Today I had a very nice Sunday walk into the suburbs of Hamburg; specifically the town of Harburg.
The day got started with a great breakfast (any breakfast that includes real cooked American bacon is a great breakfast). As I said yesterday, Handeloh was just a very small community so after leaving the hotel, I was immediately out in the countryside. My first 2-3 miles were along a gravel footpath beside the railroad tracks, then I got onto the bike trail running along the highway. I went through several midsized towns with people out and about on a Sunday morning. The pastry and coffee shops were especially busy.
By lunch I was halfway through my day and against my better judgment, I stopped and ate at a McDonald’s. Sometimes you just have to get something besides the local quinine. Also at lunch, I changed socks, which I always do, but today I brought out my brand new pair of shoes. I’ve been carrying a new pair in the bottom of my pack, knowing I’d wear out two pair of shoes on this part of the walk. So today I decided the first pair were finished and it was time for the new ones. I got 725 miles out of the first pair and I have about 600 miles left to walk so I should be good.
The traffic got a little busier after lunch, but as always, there were no trucks out on this Sunday. It didn’t really matter anyway because I had a bike trail and sidewalks all afternoon.
So now I’m in the edge of Hamburg. I’m not going to actually walk through the center of the city because it’s quite a bit off my route. But a few facts about Hamburg anyway. It’s Germany’s second largest city at 1.8M. Only Berlin is bigger. The metropolitan area actually has about 5.1M. Hamburg is also Europe’s third largest port, though it doesn’t sit directly on the North Sea. The River Elbe creates Hamburg’s deep sea port and it’s route to the sea.
Hamburg’s history is far too diverse and interesting for me to cover here, but between disease outbreaks, fires, floods, and wars, particularly WWII, Hamburg is an amazing example of resilience.
Tomorrow I make a turn northeast and make a beeline for the Baltic Coast. I hope everyone’s weekend was a good one. Mine was. JB.
OBTW: I’ve gotten several requests to post pictures of some of the local food I’ve enjoyed. So below I’ve posted my first food picture. I hope you like it.