6:20am isn’t the best time in the morning to be woken up by your alarm any day of the week, and this was a Saturday... What the heck were we thinking?
Miniature Wunderland was our mission for the day, and that involved a 70 minute wait for slackers who go there any later than 10am. So our fate had been decided - wake up at the crack of dawn, race to the train station, board the train to Hamburg (the untravelled land - so far) and find this so called 'Wonderland'.
9:50am we were assured that we only had a 10 minute wait ahead of us... pfft! So had the other flock of ambitious tourists... so our 10 minutes turned into 90 minutes. Once we navigated our way around the lines, paid our entry fees, we were set free into this land of little people, little cars and people with to much time on their hands!
The lands covered parts of Europe (mostly Germany), Scandinavia, and the United States. The attention to detail, if you looked for it, was amazing… each and every figurine had a story to tell.
By 12 noon, the crowds were thickening and it was getting
increasingly hard to get a good view. So by this time our energy levels were decreasing and we needed to see day light and life size structures. We ventured through the crowds to reunite with our group and devour our backpacker’s lunch - the good ol’ sanga and a Mars bar.
1:00pm saw our energy levels back up and time to explore the ‘real’, full size Hamburg. We made our way to the harbour, which today was celebrating its birthday, so the Hamburg Harbour Festival was in full swing - and being the largest Harbour Festival in the world - it was some what busy! We wondered around, dodging the crowds and buskers and the beer stalls. Making it to the waters edge, we positioned ourselves to watch the submarine and sea hawk demonstration. Being in prime position to see it all, we thought we were set… then all of a sudden the submarine decides to leave its perfect position (for us) and head for larger crowds. Easy for the sub, yeah his waters were clear… but us on the other hand, we had no chance of navigating through the waves of people to follow him. So we sat
and waited, and waited some more. Eventually the Sea Hawk made its entrance and they dropped some soldiers onto the sub, collected some soldiers, and showed off some aerial acrobatics.
6:00pm funny enough we were hungry again, so we set off in search of food… the festival food, though it smelt great, just wasn’t tempting enough. So we headed away from the crowds and into the town centre. We stumbled across a café on the waters edge and decided that this would be our dinner stop. Our waitress, unprepared for a swarm of 12 English speaking people, finally managed to deliver the meals we ordered and our stomachs were happy!
8:30pm saw our group divided, planing to reunite at 10:20pm. Our mission from now until then was to find the Hauptbahnhof (the train station) and check when our last train was leaving. As nice as Hamburg was, we weren’t fond of the idea of staying there over night had we missed the last train. So we eventually worked out our time of departure after being lead astray by a lovely information assistant - you think of all people he would have know his way around the station, lol.
So with our departure time set for 12:15am we made our way back to the harbour front. With fire works being promised for 10:30pm we once again positioned ourselves nicely to have a good view, waiting… waiting…
11:30pm waiting… By this time our waiting levels had become desperately low, and our train wasn’t going to wait for us or the fire works. So at 11:45pm, having seen no fire works we set off back to the Hauptbahnhof. Our train pulled up to the platform and we boarded, sitting down on a comfortable seat was a much needed relief.
Having a grumble about not seeing the fireworks wasn’t long lived, as the train left the station, the sky was lit with multiple colours… the long awaited fireworks, at 12:30am - only a minor delay! So as our train ventured off into the night, we left Hamburg in a sea people watching the fireworks.
1.30am saw our train pull into the Bremen Hauptbahnhof. A sigh of relief to nearly be home and we stumbled off the train, said good bye to our fellow Aussies, and headed in the
direction of home. Seeing a night bus (rare in these parts of town) we ran like our pants were on fire… as missing this meant a 40 minute walk home, which we weren’t too enthused about.
We made it to the bus, jumped on gasping for breath and sat down.
Busestrasse… ahhh our stop: the last leg of our journey - a 10 minute walk and that was it.
2:00am and it was lights out!
From 6:20am, our day was quite an adventure. The Harbour Festival was great and Miniature Wunderland is a definite must see, if you get there early. We had a full, fun day… but Hamburg still remains unexplored in many parts, so a return adventure will no doubt happen soon. Next time with less crowds and a little more sleep before we begin!
Travel guys - its worth it!
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