Europe Summer 2016 – Hamburg Day 2

This post is written by Katie about a day in Hamburg on the way to Copenhagen.

This morning I needed to meet Patrick from HULKs at Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg at 10am. Since two one-way tickets between Hamburg Hbf and Hamburg-Heimfeld would be the same price as an ‘after 9am day pass’, I went ahead and bought the after 9am day pass for 6.20.

I looked up directions on Google Maps, and saw I should take the MetroNom regional bahn to Harburg and then take the S3 to the university. However, I also saw that the S3 should leave from Hamburg Hbf. I should have just trusted Google Maps, but instead I boarded an S3 that claimed to be going to Harburg. However, it stopped at Berliner Tor and then returned to Hamburg Hbf. Apparently there is track work, and the S3 is not traveling to Harburg for a few weeks. At this point I followed Google Maps. Even with all this backtracking, I was only four minutes late to meeting Patrick at Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg.

Patrick showed me the HULKs RoboCup space (including their mini-field), his office, and his workspace. We chatted about RoboCup, his research, my research, differences between being a PhD student in the US vs Germany, what high school graduates who do not want to immediately go to college can do in Germany, and many other things. It was a very interesting visit. Patrick also introduced me to a colleague who is working on formation control, and we chatted a bit about parallels in our research. Before I left with the two robot bags HULKs had been kind enough to transport to Hamburg and store, Patrick was kind enough to buy me lunch at his university’s canteen. The food was surprisingly good and plentiful!

The free walking tour was scheduled to meet somewhere in the Rathaus square

I left Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg at 12:45pm and took the S3 to the MetroNom back to Hamburg Hbf. I dropped the robot bags in my dorm room, changed into less formal, cooler clothing, and then headed to Hamburg Rathaus to join the 2pm Sandemans New Hamburg free walking tour. It was supposed to meet in the square in front of the Rathaus, but I never saw anyone with a big red umbrella. I eventually saw a guide off to the side of the square with a gathering crowd, so I wandered over. It was indeed the tour I was looking for.

Old buildings in the old Hamburg harbor
Storehouse City in Hamburg

Evan – a German who had been living in Hamburg for 9 months – was the tour guide for the 2pm tour. Our group was a bit smaller than most free walking tour groups, as it only contained about 20 people. But Evan ended up giving a really good, informative tour! I was impressed with him and felt like I learned a lot and saw a lot during the three hour tour.

Our guide ended the tour overlooking HafenCity

We ended the walking tour in Storehouse City, overlooking HafenCity. I went to explore a floating dock between Storehouse City and HafenCity, and then I walked towards the new (opening in January 2017) Elbphilharmonie concert hall that has cost the city of Hamburg 10 times its initial estimate to construct.

Elbphilharmonie concert hall from the 72 ferry
Maps of the ferries in Hamburg
View of Landungsbrücken from the 62 ferry

Since the weather was nice, I decided to ‘redo’ the ferry tour I had done a few weeks ago with John and JT and go out and see if there were any movements at the Airbus facility. Hence, I took the 72 ferry to Landungsbrücken, where I switched to the 62 ferry to Finkenwerder.

Aldi at Finkenwerder

At Finkenwerder, there seemed to be no 64 ferry arriving soon, so I set off in search of a grocery store. Google Maps showed a REWE nearby, so I walked to that. But once I arrived, I saw a Aldi sign nearby. Since my impression is that Aldi is cheaper than REWE, I walked to Aldi. I could not get the recycling machine to accept a Club Mate bottle I’d been carrying around, so I just left it in hopes that someone else could figure it out.

After seeing expensive prices at the grocery store in the mall yesterday, I was surprised to find the same prices at this Aldi that I had seen at the Aldi by my Berlin hostel. So perhaps Hamburg isn’t actually more expensive than Berlin, it just depends on the location/neighborhood.

64 ferry to Rüschpark

With snacks and beer in tow, I walked back to the Finkenwerder ferry dock and waited about 22 minutes for the next 64 ferry to Rüschpark (they seem to run every 30 minutes during ‘peak’ time). The ferry ride was really short once it arrived, and I was at Rüschpark before I knew it.

My chill spot at Rüschpark
An incoming Germania plane at Rüschpark
Lighthouse tower at Rüschpark

I was disappointed to find no benches near the lighthouse at Rüschpark, so I opted for one of the many benches between the lighthouse and the ferry dock. I ate my snack/dinner of milk and bread while watching the Elbe river and the skies. I saw a plane approaching for a long time, but it ended up only being a Germania A320. Shortly after the Germania plane landed, I saw a strange looking small private plane maneuver near the airport, but it did not seem to be on the correct trajectory to land.

Views from the 62 ferry going back towards Hamburg center

After a while, I decided to take the 64 ferry back to Finkenwerder. At Finkenwerder, they seem to time departures so that any time a 64 ferry arrives from Rüschpark, its passengers can immediately transfer to the 62 ferry to Landungsbrücken. Once at Landungsbrücken, I enjoyed a beer on the elevated walkway while enjoying a nice harbor sunset. I shared my bench with two German girls, and I enjoyed listening to them speak. I feel bad that I did not pick up more German this trip, but listening to people speak had began to make slightly more sense.

Late checkout tag hanging on my bed

After watching the sunset, I took the S-bahn back to Generator Hamburg. Although reception was extremely crowded, I bought a late (1pm instead of 10am) checkout for 5. They gave me a hang tag to hang on my bed to signal to the cleaning crews that I had purchased late checkout. While at reception, I also bought laundry tokens for 6 (which came with a detergent packet) since I needed to do laundry in the morning.

After dealing with reception, I grabbed my laptop from the room and went down to the ‘Chill Out’ area where the public computers are to work. It was loud since this area is near the bar – which was crazy busy and popular at this time – but I somewhat like being in an active area while working (and the music was good at least). I wasn’t doing any difficult work, just blogging and starting to plan out tomorrow.

I went to shower around 11pm. When I returned, I was surprised that all five other people in my room had went out. It was a Friday night, but I still didn’t expect to be the only one not going out. I turned on their individual bunk lights before turning off the overhead light and falling asleep.

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