Friday 12 April 2013

Boarding in Hamburg

The huge inner city redevelopment of Hafen City is the location of a new cruise terminal on the Elbe. Here old and new rub shoulders. A mix of glass, steel, open terraces and gardens and the historic. Traditionally the church of seamen, St. Catherine’s Church dating from the 13th Century is one of the oldest buildings remaining. The port has been a vital source of income since those merchant days of the Hanseatic League.
Hamburg has a number of significant buildings in a wide range of styles, one from classical modernism is the Chilihaus, completed in 1924. An easy walk from Fram this extraordinary office block is shaped as an ocean liner using almost 5 million dark Oldenburg bricks. On Germany’s list as a potential submission for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List it was commissioned by Shipping magnate Henry B. Sloman after making his fortune trading saltpeter from Chile. Hence the name.
Arriving guests strolled up the terminal gangway to check in, collect their jackets and find their way around before the Safety Drill. Explanation of Fram’s safety equipment and procedures are tannoyed from the bridge. Off in the fading light of the day, a toast at the Captain’s Welcome, then next stop Norway.