Hamburg

Hamburg – the great German harbor city… Had a great weekend with the girls and besides shopping and sight seeing we were lucky enough to coincide with the anniversary visit of the Queen Mary 2. And of course we got up early on Sunday to stroll around the famous fish market and relax at the river Elbe’s own sand beach.

Hamburg town hall
Hamburg Alster
Hamburg Hafencity
Hamburg QM2
Hamburg Elbstrand
Hamburg Fischmarkt

… and a home made rum pot (fruit preserved in rum and sugar) with ice cream …

Hamburg Rumtopf

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København

Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital, has been repeatedly voted one of the most liveable cities in the world – heading the list again in 2014. The city has lots of water, old and modern architecture, a wide cultural selection, great public transport, parks, it is very tolerant and open – and the people are really nice (unless you have a problem with the safe in your hotel room on a Saturday night, but that’s another story…). We’ve enjoyed a weekend there with friends…

Sights… the town hall, the new habor, bikes, the botanical garden…

 Copenhagen sights

Hans Christian Andersen… they love their fairytales…

 Copenhagen HCA

Most famous… the Little Mermaid… and a tour through the canals…

 Copenhagen famous

Towers… the Round Tower… and Church of our Saviour…

 Copenhagen towers

Food… typical hotdogs… and beer… and the omnipresent coffee and postcards…

Copenhagen food

Keeping a (travel) journal

Wilbur has not only sent me pictures, but also a copy of the journal his friend kept while staying with us in Berlin. It’s amazing how much I had already forgotten in just a few short weeks. And after all, it’s the little things that make a trip or just an “every day moment” special and later turn into cherished memories.

Wilbur travel journal

Well, for those of you who are curious to know how Wilbur and I got along and if there were any special moments…

Great and yes! I think this is the beginning of a wonderful friendship… We’ll share our travels for example… like I have a few trips planned and I know he has too – and then, we’ll compare notes… Just like this picture, which I love because it has been taken in a garden – after we met for the first time in the Gardens of the World in Berlin. And at some point we’ll travel together again…

Taking the train on the ferry

Train travel is pretty big in Germany and in my opinion one of the most exciting trips one can take is from Hamburg to Kopenhagen in Denmark.

Ferry ride 1

It’s a journey of about five hours and since the bridge between Germany and Denmark across the Baltic is still missing – the train goes right onto the ferry for the crossing, which takes about 45 minutes on a very modern ferry.

Ferry ride 2

Admittedly, the train is small compared to some of its white brothers and sisters all over Germany, but still: it’s about 107m long and carries up to 195 passengers. It’s high speed with a top speed of 200 km/h, which for a diesel train is actually pretty fast.

On the ferry, the train is just another vehicle… parked right between all the cars, caravans, bikes, and trucks. All passengers need to get off for the crossing (for safety reasons), and just like any passenger of a car or any truck driver, all travellers needs to get back on the train for de-boarding the ferry on the other side.

Train ride 5

Maybe it’s not like any other vehicle after all … There are special signs to make sure everybody knows where to find the big white and red train on the vehicle deck…

Train ride 3

Please return to your vehicles…

Train ride 4

And then everybody is rolling off again…

Ferry ride 7

I find this quite amazing and definitely something that you don’t experience every day. And it’s right here – no need to travel around the globe… and Kopenhagen (or Hamburg) are surely worth the ride too…

 

 

 

 

A different perspective

After taking Wilbur and his friend to the Gardens of the World only a little while ago I just had an invitation to join a group for a promotion event exactly there.

It was sponsored by the “IGA 2017” to advertise the plans and ideas currently being developed for the “International Garden Show 2017”. The show takes place in Germany every then years and features the latest in landscape planning and urban development. Berlin won the bid for the next show in 2009 and is not entering the hot phase in preparing for the event with a focus on the connection of urban areas and open space. They will incorporate the existing gardens into the project trying to built a bridge from the periphery of the city right to the center of town.

Anyway, for the kick off of the promotion event they took us onto the roof of one of the nearby highrise apartment buildings – taking the elevator to the 18th floor and climbing stairs for what felt like another three floors to the very top, where we were greeted by a truly spectacular 360° view.

Garden perspectice Rennaissance
Garden perspective IGA
Garden perspective Marzahn
Garden perspective TV tower

This was probably the best perspective to visualize the concept of integrating free space, green areas, and landscaping into the city and its urban sprawl, especially within the sea of prefabricated buildings around – and a view all the way to the city center marked by the TV tower.

On  a more personal level, I was surprised how different the area I know quite well on the ground looked from so high up. Distances seemed off, even directions didn’t quite fit anymore… On the other hand, I could easily tell where certain landmarks where and use them for orientation. Looking at the Gardens of the World, it felt strange that besides the Renaissance Garden you could only really make out the construction site for the new English Garden and Cottage and the rest of all those beautiful oases were hidden behind trees. The same venue, but a totally different perspective and suddenly yet another (new) understanding of things – enlightening! And probably something I should try to encorporate into daily life more often: just change the perspective!