These are fiberglass statues of a cherished symbol of Hamburg’s recent past, the last water carrier Johann Wilhelm Bentz, called Hans Hummel. They pop up unexpectedly, just like the occasional cheerful cow statue will cross one’s path in Chicago. It’s amazing, what epoxy resin has done for the arts and charity!
|Then we rest our tired feet …|
|… on our own terrace between outings.
On the top floor of the Alsterhaus, we wandered in amazement through displays of the world’s most luxurious treats. From caviar to champagne to handcrafted truffles, it’s all there.
We tried to be more modest in our spending and had a delicious lunch in the cafeteria instead. However, this cafeteria certainly doesn’t give you a ‘canteen’ feeling under its stained glass roof. We snatched a window table with a view over the Alster (city lake) fountain to enjoy a freshly prepared Scholle (flatfish).
From the downtown shopping district, we worked our way closer to the river Elbe to a district called HafenCity, the largest urban redevelopment project in Europe.
I was most interested to see ‘Elphi‘ the famously infamous future concert hall, the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. It’s in its seven’s year of construction and won’t become operational for another three years. The originally projected €77/$104 million cost to the Hamburg citizens, has exploded to almost €800 mil/$1 billion.
That was my first glimpse of Elphi. Not impressed. The wavy glass ‘skin’ looks more like a cheap plastic wrap.
I liked this arrangement better.
If you push the colors a little and make the picture all shimmery, Elphi looks much prettier, right?
The wavy-glass-thingy sits on top of an original, protected coffee, tea, and cocoa warehouse. A relic from the exciting times, when the harbor was a free zone for imports of exotic goods. Presently the landmark structure is wrapped for protection.
Gradually, the ferry brought us around toward the much more attractive front of the Philharmonic, now showing its hallmark ship’s prow profile.
We sailed past this more traditional prow, before switching to the rapid transport system on land for the short trip home. Hamburg’s public transportation system is phenomenal!