While I was riding around St. Pauli, near the harbor, the wind came up and the clouds started getting darker, so I found a sheltered place under a roof where I could lock my bike to a railing and walked down some steps to the Fischerhaus Restaurant.
This restaurant has two sections. Downstairs is the section called “Rustikal”, which promises to exude that untranslatable German atmosphere called Gemütlichkeit (sort of like the Danish hygge, if that’s any help). Upstairs is a section called “Hafenblick” (harbor view) with “gehobenes Ambiente” (upmarket atmosphere).
I wanted a view of the harbor in the rain, so I went upstairs and discovered a large room with lots of tables and probably the least upmarket atmosphere I have seen in years. Rather it was sort of a bedraggled retro atmosphere from the 1950s. But the tables did have tablecloths, unlike the ones downstairs, so I suppose that was what made it so upmarket.
But upstairs they had the same menu and only slightly higher prices, and I did get to see the harbor under the pounding rain, so that was fine.
Across the street from the restaurant a girl came by on her bicycle, disproving my theory that only men and boys ride around in the pouring rain because women and girls “have more sense than we do”, as I postulated in one of my Paris posts.
Here’s what the harbor looked like in the rain, through the authentic 1950s windows of the restaurant.
After my supper the rain stopped, so I unlocked my bike and took a ride from St. Pauli over to Altona, another district of Hamburg, where at some point it started raining again.
I had my rain gear with me, but in a really pounding rain even the best rain cape and rain trousers aren’t enough, so I took refuge under an overhanging roof of a warehouse of some sort near the Schillerstraße in Altona and waited for the rain to let up.
While I was waiting a teenage couple came along trying to maintain control of an umbrella that kept blowing around wildly in the wind. Finally a strong gust of wind turned the umbrella completely inside out, so they gave up on it and just stood in the pouring rain and had a long kiss. I was of course too discreet to take any photos of this.
After the rain stopped the air was very clear. While cycling back to my hotel I went past this Ferris Wheel, which in German is called a Riesenrad (literally ‘giant wheel’).
A while later I came upon this impressive building, which turned out to be St. Michaelis church.
Later I looked it up and found that that this is the third church to have been built on this site. The first was started in 1647, but in 1750 it was struck by lightning and burned to the ground.
The second church was built from 1750 to 1762 in a baroque style. This one lasted a century and a half until it, too, burned to the ground in a fire that was caused by soldering in the tower.
The third church was built from 1906 to 1912. This one was badly damaged by bombing attacks in the Second World War, but was rebuilt and re-opened in 1952.
My photos in this post are from 2011. I revised the text in 2019.
See also: A rainy day at Place de Roubaix in Paris.