Weekend in Hamburg, Germany

, GThe reason why I named my blog “Lazytravels” is not because I am a lazy traveler, but because I am often lazy about the review of the trip. The review comes as a compulsion, as I would like to read it after many years to recollect all the amazing memories that travel has brought to me.

I spent the labor day weekend in Germany’s second largest city, Hamburg. With the help of the little notes of my observations while in Hamburg, I try to write down about this trip here.

We started the journey from Gdansk (German: Danzig), a port city in Northern Poland, and took a flight to Hamburg. Germany had always felt right-at-the-backdoor kind of country to me for some reason. While in Finland, I always thought that Sweden might be actually farther and more exotic than Germany. So naturally I hadn’t gathered much information about Hamburg beforehand. Before 2,3 days of flight, I realized that we would actually land in Lubeck, a town about 1 hour drive from Hamburg. That is what the low-cost airlines normally do, they don’t fly right into the big city, burdening us poor travelers to find a way to get to the city. We used blabla car service to get to Lubeck in a very reasonable fare. BlaBla car is this place where drivers can post their ads and offer their car seats for cheap fares to get from point A to B.

We reached to Hamburg with sleep-deprived, hungry bodies. Thanks to the night train from Lodz to Gdansk with very uncomfortable seats. Although it was May 1, shops were open around the main railway station area, so food and seeing around was more of my concern than shower and sleep. Lots of shops to choose from, with cheaper prices than the Nordic Finland (which is outrageously expensive country, FYI). Asian hung, Indian buffets, Syrian falafels, fast foods, you name it. So much to choose from!

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We went round the main attractions in the city center, saw the town hall (“Rathaus”), and just strolled around. It was May Day so almost everything was closed except a few pubs. The weather was lovely and the city was a booming cosmopolitan. The place where we had to stay was about twenty five minutes metro ride from the center. The metro lines were initially a little confusing in this huge city, but after reading the maps carefully we quickly made our way through.10286858_316804918468022_7486536399231182407_o10348821_316804841801363_9202366826847897037_o

The metro stops were 5-10 minutes apart which must mean Hamburg is huge. I was used to riding subway with stops every 1-2 minutes in the Helsinki metro. We were staying in Harburg, which was a lively place in itself. There seemed to be a shopping complex in every block of Hamburg. Not to mention the restaurants, pizzerias, grocery stores, pubs and so on. The neighborhood was lovely with a big park right next to the apartment. There was even a little sushi place very close to apartment.

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The other day we went for sightseeing. First off was the harbor area,Β LandungsbrΓΌcken (“landing bridges”). The evening was cold and windy but the harbor looked nice. It was later to our regret that we were informed by our German host on our last stay there that the public transportation ticket works also for the see-around ferry originating from Ludungsbrucken :[ The same day we went to the famous red-light district of Hamburg, Reeperbahn. We just walked round the area filled with sex shops, live bars, probably stripclubs and such, but there were a lot of non sex-related restaurants and music clubs too. There were about 20 police cars parked around or patrolling in the area, so it felt really safe to walk around in the neighborhood. This was also my first experience of seeing prostitutes out on the streets and convincing the customers.

We were told that the zoo in Hamburg is very nice, but we wanted to see something more local. Of course it couldn’t be done without some German beer. We started looking for a nearby pub in the neighborhood where we were staying in, but ended up walking and walking around the lovely area (it even had this beautiful hill park). We came back home and chatted a bit with the German host. She was a friendly woman and her apartment was a creative mess (her kitchen counter was inspired from St. Pauli’s club in Hamburg, as she told). She gave us tips on things to see in Hamburg, nice of her. The next morning we had to leave, and we went around the center for a while. There were lots of buses and trains coming in from all over Europe. I could live in Hamburg, except for the weather. I had a good impression of Germany by the time I left and I would love to go back again to explore more of this amazing country!

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