HAMBURG: Alster Lake

The best feature of our hotel was its proximity to Hamburg’s big lake, the Outer Alster. Hundreds of years ago, the Alster River was dammed and formed two lakes that make a figure 8. The smaller lake, nearer the city center, is the Inner Alster.

The 4- to 5-mile path around the lake can be walked in about 90 minutes. Yes, that does appear to be a gondola, likely for hire.
The shore forms a big circular park that gives people access to the water.
On a warm, sunny day, the lake is packed with water craft of all sorts, but sailboats dominate.
A regal black-white swan lends its elegance to a picnic at water’s edge.
Canals and small bays stretch inland all along the lakeshore and are a main avenue for residents to reach the lake or enjoy the cafe lifestyle on its banks.
Pure pleasure. Waiting for sunset on the Outer Alster.
Rainbows and sun flares are common, as the air is frequently full of moisture blown to Hamburg on prevailing westerlies from the North Sea.
On a holiday, the lake shore draws thousands for city-provided fireworks.
Boats begin to mass on the lake as the sun goes down.
[Courtesy: Anne Swift]

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