Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day 5-Thursday... Hamburg, Germany

After the wonder hospitality of Kampffmeyer we continued our journey in Hamburg. First up, Kahl! Kahl is a leading manufacturer of pelleting and expander equipment used by most animal feed manufactures. The equipment that Kahl makes is truely unique. The pellet mills they produce operate vertically instead of the usual horizontal configuration, as seen in the Grain Science Feed Mill. What these mills are capable of pelleting is also truly amazing! They are able to pellet wood, tires, feed, soap, and just about anything you can imagine, they have pelleted and with great success. We first received a brief introduction to the Kahl company and then went on a tour of the production facilities. Unfortunately, we were unable to take any pictures, but trust me this tour alone was totally worth the 10 hour flight! I saw a drill press over 12ft tall and required a drill bit bigger than my leg! AMAZING! We also watched them put a pellet die through the hardening process which includes soaking it in liquid salt (imagine how hot that is) and then flame heating. After the tour we headed over to the Kahl Cafeteria for lunch, also very delicious! A couple more presentations and we were on our way!

Next, we headed over to the Hamburg harbor for a tour by Vollmer. Vollmer is a major importer/exporter around the world. First, we were shown where coffee beans come into the harbor and are stored. The dried coffee beans are brought in in 50-100 pound bags on pallets or in large transport containers. After they are received, they are sorted and stored until needed by the customer. I've never seen so much coffee in my life! The coffee storage warehouse was endless!! After the coffee, we moved onto my favorite commodity... Chocolate!! Here the raw, dried cocoa beans are stored in a massive bunker. All the beans come in via container or on a barge, and piled all together. When a customer needs beans, they are loaded and shipped.

More Coffee!

And just a little more coffee!

The crew with the coffee

Some containers, empty I think, but waiting to be filled with coffee or chocolate!

Cocoa beans!!

More cocoa beans

And this is how you move cocoa beans!

After the tour of massive amounts of coffee and cocoa bean storage, we ventured on to where grain is loaded and unloaded from barges on the river. We were able to tour the elevator and see the control room, which had a spectacular view! Next up.. A private tour of the entire harbor area! We saw parts of Hamburg, including the area where we had dinner the evening before and we saw all the ins and outs of the harbor area, including some massive ships! We also saw docks that were used to build new ships or make repairs on those that come into the harbor. We also saw a massive cargo ship being loaded up with container ships! It was so amazing to see and it's unbelievable how large those ships are!!
View from the control room of the elevator. This barge is
waiting for the tide to come in so it can head out to sea

Massive military ship in the harbor

Of course they had a Mississippi Queen paddle boat!

View down a canal going into Hamburg

Old submarine torpedos

Awesome spiral staircase

Finnish cruise ship getting ready to leave port

Me with our boat Captain

Massive Costco ship being loaded up with containers

Front of the Costco ship

Ship being repaired

Another ship being repaired

Our lovely tour vessel

Again, the boat we took for the tour of the Hamburg harbor

After the wonderful boat tour, we were on the road again, headed toward Burg Warberg in the Braunschweig area. Again, we stopped on the Autobahn for supper, but after the large lunch in the Kahl cafeteria, I stuck with just some ice cream, chocolate and sparkle/gas free water!lol

After a few hours on the road we arrived at Burg Warberg, a cozy little castle. This place was amazing, but we didn't learn just how amazing until the following. Since we arrived so late, the proprietor, Peter, offered us a beverage or two (or three) before we rested our wary heads. I was lucky enough to have a room to myself for the stay at this castle!
Nice spacious bathroom

2 beds all to myself!

Burg Warberg

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