Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hamburg, Take Two

We left Bavaria behind and took the train from Frankfurt to spend the weekend in Hamburg. We had reserved in advance but when we boarded the train we found someone else in our seats, they had been double booked. Dayne used his high school German with the conductor and soon we were in 1st class. It wasn't all clear sailing though as the conductor told us that if someone boarded in one of the other cities with our seats we'd have to move again. Luckily that didn't happen and soon we were checking into the über hip hotel The George.

We grabbed a few pre-dinner drinks in the hotel bar which does more than a just passable cocktail and then headed to Carl's out on the harbor for dinner. I really like this area of Hamburg, it's actually very similar to what's going on in London's Dock Lands (post coming). And the food at Carl's was a nice change from the big heavy Bavarian dishes we had been eating for the past week+.

After dinner we met our friend Cirsten at The Four Seasons in their "Luggage Room" Bar.

This tiny, 2 level bar tucked inside the elegant hotel is rumored to have once been a luggage storage area. Not a lot of people seem to know about it (besides the locals) and it's got a real speakeasy feel without being one at all. Great service and cocktails- Dayne took this photo standing in the doorway.

The next morning we went and did a bit of shopping at Weinquelle Liquor Store. This store was amazing, carrying a huge selection of things we can't find in the states and even giving us tastings (at 10:30am) of rare gins and whiskeys. Among other things Dayne picked up an amazing bottle of gin aged in Isley Scotch barrels.

We then met Forest who came over from Paris to join us for the night. And after lunch another friend Liz, met up.  Unlike us this was Dayne's first time in Hamburg so we went for a little sightseeing cruise around the harbor area.

One of the ships we saw was the Eclipse, the world's most expensive yacht being built for Roman Abramovich. It's 558 feet long, has nine decks, pool, cinema, 20 onboard jet skis, 4 boats, 2 heli pads and supposedly a missile defense system. All that and more for $500 million. 

Also in port at the time was the Maersk Sheerness which at 1,099.1 ft and carrying 8,000 20 foot containers, is one of the largest cargo ships in the world.

After the cruise we strolled around charming Hamburg for the rest of the afternoon.
That evening Forest, Dayne and I met our friend Cirsten at the wine shop she use to work at for champagne before before heading out to dinner at VLET. This is a wonderful restaurant which puts a modern spin on many classic German dishes and also uses some French influences.

No trip to Hamburg is complete without cocktails at Le Lion, where we headed to after dinner and stayed late into the night/ or early into the morning- however you like to look at it!

All photos from Hamburg are here.

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