Hamburg anyone?

My latest business adventures took me to Hamburg this past week. 5 days in the port city that is connected to the North Sea and as such, it is an incredible hub for shipping. We were attending SMM, known to be the biggest shipping exhibition in the world.

And big it was! Staggering really.

Hello Hamburg.
Our home for the week. 

With buses to deliver you from one end of the exhibition to the other. Everything from the shipping giants like Maersk & CMA CGM to companies selling life jackets, and everything in between. It is a place for money to be spent and money to be made. If all goes well, you do much more of the latter.

The spending done by the really big players is astounding. Boggles the mind.

Thankfully I am not at the helm for the biggest spending decisions. Quite happy to leave that to some of the others for now.
The mornings started off right.
When one works in shipping, it means you can say yes when you come across pretty little nautical wedges. One of the many perks.

Between press conferences, interviews and meetings with important delegates, there was not much time for sight seeing.

Exhibition halls don’t tend to be in the nicest parts of town. In this case, it wasn’t in the nicest smelling part of town either. I suppose port towns can be predicted as such. Rats and all. Reminded me a bit of NYC where the fumes coming from beneath the city made you hold your breath every time you passed a sidewalk grate.

When I did capture a glimpse of a nice scene, I did my best to snap a pic.

After an early morning flight in advance of the rest of my colleagues and many hours getting ready for the fair, we finally found a spot for some wine. 
Not a bad view. These are little boats – not our engines.
No engine of ours on this one either. I do love the square sail ships. In the distance the Opera House. Pretty, but its got nothing on Sydney. 
A view of the opera house from the train. It really is pretty, made to look like water, rippled and reflecting the light.  This photo doesn’t do it justice. I think it is best viewed from the water. 

The exhibition was a short walk from our hotel each morning. Short but not without its challenges.

This was the scene for the majority of our walk to the exhibition. Hamburg city-works were busy. tearing up every single sidewalk it would seem.
Scooters and graffiti, the signature of most European cities. 


The underpass which took us to the fair grounds.

Unlike the exhibition we attended in Athens, where we ate and ate and ate, this time around was a bit easier of the waist-line. Sort of. The Germans have a love affair with sausages. Bratwurst and all of its cousins are offered in place of any other option of food.

Would you care for a bratwurst?  No? How about a sausage? No? What about this dish with wurst chopped into bite sized pieces in a sauce? We call it curry. Still no?

Long ones, short ones, fat ones, skinny ones.

Mmmmm, how about these water-logged ones for breakfast. Yum! Still no…
Hallelujah! Someone offering something other than sausage. Bless her and her adorable ice-cream cart.
On the third evening we went to the Hamburg Parliament Restaurant. It was in the basement of the actual parliament building. 
In the courtyard of the parliament building. 
My boss on the left, sharing his knowledge of Hamburg with a Chinese delegate through his interpreter. 
A really lovely old building. Interesting heritage as Hamburg is a self-governed, city-state.
Another evening offered a special sake ceremony and sushi dinner courtesy of our Japanese partners. (With the aforementioned curry sausage in case you didn’t care for sushi.)
Our last evening there we took a detour on the way to our dinner location to catch some of the sites of Hamburg. The water colour is fairly true. Green, stagnant and not tempting in the least for a dip. 
Lovely shops and restaurants line the many canals throughout the city.
Sadly, not where our dinner was taking place… maybe next time. 

After 5 days in Hamburg, we were very happy to wrap it all up and head home. 8:00 pm flight out of Hamburg marked the end of a long, but very productive and enjoyable week.


After a long day and a long exhibition, gin & tonic samples at the airport duty-free are about the best idea in the world. And a very effective sales tactic. A bottle came home with me.
The communications gals enjoying the end of a long week.
And that’s a wrap.

Stay tuned for scenes from Barcelona as we do this all over again in one week’s time…

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