… Hamburg. Arrival

We arrived to Hamburg with only few minutes of delay, however, I did not care at all as there was (thankfully!) no other train to catch. Though the main train station in Berlin extends on five floors and is probably much bigger than the one in Hamburg, my impression was the exact opposite. What I liked about the station in Hamburg was its historical look and just two levels. Standing on the upper one, it was so easy to oversee all the platforms and rails in between them. Nevertheless, we did not spend too much time admiring the place but had to handle few more staircases and escalators with the bike instead.

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A hotel located about 150 meters from the station did not seem like a problem initially. As I underestimated this part of the trip terribly, we realized pretty soon that a help from tourist information center would be more than useful. So, I set to go. I probably took the longest possible way and got stressed when the “tourist information” boards I was following transformed into “Reise Zentrum” ones. The long line at the counters was not great either. However, the reward for the searching and waiting efforts were names of two streets, which should get us there. Once we somewhat oriented in the map and identified the train station in the group of three huge buildings, it was easy to reach the hotel Kiehler Hof. Undergoing the lodging hunt in Berlin, I started doubting my choice of the place to stay once I spotted a pub sharing the very same building with the hotel. At the end, the biggest challenge was to get the bike to the first floor via a couple of staircases – one of them being wind stairs. The bike got locked some place up there and hopefully will be save for couple of days and nights. Our new headquarters for the rest of the trip was one more floor higher and did not look too bad.

Once we got a place to stay and took care of the bike, it was decided we should get something to eat. As a good supper has been a big moment everyday so far, we approached this task in a very responsible way. Thorough survey. We could not have been in a better part of the city to do so. The main street offered us a variety of places to choose from. We eventually went for an Italian restaurant. It was pretty there and we could sit outside. The waiters could speak good English and I bet some of them truly were Italian. As regards our diet, we shared a pizza turnover filled with ham, salami, mushrooms and cheese. For drink, I gave a try to Kirchensaft (cherry juice) and Grandpa did the same. Honestly, I was really proud of my choice as it turned out to be one of the best drinks in my life. From now on, this place would be familiarly called “the pizza guy”. At the time  of our leaving, the waiter got a hope of us returning tomorrow evening. To be frank, I did not believe my Grandpa as I doubt he is capable of eating at the same place two days in a row, especially if it is a city new to him and a city offering so much to experience.

Anyway, we went for a short walk right after the supper. He could see some “chances for getting lost”, and therefore decided to stay on the main street only. Pretty soon we happened to be in a neighborhood that awakened mixed feelings in me. On one hand, I had some doubts about its safety and on the other hand, it was so multifarious: fruit and vegetable stands, tiny Turkish shops and restaurants bringing food from virtually any place in the world so close to us. If I only new I would be back two more times!

As the hotel had shared toilets and bathroom, I appreciated there was barely any traffic restricting me in whatever I wanted to do. It was a big day today and I looked forward to a good night rest. Both of us got it only partially because we found ourselves at a much noisier places than the nights before. The street, where the hotel was located, was very noisy at night when drinking people and who knows who else were doing their things. Another wave of disturbance came early in the morning when it got busy with cars and other hotels as well as pubs replenishing their stocks for the new day.

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