In the last couple weeks, our trip has devolved into a whirlwind tour of Europe, so it’s been hard to keep the blog up to date. ??It’s also become mostly an eating and drinking tour because that’s about all we want to spend money on these days. Historical buildings? Cathedrals? Museums? We’ll look at them from the outside and poke our heads in the door, but as soon as we’re asked for money, we leave. Maybe we’re missing out, but at least we’re keeping our costs down.
Anyway, we enjoyed the couple of days we spent in Hamburg. I thought it was an interesting place. Apparently Hamburg is a bit different than the rest of Germany because it was an independent city-state for a very long time. Even today it remains as independent as possible from the rest of Germany. The city earned its wealth through trade and its port is still the second largest in Europe. Large areas of Hamburg were destroyed in WWII. In the postwar years, the??Reeperbahn in Sankt Pauli became one of the most famous red light districts in the world. This??debaucherous neighborhood is where the Beatles played for a couple of years before they made it big. I also learned, to my disappointment, that the hamburger was not invented in Hamburg, but the people who live there are referred to as hamburgers (pronounced in the German way, so it doesn’t sound quite as silly.)
We visited the historical areas and tried to take a tour of the beautiful City Hall, but??parliament??was in session that day, so all tours were cancelled. After that we went to the harbor to see all the freighters and the trendy buildings. That area has been transformed into a trendy, upscale district with cool apartment buildings and clubs. Most of the buildings were in kind of an industrial chic style with lots of metal, brick, glass and funky??architectural??elements.
That was all fun to see, but what I really enjoyed was the bar we went to on our first night in town. We just randomly wandered in while we were walking around and it ended up being an awesome place. It was all wood on the inside, but nothing fancy, more like the type of place people stop in after work. We had a great time just hanging out there and trying different German beers. I can’t wait for Oktoberfest!