What do the good citizens of Hamburg do during their lunch hour? They get in their kayaks or go stand-up paddling on the canals and Alster Lake. At night, they go sailing. In winter, when the lake is frozen (which is increasingly rare), Hamburgers strap on their skates. This blue mirror of 164 hectares is actually two lakes: Außenalster (Outer Alster) and Binnenalster (Inner Alster). Bordered by majestic properties, the lake water splashed up against their gardens until 1953, when the banks became public. Now a nice park, a favourite place for joggers, surrounds the lake. Is that the smell of Currywurst (curried sausage) tickling your nostrils? It's from a barbecue on the park lawn. To feel like a true Hamburger for a few hours, rent a boat and cross the Alster. It's worth it just for the view; the city provides no more exotic experience.