Another day, we visited Lüneburg's "German Salt Museum" -- yes, it's always a thrill a minute with the Edwards!
We found this gigantic puzzle of a scene from Lüneburg's salt market of yesteryear within the old factory-turned-musuem.
Afterwards, we stopped for a snack at a cafe.
In the afternoon, when our friends' kids came home from school, we all went to an indoor pool complex that was really fantastic. Everyone (including the kids) gets their own "watch" when they come in, and this unlocks your locker, opens doors, lets you buy ice cream, etc. The kids had a great, great time at the pool, which had water slides, a wave machine, etc. They even had complementary baby swimming diapers, and Damiani really enjoyed herself. Here you can see Pelagia and Benny in the locker room afterwards, half-joking that they were as tired as Damiani.
The next day, we went into Hamburg and explored the city. We took a water boat tour, had salted fish sandwiches on the docks (well, I did), and then headed to the very creative Miniature Wonderland Museum.
The kids loved it. They watched model airplanes land and take off from the model airport for a long time.
Here we are at a strange cube building that serves as an information station for Hamburg's famous (or infamous, for its budget overruns) opera building, which is a marvel of acoustic engineering. You can see the new building in the background of the photo above -- the building with a wavy roof under the red crane. The cube building above plays different operas and classical music from each of the horns.
We then headed to this park on the waterfront. Like all the parks we saw in Germany, this one was amazing. You can see Damiani having a good time in the basket swing above.
This is Phoebe in a "living maze," which they constructed and constantly tweak using growing bamboo plants.
Right next door, we found a great Thai restaurant for dinner. We choose the traditional seating, sitting on the floor. To accomplish this, the restaurant had simply raised the floor in the section of the restaurant, leaving only the area at the base of the table at the original height. This was a perfect play area for Damiani!
On our last full day, I took the kids to the Hamburg zoo. The polar exhibit was particularly impressive. Above, we caught the seal feeding.
We also watched one of the polar bears play right next to us for a long time.
The zoo also sells cut vegetables and fruits that visitors can feed to certain animals. Characteristically, Paul was the bravest.
Especially with the elephants! Feeding them was a highlight.
Finally, we had to head back to Greece. We got up early in the morning and made our way through rush-hour traffic to the get to the airport in time. We made it, with four small kids, to the gate. Five minutes later, they announced that the French (surprise!!) were on strike and our plane was stuck in Paris. After a 3.5 hours delay (with some vouchers to spend), we finally made it back safe and sound to Greece.
For a few more photos from the trip, click here.