You never quite understand a city before you have cycled in it. You do not grasp the dimensions and you cannot see the connected streets from the metro. I still remember how I suddenly noticed the shortcuts in Stockholm when I imported my German bike.
So now I finally got a decent bike in Hamburg. Pernille is pretty but somewhat of a difficult partner in traffic, I had to learn. She is the short-distance-guest-bike now. As a Christmas gift, my parents bought me a used bike off ebay that is old but working very well (so far, do not praise the day before the evening as we say in German as a hatched-chicken-version).
The bike, so far nameless, and I took a tour to church on Sunday in bright daylight and lovely weather. Encouraged by that, I dared to cycle to work yesterday. First thing I did was take the wrong bridge and go a huge detour.
Hamburg is the biggest city I have ever biked in and I stared at the cyclists ignoring the red lights in amazement. Not that I have never crossed a street illegally, but usually that was when I felt I was in control of the traffic. In Hamburg, I’m more cautious for now.
Yesterday, I was wet to the bone when I arrived at home because Hamburg weather is, at least in January, not really bike weather. Still, my route is one of the nicer ones. On the way by the water, my brain quickly started matching streets, sights and places to Stockholm.
I go down the entire Norr Mälarstrand (An der Alster) and look at the large lake (Alster). Then I continue on Strandvägen (Ballindamm) and pass Hotel Diplomat (Le Royal Meridien) and the Grand Hotel (Hotel Atlantic). I cross Stadhuset’s square (Rathaus), pass the lively Drottninggatan with all its shops (Mönckebergstraße). The last part leads through either 2012’s Centralstationen (basically, an annoying construction site) or alternatively through Centralbadsparken (a tiny park, Michelpark).
Today I chose not to cycle. Typical for Hamburg, a storm drew in. Trains are not running regularly anymore and authorities warned for three storm floods tonight and on Sunday…