I was asked to write about my favorite places here in Finland. But since almost everyone here is more familiar with this area, I figured I could write about a few of my favorite places back home. So sit back and enjoy the ride!
Hamburg’s warehouse district. The largest in the world. It has an incredible atmosphere to it, you can almost feel the history in the old red brick buildings. They stand on oak logs and were built in the end of the 19th century. In summer a few small coffee roasteries are open and the air is filled with the smell of fresh coffee. The main attractions are the German Customs Museum, the Hamburg Dungeon and the Miniature Wonderland, a model train exhibition displaying a lot of famous sights in Hamburg and also other countries. The best way to see the Speicherstadt in all its beauty is by taking a trip through the fleets on one of the boats typical for the harbour, the ’Barkasse’.
These boat trips also lead through the whole port, which is a really cool place. With the mighty container ships and seemingly endless lines of giant red cranes, it is truly a special sight. As soon as you leave the main part of the harbour you are greeted with a bunch of small islands called ’Elbinseln’. They’re mostly uninhabited but a few of them are used as pasture for cattle.
Planten Un Blomen
Planten Un Blomen is low german (plattdeutsch) for plants and flowers and that’s exactly what it is. It is a long-standing park in the center of Hamburg and even though it is located in between a few big roads and the congress centre, Planten Un Blomen is incredibly quiet and peaceful. In summer it is a great place to stay at because of the countless plants, flowers, water installations and open greens. The biggest attraction in winter is the open air ice rink in the south of the park. As soon as it gets cold enough a lot of people from Hamburg and the surrounding area pay the ice rink, that is used as a roller skating rink during summer, a visit.
Hagenbeck, as most people call it, is a zoo in Hamburg-Stellingen. Run by the now 6th generation of the Hagenbeck family, it is one of Hamburg’s most traditional sights. The special thing is that most of the animals live in gridless enclosures and roam relatively free in there. In the newly built ’Eismeer (polar sea)’ animals like penguins and other birds can come as close to the visitors as the want and that’s usually really close. The whole park area that the park is located on is really impressive and I know very little zoos as beautiful as Hagenbeck. With it’s almost 2000 animals (not including the tropic aquarium) it is quite big and has a big variety of animals, such as the first walrus to be born in a german zoo.
The Volksparkstadion is the home ground of my favorite soccer team, the Hamburger SV. It has a long tradition in Hamburg, just like the HSV itself. Changing names a few times due to a change of sponsors, the arena now has its old name back. Built in 1953 it has, after a renovation, place for about 57.000 spectators, making it the 7th biggest stadium in Germany. The Volksparkstadion has also hosted several matches in Soccer World Championships over the years. On occasion the arena is also used as a concert venue.