Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ich bin nicht königlich!

I had this plan to write a big, huge post about my time in Germany, but every time I sit down to do so, it feels really time-consuming and hard. All of my hard-writing energy these days is reserved for Bitterblue. So here's what I'm thinking I might do instead: blog about little pieces of my journey here and there, when I have the time, and when it feels like a nice break from my work.

Today, I'm going to share one little part of my visit to Hamburg. Did you know that the port of Hamburg is one of the largest ports in the whole wide world? I went on a harbor tour and my little boat took us in and among the container docks, where we watched cranes loading big, huge containers on and off of big, huge container ships that had come all the way from Budapest, Monrovia, Cyprus, Bilbao. The containers were stamped with some brand names I recognized, and others I didn't. I got shivers watching all that work take place, guessing that some of the things I use are probably in those containers somewhere. I love love LOVE those moments when I get to see a little piece of the big picture. In the port of Hamburg, you get to see the actual way our world functions.

I also got to see cruise ships being repaired! The Hamburg harbor has facilities for repairing the parts of ships that are underneath the water. The captain steers the ship into what is called a "dry dock." Once the ship is in the dock, the water is pumped out, so that finally, you have a ship resting on the dock with all of its underparts accessible. A cruise ship from Genoa and another from St. John's were being repaired. We tootled past in our tiny little ferry, and let me tell you, if you've ever seen how massive a cruise ship is, imagine how massive it is when you're seeing the entire hull as well. There were a few little people on the highest railing of the Italian cruise ship, watching us go by, and they were so high above us that they were like ants.

That's it for today -- hopefully I'll get a chance to write more soon.

My subject line, by the way, is an exclamation I got a little tired of hearing by the end of my book tour. Yes, Brigan, we all know that you're not kingly. It didn't occur to me, when I wrote it in English, that it was going to rhyme when you said it in German, or that I was going to hear you say it SO MANY times over the course of six days. :o)