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Old October 15th, 2013, 11:22 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autostädter View Post

As for the solar panels: as you noticed, they are put up by many farmers on top of their barns. I doubt that they are actually cost-efficient or even environmentally benefitial, as the mining and their production is very polluting, whereas Germany gets some of the least energy from the sun. However the state guarantees for a fixed high price for the energy they feed into the grid (to promote green energy) and this drives up the price everyone else has to pay for their electricity a lot. This will require some action from politicians in the near future.
The same happended over here

Also, there's a problem of cheap Chinese solar panels flooding the european market.
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Old October 15th, 2013, 11:36 PM   #82
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It is a quit good deal for the farmers. The only reason why many old LPG barns around here have not been demolished is because of these photovoltaic panels.
Anyway, farmers are not (really not) the poorest in Germany.
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Old October 15th, 2013, 11:51 PM   #83
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This statue is the symbol of the city of Bremen. No idea what it signifies but you see it everywhere.
Have you really never heard of the Town Musicians of Bremen by the Brothers Grimm? I thought, they were well known outside of Germany, like Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella etc...
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Old October 16th, 2013, 12:05 AM   #84
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No Disney adaptation!

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Old October 16th, 2013, 12:07 AM   #85
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^ No, unfortunately Disney forgot to make the movie. They are really not that famous though.

Edit: Haha, same thought!

Last edited by Autostädter; October 16th, 2013 at 12:18 AM.
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Old October 16th, 2013, 12:25 AM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wapper View Post
The same happended over here
Interesting, I have never heard that Belgium did this as well!

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Also, there's a problem of cheap Chinese solar panels flooding the european market.
Yes, Germany used to be the biggest producer of solar panels I think: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_Valley_%28Germany%29. Now they closed everything down. Ironically the success of the German producers was because of the funding. However, they relied too much on that and became noncompetitive. Well, Germany is too dark for solar panels anyway, yet it has the most..
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Old October 16th, 2013, 12:58 AM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiaren View Post
Have you really never heard of the Town Musicians of Bremen by the Brothers Grimm? I thought they were well known outside of Germany, like Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella etc...
Germany is THE fairytale land of the world...
In every way!
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Old October 16th, 2013, 03:59 AM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiaren View Post
Have you really never heard of the Town Musicians of Bremen by the Brothers Grimm? I thought, they were well known outside of Germany, like Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella etc...
I was a deprived child - no one read fairy tales when I was young. That is probably why I am a mentally disturbed person who goes around obsessing about old factories.
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Old October 16th, 2013, 04:32 AM   #89
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The next day was to be one of the more important days on my itinerary. I was off to see a gigantic ship yard where some of the largest cruise ships in the world are built.

It is located in Papenburg, a small town located not far from the North Sea and only about 5 kilometers from the Dutch border. Being a small town you might think it would be difficult to get there by train, but it wasn't.

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You take the train from Bremen up to Leer and then you transfer to another train that takes you down to Papenburg. Its a good two hour trip but very doable. Germany's rail system is awesome!!

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This being Germany while at the Bremen train station awaiting my train there were cargo trains going through.

And of course there were these:

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It was very impressive the number of trains I saw transporting cars in Germany. They where everywhere, and seemingly heading in all directions.

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The regional trains in north western Germany look like this:

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Very nice, and comfortable.

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Leer

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To get to the tracks you have to go through tunnels and then up stairs. So they have this contraption to assist with luggage.

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Happening downtown Leer!! This town is also connected to the sea, hence the buoys on the middle of downtown. It actually looked like a cool place to explore but there was no time for that.

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Waiting for the train to Papenburg

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Ok, this diagram is a really cool little thing even though I had no idea how to use it at the time. I kept seeing signs of "A", "B", "C" act, along the platforms with no idea what they meant. It turns out they are for use with this sign. Basically, every train that stops at this platform is diagrammed on this. They list where each car of the train is with section number and everything and then you can see where they stop relative to those lettered signs. For example, say you are to be in the third car of second class. You would look up your train, find the third car of second class and then note what letter that car stops by. Then you wait by that letter and you will be right next to the third car of second class when the train arrives. Neat system but I didn't figure out how it worked until my very last train trip.

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It is northern Germany so there were plenty of water channels.

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Lots of wind turbines. Note on one they don't even have the turbine on the tower yet.

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Here we go... Papenburg!

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Older lift bridges

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This was the small, old harbor area that has been redeveloped. The ship building industry originated here but now it has moved outside the city.

But like other places they keep the cranes around for show.

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Yup, you can drive right under the crane.

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The local tourism agency.
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Old October 16th, 2013, 05:33 AM   #90
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Next, I hopped in a cab and it was off to the shipyard for the tour. I booked a very expensive private tour in English. All the other tours were in German. It was well worth the money.

