Travels with V
Breweries, buildings, boats
Hamburg part two
To really enjoy modern and fresh German beer we head to “Ratsherrn” in the Sternschantze district. It’s an up-to-date version of the traditional “bierstube” and has a couple of micro breweries that you may visit right next door. We like Ratsherrn a lot, the beer is perfect and they also serve excellent food.
The dominating building in Sternschantze is the old water tower, jutting like a children’s book spaceship above the treetops is the surrounding park. The tower is now rebuilt and iside it’s a luxury hotel.
Later on we pass yet another famous building in Hamburg, the Chilehaus, with its curved outer wall, its sharp end and tile decorations in jugend style. When you’re here, don’t miss the shop Manufactum where amazing designer stuff can be found. Very expensive, but great fun!
A quite different Hamburg is found in the so called “Karolinenviertel”, a youthful, anarchic and bohemic part of the city with lots of small shops and restaurants. Lots of graffiti everywhere, poster art, record stores and great wall paintings. But also with a clear anti-tourist vibe, probably a reaction to too many travel tips like this one…
Here’s a piece of good advice: Contrary to what some people think the red light district is not fun to visit. Just boring and depressing. But to fully appreciate the harbour side of Hamburg it’s absolutely advisable to go on a harbour round trip by boat. It will take you through a veritable labyrinth of canals and sluices, docks with gigantic ships, container sites and warehouses. But also on water through the new Hafencity where the waves now lap the outer walls of offices and living quarters.
By the Elbe we now see the new exclusive buildings for the well off people, many with bold architectural twists. In the so called Marco Polo tower an apartment cost almost four million euro when it was opened ten years ago, the most expensive residence in Hamburg.
If the crowds and the noise in the city makes you long for stillness and silence there are thankfully a couple of very nice parks in Hamburg. We selected one not far from the city centre that has the surprisingly unimaginative name “Planten und Blumen”, plants and flowers. But it’s really an oasis with birds and animals, lakes and waterfalls, and a large greenhouse with sparkling flowers.
On our way to our hotel we stumble upon a bizarre collection of memorials packed together on a small grassy space by a playground. Here giant granite slabs praising the sacrifices of war stand next to a smaller one expressing excuse for the war atrocities by the nazi rulers. And next to it a memorial for people murdered by that same evil gang. The place makes us sad, to be honest.
But Hamburg is absolutely a city we might come back to!