A few weekends ago, I accompanied TD to Hamburg to attend a work-related event with his boss. It was a quick trip but we caught a glimpse of the beautiful city of Hamburg. Did you know that Hamburg has more bridges than any other city in the world, and more canals then Amsterdam and Venice combined? Hamburg has a lot to offer and we definitely have to come back to get a closer look. What intrigued me the most is the Elbe beach, which you’ll find after walking through a lush forested area. How amazing is that? Pictures after the jump!
This is a continuation of the post: My First Time on the German Autobahn.
The Catholic Church Kleiner Michel across from a Lutheran Church was under renovation.
Beautiful old buildings beside grand canals and Love Locks in every bridge.
The Hamburg Rathaus or City hall is magnificent – more of a castle really. It took 11 years to build and was finished in 1897. It is where the senate (State government) and Hamburg Parliament reside. Open from 8 A.M. to 6 P.M. daily with regular guided tours and exhibitions in the Rathausdiele of the City Hall. To see what you can expect you can take a virtual 3D tour of the Hamburg Rathause HERE. Ah-mayyyy-zing! My mind was blown away when I “took” the tour!
The market-square in front of the Rathaus is called the Rathausmarkt. There were food stalls that Saturday.
We went into the gorgeous courtyard “that reminds of a Piazza with its so called “Hygieia-fountain”. It is dedicated to the Greek goddess of health.”
They also have this 3D city map in front of the Rathaus. I found it cool because the places with water, i.e. canals and lake, also have water inside them. TD’s boss explained that the blind can feel this “map” and feel the lanscape of the city of Hamburg through touch. How cool is that???
The Swans and ducks on the Alster are well fed by tourists and residents. TD’s boss told us that these lovely creatures are specially protected by the city during winter. The ducks and swans have to be transferred from the lake and canals by the city government, because they can fall asleep in the water and freeze to death. Even as early as the 1200’s Hamburg was already taking great care of their swans.
In 1264 the senate of Hamburg enacted a law to protect the swans of the city. Hard punishments should be given if a swan was beaten to death, insulted, shot or eaten. A popular belief is that Hamburg will be free and hanseatic as long as swans are living on the Alster river.
I long to sit in a cafe and browse the posh shops lining the Venetian style Alsterarkaden – if only we had time!
Coming from Jakarta, where we avoided tap water at all costs (even brushing with tap water is not recommended and it stings to open your eyes in the shower, and we had to keep your mouth tightly closed too!), it still amazes me that we can just drink from tap here.We were really puzzled while walking around because there was something really strange about the pedestrian stoplights in Hamburg. Though there is only one green light, there are TWO red ones. I found only one source in the internet for the reason behind this. The writer even went so far as to write Hamburg Tourism to ask them about it. CLICK HERE to read his findings.
I’d like to end this post with photos of our walk to the Elbe beach. The forest is quite dense and it was such a lovely walk. I regret not having my beach gear – I would have been perfectly happy to lounge by the sea.
Hamburg deserves a second and longer look for sure. I hope we can schedule a weekend visit soon, while the weather is still good and we can enjoy the outdoors and feed the ducks.
GOOD TO KNOW:
- Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany, Berlin being the largest. It is bigger than Munich & Frankfurt.
- Hamburg has a world-renowned red light district, called the Reeperbahn.
- It has the Germany’s biggest port – the second-busiest in Europe and only the third largest in the world, after London and New York.
Below are the sources of information for this post. There were times when I quoted them, but I’ve made sure to link these quotes directly to the sites they were taken from. If there are any errors in this post, please drop me a comment and I will try my best to correct them.
- 36 Hours: Hamburg Germany – NY Times
- Hamburg in 2 hours – Easy Hiker
- Hamburg, Germany’s Window to the World – Europe Up Close
- Hamburg, the City of Bridges – Amusing Planet
- Hamburg Rathause – Wikipedia
- Hamburg – Wikipedia
- City Hall – Hamburg.de
- Famous Bridges of Hamburg – GPSmycity.com
- Seeing (Double) Red – Herein, Hamburg