Friday, October 24, 2014

Holiday - Germany (Day 7)

Today’s adventure takes us to the ancient (and we do mean ancient, it was first mentioned in 994 AD!) town of Stade. We’re not sure what to expect, but it looked very nice in the photographs.

After another quick breakfast with what seemed like the rest of Germany in the Holiday Inn Express, we took the now familiar short walk to Lübecker Straβe Underground to get us to Hamburg Station. It’s another very grey day out there with a cold wind, so we’re dressed appropriately.

From Hamburg Station we caught the HVV train direct to Stade (but bizarrely, the ticket office didn’t take plastic, so it was a very quick trip to the nearest ATM before we could get our tickets).

Then it was off to platform 3 for the short wait for our train. Unlike yesterday, it was bang on time, and we grabbed the nearest seats for our 60 minute journey. It seemed longer, as the train trundled along, and stopped at every station between Hamburg and our destination - around 15 of them!, but the good news was that as we eventually arrived into Stade, so did the Sun - and it turned into a gorgeous day.

If you like your towns, very old, very colourful and very ‘chocolate box’, then Stade is the place you should visit - full of olde-worlde charm, with plenty of ancient history too!











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Scenes around Stade

After a look round the outskirts that revealed some very posh apartments, we stopped off at a quaint cafe (almost full, but coping well) and sampled some of their home-made apple cake - scrumptious! 

If  the historic charm of this lovely town isn’t enough, then there’s a comprehensive selection of modern shops of all shapes and sizes, that seem to go on forever, with every turn of a corner revealing even more! All very tastefully done with a shop for every taste.

With our penchant for looking round old churches and cathedrals, we were also well catered for with TWO to visit. Both in very good condition and both showing no signs of any bomb damage from WW2. First stop was St Cosmae, wonderfully preserved with an impressive organ (stop tittering at the back!)

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St Cosmae - Stade

Then, about 5 minutes away was St Wilhadi, also in fantastic nick on the inside (but with some serious structural repairs visible on the outside) with yet another impressive and well-preserved organ (titter-ye-not-missus!)

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St Wilhadi - Stade

We did the town to death (but there was definitely more to see) and we decided to take a slightly different train route back to Hamburg Station as our rail-ticket gave us total freedom on the network. So, rather than simply the reverse of the route we took getting here, we came back on a similar line that took in (amongst other places) the infamous red-light district - Reepbahn - but as we’ve got all the coloured lights we need, after a quick look round (a very downmarket area but lots of flashing signs!) we jumped back on the train and headed for the relatively familiar Rathaus Station, where we’d travelled to on our first day here.

Hong Kong Express - Hamburg. Yummy food!
When in Rome...

By now, we were hungry, and luckily this area has a lot on offer courtesy of the Europa Passage, (stop it!), a two-minute walk from the Underground. In addition to shops, the basement of this Mall (the floor curiously called ‘UG1’) is full of places to eat. You name it, they provide it - from curry to pizza to Sushi, we’re were pretty sure they do cater for every palate. In fact, there was so much choice, we couldn’t decide, so we picked the one with the most comfortable looking eating area! - Hong Kong Express.

It was easy to see why they had ‘express’ in their name. We were served within 20 seconds of sitting down (and they WERE busy), and our first course arrived in minutes. All piping hot and tasting delicious. The main-course was the same - yummy! And we got change from 25 Euros - and that included drinks, starters and mains! Great value and great service too!

Forty-five minutes later, we were stuffed and cultured-out in equal measure, so we jumped back on the Underground and headed back to base. It’s been another great day looking around, with the unexpected bonus of better weather than we expected, and a town that was as pretty as it gets! Nice!!

It’s our last full day here tomorrow and we are planning to visit Lübeck - with plenty to see and the home of marzipan, what’s not to like????