Last week I went to Germany to have a little Erasmus-reunion with an Australian and a German friend. One of my friends from my exchange semester got the opportunity to work in Germany for a few weeks and another friend is living in Germany, so we all decided to meet up in Berlin. Carina has also never been there, so she came along as well :) As the best way for us to go to Berlin was by taking a bus via Hamburg, Carina and I stayed in Hamburg for a couple of days before meeting the rest of the gang in Berlin.
Our adventure started off with a >1h delay of our bus in Copenhagen. It was early in the morning and we had to wait in the cold outside. Yay. We could have gotten coffee instead, but you never know… However, we safely arrived in Hamburg and after checking-in at our hostel, we went straight to the Christmas markets and strolled around in the city centre.
Christmas market at Rathausplatz
Christmas market at Jungfernstieg
You could see all the people enjoying themselves. The markets were really really beautiful, even though a creepy Santa was apparently reading stories in a sledge over our heads (it sounded more like he was telling scary stories, but whatever). The whole city was decorated in Christmas lights (sometimes they went a little bit overboard with them though).
Pure excitement (or not) *
On the second day we explored the city itself. We spent a lot of time wandering around in the HafenCity quarter, especially in the Speicherstadt. This warehouse district is the largest one in the world, and has quite recently been awarded as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After spending a lot of time in this district, we walked along the river to get to the Landungsbrücken (St.Pauli Piers), a landing place in the port of Hamburg. However, we were rather unimpressed by the buildings of the Landungsbrücken :D The port itself was very impressive, though.
As we’ve been walking around for hours we were pretty hungry and cold, so we sat down in a cafe and had a cup of hot chocolate and a delicious bagel. Oh how I’ve missed this. Just sitting in a good bakery, with a delicious sandwich (in my case a bagel) with cheese, salad, cucumber and pumpkin seeds. Besides, finally being able to know how much something costs was great. I am still not accustomed to the different currency in Copenhagen and can never tell if something is ridiculously overpriced or just Copenhagen-expensive :D
On the Lombardsbrücke
After the break we walked around for a bit, went across the Lombardsbrücke, where we had a nice view over the Jungfernstieg and Hamburg in general, we did a little bit of Christmas shopping and had Raclettebrot/Bratwurst & Heidelbeerglühwein (Blueberry Mulled Wine) at the Christmas market at the Rathausplatz.
We also went to the Christmas market at St.Pauli and had a look at the Reeperbahn, but as it was a Wednesday night, there wasn’t much going on there :D
Decoration at the main train station
On our last day in Hamburg, we only had breakfast at an Italian place on Mönckebergstraße. As both Carina and I were not feeling very good, we didn’t do much else than going shopping for a bit (everything’s so much cheaper in Germany!). The only exciting thing we did that day was trying Crêpe with Kinderschokolade. Very interesting choice. Later in the afternoon we took a bus to Berlin… So stay tuned, you’ll read more about the Berlin adventure in the next blogpost ;)
Hamburg was a lovely city, too bad we could only spend 2.5 days there. We were amazed by all the Christmas lights, the whole place was just full of them. As you’ve read above, we spent a lot of time exploring various Christmas markets. I really felt the Christmas spirit there and can’t wait for Christmas to arrive :)
* Credits: Carina Wiesinger