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This is the smaller of two enclosed construction halls where the ships are built.

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The building on the right is the largest one and they build the really big cruise ships inside. The other one is for smaller cruise ships and other vessels. by 600West218, on Flickr

On the left is the end of the smaller construction hall. On the right you are looking down the length of the larger construction hall.

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The ship yard has its own fire department.

Also, note the bikes in the upper portion of the photo. Germany is so green even blue collar workers ride bikes to work. That would never happen in the US!!

This shipyard has a lot of history. It was started back in the late 1700s and has been in business ever since. It is privately owned by the Meyer family - the decendants of the man who founded it more than 200 years ago.

With all this history the first part of the tour is through a very detailed museum hall that is very informative.

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This is a picture of the first area where I was in Papenburg. At that time you can see it was all shipyards whereas now it is a redeveloped residential and commercial area.

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This is the shipyard in the present site but before they enclosed the construction halls.

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Finally, they take you up a number of floors of stairs. You ascend what seems like 7 or 8 stories so you assume you will be really high up overlooking the ship. In actuality the massive ship towers over you.

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Trust me, it is 10 times more spectacular seeing it in person. It is simply stunning - something that pictures can't capture.

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Note the pipe that goes to the roof. That is to exhaust the ships smokestack when they run the engines. When this thing is finished it is fully functional and leaves this construction under its own power after they flood the hall. No tug boats needed.

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This shows how the construction works. The ship is built out of 70 huge previously constructed blocks. These form the skeleton of the ship. Then they slide in pre-fabricated rooms that are the passenger compartments. The are all pre-built - just like trailer homes!!

They now take only about 11 months to fully construct one of these ships.. To do it so fast they start putting together the blocks of the next one along side the one that is already largely completed. Once the first ship leaves the other blocks are slid lifted over to the main construction bay.

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They build a steel skeleton and then all the passenger rooms are essentially frefabricated trailer home type things that just get slid into the steel frame. In the front you can see some empty squares where they haven't slid in the frefab cabins yet. by 600West218, on Flickr

On the left you see one ship that will be completed within two months. On the right is one of the blocks that will make up the next ship. Once the first ship leaves the new blocks are moved over. In this way they speed up construction - they don't wait for one ship to be finished before beginning the next one.

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Here you can see what I was talking about with them sliding in prefab units for the passenger rooms. The empty spaces are where they haven't slid them in yet.

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Again, the parts you see in the foreground are for the next ship.

Next we went over to the second, slightly smaller construction hall.

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Here instead of constructing a large cruise ship they are constructing several smaller ships - one a research vessel and the others ferrys.

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Note the roof on the right is covered with grass. They is common in Germany. Not sure of the purpose. by 600West218, on Flickr

Back outside. Notice the grass on the rooftop.

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I was told this crane was form East Germany and that the East German government had actually invested in this shipyard at one point. Strange but that is what I was told. This ship yard did build ships for the Soviet Union.

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This is the massive door that slides open to let the completed ship out. The road in the picture is actually a lift bridge that moves out of the way.

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Then I was back on the train rolling past corn fields towards Bremen.

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Suburban areas...

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Finally, the train gets to Bremen and what do I see but...

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Yup, it is Germany so more cars.

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I want the red Mercedes coup on the bottom. by 600West218, on Flickr

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That is my new car right there. But even though it is my new red Mercedes the stupid train operators wouldn't let me take it off the train right there....
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Old October 16th, 2013, 07:49 AM   #91
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Well done. A like seeing photos of German cities.
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Old October 16th, 2013, 09:34 PM   #92
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Papenburg has btw a very nice city center. Don't say you missed that. (-> http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...r%C3%BCcke.jpg)
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Old October 16th, 2013, 10:21 PM   #93
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You can see that it's not far from the Netherlands
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Old October 17th, 2013, 04:48 AM   #94
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Quote:
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Papenburg has btw a very nice city center. Don't say you missed that. (-> http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...r%C3%BCcke.jpg)
That does look very nice. Unfortunately I didn't have a lot of time to explore Papenburg. I still had exploring to do in Bremen, as you'll see in the next photo set. And while that looks nice what I saw in Bremen is more to my taste.
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Old October 17th, 2013, 10:57 AM   #95
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I never knew the ship construction in papenburg was that big! Love your pictures and the places you go!
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Old October 18th, 2013, 05:41 AM   #96
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As great as seeing the shipyards in Papenburg was it was by no means the end of my day. Fortunately I got back to Bremen in time to be able to go to its port area. Bremen at one time was a major port but apparently with the arrival of containerization it lost out to places like Hamburg. But the port was still fairly active, and full of interesting sites.

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The area is called Spiecher. It isn't a big wharehouse district as in Hamburg but it does have this quite nice building.

