Shaped By Water
Hamburg is shaped by water. The city has the second largest port in Europe - even though the metropolis is about 60 miles/ 90 km away from the ocean - thanks to the river Elbe, which allows even huge container ships to travel there. The city is built around two artificial lakes, called Binnen & Außenalster, which a miller had once dammed - and there are a lot of canals which connect the lakes with the hinterland & with the harbor.
wikipedia). There are no skyscrapers - which define even smaller cities in America & Asia. The skyline is defined by the church towers - no one is allowed to build higher.
Hamburg is of course (a little bit) gentrifying like any big city, meaning that former industrial & harbor areas are being transformed into modern cities, becoming homes for restaurants, bars, media, internet & other service companies. You can see that at Speicherstadt, a former warehouse district, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site (wikipedia).
Death Of Reeperbahn?
independent ). This Saturday the area was very crowed - like New York´s Time Square thanks to the Reeperbahn festival, with tons of music events, and an important soccer game (local matador HSV versus notorious German champion Bayern München).
We walked over Herbertstraße, where the prostitutes offer their services, sitting in a kind of shopping window. But there is not not much excitement. You can see more skin at beaches and public pools and more beauty. Obviously the Reeperbahn caters to the mass market. But we could manage to get a decent dinner somewhere, above you can see a mural which beautified the place a bit, quite a contrast program.
A fast S-Bahn ride transported us to Blankenese, a wealthy suburb along and above the river Elbe. You can see some of the nice buildings above.
From Blankenese we took a walk along the river Elbe. Where else can you see a huge container ship almost between the trees? And the Hexenhaus (enchanted house) & the green pond above this paragraph seem to belong to a fairy tale forest.
The short stay allowed us to visit just two of Hamburg´s museums: Hamburger Kunsthalle & Deichtorhallen - Museum for contemporary art. Both places have amazing exhibitions. I am planning to post about these visits soon.
Visiting Hamburg was a lot of fun and is highly recommended.