up against a storm. We got the kids ready for bed, and were all tucked in, and the storm started... I thought the tent might have taken off!! The scariest thing with a storm was hearing the constant drip of water, and knowing the bathroom block is a decent walk away!! So I spent most of the night awake, listening to the rain drip! Finally I decided I had to brave the weather, and relieve myself... unfortunately when I returned, I left the flap of the tent door, inside the tent instead of the outside... which meant that we woke to a small river running through the tent in the morning. Oops.

The next day was sunny and bright, and Saturday, so heralded the arrival of the weekend campers! Was nice to have some tent neighbours, but they did spoil the peace a bit, and were a big group who set up and slightly spoiled our view. We swam, and cooked our dinner outside, and enjoyed the campground. The kids loved having others to play with!! A quiet storm free night gave us a peaceful sleep.

We pretty much had rain on and off for the rest of our stay, which meant that we didn't get to use all the outdoor facilities. We went out to a Steam Train Museum, and a cafe for Black Forest Cake. The kids played in the Kinder-Zelt and I took the opportunity to read and relax. Nights were a bit chilly, and Didi woke most nights complaining of being cold, but both kids fell asleep soundly on their own. We have a tent which has two bedrooms, and a living area. The living area has a ground sheet, but is not completely sealed from the elements, so on another night with a violent storm, we were visited by a friendly (actually I didn't take the opportunity to introduce myself!) hedgehog, who had burrowed into our rubbish bag in our living area, and I was sure I could hear someone trying to untie it... fortunately Mike went to save us from being attacked by a killer hedgehog. But the little bugger came back. And again the next night!

We loved watching the birds circling around, and often spotted a yellow winged eagle who seemed to be narrowing in on something, but we weren't sure what! But circled above our camp most mornings.

We also spent a wet afternoon in Konstanz, on the Bodensee. It is a pretty little town right on the border of Switzerland. We looked at the Bodensee, and would have liked to get out on in, but the weather just wasn't favourable. Our campsite was so close to Switzerland, that our mobile phones kept on switching to Swiss carriers (which meant that we could have been charged international roaming while still in Germany!)

Yesterday we packed up the tent and drove to Lyon. Two nights in a hotel, before the next camping installment!!

Posted by aboo10 13:08 Archived in Germany Tagged children camping family_travel Comments (1)

Summer Holiday Adventure

Reporting from Tengen

sunny 26 °C
View Camping Adventure on aboo10's travel map.

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With much coercion, Mike managed to fit all our stuff in the box on top and the boot of our car. We are off on a camping adventure! Our basic plan is to head south to Stuttgart, where we stayed for 2 nights, and to be closer to our first camping destination, right down on the border of Switzerland,
on the edge of the Black Forest. During the next 4-5 weeks we are planning to intersperse city breaks (such as Stuttgart) with a longer stay camping. We hope to explore the regions where we are camping, but are also looking for a relaxing holiday!!

Our drive to Stuttgart, was an estimated 4 hours, but due to traffic and roadwork took closer to 6. We stayed in a cute hotel (which included breakfast) and spent a day out and about in Stuttgart. We enjoyed wandering around the town, and loved roaming through the market square, and comparing it to Dusseldorf, much wider and more open. Other differences included specifying where you were headed on the U-Bahn. Highlight of the day was our visit to the Porsche Museum. The history of the 'peoples sports car' was interesting.
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Posted by aboo10 05:49 Archived in Germany Tagged children adventure camping Comments (2)

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