Hamburg Travel Guide
Economy Class Travel / Airbus / A380 / Seats / AIX / Bad Ideas / → All Tags
We've got good news and bad news to share from the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) this week, in Hamburg, Germany.
First, let's get the bad news out of the way. Airbus showed off a new seating option for airlines to try in their A380s: 11-across in economy class. That means 11 seats in one aisle, arranged 3-5-3, with so many middle seats it'll make your head spin.
The good news is that no airline has ordered the 11-across layout (yet), so it's safe to say this isn't something you need to worry about encountering when trying to chose a seat on your next superjumbo flight.
The real issue the general press is failing to understand with this configuration isn't the how-horrible factor of being faced with more middle seats, but how nasty all of a sudden the window seats become.
The airline industry's Passenger Experience Conference took place this week in Germany. The host city, Hamburg, is an excellent place to begin partying at five in the morning, but the tone of the meeting's message was a bit more serious.
During the opening and closing ceremonies, airlines were called upon "to stop their preoccupation with providing airline passengers with packaged entertainment and open up their minds to the wonders of the world above which they are travelling." What does that mean exactly? The wire story from the event being passed around the Internet says it best:
Drinking Travel / Germany Travel / Hamburg Travel / Hamburg Fish Market / Europe Travel / Reeperbahn / → All Tags
If Berlin is Germany's best party city, then consider Hamburg a miniature version with its nightclub culture, red-light district, and the street-filled fiestas of the Reeperbahn. There's enough to keep you going through the next morning, and on a recent visit, we discovered the perfect place to watch the sunrise - and found something we never expected.
As the clock began to push 5 a.m., this travel writer was led by his friends out of the club, into the daylight. They all kept talking about this fish market, something that, in my 5 a.m. haze, I could not fully understand. Why on earth are you taking me to a fish market when we've been out partying all night? To the waterfront we went, away from the noise and the ridiculousness of the Reeperbahn. Little did I know, it was about to get even more ridiculous.
In-Flight Comfort / Seats / Airlines / Airplanes / Economy Class Travel / Business Class Travel / → All Tags
The annual Crystal Cabin Awards, a competition that strives for excellence in futuristic aircraft interior innovation and design, took place this week in Hamburg, Germany. There were seven categories in total: Greener Cabin, Health, Safety & Environment; Industrial Design & Visionary Concepts; Material & Components; Passenger Comfort Hardware; Passenger Comfort Systems; Premium Class & VIP; and University.
The full list of winners is still trickling out, but we're zoning in on the concepts that are aimed at directly benefiting the future passenger - aka, us. Below, we take a look at a few of the winning ideas. None are guaranteed to appear in the consumer realm anytime soon, but they serve as reasonable prototypes for what we might see down the road. Which are you most excited about?
Food Travel / Foreign Grocery Friday / Chocolate Travel / Dessert Travel / Germany Travel / → All Tags
When we travel, one of our favorite things to do is to pop into a local grocery store and check out the food products and candies we'd never find anywhere else. So we're trying out this new feature, Foreign Grocery Friday, where each week we'll feature some of our (and your) favorite overseas treats. Got a recommendation? Let us know!
Hope you like marshmallows. And chocolate. And stuffing giant, sweet treats into your mouth. You see, there's these things called "Schaumküsse" and they're just as much a part of a German childhood as, say, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups were to yours (assuming you're American and born in the last several decades). These Schaumküsse are giant marshmallows on a waffle cookie base, but completely entombed by a hard chocolate shell. Biting into them means breaking the barrier to reach the fluff insidethe "foam kiss."
Wait wait waithere's the best part. The slogan of the popular Dickmann's brand is "Man, they are Dickmann." Awesome.
Travel Snapshot / Germany Travel / Hamburg Travel / Wish You Were Here / Ships / Airbus / → All Tags
The Museum ship "Cap San Diego" hangs out with some tugs
How was your Memorial Day? Hopefully it involved being by water, firing up a BBQ, and being active in the outdoors. Even better if it was all three, as it was for us...even though we spent the long weekend outside the USA, in Germany.
In Köln, we joined a barbeque in the Stadtgarten before hopping a train up to Hamburg, where the "being by water" and "being active in the outdoors" took over. Hamburg's nickname is Tor zur Welt, or "Gateway to the World," and with a ginormous port (around which you may take tourist boat tours, of course) and an Airbus plant, it's no wonder.
While the oceanic climate means strong, chilly winds most of the year, the short summer packs all the goodness into these day; the sky is almost always without clouds, the sun stays up extra late, and biking along the harbor with a beer in the basket is a particularly pleasant way to spend the evening.
Prime-Plane-Spotting-Map / Plane Spotting / Germany Travel / HAM / Hamburg Travel / Lufthansa / A380 / → All Tags
If you're ready for the big leagues of plane spotting, then the place to do with a cup of hot cocoa in hand is just outside the fences a Germany's Hamburg International Airport, at a little food stand called "Coffee To Fly." This shop, which also will happily sell you little sandwiches, muffins, beer and even a 2 Euro glass of Glühwein (a hot, mulled wine), occupies prime plane spotting property on a hill known as the "Fotografenbrücke," or "photograph bridge." From here, Hamburg's runways are laid out in front of you.
