Matjes and Jogi

One of my favorite relatives is technically no longer a relative, but he’s beloved by all, nevertheless. During our recent trip to Hamburg, my husband and I were privileged to be invited to a day out in the countryside with this good friend of forty-five years and his wife. My exceptional former Brother-in-Law had planned a wonderful day trip through the Schleswig-Holstein countryside along the Elbe river. The link above is strictly for educational purposes, for all of you, who, like me,  enjoy picking up a smidgen of extra information here and there. 


The four of us had a great time, enjoying the historic, formerly Danish town of Glückstadt, where we walked around for a grand total of about 30 seconds …

… freezing our asses off …


… before rushing into ‘Der Kleine Heinrich’ restaurant well ahead of our lunch reservation, simply to escape the wind-blown wetness.
The walls of the restaurant are decorated with blue and white tiles (burnt by Hera Sintra in Portugal) with images painted by the late Glückstadt painter and graphic artist Hans-Peter Wirsing, who is also called the ‘Saltwater Dali’. The tiles echo the seafaring ways of Glückstadt of old, founded in 1617 by the Danish King Christian IV as a rival to the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. 
At those times, Glückstadt was a major port for the whaling industry, among them the full-rigged sailing ship Der Kleine Heinrich’, which was probably the most successful Greenland whaler out of Glückstadt ever.
tile painting by H.-P. Wirsing



tile painting by H.-P. Wirsing
We enjoyed the seasonal June specialty of matjes herring very much. This is one of my most favorite German dishes, even if it may actually be Dutch or Danish. Up here along the North Sea coast, we don’t pay much attention to those modern national differences. Together with Rote Grütze, it means ‘home’ for me, inducing salivary activity simply upon hearing the words.
Matjeshering auf Hausfrauenart  – Young herring ‘housewife style’.
The cream sauce contains diced, raw onion and apple.
After our delicious lunch, we drove over to the ferry landing to cross to the other side of the river Elbe, where we wanted to drive through the so-called ‘Alte Land‘, a vast agricultural area where apples and cherries are grown. But before you get there, you have to take the car ferry from Glückstadt to Wischhafen, on the left river bank.




After our river crossing, we pretty much stuck to coach tourism (watching from the cruising car), because it was just too rainy and blustery for our originally planned Kaffeeklatsch in an apple orchard near Jork – so funny, that spelling. Even though we couldn’t take walks through the pretty villages and lovely countryside, it was wonderful just to glimpse the promise of a future sunny outing in such fun company! 

As it happened, our drive fell on the afternoon before the World Championship game Germany versus Portugal, when everyone and his uncle was trying to get home in time to watch. Despite choosing less traveled back ways, the traffic jams were considerable, allowing for interesting photo ops along the roadways, like this humongous power station and bridge.

But we made it back to HH in time for homemade white asparagus soup and a glass of bubbly to celebrate our rare get-together, before the Anpfiff (kick-off) and then we cheered on the German team together.

Much later Barry & I took the U-Bahn
(underground, rapid public transportation) home to our exchange loft. What a  special day – 
Thank you Anke & Wilfried!!!   

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