Around Hamburg (April 2005)

(Click on any of the pictures to get a larger version of that image.)

In April 2005, I (Kevin) took a business trip back to Hamburg. Here are some pictures of things that were going on while I wasn't working.

(U-434 | Hamburg Marathon | Miniatur Wunderland )


On my last working day in Hamburg, we had our shipping party in a building alongside the submarine U-434. (A shipping party on a ship ... get it? Get it?)

U-434 is a Soviet submarine, launched in 1976 and retired by the Russians in 2002. Its class is the largest non-nuclear-powered submarine in the world. It was used as an "espionage submarine", crusing the east coast of the USA. To foil sonar, its skin is made out of rubber!

In the torpedo section. Torpedomen had to sleep amongst the weapons.
Are you sure you're watching the right dial?
In the kitchen. Mmmmmm ...
In the stripped-out conning tower (I'm sure that box of cocktail napkins was original with the ship, though).
I am crazy renegade commander of nuclear-armed sumarine! Row $1,000,000 in gold bullion to my ship by midnight, or your city is history! Do not underestimate my seriousness! Ha!

Hamburg Marathon

One of the reasons that I loved living in Hamburg was that there was always some kind of big event to watch or participate in, usually just a short walk or ride from our apartment. (Here in much more spread-out Southern California, I'm sure that there's even more going on, but the difficulties are a] finding out about events in the first place, and b] getting there.) The weekend that I was in Hamburg, the big event happened to be the 20th annual Hamburg Marathon.
Nobody is looking particularly happy in this picture.
Smart was one of the sponsors of the marathon; they were handing out little Smart-branded flags for us bystanders to wave at the runners passing by.
The closer you got to the finish line, the thicker and more frantic the crowds became. Enthusiasm was definitely contagious.

An announcer at the finish line was reading runners' numbers, to which he'd add their names, hometown, and a little congratulations: "and this is T—, from Hamburg! Going to make it under three hours this year -- congratulations, T—!"

Naturally, this was all in German, except for when a runner from New Zealand crossed the finish line: "und jetzt haben wir A—, aus Neuzeeland! Congratulations and welcome to Hamburg, A—!"

The people from Smart weren't the only ones handing out things to the audience; I got this exciting invitation to watch a Scientology film!

"FREE ADMISSION — bring along this ticket — and also your friends!"

And this has nothing to do with the marathon, but it was nearby, and was one of the oddball things in our old neighborhood that I never got around to taking a picture of — the office building around the corner with its column of smirking naked men.

Miniatur Wunderland

I'd already visited Miniatur Wunderland, my number-one must-see Hamburg attraction, multiple times during our six months in Hamburg, but I wanted to see what had been added and changed since then.

The MW crew definitely did not disappoint. Construction work on their new "Scandanavia" section was open to the public (notice that after their construction reaches a certain point, it seems that they continue their work via platforms hanging from the ceiling!):

In the Norwegian portion, an ice hotel.
Other than the addition of Scandanavia, the main body of the layout hadn't changed much. However, many more detailed little scenes had been added in to reward the careful oberver:
Outdoor theater.
Rocket Messerschmitt!
HO-scale protesters hanging off of the HO-scale model of the Köhlbrandbrücke. The website advertised in their banner,, is real.
This Osterfeuer was in their under-development area, ready to be installed somewhere in their Hamburg model.
This page last modified on Wednesday, May 11, 2005
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