“Frrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiischer Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiisch, Leudddddddddde”, “Schoooooooooooooooooooooooooookolade” and “Käääääääääääääääääääääässe ohne Ende”. You don’t have to understand a word, but you might get a feeling for the volume of the vendors at the fish market in Hamburg. It don’t matter what you buy it is all about the experience of shopping.
The main attractions of Hamburg are all close by. The Reeperbahn is just opposite to the fish market. And here comes the deal. As the Fish market starts every Sunday morning at around 5 a.m. you might just survive the night at the clubs and pubs of St.Pauli and then you go buy your daily fish! The market is one of my favourite spots in the town. the “Marktschreier” (barker) basicly fight a war against eachother. Everyone wants to be louder than the other and to gain more costumers.
They sell incredible loads of chocolate, pasta, flowers, vegetables, fruits, whatever and of course fish. Which is delivered fresh in the morning. The guys are called what they are selling: “Aal-Kai”, “Wurst-Uwe”, “Nudel-Olli” and “The Dutch Chocolate King”. A friend of mine tried his fortune as a barker for a TV-Show and did quite well. But you need balls to make it the barker-top.
At the market, which is right at the river Elbe, you need to get a baggle with any kind of fish called “Fischbrötchen”. Love it! The barkers have such a grand voice and they make all their money of the week in the few hours of the market. Sometimes this job are inherited, they are desperately looking for new talents, so give them a holla, when feel up to the challenge.
The whole thing started 1703, at the time the Danish had control over Hamburg, or rather a part of Hamburg they called Altona. The Danish King gave Altona the rights of a city and therefore they could hold a massive market. Back in the days it was a essential way to deliver fresh goods to the citizens, now it is rather for tourists, since Wallmart and Co are just around the corner.
Now the market lasts every Sunday until about 12 o’clock, but the earlier you arrive at the market the better is the show. In the end they just spread the leftovers. This is always a bit sad. Since everything is over once….