Yesterday I enjoyed the hospitality of Hamburg, Germany as MSC Cruises, MSC Magnifica sailed us into our next port of call. We didn’t arrive until 10.30am so it was the perfect excuse to have a short lie in and not worry about rushing up and off the ship.
When I finally dragged myself out of bed I went to stand up and my feet just would not move, I have done so much walking and rushing around these last few days I think it was their way of saying no, please! No more! Eventually I was dressed and ready to greet the day.
I made my way down for breakfast which consisted for me of an English muffin, beans and a hash brown. Yes just one! I love hash browns so it was best I was not greedy and just resisted the temptation to have more than one. As I mentioned yesterday though again the selection of food was unbelievable!
I bumped into my adopted Dutch family again during breakfast and they said I was very welcome to join them for the day so I accepted their invitation and we arranged a time to meet to then leave the ship.
This was my first experience of having some passengers disembarking and others just simply trying to get off and enjoy the day ashore. I have to admit it was a little confusing at first. Everyone was trying to get out through the same exit but what started out as a huge queue went down in less than 4 minutes and we were off the ship before we knew it. It was one of those times when you don’t judge it, just go with it because when I joined the queue I expected a long wait but this wasn’t the case at all. It worked very well because everyone worked together.
Once off the ship we jumped on the number 111 bus to Landungsbrucken and began exploring. We walked for what felt like miles, I am sure it actually was! We passed the beautiful Municipal Building, I can’t begin to explain how gorgeous this building was both inside and out! The best section was a courtyard type area at the back so don’t miss this if you are heading to Hamburg. In front there is a very pleasant square with a few coffee shops and it branches off onto other streets with stores and other places of interest.
We seemed to pass church after church and some really nice bridges too! One of which is the oldest in the city and links the old town with the new town. It was a mix of modern and history literally joined together in some places. It was different, but nice.
I must admit I found it difficult to navigate, I was very fortunate having my Dutch friends with me one of which also spoke German but had I been on my own I very much doubt I would have seen half as much as what I did. I am good with planning and mapping a route, no problem but I just can’t quite grasp the German language which is why this would have been a challenge for me. I took in my route, noted it down in my brain then checked the map but I was still baffled. I’m sure had I needed to rely on myself I would have done it but that was me probably being lazy because I had someone there who really had it all planned out.
After having walked quite some distance we decided to hop on the train at Baumwall one stop back to Landungsbrucken where we opted to jump on the water taxi to get back to the ship. Great idea until we got on! It was very warm yesterday but the breeze was brisk, it was blowing dust and dirt up from works that were taking place and the water was very lumpy indeed. We started our journey back to the ship, the ship being our second stop, and within a few minutes of leaving the boat was pitching so much we were getting soaked on the open top deck. People were literally drenched and running for cover. I got sprayed a few times but nothing that would make me move, I needed pictures of the ship after all!
Once back it was time to grab some lunch. I opted today for spinach and ricotta pasta and then grabbed a few steamed asparagus spears, a slice of freshly baked and then freshly cut, French baguette and sat down quite content. As I made my way back along to take pictures I came across the biggest carving joint I have ever seen in my life! I asked the chef that was carving what it was, he said ‘it is beef madam, it’s a leg’ I replied with ‘are you sure it’s not the whole cow’?! It was HUGE!!!! Again the food on this ship is something else! I really don’t want to get off on Saturday and not just because the food is so good!
The evening’s dress code was casual so it was nice to have a fun filled day without the pressure of having to rush back to dress for dinner. Jeans, pumps and a smart jacket would see me right for the night.
Today we are in Helgoland, a small island just off the German mainland and I am very much looking forward to exploring here. Not many cruise ships make this stop so it’s something a little different!