It’s 6 a.m. and the historic Fischmarkt along the banks of the Elbe River is hopping. A steady stream of revelers are ending their night out, stopping at food carts to grab a bite to eat before heading home. Oompah music blares and vendors hawk their wares, everything from fish to flowers to fruit. Crowds shop the stalls, listen to live music, barter with vendors, and — despite the early hour — knock down pints of ale in the old Fish Auction Hall.
The carnival-like market has been around since 1703 and remains a popular Sunday morning outing for tourists and locals alike, who come to shop for inexpensive produce and fresh fish, to visit with friends, and to eat.
Bratwurst and beer at 6 a.m.? You bet. There’s also fried eggs and potato rosti, pickled fish, smoked eel, herring sandwiches, and a slew of other German specialties, including irresistible Quark Ballchen (Germany’s version of a fluffy, light doughnut). The party is short-lived; by
10 a.m. most of the vendors are packed up and the crowds are gone — until next Sunday.
DIANE BAIR AND PAMELA WRIGHT