Nick & I recently performed in Hamburg for the second time, but on this visit we decided to stay in a rural area. And what a treat: we got to experience the busy city and beautiful rural life all in one trip!
OVERVIEW & LINKS:
We performed in Kulturcafe Komm Du in Hamburg (great live music venue with outstanding food/desserts)
We stayed at Studtmanns Gasthof in Egestorf (beautiful rural hotel in Lower Saxony run by a family, our room overlooked a pasture with horses)
We had afternoon tea at Teestube Undeloh (a beautiful fairytale-like teahouse with delicious desserts in a rural setting)
We explored Hamburg (founded in 500 AD, pop. 1.7 mil, situated on Elbe River in Northern Germany), had amazing food at Zum Brandanfang
Last time when we played in Hamburg we stayed in the city. It was fine but a bit noisy and parking was hard. This time around we decided to stay 25 minutes South of Hamburg at a small family-run rural hotel called Studtmanns Gasthof, in a town called Egestorf (population 2,500).
We watched horses from our balcony, got to sleep in to the sound of rain, and had a filling country breakfast (included) before we left. Extra thanks to Sylke for being such a wonderful host. Danke, Sylke!
View from our room balcony:
Typical German bathroom has a heated drying rack for towels:
Our breakfast room:
Please take notice of the funny squirrel on the table:
Just a few miles away from our hotel I found (thanks, Googlemaps!) a beautiful tea house with excellent reviews. We didn't have lunch so decided to have desserts and tea instead. Wow, what a special place it was.
Our booking agent Elke James booked us at Komm Du again this year because we really wanted to come back: it's a very nice venue run by a small family (Mansen, Susanne & Britta). They cook the best food and treat musicians with love and respect. We had a traditional German dinner the night of our show. It was sooooo good!
Wiener schnitzel with mushroom sauce (all from scratch) and Spaetzle (Southern German egg noodles):
Britta telling Nick all about the local beer:
Amazing home-made apple cake:
I was really tired and took a quick nap in our rental car (which was Mercedes - that's what the rental agency gave us). Afterwards, I put on some make up in the car, warmed up my voice and contemplated a very painful pimple :)
L-R: Nick, Marina, Britta and her daughter Susanne of Komm Du:
[The Hamburg photos are from a year before. It was very cold and rainy during this trip so we didn't get a chance to walk around as much as we did last year.]
As huge Beatles fans, Nick & I had to go to Beatles-Platz (Beatles square) in the Reeperbahn part of Hamburg. This is where the Beatles came of age while honing their performance skills from 1960-62. The area was the dirtiest we'd seen in Germany. There were even homeless (again, first time seeing homeless) and drugged out people sitting on the sidewalks. But the area is a part of history and we loved it. You can watch our videos from the European Tour Documentary (if you sign up for our 2 Songs A Month Club at www.patreon.com/marinav )
Hamburg is a port city, historically, and everything is based around the river Elbe:
Speicherstadt (old island warehouse district which recently turned into hip shopping/dining/lofts):
Restaurant Zum Brandanfang on Deichstrasse:
With St Peter's Church in the distance (Kirchenbüro St. Petri - from 1195) and Nick :)
Alright, this is it! I know there is SOOOOOO much more we will see next time in Hamburg - what should I see next time?
Have you been to Hamburg? Or Egestorf? Tell me about your experiences!
I'd love to hear!
Thank you for reading!
A FEW NOTES:
1) I carefully research restaurants, places to stay, activities, historical sites, etc, taking into account reviews on several platforms as well as friend suggestions. But, I often just stumble onto places randomly. It is the beauty of traveling!
2) While I see/do a lot more than I post, I choose to post only about my favorite experiences, unless something is so awful it deserves to be called out (which is rarely the case).
3) One of my favorite and most useful tools while traveling is GoogleMaps. I follow many travel blogs and each time I see something I'd love to visit/experience, I mark it on GoogleMaps as "want to go". It's in green color and it's very helpful when planning a trip.
4) Speaking of GoogleMaps. As always while I'm traveling, if I see something I like - I just walk over and check it out. If I ever get lost, then the good ol' GoogleMaps is my best friend! Asking the locals is part of the fun: being in a tourist/childlike-state of ignorance. Just be nice and cute and the locals will guide you. It is awesome.
5) As much as I rely on Google reviews, their customer ratings don't always reflect the true nature of a business/hotel/restaurant. Many people who take the time to review are upset and they're letting the world know. One of the many reasons I started leaving reviews was the fact that some of my favorite places had (and only a handful of) negative reviews. I'd go to their Google or Yelp or TripAdvisor page and leave a 5 star review because I thought they deserved to have better ratings. So I take ratings & reviews with a grain of salt but do count on them as well. A little of both :)
Things to do in Hamburg and Harburg, beautiful German towns, boutique hotels, travel tips, rural Lower Saxony