Hamburg – for some that’s the gate to the world, for me the town on the waterfront that’s become my home. There’s water wherever you live in this city; there are canals, rivers or lakes in every district. Small rivers, and of course the big one – the Elbe. You really MUST go by boat through the harbour to look at all the big ships.
The biggest containership of the world, the ‘Globe’recently came to Hamburg – what a sight!
In the middle of the city you can find the Alster. It looks like two big lakes, the Binnenalster and the Außenalster, but it’s really a river. Here you can go sailing in the middle of the city – how cool is that? You can also row a boat, go on exciting tourist tours by a steam driven boat or simply sit at the waterfront in one of countless pretty bars or restaurants.
There are many great buildings in Hamburg. Near the harbour you can find the one of the nicest, the Michel (St Michael’s Church). If you are in good shape the best thing to do is to go upstairs to the top of the steeple. You will have the best view over the harbour from there.
The old Elbe-tunnel, which is now more than 100 years old, was a modern building in its time, something never seen before. If you are not afraid of using an elevator – on foot or even by car (!), the old Elbe-tunnel brings you from the city-side of the waterfront to the middle of the harbour with its typical docks and offers a fantastic view of the Hamburg skyline and especially the new Hafencity with its future landmark, the Elbphilharmonie. Rumour has it they’re going to finish building it in 2017 ;-).
Crossing the river like that is also one of two possibilities to get to Hamburg’s musical theatres playing ‘Der König der Löwen’ (The Lion King, as you may have guessed) and the latest production ‘Das Wunder von Bern’ (The Bern miracle – a show about the world cup in 1954). The other possibility to get there is to take a small ferry.
The second Elbe-Tunnel is a modern building – well, in comparison at least, as it is from 1975. It is more than 3 kilometers long and very important for Hamburg’s traffic. Thousands of cars per hour are being driven through it – if they’re not waiting in a five or even ten kilometre long traffic jam before they can get in. Still, it must be a great thing to do – hundreds of thousands of drivers cannot be wrong!
Everyone outside of Hamburg is talking about the Reeperbahn. It’s also called the ‘sinful mile’ (although it’s just 700 metres long), as it has traditionally been a ‘red-light area’. Believe me, there is so much more to see than that – you’ll find live music, discos, cabarets, revues, musicals bars, open air concerts and festivals and more. Feeling lonely as an English speaking expatriate? There are lots of Irish bars here to make you feel at home…
This is only a very small glimpse on Hamburg – there is so much more; for me it’s the best place to be!
Amelia (from the Ukraine)*
*Next time I’ll write in German, but I have only just started learning it properly at this great German language school!