Coppenbrugge to Hamburg
I headed off early from Coppenbrugge and predicted an arrival in Hamburg around midday, hoping to give myself a decent chance of finding the Stellplatz and getting on it, in case it got busy later in the day. The journey was Autobahn the whole way, and we made good time. The Stellplatz is very central, down by the old port and only about 1200m from the centre of the city. I found a decent place to park (loads of Hermione's sisters around!) and paid the 38 euro for the 2 nights. A bit on the expensive side, but thye fact that it's so central makes up for it. I unloaded the bike and reversed Hermione back up to the fence so that she wasn't sitting too far 'nose out'. After some lunch, I headed in to the city centre by bike to try to get a map, find a net cafe to upload the blog, and to get my bearings.
The map was no problem, as the tourist centre next to the Rathaus has maps, but finding a net cafe proved to be more difficult, as there didn't seem to be any at all in the city centre. I eventually found one on the Reeperbahn, the notorious red light street which was an interesting cycle trip. Cinemas, shows, bars, shops; you name it, it has it. After a small bout of retail therapy in H&M (where I managed to drop my sunglasses and break them), I cycled around the lake in the afternoon sunshine. Hamburg is better than I expected; again like Berlin a mix of old (rebuilt) and modern, and the lake gives it a seaside feel with lots of leisure activities available. There were dayboats out sailing, and dinghys racing, steamers for the tourists too. All very pretty. A great place for bikes too, as they seem to have put in cycle paths everywhere. Loads of folk were out on bikes and it seems to be a favoured mode of transport. After a small stop off for ice cream, I made my way back to the van and will try to plan out my next day or so on the map and guide.