Hamburg

Well, real life has started again… Went back to work again on Friday and the shit still keeps hitting the fan. In fact, I think I’m done now with this job when I see how they are treating one of my co-workers who is in this whole protest thing with me. She is the youngest (28) with no fixed contract, recently pregnant and the most vulnerable one of us protesters and they’re picking on her like you wouldn’t believe. Others in my department are now also becoming aware of the shit attitude of not only micro manager but now the manager above him as well! So, this is getting big…

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I am so not in the mood for this shit, I have now started looking around for other work. Sent out a first application for another job elsewhere yesterday evening.  I can’t quit before I have something else lined up, so I need to make the best of it for now.

Meanwhile I am trying to hold on to fond memories of Mr Esther’s and my trip to Hamburg over New Year’s. So, to cheer me up, here are pictures from that trip. We’d both forgotten to take our ‘real’ cameras with us, so these are all mobile phone pictures.

Opulently decorated breakfast room at the little traditional hotel we were staying at…

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Mr Esther wasn’t feeling that great but on pills was able to walk around the city during the day of December 31st. It was especially foggy in the morning. That cleared up a bit but it remained grey all day. We walked from our hotel near the train station along shopping streets to City Hall…

… and then on to the harbour from there. If you click on the images to enlarge you’ll see a yacht named “Tolkien” and another one named “Loth Lorien”.

… and if you look on this tower you see the remnants of a Nazi Reichsadler (Eagle). The little circle underneath it used to hold the swastika but that part has been removed.

There was also a plaque commemorating the 1947 ship ‘Exodus’ with Holocaust survivors trying to make it to Palestine. That ship had also been brought to Hamburg, after it was denied entry into Palestine.

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Right around the corner from that plaque, we stopped for lunch in a restaurant which houses its own brewery. It was a good break for Mr Esther and we sat there for quite a while.

We walked through the harbour district with the Elbphilharmonie concert hall (with the roof that looks like a wave) and old warehouses, now made into apartments…

We passed by the location of where “Die Zeit” newspaper is located which is also the location of the first fort around which Hamburg was founded (those lighted blocks represent where the fort used to be)…

We passed by a shop with nautical hats and a charging station for electrical cars which looked like an old gas station pump…

We were back at our hotel at 4 pm where we laid down for a rest for a few hours. Two hours later we found a restaurant close to our hotel that still had a spot for us for 45 minutes, everything else was completely booked…

Back to the hotel for another rest and then Mr Esther was brave enough to attempt a walk down to the harbour again (about 30 minutes). We saw Hugh Jackman on the way there  (yes, looking forward to seeing his show in Amsterdam next summer, he’s apparently also playing Hamburg)…

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The Landungsbrücken part of the harbour was already full by the time we got there at a little after 11 pm, so we found a spot not far off, right outside the Baumwall station. Fireworks were already going off around us (people bring their own) and that went into full gear at midnight! Alas it was impossible to get good pictures but you get the idea…

By 12.30 am Mr Esther had had it. We squeezed into the metro to the central train station near our hotel and got to our room by 1 am.

We slept in on January 1st, were the last ones at breakfast and didn’t leave the hotel until the beginning of the afternoon. We took a train to the nearby suburb of Blankenese where we were told there was a nice “Treppenviertel” (“Stairs quarter”) leading down to the river. As Mr Esther still wasn’t well, we stayed in a café for a while so he could relax with tea. He felt much better after that and we were able to walk down those steps to the river.

With Mr Esther still feeling OK we decided to get off at the Reeperbahn Station in Hamburg on our way back. The Reeperbahn is known for its red light district and leads up to St Pauli with theatres, casinos, and all that jazz. It was already dark by the time we got there. Mr Esther wasn’t well enough to do the district, so we just walked from Reeperbahn Station to St Pauli station. Didn’t see that much action…

… but we did pass by the “Panoptikum” which is a sort of small Madame Tussaud’s wax museum. We decided to go in, to warm up and for Mr Esther to sit a little. Apparently the Panoptikum was founded in the late 19th century and the collection still houses some older wax dolls from before the war. German politics was well represented with former chancellor Helmut Schmidt, I “met” Angela Merkel, we saw former foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher and former chancellor Helmut Kohl sit at a table together, and we saw Erich Honecker and Konrad Adenauer and Mikhail Gorbachev and Erich Honecker from former East Germany (DDR).

In this museum, they apparently prefer to still see Obama as president with Trump giving Obama a thumbs up (if only). Mr Esther decided to whisper into Obama’s ear…

We saw people from international entertainment like Michael Jackson, Julia Roberts and Adele. I thought particularly the 1950s dolls of Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Elvis were really quite bad…

There was Harry Potter (who was more like book cover Harry than Daniel Radcliffe) and Toulouse Lautrec and Charlie Chaplin and the pope and Karl Lagerfeld…

… and some more historic figures like Queen Elizabeth next to Sissi (the Austrian Empress from the 19th century – I didn’t bother taking a picture of nearby Princess Diana as that doll was truly awful), Napoleon and Henry VIII and Mr Esther pretended to understand what Einstein was on about.

There was a World War II corner where the Geschwister Scholl (Scholl siblings), famous Nazi resisters, were prominently displayed. Through a little window behind them you could see Hitler and Goebbels, apparently busts that had been made in the early 1940s…

… with a group of Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt close by…

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German entertainers were also there. I thought especially the doll for German comedian Otto had turned out really well…

… but Udo Lindenberg was quite good too. Herbert Grönemeyer was OK (a little too plastic looking)…

After our brush with celebrity, we took the train back to the central station, picked up some Vietnamese food at a takeaway place there and ate it all up in our hotel room…

20190101_190849Spent a quiet evening there so that Mr Esther could recuperate. The next morning we went back into town as right next to city hall there was an exhibition with photographs by Anton Corbijn that I wanted to see.

