Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Le • vent • se • lève

Hamburg was one of the places that made it to my Germany bucket list. Many people that I know have been there and they have spoken great things about this place that it always left me wondering. Not only that, it is common knowledge that Hamburg is Germany's biggest port. Although it does not face the sea directly, it has many ports along the Elbe river which will indeed go out directly to the sea. After three years, I finally managed to visit the town with Firu - he's been there before, the bastard. Before I went there, I was already aware of the wind condition in town. But it wasn't until I felt all of it that I realised how serious it was. It was incredibly hard to endure, especially in the summer. Plus, it hadn't dawned on me that Hamburg gets the most storms of this country until I was in the midst of the wind and got a little worried. But we had fun anyway.

We planned our trip pretty neatly, enabling us to explore as much of Hamburg as was humanly possible in two short days. However, the aforementioned wind situation slowed us down...and ripped me off my motivations. We managed to visit a few places, though, such as Speicherstadt, Spicy's Spice Museum, the City Hall and the Japanese Garten. I love Speicherstadt the best! The buildings are incredibly old - both the interior and the exterior - and it has water flowing in between here and there. It gives a rather nice touch as a canal, reminds me of a more industrial version of Venice - though I've never been there yet. Sadly, the Speicherstadt doesn't serve its original purpose anymore. But, good news for the Spice Museum, I guess. Because now they can have their museum in one of the buildings. The museum was small but it was definitely quirky. Firu and I received two packets of unground black pepper as entry tickets. Yep, we're definitely keeping 'em! Not only the landmarks, I was so psyched to find one of those unique playgrounds. It was pirate-themed! So adorable!

One of my favourite parts about this trip is that we stayed at Reeperbahn, which is the red light district of Hamburg - and said to be the best in Germany. It wasn't much like what I had expected but it was definitely blooming with sex and sin. There were tons of cabaret bars, porn theatres as well as "adult" toy stores. I heard that the prostitutes working there were so beautiful they belonged more in film productions rather than the streets of Reeperbahn. Unfortunately, thanks to the rain, I didn't get to see any of them. But Reeperbahn is actually unexpectedly strict about some things. For instance, they have a Bottle and Glass Prohibition from Friday night to Monday morning. Our hotel also forbids their guests to bring alcohol into the premises - although an inspection will not take place. The most touristy thing we did the next day (Monday) was going to the Fischmarkt. It was also the stupidest choice we made because the fish market was open on Sundays, not Mondays. We were met by nothing but random cars and workers, doing their normal routine. Man, it was a long, windy walk too! Afterwards, we almost succumbed completely to the wind and stayed indoors almost all the time until our train was ready to devour us. Well, that's Hamburg off my list!

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