Flo and I checked in for our flight to London late Saturday night before we went to bed. First thing Sunday morning, Flo received a message from British Airways informing us that our 9.45am flight was cancelled.
Still, as Jens and Leslie also had a holiday to road trip to, we killed two birds with one stone by having breakfast while also trying to clear their stash of fruits since they weren’t taking any with them.
Jens dropped us at the airport to sort things out. And as informed, our flight had been cancelled because of the technical failure BA was experiencing.
We were then offered a new flight out at 5.10pm because the 2.10pm flight had just been filled to full capacity. Apparently.
The guy at the counter also gave us two refreshment vouchers worth €7.50 each which we later found to be completely useless because they could only be used in restaurants. I don’t think €7.50 would have been enough to buy us a meal at an airport restaurant to be quite honest.
Anyway, they also allowed us to check in more than one baggage each, so Flo and I sorted out what we needed for the day, and checked the rest of our luggage in. Flo then suggested we go to Hafencity, Harbour City, since that was an area we neglected during our city trip on Tuesday.
But not without stopping by the main station for a Berliner.
Which is essentially a fluffy jam-filled doughnut. Although the Germans call it Strawberry Marmalade.
Look how full it was!! It was quite light and fluffy, not at all oily like their American counterpart, and not quite as sweet even with the thin layer of icing over the top. Not bad but still not my cup of tea.
We arrived at Hafencity where the skies looked a little dull. We were almost regretting stowing away our warmer jackets in our check-in luggage when…
the clouds thankfully parted to give way to blue skies and sunshine!
It warmed up so much that we ended up peeling off our sweaters as we walked around Hafencity. It looks like an up and coming area with proud looking, modern new apartments and I loved that they were making the area both residential and commercial. There was a playground made with lots of wood. It looked both functional and artistic, and young families were crowding there for their children to play. I assume that on weekdays, the place is filled with office workers sitting by the harbour, munching on lunch, especially in good weather.
We walked to the end and round the corner where the Elbphilharmonie stood. It was a lot bigger than it looked! Like seriously. I didn’t think it was that big until I tried to fit it into my camera frame. And this was the best I could get.
The further away we went, the more intriguing the building became to us. Its glass reflected the sun like a sparkle amidst the ocean, and at some angles, it almost looked 2D. We even turned back at one point to see what looked like a Smiley face created by some of the glass openings.
We also tried, and failed, to take a wefie with the Opera House.
Although taking unflattering angles of ourselves did allow for the Elbphilharmonie to enter the shot.
The key when taking photos from unflattering angles is to pull a silly face.
We then went walking towards the old bridges of Hamburg.
These were incredibly sturdy bridges but walk over the wooden planks and you’ll realise just how uneven and warped some of them are. Of course, the loose ones have been replaced so you can see new planks here and there ensuring that the bridges are still safe for walking over.
From the bridges, we could see the old docklands. These buildings were once warehouses for all the goods being brought into Hamburg. At the top of each buildings, are the pulleys once used to haul all those goods up!
Most of them have now been refurbished on the inside and used for other purposes. I believe Miniatur Wunderland is in one of the old warehouses, as well as Hamburg Dungeon.
By the time we finished our walk, it was near enough lunch time. Flo and I returned to Landungsbrücken, but instead of going to Dock 10, we went instead to Blockbräu. We initially went up to their rooftop only to find out that their menu was different from the one indoors. So back indoors we went.
There was this big group of local tourists according to Flo. They might have come from Southern Germany and they were seated along the long tables. I took a picture just because I thought it looked rather cute and very Oktoberfest-esque. I didn’t realise they might have all come together on a tour.
Subsequently, I observed that all three tables were being served at the same time – salad first, followed by steak and fries, and packets of ketchup and mayonnaise. Flo eats chips/fries with mayonnaise and I thought it was just the oddest combination. I found out just yesterday while watching a programme on Youtube that it’s common in Germany and Norway, probably Denmark as well, to eat fries with mayo.
Already missing my brown shrimp, I quickly opted for Krabben with Volkornbröt. It was served over a mound of thinly julienned cucumbers and radishes.
The volkorn bread was a little too dry for me although it certainly tasted healthy with all its seeds and grains. And it was very filling too! I still prefer the crusty bread rolls that we had the other time though. Anyway, the star of the dish was supposed to be the krabben and the star of the dish it was!
Flo was super excited to see that Labskaus was on the menu. He had shared with me all about Ute’s labskaus and even planned on cooking it for my parents before. Only… it didn’t sound quite so appetising and when this dish was served, it didn’t look it either.
Labskaus is like a puree of potatoes, beetroot, spam and gherkins, served with a sunny-side up and matjes herring on the side. The herring was a bit of a let down after the ones we had before, but I had a try of the labskaus and was pleasantly surprised. It tasted so homey and comforting, and the flavours were so familiar, yet, I couldn’t quite put my hand on why.
Considering that the labskaus impressed me, Flo said that Ute makes it even better. That sets the bar quite high for when I get to try her version of this dish one day! 🙂
Speaking of Ute, upon finding out that our flight was cancelled and delayed, she sped all the way from home to come find us just so that she could spend a few more hours in our company.
We ended up going to Dock 3 where there was a beach bar with sun chairs for us to laze on.
The sun at this point was blistering almost. We could only take an hour or so there before Ute suggested we move into the shade where it was much cooler. Too late though, I managed to get myself a tan in Hamburg of all places! With sunglasses tan lines to boot!
Ute was so sweet to then drop us off at the airport. It was awesome spending those extra few hours we had in Hamburg with her. We were more relaxed this meeting and could talk and laugh over some of the things we’ve got up to over the years.
And then at the airport, we found out that our flight had been further delayed to 5.30pm, then to 6.10pm. Nice one BA.
Luckily, Flo insisted on buying this snack, Balisto, because it was supposed to be really yummy.
We shared the packet which consisted of two bars. It tasted much like a digestive covered in chocolate, with a little yoghurt-berry filling. Not bad.
It was just enough to tide us over until we reached London. We were quite miffed that after all the cancellations and delays, we weren’t even offered any complimentary refreshments on the flight. On top of that, the family dinner we were supposed to attend had to go ahead without us.
When we reached London, we were also told that there were not enough gates available so the plane had to park somewhere else. Apparently it then got relocated and the buses were not informed, so they had to then rush over. When we got onto the buses, Flo wondered why we were taking so long to reach the terminal, only for us to realise that the plane had to park at T4 and the buses then had to drive us all to T5!
By the time we got our bags, it was 8pm UK time, 9pm Hamburg time, and I was getting tired and annoyed. To add to the stress, Mum’s plan to pick us up at pillar 22 got scrapped last minute. I only found out after 10min of waiting, after Flo asked me to turn on my wifi and the text my brother sent to me came in. It asked me to let him know when we’d come out so that he could leave to pick us up. Which meant that they still hadn’t left to come meet us.
When we finally got into the car, all I wanted to do was go home, get something into my stomach and curl up in bed. Which is what we ended up doing.
It felt like one bad thing after another after another. Still, I’m thankful that Flo and I managed to reach London safely in the end… And that our bags didn’t get lost in the process.