Hamburg, Germany? Well worth a visit or two or three or …

By Marina Aagaard, MFT. Photo: Henrik Elstrup

Was?! Haven’t you been to Hamburg, yet???

Recently my husband and I asked a couple of friends if they had been to Hamburg, and they answered “no”. This was surprising as we reckoned all Danes had visited Hamburg, the second city of Germany with 5,1 million inhabitants (metropolitan area).
This metropolis is only about 3-4 hours away from most cities of Denmark. 

We are great fans of Hamburg (Henrik has worked there), so our friends got a massive dose of PR: One of the World’s most visited concert cities, a must-visit for music-/musicalfans, modern art enthusiasts, foodies and fitness freaks.
When we met the next time, our friends had already been there and agreed:
Hamburg is great! 

Hamburg tripping

Short trip or extended stay? Week 7 and 8 and november are great times for visiting Hamburg, because 1) there are no German holidays at these times, and 2) at most other times of the year the hotels in Hamburg are (almost) full!
Talk about a popular city.

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Hamburg Trip Insidertips

Elphi

Must-see: The new concert hall Elbphilharmonie, opened on 11.1.2017. Price cirka 789 mio. EUR). A former warehouse, now mounted with a gigantic wavy glass top, luxury hotel and Europe’s longest escalator. Spectacular both from the outside and the inside.

Unfortunately most events are sold out, so you should not reckon with going to a concert in the near future.
Fortunately you can visit for free; everybody can visit the The Plaza, the public viewing platform, from where you have a super 360 degree view of the city and the harbour.

Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg

Worlds largest model railway with fantastic miniature displays of famous cities and landscapes (Miniatur Wunderland photo: Rome by night).
Exciting for kids and adults alike.
Miniatur Wunderland is situated in an ‘attraction’ of its own: historic Speicherstadt, which along with the Kontorhausviertel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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HafenCity

The area, located on the Elbe river island Grasbrook, the former Port of Hamburg, holds a mix of residential and office buildings, hotels, shops, restaurants and coffee shops. The buildings represent old and new architecture interspersed with water and green spots.
A walk is free and full of interesting sights and experiences.

Hamburg Skrue 414X2737

St. Pauli

St. Pauli has a long tradition as a recreation and amusement centre and is known for its famous red-light district, the Reeperbahn (the sinful mile).
In the area there are also lots of bars and music clubs amoung others the Star-Club, where Beatles’ career took of (learn more on a Beatles tour).

Photo shows a cool attraction: The Elbphilharmonie Pavillon with 20 horns, not with Beatles hits, but diverse orchestral music.

Hamburg horn

Canal tours

Canal tour? Yes, Hamburg is full of rivers, streams and canals, which are crossed by around 2.500 bridges, more than all of the bridges in Venice, Amsterdam and London together! This creates an amazing city environment, also seen from the water on barge tours by day or lights cruises by night.

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I am looking forward to going to Hamburg. Again. Soon.

Read more:

www.hamburg.de

Wikipedia/Hamburg

Everyday excellent exercise: Stair walking – for fitness, fat loss and fun

By Marina Aagaard, MFT

Take the stairs. It is excellent exercise. It is fun; it is an experience, you see the World (buildings) from different angles. Your legs and heart get stronger and stair walking burns lots of calories. Use the stairs in the everyday and when travelling.

A 80 kg (~160 lb) person burns approx. 9 kcal (calories) during 1 minute of stair walking.

A 80 kg (~160 lb) person burns approx. 1 kcal in 1 minute waiting for/using elevator.

Walking down stairs burns approx. 175-275 kcal per hour; 3-4,5 kcal per minute.

Walking up stairs burns approx. 530-835 kcal per hour; 8-14 kcal per minute.

Walking up and down stairs burns approx. 355-555 kcal per hour; 6-9 kcal per minute.

Hamburg_Hotel_stairs_Marina_Aagaard_blog

Unfortunately the stairs are not always visible. You may have to look for them. True story:

Portier 1: Can I help you?
Marina: Yes, I would like to use the stairs instead of the elevator.
Portier 1: Not a good idea. They are not easily accessible and rather narrow, not safe.
Marina: (Facial expression: ?????????????????) But, I prefer taking the stairs.
Portier 1: (Facial expression: ?????). Well, then I will have someone taking you up.
Portier 2: (Leading the way. Points to stairs. Walks away).
Marina: (Walk the stairs. Breathe loudly. Count. 4:40) ... 537, 538, 539, 540!

Hamborg_Hotel_building_Marina_Aagaard_blog

Happy health. Fun Fitness: Peak Performance.

Fitness wellness trip: Hamburg, Germany.

