Touted as the “Germans’ favorite city” since we arrived, we have been waiting for an excuse to board the high speed train to Hamburg. When one of Corey’s (and now, Jon’s!) favorite country music singers, Chris Stapleton, announced a concert in Hamburg, we knew we had to make the trip! The concert was on one of Hamburg’s most famous streets, the Reeperbahn, which was lined with casinos, sex stores and showy performances. We braved a walk down the ‘most sinful mile’ to devour the hand-tossed pizza and craft beer at a dive called Pizza Bande. A steady stream of rap music and hippie customers was a little out of our normal night out, but traveling for us is all about new experiences!
Other than the main event, we succeeded in our typical city activities including climbing a church for a panoramic view of the city and visiting a government building.
A transport hub of Germany, Hamburg continues to be a thriving shipping port and serves some of the best seafood in this part of Europe. One of our favorite hours was spent sitting along the River Elbe (connecting Hamburg to the North Sea) and watching the cranes precisely load the shipping containers into a perfect position onto the cargo ships. A cruise ship being built in a different part of the port also interested us, prompting a discussion on whether or not Jon’s parents would end up cruising on this Royal Carribean at some point.
We visited the massive Maritime Museum, one of our favorite museums so far, starting first on a floor filled with hundreds of thousands of ship models. Big ships, littles ships, cruise ships, mast ships, viking ships, cargo ships….this collection had it all in miniature. The museum displayed every nuance of maritime activity, including exhibits on uniforms, the deep sea, women in seafaring and concluded with a beautiful model of the Santa Maria.
Although the Warehouse District, Speicherstadt, was unique with its brick buildings and little canal, for us it almost seemed like a nicer Lawrence, MA! We found the Elbe Tunnel, built in 1911 to connect 2 quarters of Hamburg deep underneath the river, a much cooler marvel. Being down in the tunnel felt like being in the Subway but with the knowledge that a bustling river port was right above you. We finished our trip off with a delicious fresh caught fish sandwich at the river side before boarding the high speed train back to Dusseldorf!