Regular readers will know that for the past few years I have taken my daughters-in-law on a Christmas Market shopping trip to make up for all of the sport-related trips that happen regularly in our family. This year due to the arrival of our gorgeous grandson in September a weekend away wasn't on the cards. Not wishing to forgo my annual Gluhwein fest I roped in my husband instead for the trip! I am not sure that he knew what to expect :)
This year we visited Hamburg Christmas Market, a New to Me destination.
There are several Markets around the city, the largest of which is in front of the City Hall. We knew we were in the right place when we saw these illuminations!
Hamburg, once a Hanseatic City, is the second largest port in Europe and even although it was winter there was still lots of activity on the waterfront.
Rickmer Rickmers to the sinister shape of the Russian Submarine U 434, both now museums, there was plenty to keep us occupied.
We hadn't realised that we would be in Hamburg for the feast of Saint Nicholas, which doesn't really feature as a celebration in the UK. So, we were very surprised to find these in a gift bag outside our hotel room door on the morning of the feast day.
Needless to say they were much appreciated :)
One of the delights of our visit to this wonderful city, was discovering the Speicherstadt, the largest warehouse district in the world. It doesn't sound very exciting I know, but it was a fascinating area.
It was quiet when we were there but you can just imagine how busy the area must have been in its heyday, can't you?
Whilst some of the warehouses have been converted into flats, many of them are still working commercial buildings. All of the offices on the street photographed above were involved in the importing of Oriental carpets, bizarrely enough!
The buildings also housed a Museum (top) and a delightful Tea House (bottom), which provided some welcome relief for tired legs after all the walking :)
We also discovered the answer to that age-old conundrum - where to put the Christmas tree on a boat!
I had written most of this post before the recent tragic event in Berlin Christmas Market and my heart goes out to the families and friends of those killed in the attack. They, like my husband and I and our daughters-in-law before, were simply enjoying the wonderful atmosphere of fun and friendship that typifies a German Christmas Market. I sincerely hope that this is not lost in the aftermath of the Berlin tragedy.