Traveling to Hamburg went well enough. We were upgraded to first class because for some reason those tickets were 10 Euro cheaper by a fluke. The issue was that we were seated in a six seat cabin, we paid for four seats and there were people in the other two. It was very cramped and now two innocent bystanders who wanted to sleep had to endure the chaos of the kids inside their peace bubble. The train ride itself was very nice through the Northern Netherlands country side and then the second train was through Germany country side. It was very beautiful, the weather was fair, we had hope for fun in Hamburg.
We got to the Hamburg Train Station and attempted to take a bus to the stop that our hostel was on. I bought bus tickets instead of subway tickets. . .yep. Sure did. I took two semesters of German and can barely speak a word, I’m absolutely horrible at it. Supposedly most Germans speak English because they learn it in school as their second language, but I have yet to find a single soul sitting at any information booth anywhere to actually provide anyone with information.
We made it to our stop via subway and then got horribly lost trying to find the hostel. I should mention it was freezing cold, we are pulling luggage and backpacks and have been traveling all day long. . .bad, bad, bad.
Eventually I went into a Best Western and asked the concierge for directions. She was such a huge help. She printed off google map instructions and we were there within minutes. Hidden Helpers indeed.
Luckily, our hostel is amazing! We got here, checked in, enjoyed our room and went to bed early with great hope for the next day.
Our only full day in Hamburg was an absolute bust. I can’t even pretend to sugar coat that crap, it was awful. We were going to take the subway to the Miniature Wonderland that was recommended to us by a gentleman on one of our flights, but of course the line was down due to tunnel repair. So then we were considering taking a bus, but we had to walk half a mile, find the right bus, the only bus available would only take us half way there then we would have to get off and find our way the rest of the way. We were too annoyed with the weather to deal with the bus station’s dysfunction. Therefore, we started walking, with a map towards the water. It was freezing cold, drizzling rain, stupid stupid idea.
We walked about five miles in the cold and rain. One of my worst parenting moments to date I believe. We looked for taxis but couldn’t find any. We wanted to stop for coffee and warmth, but by the time we found a place we were almost there so we kept on keeping on. We were frozen, I haven’t been that cold in a long time and Atlas decided he couldn’t take it anymore and cried for the last mile, no screamed for the last mile.
This will darn near make you cry. . . we got there and they were sold out for the day.
Luckily, they had a little play area where you waited your turn to enter the actual venue so we stayed and played and dethawed. I told Grandma that I had 26 Euros in cash and we were taking a taxi back towards the hostel as far as 26 Euros would get us. We were all starving so we crossed the street to eat at a cafe. We were so excited that we found a table, but after looking at the menu we realized that they only take cash, we only had enough Euro for a taxi not for lunch. . .sadness, sadness and starvation everywhere.
Yes I asked if an atm was close by, there wasn’t one.
We found a taxi and took it as far as 26 Euros would get us, luckily it was a third of a mile from the hostel and 50 yards from a McDonalds that takes credit cards 🙂 yep we did that and now this morning’s frozen nightmare is a distant memory smothered by McFlurries.
I don’t think that one bad day is enough to judge a city by. There seems to be a thriving theater community here and lots of arts, but from that one day I’ll need a very good reason to return. Our hostel is wonderful though and making up for the cities short comings quickly. Regardless, we are happy to catch a train again tomorrow. Onwards to Denmark.