LUSH's array of homemade soaps and more
Yesterday Yannick was able to take a break from his paper long enough to spend the afternoon with Nadine and I. I've never been in a foreign country and spent time so leisurely, normally each day is very planned out, making sure to hit all the major sights and toursity things, so this time in Hamburg has been a blessing. I've caught up on mounds of sleep--I know they say you can't catch up, but still!--and have finished all 3 books I brought along, and just feel wonderful. The word leisurely keeps popping into my head.

Getting out of the house after a slow and sleepy morning, we took the train to downtown Hamburg, mailing postcards and wandering in and out of boutiques. Nadine introduced me to the amazing homemade soap at LUSH, where I bought two hunks of soap to take home. Can we just say, my suitcase smells amazing!

Falafelstern's salads and spreads
Then we were off on a culinary journey in what Yannick and Nadine described as the Hipster section of Hamburg, noticeable by its hipster glasses and clothing, stores with ironic art and hip gifts. I follwed the Germans as they led me into an outwardly unimpressive, little falafel shop on Sternschanze, called Falafelstern, where Yannick taught me how to pronounce the dish I wanted (cursing myself for not writing down what it was called!), a falafel plate that included a little of all of Falafelstern's cold salads and falafel dips. Hands down BEST FALAFEL I've ever eaten; the plate (pictured below), piled high with an interesting and delicious mix of foods: falafel, hummus, some type of smoky chili? dip, roasted eggplant salad, pickled cabbage, tomatoes, beets, feta, steamed carrots, spiced green bean salad, breaded and fried cauliflower, and more all for only 6Euro! 
Falafelstern's sampler platter with
falfafel and a multitude of salads and spreads.
You can't hear it but I'm "nom noming!"

Unable to finish my plate (and saving room for ice cream) we kept walking, meandering in and out of shops, winding up at Die Eisbande, a cute little ice cream shop known for it's vegan options. Nadine suggested the vegan chocolate mousse ice cream: SOJA MOUSSE AU CHOCOLAT, which we both ordered. It was AMAZING! I also was able to try Yannick's ZITRONE, which was fruity tart like a creamy, citrus-y lemondae on a cone. So. Damn. Good. 

Next on the list was the perfect cup of coffee--inspired, perhaps by Gilmore Girls, which we've been watching every night before bed--and so we headed to Elbgold Kaffee, a local coffee roastery located next door to a restaurant, who's name translated into English means, The Old Girl. I was absolutely tickled by that. It was nearly closing time when we arrived, a shame since I would have loved to linger in this wonderfully comfortable and hip coffee shop. I ordered a caramel macchiato and was not disappointed as I sipped foamy, espresso-y goodness and wandered with my wonderful Germans back toward the train. A lovely day spent in slow meandering and sampling some of Hamburg's gems. A leisurely day indeed.

Lovely Elbgold Kaffee


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