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I took very few pictures but the photographs were truly wonderful! I loved seeing them. I had never before realized that this picture that I know very well of David Bowie in The Elephant Man from the late 1970s was taken by Corbijn…

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There was also an absolutely fascinating photograph of John Lee Hooker’s hand…

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I don’t think I’d ever seen Mick Jagger like this before…

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And a few other quick shots I took of Corbijn pictures I didn’t know (although, really, I could have easily photographed almost every picture, they were so good and many of them were already familiar to me too)…

This one was of Frank Sinatra. So much going on, he is almost part of the furniture in it…

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Another part of the exhibition showed Anton Corbijn dressed up as some of his own music heroes while he was visiting his hometown. He dressed up as Janis Joplin, for instance, or Jimi Hendrix.

There were also some pictures he had taken of statues at graveyards, fascinating as well.

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After seeing that exhibition it was back to our hotel to pick up our suitcase and then on the road again for our drive home (this time I drove it all, about 6,5 hours, including traffic jams and two breaks).

The next day (January 3rd) in the evening I picked up the kids from the airport. They had of course had a marvelous time with their uncles and nieces in London…img-20190102-wa0009

Now that we’re all home again we see that Mr Esther is somewhat better but still not OK, so he called the doctor on Friday while I was back at work. He had to go in for a blood test (my daughter is fascinated by hospitals and went with him) and we found out today the results show that something is off. They suspect he may have another stone blocking some duct that may have slipped past his gall bladder that was taken out last fall. Abdominal ultrasound tomorrow and we’ll take it from there. Poor man. Luckily he isn’t as miserable now as he was then around that operation.

To recap in a nutshell: I’m fervently hoping everything will work out for the better for Mr Esther soon, I am trying to ignore work and I am very fondly remembering Hamburg, thinking that one day we should go back there again.

19 thoughts on “Hamburg

  1. Esther, first my thoughts are with Mr. Esther to recuperate fully for his health and for you and your work situation to clear up or for you to find a happier place so it doesn’t affect your health. For camera phones they take marvelous pictures!!! The doll of Lagerfeld I thought looked quite authentic and Merkel’s is pretty good too! The pic of Mr Esther whispering in Pres Obama’s ear is delightful!
    The entire Hamburg trip minus Mr. Esther under the weather sounded delightful and great! Glad your children enjoyed London too!!
    Food looked pretty yummy!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing your hanseatic New Year’s Eve impressions, Esther. I especially love the Corbijn photos and I’m really sorry the exhibition ended yesterday… No chance for a deeper look on our Hamburg weekend in February then..
    Glad you had a good time and you managed to keep the balance between rest and sightseeing on your hubby’s behalf!
    These special days out may not compensate for the job’s nuisance but the memory is a helpful distraction. And it may help to settle priorities! Fingers crossed for your job efforts! And for your hubby’s health of course!
    Btw your kids are really lucky!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Nell.
      Unless they decide to prolong the exhibition I don’t think you’ll get to see the Corbijn, unfortnuately. We really liked Hamburg, so I think there will be enough other stuff for you to enjoy while you’re there. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a pity that Hamburg was grey – and most importantly that Mr Esther wasn’t in top form. That doesn’t sound good at all, and I hope they can soon help him feel better again.
    The Panoptikum pictures were so funny – I’ve never been to the Hamburg one, but I went to the wax works in Dublin and they were atrociously bad – which made it even funnier.
    And Anton Corbijn – oh, totally love him. He was/is U2’s designated photographer, and his b/w work has an extremely beautiful aesthetic. Did you see his film about Joy Division? ‘Control’ – absolutely stunning, and such a tragic story, too. (Plus: fantastic band).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t seen the Joy Division documentary but have heard good things about it.
      Mr Esther has improved, even though still not 100%. Still looking at causes with dr but at least he’s feeling better, thanks. 🙂

      Like

  4. dededotti

    Thank you for the wonderful pictures. My father was from Essen. I love seeing picture of his homeland. Guilty posts has some great pictures on her site.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hoffentlich geht es deinem Schatz gesundheitlich bald wieder gut und dir beruflich auch. Ich drücke euch beiden die Daumen.
    Trotz der Unannehmlichkeiten scheint euer Besuch in Hamburg durchaus erfreulich gewesen zu sein. Die Bilder lassen das vermuten. Liebe Grüße.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Danke, Elanor! Ja, Hamburg hat uns wirklich gefallen, wir müssen noch mal hin. 🙂
      Dem Schatz geht es zum Glück inzwischen besser, noch nicht 100%, aber besser.

      Like

  6. Servetus

    Made me so nostalgic, and it looks like you had fish 🙂 The only thing I missed was your trip for the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe (just kidding, although it is cool). BTW the Reichsadler isn’t an original Nazi symbol. It’s associated with the Nazis in the popular mind but it actually goes back centuries and is primarily known as the symbol of the German Empire (1871-1918).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I know, Mr E said the same, but the Reichsadlers of the Nazi period did have that circle underneath with the swastika inside.
      LOL, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe will have to wait till next time! 😀

      Like

  7. Pingback: Blogging memories January 8th – The Book of Esther

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