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July 2022 – Hamburg, Germany
Landing in Hamburg for a day will probably give you the feeling that, no matter what you do, you’ll be missing out on a lot. I mean, this city just keeps hitting records: it’s the third busiest port in Europe, hosts Germany’s no. 1 visitor attraction, is home to more than 1500 millionaires.
Why did we come here? Well, Hamburg was exactly half way on our roadtrip to Copenhagen, so it immediately became the obvious stop to rest for the night. But we’ve always wondered how it is ‘up North’. And now it was finally time to see for ourselves.
So, heading to Hamburg? Take a deep breath. You won’t see everything in a day. It’s busy, it’s crowded, it’s huge. Taking in the bustling atmosphere and breathtaking sight of the port is the only memory that will stick with you anyway. 🙂
You’ll probably want to start by walking through the Alter Elbtunnel. It connects central Hamburg with the the south side of river Elbe. At the time of inauguration in 1911, this 426 meters long tunnel was a technical innovation.
Continue with the famous Überseebrücke, from where you have unlimited view of the port filled with container ships and boats. Hamburg is a city of canals and rivers, crossed by 2500 bridges, more than in any other city in the world. And the port is the third busiest in Europe, with a volume of more than nine million containers per year.
You will definitely spot the Elbphilharmonie, the modern architectural wonder of Hamburg. It stands out from afar, as it is shaped as a sail!
Make your way through narrow passageways and enter the warehouse district known as Speicherstadt. Even if we were coming from the Netherlands, we were impressed by the architecture of buildings standing on timber-pile foundations. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the warehouse district became famous as a center of commerce in the 19th century. Exotic spices, tea, coffee and oriental carpets were some of the most important products brought here.
Trading was part of Hamburg’s commercial past but continues to shape the city’s rhythm today. You can feel it, taste it, smell it every step of the way.
Just when we thought we covered the harbour area, Miniatur Wunderland comes into picture and changes the game. Little did we know, this is the largest model railway system in the world and was voted as No. 1 attraction in Germany!
Covering entire regions from Austria, France, Italy, North America, Scandinavia and Germany, even a miniature airport, accomodating a day/night view of all exhibits and interactive experiences through the push of a button, with several construction sites from South America coming up, this was the highlight of our day.
With no doubt, Miniatur Wunderland is living proof of Germans’ attention to details up to perfection.
By the time we are done, the harbour gets even more animated. Locals and tourists scatter in all directions, in search of a cool spot to rest or eat. Looks like the port is a great place to end the day, while watching the subtle dance of boats and the sun set over the city. And here we are, breathing it all in.
Until next time, Hamburg. A new adventure awaits up North.