Sometimes I am worried that my children are not in touch with their roots. So once in while we take them on a ‘cultural trip’ to Germany. This summer, while visiting family (and polishing up my children’s language skills of what is supposed to be their mother tongue) we went on a day trip to Hamburg. The harbour area to be exact. Sure London has a big river but we don’t have the opportunity to sea big cruise ships or container ships here.
First stop was the ‘Elbphilharmonie’, a new concert hall, from where we had a wonderful view across the River Elbe.
We then wanted to go on a boat ourselves. So, knowing the kids would not listen to one word a knowledgable tour guide has to say, instead of taking one of the quite expensive harbour tours we used our day travel pass to hop on to various ferries that take you from one side of the River Elbe to the other and down the river.
At one pier the older two tried their best to explain to my littlest the principle of a pontoon and how the stairs are moving slightly… You can see he is fascinated… and much more interested in the approaching ferry.
Another highlight was walking through the old Elbtunnel which was built in 1911 and is similar to the Thames foot tunnels. Here however you can either walk down the stairs and through the tunnel or take your bike or car down and up via an old elevator. I had wobbly knees climbing down those (old!) stairs, tried not to think about the masses of water above us and again tried to ignore any thought about the age of all the different parts of the elevator on our way up. The kids enjoyed the tunnel but were less impressed by its dangers. Honestly, running in front of a bike was probably the biggest hazard.
Once we made it out alive we were rewarded with another beautiful view of the river and its vessels.
My feet were sore at that point but for the kids there was still lots to explore on our way back to the train station.
I think the trip was a success and I hope the kids took more away from the day than we accidentally left behind (which was two brand new rain coats).