| Part 2: Hamburg, Lübeck
6.6: Munich -> Hamburg
8.6: Hamburg -> Lübeck -> Puttgarden -> Copenhagen
14.6: Copenhagen -> Malmö -> Trelleborg -> Binz (Rügen island, Germany)
15.6: Binz, Sellin (Rügen island)
16.6: Königsstuhl and Stralsund
18.6: Binz -> Stralsund -> Berlin
20.6: Berlin -> Potsdam -> Berlin
21.6: Berlin -> Wittenberg -> Dessau -> Bayreuth -> Munich
6.6: Munich -> Hamburg
Norderstedter Hof by Centro Comfort. Located in Norderstadt, 17km north
of Hamburg. 109 Euro for a small room. The hotel overall is ok.
The room is not too big, but adequate. It has a big flat screen
TV, a toilet, a shower, some furniture. No A/C, and you can see that
the room is quite old, i.e. the hotel must have been built many years
ago. The main problem with this hotel is its distance from Hamburg. No
WLAN in the room, breakfast not included.
Weather: beautiful sunny weather,
blue sky, warm, not really hot, beautiful sunset.
We start driving to Hamburg at 3:30pm. Beautiful sunny weather, blue
sky, warm, not really hot, beautiful sunset.
traffic is not too bad considering that it's the day on which the
school holidays begin in Bavaria. There are a few jams on the
caused by the high traffic and occasional road works. We make a number
of stops, reaching a top speed of 170 km/h when the situation allows
it. In the end we need 9 hours and 20 minutes to reach the hotel
in Norderstedt, arriving at 00:50am in the
The guy in the reception immediately hands out the room key, after I
tell my name and mention the booking.com reservation.
Weather: sunny blue sky in the
morning, in the evening some clouds layer. 27°C in the afternoon.
In the morning we leave the hotel room around 11am, then walk to the
nearby shopping area, where we buy some groceries. Then I have a
brief chat with the hotel staff and enquire about parking options in
central Hamburg. The guy strongly advises to get into town with
public transport, explaining that it will take one hour and a
half to get into town by car and that we won't find a parking.
This sort of conflicts with the impression I got from Hamburg when I
examined it in Google street view. Anyway because we are carrying quite
some stuff with us I decide to drive into town by car.
out that getting into the city centre and finding a parking is very
easy (half an hour to get into town).
At 1:15pm we park the car close to the Jungfernstieg (very near the
town hall) and start exploring Hamburg.
This is a very chic area full of expensive cars, shops, hotels
etc. Surprisingly also lots of pretty young girls, of the top
model type: tall, thin, long legs and hair. It's as if a fashion show
was taking place. Also lots of people dressed very nicely, getting
around with expensive accessories, kind of showing off.
Overall this part of Hamburg is very photogenic. Canals, nice old
buildings, well choreographed environment. And the weather today
is very nice. Sunny blue sky, 27 degrees.
We have some lunch in the food court of the Europa Passage, a nice
modern shopping mall near the townhall. Here there is a multitude
of small restaurants, many ethnic ones, quickly serving food. The
food is not too impressive but fills the stomach.
After this there is the problem that it's almost 3pm and my ladies are
tired, especially the small six years old one, given that yesterday we
spent over 9 hours driving to Hamburg. So I leave them in the mall and
explore a bit the area. Actually I'm looking for the boats which
do the city cruise because this could be a relaxing way to explore
After some searching I find some services. Prices are 14 to 18 €
per adult, half of this for children. The duration of the tour seems to
be 2 hours.
Since the sun is a bit strong right now, I change plans and instead
decide to visit the St Michaelis church, which has a tower with a nice
view of Hamburg.
So I fetch the car, pick up Shirley and the kids and drive to
The St Michaelis Church is an impressive piece of architecture,
probably baroque style in the interior. The ticket for the tower
is 5€ for adults, 3.50€ for kids. There is an elevator which brings you
to the top, but there is also a staircase. The view from the top is
although the best viewing hours are the early morning and the late
evening because the interesting view is towards the south (the harbour
We stay in the church until 6:20pm, to rest a bit. Then we walk to a
park below the church where there are an open air music festival and
some recreational activities, spending about half an hour there.