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It has murals dedicated to the port.

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Even the electrical closet coverings are related to the port...

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Behind the old Speicher you come to one of the canals which is still very much in use.

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Definitely some real ships with real activity.

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I'm not exactly sure what this old building was - maybe an old fire department headquarters?

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Pouring bulk products into the barge. Note the coverings for the barge hold all stacked in the middle.

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Much of the port of Bremen seemed to revolve around grain. I think they are bringing things like wheat here and then processing it into cereal and other products.

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A train running right down the center of the street.

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It was amazing how I could walk right through the middle of this port area. I think a few times I was in places I wasn't supposed to go to and at one point I did have trouble with some security people.

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Hopefully these won't topple on me....

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At this point I think I was beyond the public street and was on private property. A person seemed to be following me very slowly in a car, although they didn't approach me.

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An interesting hybrid building, part new part old.

At this point the car, which had disappeared, returned. Now it was driven by a big young guy, in the company of the older gentleman who had been following me. They pulled up and said something to me in German. When I replied that I don't speak German, only English, they immediately expressed great relieve - "oh, your just a tourist". I guess they thought maybe I was a criminal scoping the place out. They then did explain some of the interesting history of the area. Quite a nice experience, as it turned out.

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Old October 18th, 2013, 07:49 AM   #97
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I don't know what kind of area that is, but in large European ports the access to most areas is restricted and very strictly controlled. This is a recent measure that was executed under American pressure. The USA only wants to trade if the port area is safe enough for them. These are all consequences of 9/11.
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Old October 19th, 2013, 07:03 PM   #98
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Very nice thread. You' ve seen alot. The harbour of Bremen looks impressive, very nice pictures.
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Old October 20th, 2013, 04:44 PM   #99
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After almost winding up in trouble with security in part of the active port I doubled back to the warehouse area where I intended to walk along the river and out to the light house at the very end.

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There was a very large wholesale market area.

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This spectacular old structure also houses the harbor museum which unfortunately I arrived too late to visit.

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All along the river modern apartment and office buildings were going up.

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Is this Bremen or is it Miami??

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Note the off leash dogs. Dogs roam freely in Germany - parks, streets, subways, busses, stores, etc. They really do almost get treated like humans.

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Across the river you can see there is another port area, even if the view of it is blocked.

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Looking across the canals at the area I had previously explored on foot.

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The old light house.

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Next I doubled back and walked along the river towards the city of Bremen.

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Not the liveliest of places yet but it is still under development. I imagine it will be much livelier once completed.

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Kellog's - I imagine where much of the grain winds up.

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After a very nice meal in a Latin American restaurant it was time to hop on a tram and head back to the hotel.

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A deserted center.

What a day from the spectacular shipyard in Papenburg to the fascinating harbor of Bremen this was a day that really exceeded all expectations. It only needed to have about 10 hours more so that I could have seen all of Papenburg and all of Bremen harbor. As it is, I have another place I need to come back to.
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Old October 20th, 2013, 08:17 PM   #100
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Next it was on to Hamburg. Fortunately I was staying about 100 feet from the main train station so I just walked to one of these:

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Extremely convenient machines and then it was up to the platform to await the train.

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And it being Germany note what was rolling through the station:

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Don't think I ever took a train without seeing lots of trains hauling automobiles.

There was also this working train:

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Interesting drive mechanism. Almost like an old steam locomotive.

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Finally we got to some greener pastures between Bremen and Hamburg.

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Yet more cars rolling by.

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Cargo and cars.

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And after about an hour we were in the outskirts of Hamburg.

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Hamburg is not very appealing to the eye at first. At least not the way you come in on the train from Hamburg. As it turns out this is a huge redevelopment area.

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Part of the old harbor area that has clearly been redeveloped yet still has barges traveling through it.

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Finally in the Hamburg Hauptbahnhoff.

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Untitled by 600West218, on Flickr

Can't say I really liked it. Too garish with all those advertisements. Reminds me of Grand Central Station in New York before they renovated it and took out all the advertisements. Maybe they should do the same here.

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Untitled by 600West218, on Flickr

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Untitled by 600West218, on Flickr

Walking down the main commercial street towards the Rathaus, or town hall.

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Untitled by 600West218, on Flickr

I wonder if before the way Hamburg was populated mainly with buildings like this? If so, it must have been spectacular.

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Untitled by 600West218, on Flickr

The Rathaus.

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Untitled by 600West218, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Untitled by 600West218, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Untitled by 600West218, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Untitled by 600West218, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Untitled by 600West218, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Untitled by 600West218, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Untitled by 600West218, on Flickr

Unfortunately due to some events taking place there were no tours of the interior that day. So it was on to other parts of the city...
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