Roadtrip to Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg Travel Blog

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Hamburg - Germany



The roadtrip to Germany began on 17th October 2006 from Nijmegen, Netherlands. The journey started approximately at 9 something in the morning, after a very satisfying breakfast of the best tomato soup I ever had in my life.



Fill in gas first before journey



Navigation system - CHECKED (very important to get to anywhere in Europe)

The journey to Hamburg from Nijmegen took bout 3 and a half hours, inclusive of the traffic jams and breaks in between. It was sooooo incredibly boring in the car when we’re on the highway and believe me when I said, boredom CAN drive one crazy :P

So boring that we entertain ourselves by snapping pictures of expensive luxury cars as they sped by :P



This truck fascinates me in a way...



We were moving at this speed when we saw the Ferrari



Then we sped faster



Fastest at this speed! 220km/h!!! It actually felt great to be moving at such speed @_@






Nearest and best shot I can get

And then it got boring again...

So boring that we finished the whole big packet of Lays.



So boring that we snacked on candies this much.




So boring that I took stupid pictures of myself.




After the long boring drive, we finally reached Hamburg!












The sun was out and shining bright...




First impression of German women :P

We stayed for 2 nights in Hotel Oper located in one of Hamburg’s city centre.


I was so looking forward to discovering Hamburg. Got everything ready including fully charged battery for my digi cam and 2 good quality camera phones in case the camera runs out of memory and a laptop to transfer my pictures to in case I want to empty my memory card.

This is the hotel. Looked pretty crappy from the outside but can’t complain much since it’s a 3 star hotel.



Damn, look how big the pillow was.






































Half of me almost :S





And so we arrived at the hotel at about 2pm in the afternoon, checked in, and settled for a while before venturing out to the city centre for a late afternoon lunch. I was very much fascinated with the German architecture portrayed on the buildings. Abundant of places to eat that we were spoilt for choices. After having a hard time deciding on a place for late lunch, we finally settled on a restaurant/café place built on a lake named Alster Lake. Great lunch with great food, great view of the lake, great weather, pleasant looking people, professional services and best of all, affordable prices.





Looking beat and worn out after the long journey...















The view from where we were sitting



I had Italian noodles, penne (penne pfanne in German) cooked in lots of pepper, cheese and grilled chicken with latte macchiato. Very very very nice.. normally, I wouldn’t force myself to stomach so much of the food if I was feeling full but with this dish, I had no regrets doing so though I had a little difficulty walking after that :P



And dessert after lunch LOL it got soooo much colder after the ice cream but it was the best



I had no idea what this building was but it seemed like a lot of people were shooting pictures of it and so I did too :P


On the first night in Hamburg, we took a trip down to the southern part of Hamburg to Repperbarhn (station stop – St Pauli).




The place is supposed to be the Red Light District of Germany where you can find lots and lots of sex shops stretched along the whole street. Man I was disappointed when I got out from the subway station. I half expected the placed to be filled with people as mentioned in the Lonely Planet Germany guide book we brought along but I was soooo wrong. True enough there were a lot of sex shops there. From peep shows to pimps standing in front of the sex shops to sex toys shops to sex shows to transvestite shows but there weren’t THAT many people there.



Live peep show anyone?








That night itself I had my first virgin walk into a sex shop selling ALL kinds of sex toys imaginable. I had no idea there were so many variations of dildos :S Sexy looking costumes (how come they don’t have costumes for men one ar.. :P like army, fireman, policeman or even doctor :P), erotic movies, blowup dolls and even FAKE VAGINA! Hahaha…

A gentle reminder for women who wanted to buy those sexy costumes in the sex shops, be careful of hidden camera in the dressing rooms. While we were looking around, my partner saw a screen behind the counter, possibly a video camera with a women undressing. We’re not sure if it was a hidden camera (don’t want to check twice to be sure) but just a reminder to all

The sex shop tour was an eye opener for me considering it was my very first afterall. 0:)

Before that I wondered the difference between the Red Light District in Hamburg and the one in Amsterdam and I got my answer that very night itself.

First, the sex shops were pretty much normal compared to the one in Amsterdam. Instead of seeing girls dancing in glass windows and trying to lure customers in, the sex shops in Repperbarhn were pretty much “normal” and privately disclosed.



