SHARKHUNTERS International
Northern Patrol 2012
Monday 27 August

Wanting to let our travelers get "up to speed" with the jet lag, today was spent in Hamburg.  We began by walking a short distance to the Elbe River where we would board our boat for the hafenrundfahrt - the harbor tour.  Hamburg is now the largest container port in Europe and second only to Rotterdam in the number of bridges.  Okay, let's begin our walk and along the way, we pass under a beautiful old bridge that has a rather unusual "apartment complex" will understand.

Above and below - old ornate beauty of the bridge   Above - the old ornate beauty of the bridge
Below - an "open air apartment" complex

We have no idea how many are living in this makeshift dwelling beneath this bridge but from the number of sleeping bags and individual areas, there is apparently a small community living here.  Okay...........let's move on.

We pause for refreshments atop the Blockhouse restaurant while we wait for our hafenrundfahrt and look over this historic section of Hamburg.


Both above - we are overlooking the beautiful but very busy Elbe River; the river where battleship BISMARCK sailed forth from the Blohm und Voss shipyard as well as hundreds of U-Boats and other ships.

Photo left under the yellow arrow we see the dome of the old Elbe Tunnel, built way before World War Two.  In this piece of engineering wizardry, the cars drive in and onto an elevator which brings them far down in the earth.  The driver then drives across deep beneath the Elbe to the elevator on the other side to return to the surface.  Pedestrians also walk beneath the Elbe to the other side.  It is an engineering marvel!


The yellow arrow in the right photo is again Blohm und Voss and this is the largest graving dock in Europe.  Many years ago when the luxury liner QUEEN ELIZABETH II struck an underwater obstruction off the New England coast, she was given an emergency patching in the USA but brought to this very dock for permanent repairs.

It was jokingly reported that in reality QE II actually hit another of Ted Kennedy's sunken cars..............there is no proof of that.


Our harbor cruise boat is ready for boarding, so let's get comfortable.


Some prefer the open air of the after deck...........


.........some like it inside

Either way, our cruise boat is shoving off for the tour of this huge harbor.


On our outbound trip, we


pass two museum ships


and that graving dock

    Up close and personal for sure    
We must transit a set of locks       CHARLIE checks for clearance

The part of the Elbe is quieter but here is


a Bundsmarine intelligence gathering ship

  Into the canals of Hamburg

All too soon our harbor patrol ends and we walk to the Blockhouse for lunch.

Leave it to COOPER to find some really strange people..........
PAUL (left) in a thoughtful mood   Col. ABU RON (foreground) enjoying his beer
  A Marine Chantychor (Navy Chantey Chorus) always sounds good.


For abbendessen (dinner) we are back at our favorite Italian restaurant where the friendly staff remembers us.  Okay, that's just a joke.  We had excellent service and great food.  Guess this waiter is having a slow day.

Some chose to eat outside; others inside.