Friday, 21 March 2008

On the Crest of a Schlump and a Tale of Two er.. One Brewpub

Awaking from a major snoring competition to a beautiful Hanseatic day, we decided after breakfast a walk was needed. Where to? the Reeperbahn of course. Now for those that don't know, I mustn't assume knowledge. It is the red light district. Being Old Farts we of course would not be going there in the evening, having neither the inclination nor the need. A very pleasant walk by the Elbe took us there in an hour or so. It was much seedier than I remembered, Twenty years ago it had some decent bars. Now it was end to end strip joints and condomeries. At the top we caught a bus. We needed a drink after the disheartening tacky spectacle. We hopped off the bus at the Hauptbanhof (Main Railway Station). Now big German Railway stations are a wonder. They are miniature cities with lots of cheap and good eats and drinks. I won't contrast with Rip Off Britain. It is chalk and cheese. Several glasses of Jever, Hassroder and Koenig later we jumped on the S Bahn to Schlump. Why there? Graham liked the name and we had a day ticket!

By then nature was calling, yet pubs proved elusive in this otherwise busy suburb. At last we spotted a Jever sign and stepped into a neat two roomed boozer with a pretty barmaid, draught Schofferhofer Weisse and Jever Pils. We'd bunker down here for a while. The pub was quiet, the barmaid chatty and we whiled away a very pleasant two hours with her, talking in my broken German, as I was determined to practise and her near perfect English. She made me laugh by telling me she'd never go out with a Bavarian boy because of his yokel accent!

But we had other fish to fry. We wanted to try out two brew pubs recommended by Ron. Brauhaus Hanseat and the Groningen Brau Keller were targets. The lovely bar girl was perplexed. She didn't know Ost-West Strasse and it wasn't in her A-Z. Hmm. She deduced correctly as it turned out, that it was now Willy Brandt Strasse, gave us directions and off we went. Easy. Brauhaus Hanseat is a long, narrow, vaulted cellar with gleaming copper brewing vessels and a crap, muddy, sweet pils. We also tried the Weisse which was slightly sweet but with enough banana and clove esters to put it bang in the style. We then went to look for the Groningen Keller. We walked back towards town one street and looking down, saw lights. Bingo. It was the brewpub. We knew because of the gleaming coppers in the window. The staff seemed less pleased to see us and on explaining we'd like a drink,we were led off through a maze of cellars, ending up to our stupefaction back in the Brauhhaus Hanseat!! We made our excuses and left. So it seems two are now one!

The rest was just more beer so I'll leave it out. I think it's goodbye to Hamburg from me or should I say "Tschuss".

Next in three weeks is Hanover!

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