The Würzburg/Hamburg train was just over an hour late, and as such I was due a partial refund from the DB. Peter and Hannelore had the correct forms waiting for me when I arrived in Hamburg and after a coffee and snack we visited the DB office and I walked out of the train station 12.25€ richer.
The weather continues to be absolutely beautiful, sunny, warm, not too hot. We left my luggage in a railway locker (!) and took an open top double decker tour of the Hamburg. Such an interesting city, with distinctly different districts, all of which looked intriguing. They reminded us that in the 60s Hamburg was a hotbed of cutting edge rock and that the Beatles got their start here. Although 110k from the mouth of the Elbe river (about the same distance Olympia is from the Strait of Juan de Fuca) Hamburg is and has historically been a major port and there is a beautiful old brick warehouse district right next to a huge new residential area, that while new was also interesting to look at. It is not yet completed. On the edge of the historic city center full of many beautiful buildings is a lake a la Green Lake or Capitol lake in the midst of a shady green area, 7.5 kilometers around the perimeter. I have been so impressed in Germany with how walker and bicycle friendly it is. Paths are accessible everywhere. You can go long distances in pleasant, shady and safe surroundings, rather than just in a circle or next to a freeway.
Peter and Hannelore were friendly and enjoyable and informative companions, the day was beautiful….
After the tour we took the SBahn out to their house where we relaxed and talked in their lovely garden. Peter has sent seasonal photos of this garden over the years of our correspondence. He is related to Wolfgang and also shares roots in the part of Oststernberg that the Hennigs, Menzes and Schulzs come from. He lived outside of Lagow as a boy and his grandfather had a stable in Sternberg/Torzym and delivered people to more remote locations who arrived
on the train.
In fact, he has about 20 years worth of a publication called ‘Oststernberger Heimatbriefe’ which collects and publishes articles on the area. It is all in German, of course, but I still got quite excited to see a list of Menzes from 1718/1719 living in Grabow, where our Menzes come from. Peter said I should give him a list of names/places and he could scan relevant articles.
It was from Hamburg that Carl Julius Adolf Henning left for the United States in April of 1880 and the port that Ottillie and Wilhelm Kurth (with their brood of 7, recently diminished by the death of 1 ½ year old Fredolina in Pomerania) left on 22 Aug 1892 to return to the US. I wanted to look at the scans of the original documents, but when I went to check it out I discovered I had left my plug adapter at Beate’s and the computer battery was dead. (I was able to find another one at the Hamburg Hauptbahnhof waiting for the train to Berlin so I am not facing electronic device withdrawal).
We walked about a k into the town center, where the small former town hall was turned into a pleasant restaurant. It recently replaced another restaurant so was also new to Peter and Hannelore as well. Yummy meal of chicken wrapped in very thin bacon and served on a bed of ‘feldsalat’. Really, I will check out the Oly Farmer’s market to see if I have missed it there as it tastes wonderful. As in Berlin, after we paid the waiter brought us a small glass of some drink, this bright green, and a mixture of grapefruit and some potent liquor.
Very quiet little town, and though after 9:00 had a warm and pleasant walk home.
Breakfast this am and then off to the station for the return to Berlin. Peter accompanied me to the station to make sure I didn’t get lost. They have been very good to me, and I have enjoyed it.
I thought that as I went from place to place and left my small gifts behind my pack would get lighter, but I am now carrying two bottles of wine from Thüngersheim, a small jar of homemade rhubarb jam, a scarf crocheted by Hannelore, a book on the castle in Lagow, the saucer that I think matches my mother’s china. It has been so warm that I have needed nothing except my two quick dry t-shirts, but the rest of the clothes have come in very
handy to pad and protect the various breakables, which I will have to
check back to Seattle.