Bitte? Signal Kommt!
For those not in the know, I just got back from Hamburg, Germany
-- where I did lots of fun things on the weekends when not at work: I walked all around Hamburg, ate at tasty restaurants, and visited Berlin, all while managing to avoid the giant 50 meter bug
The Hamburg History Museum was quite interesting with lots of cool historical things that had been dug up around the city. They had some neat things like ancient hair combs and medieval swords (a lot more primitive looking than you would expect from watching movies, even the one they had that was made of damascus steel). I also visited the Arts and Crafts Museum, which was neat and had a lot of old keyboards/pianos (including the evolution of the modern piano system along with examples of the hammer action from each evolutionary point), Mediterranean (Egyptian, Greek, etc.) figurines and vase (including a fair number of red and black figure vases).
Hamburg has a large number of fairly nice parks, one of which had some sort of event for children when I was there ("Kinder Kinder"), they are apparently one of the world's largest choices for conventions (I was told by a German colleague that travel guides always try to make a specific destination important by saying that something is or has the "world's..." [insert adjective] [insert noun]), although this fact affected me personally, since it prevented me from staying in one hotel during the entire two week trip. Overall it's a very nice city.
Gas is pretty expensive there ($5.66/gallon
-- apparently google can do currency conversions as well?!), most of their gas stations don't take credit cards, although some have automatic bill readers. Surprisingly enough, it appears that their gas stations don't have vapor recovery devices to reduce smog, either.
I also went to Berlin for a day (it was a fairly expensive train ride, but it only took 1.5 hours to get there, compared to four or so by car). This was on the ICE -- the Inter-City Express, which travelled very fast. I walked all around Berlin (and my feet hurt pretty badly by the end of the day, as Berlin turned out to be fairly large). I was able to buy some new Ushankas from a street vendor while visiting Checkpoint Charlie. A day was enough to visit all of the outdoor tourist destinations, but none of the museums.
Anyway, enough for now, pictures to follow in the future...