With an afternoon train booked to Dresden, we had the morning to finish exploring Hamburg before moving on to the next city. We were up, packed and checked out in double time, leaving us plenty of time to find Hamburg Dom and the fish market.
The map we had showed Hamburg Dom at the top of the Reeperbahn, which meant it should have been a couple of minutes walk away. As we got closer, I was slightly concerned that we couldn’t see any signs of a cathedral (Dom in English is cathedral). It was only as we stood at the crossroads to where I thought the cathedral would be that I saw Hamburg Dom – an amusement park. Who even names an amusement park Hamburg Dom?!
Slightly annoyed that I hadn’t realised before then, we called it quits and wandered down to the fish market. And when I say wandered down, I mean trek – it was at least 2km. And when we got there, the building was empty but for a couple of people moving furniture around. We weren’t doing too well with the sightseeing today, so walked back towards the city centre wishing above all else that we’d checked opening times for the fish market before walking all the way there.
Determined not to let the day be a total write off, we passed the hub for the boat tours and figured we still had a few hours left, why not enjoy a tour of the river? Tickets bought, we found the boat and hopped on. I was expecting it to be a small boat like the kind that do river tours in smaller cities, but this was a full size boat with tables and chairs, a bar and an upstairs. We picked a spot next to the radiator, and were given a bit of information about the river as the tour commentary was in German.
A slice of apple cake later and we were on our way. The tour went both ways down the river, showing us the city centre with its fancy buildings, and also the sheer scale of the shipping industry in Hamburg. Considering it hadn’t been our intention to get a boat ride, I’m glad it worked out that way as we’d never have seen both sides of Hamburg otherwise.
Back on dry land, we were in a bit of limbo – we had too much time to go straight to the train station, but not enough time to go and see something else. We settled for a gentle stroll back to the hotel to pick up our bags, before walking to the train station. Anything to save a few Euros, which we’ll probably want to use later on. Although it’s quite a long way to walk with such heavy backpacks, I was getting used to mine finally and it wasn’t uncomfortable anymore. We also managed to spot a few things we’d not seen the day before, so double bonus really.
Hamburg Hauptbahnhof is huge, so we picked up some lunch and snacks for the train in the food court before heading off to find our platform. Although all of our train tickets have been pre-booked, I completely forgot that this train was in a 6-seater compartment set up. As we took our seats, I felt like maybe we’d stepped on board the Hogwarts Express by accident.
We were off and Dresden bound in no time, though once we reached the first station the train stopped for about 45 minutes. We had no idea what was going on, and I was cursing myself for not having better German skills! The other train at the station was my only indication of what was going on, and as soon as it changed it’s destination back to Hamburg I was convinced we were going to have to find an alternate way of getting to Dresden tonight. I was also slightly concerned as the hotel had emailed to say reception was open until 10pm, and we would have been cutting it close if the train was actually on time, let alone delayed by this much.
Eventually the train continued on, although it was the worst train journey I’ve ever had. While the train itself was comfortable, I was seriously grouchy because I was tired, concerned the hotel reception would close before we got there and also couldn’t look out the window because it was pitch black outside. Tired me does not make a good travel companion, so I tried to have a bit of shut eye before we arrived in Dresden. With not much time to spare, we jumped in a taxi to the hotel, and were all checked in no problems.
It had been a long ol’ day, so after finding somewhere to get a bite to eat we turned in ready for our only full day in Dresden.