Around Hamburg

Day 5

Day 7

Our final full day in Germany, and we split up into smaller groups to explore as each wished. Several of us met at Stephansplatz station and visited the Planten Un Blumen gardens. David was persuaded to wear the TV mast as a hat.

There were many interesting and attractive plants and flowers (as it said in the can).

Our group explored...

...admired the views...

...and the wildlife...

..and soon stopped for coffee!

Not far away, a man practiced Tai Chi

Splitting off from the others we headed through the new gardens with impressive waterworks...

...past the law courts with the big green men...

... and so the the harbour - fischbrotchen - and a ferry down stream passing the new cruise ship terminal.

We alighted near the museum harbour, where several historic boats are moored.

We lunched on the Elbe beach, watching the traffic up and down the river (and into Airbus). We're told that the stern wheel of the Mississippi Queen is just for show and she has conventional propellers that actually do the work!

The ice breaker Stettin was fired up and smokey.

Returning to the Landbrucke we admired the classic Hamburg skyline.

Another visitor from Hampshire, HMS Ark Royal, which had just assumed the duties of Fleet Flagship...

...though she was dwarfed by many of the merchant vessels.

Rickmer-Rickmers, one of Hamburg's favourites.

The elite shopping area of Neuer Wall backing onto the water of the Alsterfleet.

The old post office, now a communications museum.

Back in Berne we found Matteus drinking beer from the Hogs Back Brewery (OK, it's in Surrey but it's almost a Hampshire beer). I told Martina we'd make a TEA drinker of him...

We left Matteus to his TEA and met at Lynda's for a final-night barbecue. The Minden Rose ladies seemed to be very excited.

The young ladies of Zugvogel were much more refined!

Martin making sure the barbecue does its thing.

Gifts were presented to the organisers.

A brazier was lit, and marshmallows toasted

(or cremated).

We sat around the fire and chatted, sang a few songs, and enjoyed each others' company... the light of the moon...

...or the glow of the fire...

And then it was time to disperse. There was some indecision over whether we should sing Rolling Home, and some had left before Marlies insisted that (a) we should sing it and (b) she would leave us to it. It was an emotional time with moments of almost slapstick humour as we tried to read the words by a combination of moonlight, firelight and autofocus illumination lamp.

Today's page is dedicated to "those we have loved".

Day 5

Day 7