Day 30: Bremen to Hamburg

122 k mostly flat with a few long 3 -4% gradient hills.

The day started with the usual crops and fields and windmills. We went past some really old houses, plus through a town with group statue of people.IMG_5486We stopped at a bakery and had a really nice custard and strawberry tart. Today it is really warm, summer at last!

We have had an on-going illnesses in our group for the whole trip. First it was a nasty cold making its way through the riders, about 15 out of 30 have caught it, including Michele, Tony and Brett. I have been taking zinc and vitamin C tablets the whole trip and so far have managed to avoid catching it. Now we have either a gastro or food poisoning bug making the rounds. I am feeling a bit clammy and nauseous which I was blaming on last nights herring, but then I discovered Blythe and Tim were also feeling unwell. It can’t be the meat at dinner last night either as Blythe is a vegetarian. Blythe is really unwell, feeling hot and cold and stopped at lunch and catches the truck in. I am not feeling that bad so continue. Tim also continued and with the long hot afternoon, he later wished he hadn’t.

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Some wildlife rescued off the bike path

The last 25 km into the city were difficult and the last 5 were a nightmare. The person flagging was clearly having a bad day as on the notes it would say turn left and the flagging would be the other way. Then there was flagging that didn’t match the notes at all. Luckily we had the GPS track of the ride to check we were going in the right direction. There was lots of traffic and lots of lights, so lots of starting and stopping. The last 25 km took over 2 hours.

We did go over one very pretty bike bridge (that would have originally been the road bridge), lots of people were fishing from the bridge and they had caught some pretty big fish.IMG_5496.jpgStaying at Hotel Commodore. The view today is an improvement – trees and sky, the hotel room however is not. It is very small and hot and stuffy, not great for a rest day but is centrally located. When the windows are open you can hear the traffic which is really loud, but when they are shut it is hot and stuffy and there is no aircon. We arrived hot and frazzled and the room did nothing to improve our moods. The shower was so small you could barely turn around in it.

Right across the road from the hotel is the Football stadium Millerntor with capacity of 30,000. When we rode in to the city, the Germany versus South Korea football game was on and was being displayed on the stadium screens to a capacity audience, with hundreds more milling around listening to the game outside the Stadium. There was lots of loud cheering.

When we had showered we went across the road to the St Pauli Football club rooms and pub to join Michele and Tony. The St Pauli Club is one of two in Hamburg. The atmosphere was subdued as Germany lost 0:2 to Korea in the final 10 minutes of the game. There was a barbecue selling German bratwurst sausages for 2 each, yum! We had two each washed down with a nice cold beer.36333950_10155327669570780_8383572799385501696_nBy this time having showered and eaten, our mood had improved considerably. Michele and Tony were talking to a local who turned out to be the Millerntor stadium manager Markus and after about 30 mins of chatting Markus asked if we would like to see the stadium. He gave us a tour of the stadium, including the changing rooms, the race (bit from changing room to stadium) and the grounds.

 

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St. Pauli Football Club. Players race coming out onto the stadium. 

36307354_10155327669610780_4735551530919264256_nUnder the stands is all work by local artists which is painted over every year and then the local artists are invited to come and repaint.

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Beneath the St. Pauli FC stadium, the annual renewal of artwork was underway

Markus also gave us a recommendation for a Portuguese restaurant called Churrascaria O Franco. After another beer we walked about 30 minutes to it. Luckily we managed to get a table as the place was pretty full. We had a fantastic mixed shared fish starter with sardines and salmon and prawns and some other nice white fish. We all ordered a main but I was pretty full following the starter and the bratwursts. We got our leftover food put into a takeout bag rather than let it go to waste as there are a few homeless here with dogs. While we were eating a busker with a guitar came around and played a few songs including happy birthday for Tony.

After dinner we went for a walk along the river Elbe and then stopped at a bar for a beer, it was a lovely warm evening and was fun sitting watching people going past. Then we walked back to the hotel.

Yay rest day tomorrow.

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On the Hamburg waterfront, along the River Elbe, catching the evening breeze.

 

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