If, on the day you go spotting, there's a some exotic aircraft expected, like perhaps a giant Antonov cargo plane or a surprise visit from an A380, you'll be elbow-to-elbow with photographers for whom this a true passion. Read a great story about these guys here.
Airplane Bathrooms / Lufthansa A380 First Flight / FRA / Lufthansa / A380 / XFW / Jaunted Reporting Live / Lufthansa A380 / First Class Travel / Toilets / → All Tags
We're literally just coming down from our first Lufthansa A380 flight experience, and even though we were stuck with a middle seat in economy, we did manage to sneak around upstairs in the First and Business class sections.
In this A380 superjumbo plane, there's a plethora of new features that had us saying "WHAAT?! That is awesome!" A few of these include USB ports for charging or playing media from your mobile devices in all classes, touchscreen TVs with three channels of outside live view cameras, and massively upgraded bathrooms.
The latter, the bathrooms, were obviously most crazy-impressive in First Class, whose new design wasn't unveiled at all until yesterday, when we stepped onboard at Hamburg's Finkenwerder airfield, the private tarmac of Airbus. To see exactly what we mean by "crazy-impressive bathrooms," check out a video tour and our photo gallery after the jump!
Lufthansa A380 First Flight / FRA / Seating / First Class Travel / Business Class / Economy / In-flight Comfort / Lufthansa / A380 / XFW / Jaunted Reporting Live / Lufthansa A380 / → All Tags
Heading to the second floor, for First Class and Business
Only a few hours ago, the first superjumbo Airbus A380 belonging to Lufthansa set out on its first flight, from Hamburg-Finkenwerder to Frankfurt International. We were onboard the flight, which should have only taken 40 minutes, but instead took over two hours as the plane made low passes over airports, factories where its parts were made, and even took a turn over Rotterdam for the scenery.
Before today, Lufthansa's new interiors for the A380 were kept tightly under wraps, especially so for First Class, which features an entirely new design for the eight seats, which cost around $10,000 per person for a round-trip from Frankfurt to Tokyo. So what makes them worth a hefty 10K? And how nice are the spiffified Business and Economy classes on the A380?
Check out the full photo galleries, after the jump!
Festivals / Boats / → All Tags
Starting today, Germany's dockside city Hamburg is celebrating the big Hafengeburtstag (Harbor Birthday): "the world's biggest port festival." The grand arrival parade for the 818th birthday (that's pretty old) kicks off on Friday afternoon and the festival concludes with the grand departure parade at 5pm on Sunday.
Previous birthdays have seen a million people gather: this year the weekend features sail-bys of tall ships and old sailboats, dragon boat racing, and the interesting-sounding "tugboat ballet." There's also stuff happening up in the air, with hot-air balloons, helicopters and parachuting and live interviews with pilots in Lufthansa cockpits. They also have fireworks on Saturday night, hopefully after the balloons and parachutes have landed for the day.
[Photo: John Starfire]
· Germany Long on Culture, Short on Sleep [Jaunted]
If you've spent any time traveling around Germany, chances are you've not just gulped down a sausage and some beer, but also a kebab. With 2.5 million people of Turkish descent calling Deutschland home, there's a doner kebab stall on every corner.
But now kebab culture is going to get even better. Up in Hamburg (where they surely should be focused on hamburgers) they're starting a Kebab School. Focus skills will include how to cut meat properly, the calculation of how much meat to put on a skewer and how to avoid germ contamination.
Graduates will proudly hold a Certificate in Meat Processing with Doner Kebab Production Specialization and will, no doubt, be sought after for their high skills by corner doner stalls across the continent. So if you're looking for the best kebab on your next trip to Germany, just check if the back wall of the stall for diplomas.
· School for Skewers? Shish! [Reuters]
· It's September, It Must Be Oktoberfest [Jaunted]
· No Wurst For the Wear [Jaunted]
World Cup / Sports / Team USA / → All Tags
Welly welly well, the U.S. team may have some `splainin' to do after their 3-0 defeat against Czech Republic yesterday. Page Six reported over the weekend that Landon Donovan and a few other players were spotted in Hamburg's St. Pauli District (read: where the hookers are) a week ago. Don't they remember how Ronaldo stayed celibate during the Brazilian team's last run at the World Cup?
Still, this could be the explanation--or excuse--American fans have been looking for since yesterday's defeat. No wonder the team was crushed. It's not that the best U.S. athletes play other sports, ones where they can make a lot of money in the U.S. Not at all; the reason that the team lost is that they were all suffering from a vague burning sensation in their nether regions. Surely that will please the U.S. fans that spent their vacation time supporting the team at this year's World Cup. Next time, Team U.S.A. needs to bring their own hookers.
[Image via bambi bar/Flickr]
· Search for Kicks [NYP]