I’d set aside three days for Hamburg but will be off tomorrow. I’ve already posted stuff on Strava, my secondary blog, (free fitness app, just ask to follow me). I’m parked on a pay site on the bank of The Elbe but, while there are families and older couples here also, further along there’s a dosser’s village. A few streets away is the Reeperbahn, much romanticised in Beatles history

Reeperbahn, still trading on its Beatles history. Don’t bother.

but an unalloyed shithole. The street and surrounds are paved with dossers, drunks and druggies. None of the immigrants the right are blaming for the country’s ills, this is home grown talent.

I walked 18k around the city, in temperatures exceeding 35 degrees, but found little to lift the soul.

I did stumble on the bombed out church of St Nikolai which is a memorial to those lost in the allied bombing, Operation Gomorrah, which killed 35000 people over several days. The firestorm sucked the air from people’s lungs and babies from the arm of their parents. People died ablaze in pools of phosphorus, others went mad due to the relentless bombing and threw themselves into the fires. Unimaginable.

The memorial also recounts the stories of those from the nearby concentration camp brought in to bury the dead and begin reconstruction, some of whom survived to be liberated by allied forces. There were tales of humanity amidst the inconceivable inhumanity.

A lift has been put into the tower. At 75m it offers good views of the city but there are also boards showing the equivalent view after the firestorm.

The tower from the ground
The ground from the tower

It’s 21:00, the van’s thermometer is showing 36 degrees. What chance a good nights sleep? Not for a few hours I’m sure. I’ll carry on watching series one of The Bridge (thanks Karen) in expectation of crossing the eponymous construction in the near future.

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