After living in Germany for 10 years, I have been to Christmas markets in many cities all across the country. This market I visited recently was one of the most fun. Two weeks ago Dr. B attended a medical conference in Hamburg and I tagged along. We booked a cute hotel right on the Reeperbahn which is the infamous red light district of the city.
I have been to Hamburg several times over the years but never at Christmas time and the only time I had been to the Reeperbahn in the past was in the evening for drinks with a group of work colleagues.
Dr. B had the evenings free and we had a blast attending a musical, a drag dinner show, dancing at a club and embarked on a two hour historical prostitution tour of the Reeperbahn.
Right across the street from our hotel was the St. Pauli (Reeperbahn) Christmas market. The market was right outside our window.
The St. or "Santa" Pauli Christmas market theme was definitely naughty, not nice. At first it looked like a normal Christmas market.
Then I started to notice the branding:
And the goods for sale.
And the drink specialty.
Glühwein is hot mulled wine sold at every Christmas market in Germany. "Glühfick" is a specialty of the St. Pauli Christmas Market. Take the word "Fick" and replace the "i" with a "u" and you can translate the name of the drink yourself. There is actually a liquor they used in the drink named "Ficken" which means "To Fick".
This little hot drink stand was the gay hangout area (more like the "hot little drink stand") and the adorable queen who ran it was hilarious. He would heckle the foreign tourists in German as they walked by.
They even had a strip tent. We tried to get in but the line was too long.
There was also a fortune teller.
Shelvis, an Elvis impersonator was performing. Yes, meine damen und herren, a German Elvis impersonator. He was quite good too. Here a little video:
We visited this market every day because it was so convenient to stop there for a drink on our way out for the evening. Here are a couple hot Lumumbas we had one afternoon.
Notice how the St. Pauli version of Frosty the Snowman is Frosty the Flasher.
The historical prostitution tour was very entertaining and informative. The tour met in front of the police station. I did find it amusing the "Historical Whore tour" meets up in front of the police station.
This was our guide "Lola".
This was our guide "Lola".
She's wearing the clothing of a "dishonorable" woman from a few centuries ago. Lola was a hoot. Extremely knowledgeable and personable, she looks like a sweet grandmother but you would not believe what came out of her mouth. She was never vulgar, just factual and enthusiastic. A bit like a bumbling professor. Hearing her describe alternative sexual practices in detail while wearing that outfit had us on the floor laughing.
Here are some blurry picture of "the Girls. No pictures were allowed on the tour. I had snapped these the evening before but made sure not to show faces.
It was freezing cold outside so they were all dressed like snow bunnies. For some reason every single one of them had Moon Boots on. No one I asked knew why and I was too intimidated to ask one of them.
Here are some of the "rooms." Red light = love for sale.
By the way, if you are on the Reeperbahn and need a cash machine. Look for this sign:
Now that's what I call branding
Two other cool sites directly on the Reeperbahn were:
1) This beautiful Beatles sculpture.
Maybe I just like it so much because it looks like cookie cutters? In their early years the Beatles spent a lot of time playing in Reeperbahn clubs and their antics are legendary.
2) This Lamp post. Beyond it is what used to be Denmark.
I also did a little window shopping on the Reeperbahn.
I have to wonder just who would think this is even remotely sexy. Even Lady Gaga wouldn't be caught dead in this getup.
I'm sorry to say, these ornaments didn't make it onto my tree this year.
Look what they did to poor Rudolph. Oh my.
Santa's in for a big surprise here. I hope they don't hurt him.
During the day I also wandered around Hamburg's other various Christmas markets. Most big cities in Germany have several.
The prettiest one was in front of the town hall.
There were fun things to eat.
|Hand carved bird houses|
And gawk at.
|Replica of the Queen Mary in amber|
|A random llama|
|This tree on the crane and the crane itself were lit up at night with Christmas lights.|
Some beautiful sites:
|This boat takes you to a German island off of Hamburg called Helgoland pictured on the banner. The Germans traded Zanzibar for Helgoland in 1890. Oh yes they did. I wonder who got fired for that decision.|
|The oldest bar in the Reeperbahn area. You can still find Erna the 83 year old owner tending bar there.|
|A port city needs a BIG tropical disease institute|
|I find the spelling and grammar mistakes charming. I hope people feel the same about mine.|
We packed a lot into 5 days. It was great fun.