As we are close to the harbour, we drive to the riverfront, looking for
a spot from which to take a photo of the Elbphilharmonie, but can't
find a suitable one. So we drive back to the city centre and leave the
car near the townhall (about five minutes spent looking for a free
It's now 7:45pm and the Europa mall is about to close. We quickly grab
some dinner in the food court, then around 8:15p make our way back
to the hotel.
It takes now a while to drive back, as there are many traffic lights
along the way. It's 8:50pm when I drop off Shirley and the kids at the
Immediately after that I drive back into town, to get some blue hour
shots of Hamburg. This time I use a different route, one more to the
west which avoids the urban centres. In fact it takes less time now to
get into town (I arrive at 9:20pm).
There is lots of life on this Saturday evening in Hamburg. Lots of
people in the streets, lots of night life. I'm back in the hotel quite
late at 11:40pm, because the sunset is late on this June day and the
blue hour lasts long.
8.6: Hamburg -> Lübeck
Puttgarden -> Copenhagen
Park Hotel, Glostrup (suburb of
Copenhagen, Denmark). 97 Euro for a large room with lots of furniture.
Hotel located about 13km from the centre of Copenhagen. Big nice room
with attached bathroom, good furniture. Free fast WLAN in the room.
Breakfast included in the price. Only problem is that the A/C seems not
to be working (25°C in the room in the evening) and there are just
thin, light curtains on the windows, which means that at 4am the room
will start to be bright.
Weather: sunny with clouds in
Hamburg, quite warm (26-27°C). After about 3pm the sky closes and it
rains a bit. More rain in the evening. In Denmark more fresh in the
evening and the sky opens up.
We leave the hotel after 11am and start driving towards Lübeck. The
idea is to avoid visiting again Hamburg and instead focus on Lübeck, a
city listed among the UNESCO world heritage sites, which should be more
interesting. Also, I'd like to avoid getting again into and out of
Hamburg. Good idea, because on this Sunday the motorways are quite
locked up with traffic, while the secondary land roads which we use qre
After a couple of stops along the way (one at the picturesque Peter
Paul church in a village at 12:35pm and one in another small village
a band is playing (nice scenery with lots of nature and old historical
houses), we reach Lübeck at 1:30pm. We easily find a free parking near
the Holstentor, the famous twin conical tower gate.
We spend the next three hours exploring Lübeck and having lunch in a
restaurant. We climb on top of a church tower from which there is a
good view of the historic core of the city. From here it becomes
apparent that the historic core is not intact and in fact consists of
patches of old houses mixed with modern buildings. Cute patches mixed
with not so cute patches.
It might be possible to spend more time in Lübeck, but after three
hours we have had enough of Lübeck and head back to the car. It's
around 4:45pm, still too early to drive to Puttgarden (our ferry leaves
at 8:15pm), but perhaps the island of Fehmarn is interesting and
worthwhile having a look. So we drive there and reach the ferry harbour
Small check on the homepage of Scandlines. It says that if you have a
booking and arrive early you must purchase a new ticket. Not keen to do
that, given that the ticket costs 87 Euro. So we drive to the nearby
beach. Not much of a beach actually, so after just 10 minutes we drive
to another beach. Actually we don't quite make it to this other beach,
i.e. we stop at a parking and have a look at the area.
Fehmarn turns out to be not so interesting, at least not the small part
we see of it. It's also difficult finding a tourist restaurant. We
check out a couple of places, then head to a small restaurant near the
ferry harbour. It's about 7pm and for some reason this place is already
closing. So we just have an ice cream and and then get back to the car.
It's about 7:20pm and we drive to the automatic gates of the ferry. The
next ferries are 7:45pm and 8:15pm. For some reason we are
automatically put on the 7:45pm (perhaps because it is half-empty).
The ferry is a small drive through vessel with a restaurant and duty
free area. After 45 minutes, a 8:30pm we reach Rodby, the Danish
harbour. Then we start driving towards Copenhagen.