Today I am challenging myself to put a bit more time into writing for this here blog. I often find myself quite time poor (I have more important things to do, like exploring new cities!), resulting in quite a rushed collection of words thrown in between some photos. I am enjoying keeping this online journal though, knowing that I’ll be able to look back over it in the coming months and years.
Yesterday my friend had work, so I was off into the centre of Hamburg by myself for the day. It was recommended to me to climb up the tower of the grand church, St Michel, in order to get a view of the city.
The interior of the church itself was beautiful, and full of school kids. It featured a massive organ, though I am beginning to think this is quite standard in churches like this!
It was only 4 euro (student price) for me to ascend the tower. An elevator was available, but on a whim I decided to challenge myself to climb the stairs. And they were a killer. I think it took me over 10 minutes, though I did often stop to look at the inside of the tower. This proved to be quite interesting, as I was able to view the support system, bells, and a random bar near the top.
The views from the top were spectacular, despite the hordes of school children running around.
After returning back to earth (via the lift this time!) I wandered into the city centre and joined yet another Sandemans New Europe tour. Our guide was of South African origin, providing for an interesting accent! He took us around to view several old churches, business buildings, and canals. Well, I say “old”, but many older buildings in the city have been rebuilt several times, but retaining their original look. This was due to the Great Fire of 1842 (I think) and a raid during WWII.
I often forget the dark history of Germany while I happily walk around as an innocent tourist. Munich in particular had minimal recognition of the war, whereas the above photo was taken in the remains of a church that was destroyed during the conflict. Rather than be rebuilt, the burnt remains were kept as a reminder of those lives lost. I’m interested to see what it will be like in Berlin – I have just arrived!
This building above is the new symphony orchestra building (or something like that), that was meant to be finished about four years ago. But, in true ridiculous building style, is now not due for completion for several more years, and is about 10 times over it’s initial budget of 75 million euro.
After the tour I strolled the streets a while more, before heading back to my friends for the afternoon (to do fun things like organise insurance so I can complete my accursed visa application!). My friend returned later in the evening, and with another companion of hers we headed out for a few drinks. In particular, she wanted to show me the infamous Reeperbahn, Hamburg’s red light district. I had seen in it daylight the day before, but that didn’t do this glowing and flashing sleaze joint justice.
Apparently the Beatles became famous here?
It was wonderful to hang out in Hamburg, especially due to the wonderful hospitality of my friend!