Hello little blog! It’s been a while! So for the past month and a half, I have been home for Christmas in good old England which was absolutely lovely. As great as my year abroad has been, it was nice to catch up with family and friends and indulge in my fill of Costas, pub food and Cadbury’s before heading back out to Denmark. However, without my laptop and motivation, I have failed to update on my adventures, and there have been a couple!
First off, Hamburg. On the way home before Christmas, I decided to travel back via a few un-visited cities (mainly to avoid flying) and had the loveliest week. This began, after an endless coach ride, in Hamburg. Hamburg is absolutely beautiful and after a couple of days there, my love for Germany had been revitalised. I have only been to Berlin once before, one of my favourite cities, so did not know how Hamburg would compare. However, it did not disappoint.
Stop #1: Christmas Parade
Now, it can often be heard that Europe is awesome when it comes to getting in the traditional Christmas spirit. I had already experienced this within Copenhagen but have always considered it best in my opinion in Germany. So, to be able to visit Hamburg at Christmastime made it super special. And of course, there had to be a Christmas parade!
It was by far the best Christmas parade I had seen and to be there at the right time was pretty lucky too.
Stop #2: The Christmas Markets
Of course, the real reason for my visit was the festive Christmas markets which I really wanted to experience. And they were fantastic. The whole of Hamburg was filled with these markets and I could not get enough. I visited them on multiple occasions, just because they offered so much and were wonderful to look at! From ornaments to gluggwein (spelling guess), fur hats to the classic bratwurst, there was so much to explore. Maybe Hamburg, maybe not, but if you can make it to Germany at Christmastime, I could not recommend it enough!
Stop #3: Miniatur Wunderland
Arriving late on my first evening, I wanted to find something to do in order to make the most of my time, without getting lost in the dark! Therefore, my first stop was Hamburg’s Miniatur Wunderland in the Warehouse District. Known as a model railway exhibition, this may not sound like the most exciting thing to see. However, it is so much more than this. Within the building are floors and floors of miniature figures and buildings from cities across the world: a truly impressive sight. The detail involved in the work is truly impressive and you can even place a figurine of your own into a model stadium: pretty cool! Also, what with it being Christmas time, there were little figure Santas and trees all over the exhibition which added a nice festive feel.
Stop #4: SANDEMANs Walking Tour
This was to be my first experience of going on a walking tour in a different country and didn’t really know what to expect. But, despite the cold, it was a thoroughly enriching journey (with an amazing tour guide) who offered so much information on the history and culture in Hamburg. When it comes to these things, I catch a major history bug and tried to relay everything I learnt to my family when I got home. In fact, I’d do the same here if it didn’t mean ruining the experience for someone else! It is also an awesome way of getting to see the city – alone, I would definitely not have had as much fun or luck finding things!
(Also, the Hamburg Town Hall has to be one of my favourite buildings – so beautiful, I took way way way too many pictures!)
Stop #5: Church of St Michael
Following the Walking Tour, I headed over to the Church of St Michael. As someone who likes the architecture and aesthetics of buildings, St Michael’s is not the most remarkable church. However, the view from the top is stunning.
Of course, among all this, I wandered around the city. Despite the short amount of time I was there, I really felt I was able to experience as much of the city as possible and thankfully the weather was on my side!