And we’re off again, mixing this trip up between ‘us’ time in Hamburg & Berlin, frolicking in the French Alps with a bunch of Aussies, then to Paris again, moving to Brugge and finishing in Amsterdam.
We are super excited about this trip, for which the planning started two years ago when we paid our deposit for the tour du Mont Blanc, having to get in that far in advance to secure our time slot of September 2018. It’s only a short walking season, so slots are precious, and popular.
We can’t thank Maddy enough for having it on her ‘bucket list’, thus forcing our hand to join her on what promises to be an epic walk through, what appears to be, a spectacular countryside.
We have heard nothing but glowing reviews on this walk, and we await the start with eager anticipation.
The great thing about doing this walk is it enables you to add on travel before and/or after, which is what we have done, visiting Germany, Belgium and Amsterdam for the first time, as well as all the stops along the walk. Paris, as always, is one of our favourite cities, hence we are returning for the third time to stay in another arrondissement and more importantly, to practice our French, oui, oui!!!
Maybe a pre flight tickle in the lounge?
The one thing you tend to forget in the planning is just how far away Australia is, which we are realising now, as we spend 21 hours in the air, over 28 hours, traveling backwards by 8 hours, to arrive in Hamburg at 13.30 local time, after leaving Melbourne at 18.00!
Anyhow, after all that, we finally arrived in Hamburg at about 2pm, and taxied to our hotel, The Movenpick, which has been built from the ruins of an old water tower in Sternschanze, a pretty eclectic suburb about 10km from the city centre.
Check in, a quick refresh, then off by train into town for a look around. First stop was the harbour area.
Very touristy so off into town where we wandered thru the oldest church in Hamburg, St Petri.
Past the obligatory beggar on the footsteps and into a fairly modest church with lovely stained glass and not much else!
Jet lag starting to kick in with Rachael so any other plans got shelved and we headed back towards our hotel for a look around, and miraculously found a cure for said jet lag in a brewery right next door.
A brewery holding its annual summer craft beer festival!
Schanzenhofe Brewery go straight to the top of the pops!
Craft beer stands galore, hamburger/kransky/weird sandwich thingy booths, doof doof music…Rachael perked up instantly.
A Cuban cigar maker added to the theme.
My first kransky in Germany…probably not my last?
Strangely, beer and no sleep catches up with you fast, and what could have been a long, messy, night came to a shuddering halt at…I’m ashamed to say…7.30!