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

A holiday speeds up mental and physical recovery, så recently after a hectic september ‘fitness season’ start in the beginning of october I went on a weekend mini-Holiday in Hamburg once again.
No workouts for two days, but plenty of walking exercise and sight-seeing.

An interesting city and recommended for a Holiday break.

Hamburg, the second city of Germany with 1,8 mio. inhabitants, is one of the most  popular tourist destinations of Northern Europa – and actually more exciting, than it may sound. Hamburg has phenomenal shopping opportunities (for those addicted), many green (free) spaces, and a large, interesting and diverse harbour area under development.
Hamburg has the second-largest port in Europe and apart from that so many canals and bridges, that the Germans call the city for Venice of the North (a term used about a couple of cities in northern Europe, that contain many canals, comparing them to Venice, Italy).

There are plenty of reasons for going to Hamburg (especially if you live in Denmark, which is next to Germany and Hamburg is only a one hour drive from the border): To see art, city development, canals, lakes and boats or cars. It is not everywhere, where you in an everyday parking lot, apart from loads of Porsches, Mercedeses and Audis, see an incredibly beautiful McLaren sports car at 1 mio. US dollars plus.

Hamburg McLaren 414X2719 Hamburg McLaren B 414X2719

Hamburg Byggeri Havn nyt operahus
Construction site: Hamburgs new Elbphilharmonie, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg (or Elphi), concert hall by the Water front. And harbour images:

Hamburg Bygning skrå Hamburg hummer stretch     Hamburg Skrue 414X2737      Hamburg hotel mural

 Hamburg Havn bro 414X2801Hamburg broHamburg biler ved havnHamburg havneområde 414X2865    Hamburg Ober hafen bro 414X2770Hamburg Havn Ober hafen Kan tine Marina Aagaard fitness blogOber hafen Kan tine – a popular ‘skewed’ cafe almost under the bridge.

 Hamburg havn MA leger 414X2980 Hamburg havn sandkasser og spil 414X2977Hamburg havn blomsterkasser 414X2978
In the newer part of the harbour: Modern playground and decor;
tiles with sound and bouncing poles – fun for children (and adults).
Hamburg Havnefront Bygninger Twist 414X3001 Hamburg Havneområde 414X2774Hamburg Indre havn kran 414X2858Hamburg mast Hamburg indre havn og skibe 414X2891Hamburg romantik på kaj    Hamburg Orkester Bygning med lyd Elbphilharmonie Pavillion in the middle of Hamburg HafenCity. The small Building contains a 1:10 model of the Grand Hall in the Elbphilharmonie concert hall.
On the building there are 20 ‘horns’. When you get close, you can put your ear to them and listen to samples of music. Brilliant idea.Hamburg hornHamburg havn aftensol rejse Marina Aagaard fitness blogHamburg aften bygninger
Hamburg Thai drink Hamburg Thai mad

Evening sun, city lights and Thai dinner in the Port of Hamburg area.
Wonderful. I look forward to going back to Hamburg igen.

Final Cruise Day: Bye-bye Baltic

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

Question “A Baltic Cruise, how cool is that?” can now be answered: Super cool! Though weather can be full of surprises, ranging from very hot to very cold, even in summer, and rainy, the sea, cities, sights and social events are not only cool, but also warm, hot and well worth experiencing; acting upon a Baltic Cruise bargain offer ‘paid off’ in full; a cheap cruise is also a cruise.

This cruise visited Kiel, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallinn and St. Petersburg and included tw days at sea. Many other Baltic Cruises includes Helsinki, too, so this could be a better option, if you have not been there before; interesting city.

Baltic Cruise Day 8: Disembarkation Day

10:00 Arrival Kiel
10:15- Disembarkation

Final day. Sun shining bright, a beautiful cruise through the Kieler Fjord and a safe return to Kiel according to the program with German Italian German-like precision.

At sea sol

Last seaborne sun-rays this time around. 

On a final note: A smart move from the Cruise Ship Company: You could choose ‘self assist’, meaning that if you carry your own luggage from the ship, with no assistance, you can leave the ship early as soon as clearance is given by the port authorities.

A huge number of people chose the ‘self assist’ option! So even if the set-up with several smaller color-coded groups were smart, there was some chaos and a rather long waiting time. But you did get ashore somewhat faster, than other guests … maybe …

At sea bathroom

Hard to say ‘goodbye’ to a pool restroom with a view like this.

At 11:30 the ‘White Group 2’ went ashore – and as Kiel is ‘been there, done that’ for now, it is time to head back home to home country.

Arrivederci ship. Auf wiedersehen Germany.