Out on Saturday evening in Hafencity / Speicherstadt
Sunday morning. We had a fabulous breakfast in our hotel, then went to the metro station nearby to get some travel tickets. We did something annoying that I’ve seen tourists do a million times in Amsterdam: we only had our UK credit card, our Dutch debit card, and a €50 note. None of which the ticket machines would accept!
So using small coins, we bought singles to the Hauptbahnhof (central station) and queued up to get our “Hamburg Cards” which include all travel, and a discount on many attractions. They work out as quite good value.
I googled, “beautiful places in Hamburg” and quite frankly, it doesn’t give many results! It is certainly interesting, historical and cultural. But the bits we’ve seen…not so much beautiful.
We took the metro to Landungsbrücke and saw docks, and a few nice buildings. We walked along through St Pauli which was really quite grotty. It was a bit dilapidated with many once-fine old buildings, now presumably slums, covered in very bright colourful graffiti. Then the famous FishMarket, which you can certainly tell by it’s smell! It also has a non-fish market, and a place where at 9:30am of a Sunday, there really was a live rock band playing to a beer-swilling audience! So weird.
I must say. The architecture is often quite imposing and decorative, but rarely attractive! I guess we are really spoiled, having got used to Amsterdam, where most of everything is gorgeous! Another noticeable difference: homeless and beggars in Hamburg. You never see any in Amsterdam (or Uithoorn) because the Dutch really look after people!
One of the things I’m really looking forward to in Hamburg is…being able to afford things! It is much more like UK in the sense that they have a lot of cheap shops because there are a lot of people who have less power over their own financial situation. The flip side of that is you see lots more shabby dwellings and such.
I can certainly see why (Lee’s current boss, who lived in Hamburg before Amsterdam) has refused to move with them to Hamburg. It’s a world away from the beautiful, good mental-health promoting ways of the Netherlands.
A Delicious experience
So in two days we have seen some extremes of Hamburg! We walked a little in Altona, which used to belong to Denmark, although it certainly isn’t near the border. The architecture there was quite noticeable. A bit of a bohemian alternative vibe, we had some amazing coffee in an independent roastery. I’m no expert but it was some of the best I’ve ever had.
Then I found I’d lost our travel tickets! They are tiny slips of paper, totally loseable. We had to simply buy them again, which dampened the mood considerably!
We popped to Pinneberg, which is a place that we might choose to live…
It’s a mix of characterful homes and dull ones that remind us of UK. I’m going back tomorrow without a freezing, hatless, grumpy man. So I’ll tell you about it then!