Monday, November 2, 2009

Hamburg- a fine place for cocktails

After Forest and I rocked Paris to it's core (ok, not really but we gave it a shot!) we got up early (damn you Forest, stop booking flights that require me to get up at 6 am!!), took the train to CDG (much easier than I imagined) and hopped a flight to Hamburg, Germany. Neither of us had been to Hamburg (this was my first time even to Germany!) so you may think the destination of Hamburg is a strange choice- unless you are into cocktails and then you might know that it is home to Le Lion, voted best new cocktail bar in 2008. More about that later...

After checking into our hotel we went out exploring. We walked around the lake, through part of town and made our way to the Deichstrasse in search of lunch: schnitzel & beers to be exact. After lunch we went to the St. Nikolai Memorial, the remains of what was once the world's tallest building (at 482 feet)  had been bombed out during the war. We took the elevator up for great views of the city and also visited the underground photo memorial.

It was really interesting and especially since I haven't been in Germany before it was my first glimpse of a city pretty much leveled during the war.

This photo is of a Holocaust memorial that is sitting on the bricks taken from the near by concentration camp Neuengamme.

We headed back to our hotel, making stops in some grocery stores for aperos , but found it difficult as the stores in our area were Muslim. We soldiered on and found some weird wine and suitable snacks. After a bit of a rest it was off to Christiansen's on the recommedation of Philip Duff. Owner Uwe Christiansen made sure that we were well taken care of, even breaking out the antique barware as we discussed cocktails, Hamburg and Bai Ling. How can you not like a bar that stocks an amazing selection of booze, offers free chair massages on Monday nights and has an owner with an impressive history in the biz (there is a story about his having a hand in the Cosmo being a huge trend, don't hold it against him!)

That is just one of many walls of interesting liquor including the rare and mysterious Lufthansa liquor that Uwe let us taste. Oh and he sent us home with some of his name branded liquors too. A very fun man, a very fun night and some very good drinks. Thank you Uwe!!

Since we were so close to the Reeperbahn we just had to go have a peak. This might be the largest by area, red light district in Europe but it was tame, tacky and a bit ho hum. Do you know that this is where the Beatles originally got their start though? John Lennon is quoted as saying "I might have been born in Liverpool, but I grew up in Hamburg"

I'll let you ponder this window scene. End of day one!


  1. good report, hon! I"m looking forward to day 2 (even though I was there and know what's fun to relive it!) :)

  2. I think you don't remember and are hoping it was good! haha! I can't believe I forgot to post about the last martini of this night. ah well.


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