Second, the display posters were ugly. They have pictures/paintings/posters of old women on the walls. :S who would want to see old women dancing and flashing they’re saggy and wrinkled vaginas ler :P Amsterdam has younger and better choices of prostitutes :P

The rest of the night was just plain boring. We saw a sign for transvestite show and was rather grossed out by it :S if I want to see transvestite shows I would have gone to Thailand instead. Surprisingly a lot of people stopped to have a look at the so called “menu” displayed in front of the shop!







We got to a rather small wax museum called Panoptikum, for 4 euros per entry but decided against it since we’re not sure if it’s worth the visit. First the place was looking kinda sad with not many tourists and second, a grumpy old lady sitting at the counter “turned us off” :P so what I did was to take a wax figure of Cleopatra on display in front of the museum :P



Cleopatra



And a poser beside



We also saw the Opera house where musicals such as Cats and Mamma Mia were played.

After that we decided to call it a night since it was getting colder and there weren’t anything else to see at the place. End of Hamburg Night One.

Oh well, so far Hamburg was so-so. Not like Wow.. and we were hoping for the second day to be better. Besides places to eat and things to do which most of the things doesn’t apply to us, the Lonely Planet guidebook wasn’t much of a help.





Second day came and we decided to play a visit to Planten Un Blomen, supposingly a big garden with lots of flowers to see. The place was just about 10 minutes where our hotel is so we walked there.



Second day breakfast



Map of the garden

I don’t know if we visited the place at the wrong time of the year but again the place was pretty much of a disappointment. I’ve been to Keukonhof (Tulip Farm) in Netherlands and this Planten Un Blomen place is nothing compared to Keukonhof. Or maybe it was the wrong time of the year. Not many blooming flowers, leaves are still green though I was expecting a more autumn like feel, I got none



It's finally autumn




The place was huge though, and very relaxing. The Germans jogged at 12 something in the afternoon, where if one ever do that under the sun in Malaysia I’m sure he or she will die of heatstroke :P Lots of Germans walked their dog, especially the senior citizens, had their packed lunch facing the lake, read a book or even had their afternoon nap at the garden.

Like this guy :P nice with free air con somemore.



I would say, life there is very relaxing compared the kind of life we have here.


Lucky for us, there were still some flowers in bloom so I tried out the Sony Ericson 3.2 megapixels Cybershot camera phone. I have to say, I fell deeply in love with the phone so much that I used the phone to snap pictures more than my digital camera and the best thing is, it’s not that obvious when I want to snap pictures! I think I might have liked this phone better now than my Pink razor! :P









We headed towards a place called MarkStr (Market street) where one can find second hand bargains. Again I was expecting sort of a flea market kinda thing you know but instead I got this…



Captured as we walked along the streets





Did you sense anything wrong with the name of the shop?

Wah damn boring I tell you. And obviously this is the lower end of Hamburg. I felt pretty unsafe walking down the street. People looked rather notorious, hence lack of snapping here.




We were pretty lost by then and walked aimlessly until we saw this












WALMART!!! Ok, pardon my enthusiasm for I’ve heard so much of Wal Mart (hey even Clay Aiken did his album promotion here :P) so we decided to go in and a have look and feel of how it is.

Again another disappointment! @$@#%#$^$#&
Ok la… what do you expect from a cheap supermarket like WalMart. But they do have nice selections of alcohol though. I got these miniatures of Baileys!





You aren’t complete if you don’t eat the local food of Germany. None other than the famous Bratwurst! We found this counter selling fastfood that imagine my happiness when I saw bratwurst on the menu I had currywurst and it was orgasmic! The sausage, the sauce, even the fries were superb! Whole set with coke for only 3.50 euros! Damn satisfying.




We continued our aimless venture in the city.


I’m telling you, there is no mistake we’re an obvious bunch of tourist la. With a water bottle in one hand, a small map from the hotel and a Lonely Planet guide book with big Germany word printed on the cover, there is no way we can mix in. (not to mention we are Chinese) One nice thing about Hamburg is that people here are pretty friendly and helpful. A couple of times we stopped to check on the maps, we were approached by friendly people asking us if we needed any help. never have to worry getting lost in the city







To summarise it all, Hamburg is a place for those who prefer a slower pace of life, just like Florence in Italy, Maastricht in Holland and other smaller cities where people prefer to take their lives in a more relaxing way. And if you enjoy German architecture, Hamburg will not fail you as there are abundant to enjoy from (although you can find more in Berlin).






Hamburg, a little too boring to my liking and for me, once is enough but worth a visit if you are ever in Germany. Not too expensive, friendly people, fresher air and where nature is around the corner on times when you need it.





Off we go to Berlin...
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Hamburg
photo by: Petitsing