Remember when I went to Hamburg back in December? No? Me either… it feels like so long ago. I have been meaning to write this blog now for a good two months, but as Christmas, New Year and all those other bits got in between, I’ve only really found the time now to sit down and really talk to you about it.
This hasn’t been a post I wanted to rush, because it was such a great trip, and I wanted to make sure it came across in that way – although I have had to read Hannah’s post (which is a good job I did because I almost forgot about the guy who dressed as Santa, tried to give me 60p for no apparent reason and was obviously stoned out of his face on a 7am flight!) upload all my pictures to Facebook, and look through them all to remind myself of everything we did. Woe is me hey?…
Me and Hannah (from Hannah gets Hench) booked this trip way back in August 2016 so we’d have something to look forward to come December i.e. freezing cold temperatures and lots and lots of layering. It seemed as though it was quite a popular destination for bloggers in Winter as a couple of girls we both knew, went the month before us which only made me more excited (and a few visited after we’d come back too!)
We chose Hamburg because 1).the flights were ridiculously cheap, thank you Ryanair! 2) I’d never been to Germany before despite being voted ‘most likely to marry a German’ in year 11 (it was a private joke relating to our German teacher at the time, who I can hold my hands up and say I did not marry…) and 3) because where else does better and more authentic Christmas markets than the home of Christmas itself?
Our little trip started the evening before as we ate pizza, drank bucks fizz and had a sleepover in preparation for our 6.40am flight. We stayed for two nights at the ‘Ibis Centrum’ which was right near the train station, and only a 15 minute walk into the city. The hotel itself was lovely, and although we took a while finding our room in our sleep-deprived state, it was a good base to explore.
When we first got there we toyed with the idea of having a nap, but instead decided that a proper German bratwurst was more up our street (again, no pun intended…) but ended up in a cute little cafe just opposite one of the markets. After fuelling up on mulled wine, we wandered around the fishing ports, through the markets and to St. Michaelis Church which had a carol service on. We stopped off for another mulled wine at the biggest market, Weihnachtsmarkt, and then went back to the hotel to get changed.
I’d been recommended Hamburg’s version of the red light district, Reeperbahn, so we decided to jump on the tram there (although we got on the wrong one 3 times…) It wasn’t as extreme as Amsterdam, but the drinks kept flowing, and we even found ourselves visiting the sky bar until we realised we aren’t posh millionaires, and so went on to a slightly cheaper establishment.
In the second bar we went to (a couple of bottles of wine down) we decided that what better way to celebrate being in Germany than to completely embarrassed ourselves taking Christmas decorations off the wall and wearing them, and asking for 99 red balloons a good 498123 times – side note, they eventually gave in to us.
After calling it a night, we managed to get on the wrong tram another 3 or 4 times (I’m not even slightly exaggerating) before making it back to our hotel in one piece and asking the receptionist for a peppermint tea – girls gotta alleviate the hangover.
On the second day we did some more wandering, eating and mulled wine drinking (when in Hamburg right?) We visited the Miniature Wonderland, which was very impressive, and then took the tram to the underwater Elbe Tunnel, which connects one side of Hamburg to another and is almost 2 miles long. The tunnel was made in 1911 and allows pedestrians, cyclists and motorists access to the south side of the river Elbe and sometimes hosts art exhibitions.
We built up quite an appetite with all the walking and found ourselves in Burgerlich, which is Hamburg’s answer to a fast food burger joint. We were seated straight away and shown how to order our food and drinks on iPads. The burgers were amazing, and the whole experience was very interesting and modern.
All in all, our Hamburg trip was one of my most fun memories of last year, and it was great to spend more quality time with Hannah – I can’t wait for our next trip away together! I would definitely recommend Hamburg as a Christmas destination, but I have also heard really great things about visiting in the summer as well. So you never know, there might be another Hamburg blog coming your way in the future!