Lately I've heard a lot about Hamburg, how awesome it is and I was curious to see it with my own eyes. Being in Berlin these days, was the perfect moment to do it. I bought train tickets and here I am in a train going to Hamburg.
With my book, enjoying a 2h train ride
The weather was not favorable to me, but I still have all my fingers. I must say, the rainy day enhanced the colors of this city.
I was not kidding about the cold
It took me a few time to get used with the temperature, but after that I forgot it was cold. I had set in mind to see the canals. I came here for that. I read some articles about this and I was impressed. It's said that it has more than Venice or Amsterdam. From what I've seen, it looks a lot with both of them, but on a different scale. If in the two cities mentioned the buildings are not so tall, here we find massive constructions.
All over the city you can spot Wasserträeger statues. Wasserträeger (in en. carrying water) was a popular profession that existed before the advent of centralized water supply systems. In Hamburg one of these Wasserträger, originally born as Johann Heinrich Bentz on January 21st, 1787, became a symbolic figure for the city. His nickname was Hummel, but it's not known precisely how he got it. The story says that kids made fun of him by yelling at him 'Hummel, Hummel' as they saw him passing with his filled buckets. Some of them even showed him their naked butts, well-knowing that 'Hummel' couldn't chase them with his heavy buckets. Therefore, he just replied by yelling back 'Mors, Mors!' which means 'Kiss my ass!' in a local dialect. Since then, the phrase 'Hummel, Hummel!' 'Mors, Mors!' has been a popular salute in Hamburg.
Another story about people of Hamburg, is the story of Henriette Johanne Marie Müller, called Zitronenjette. This woman made a living by selling lemons. Her famous call while she sold lemons was Zitroon! Zitroon!. At her memorial it's stated: "Your life was as sour as lemons; shall remembrance on you would it be worth? Your destiny is pointing to all the people for whom happiness has no time."
First I thought it is the evil queen from Snow White
Remaining in the history area, let's have a look at the five Hauptkirchen of Hamburg. Since I've got off the train, I saw some towers touching the sky. Wondering around, I got to one of them, the tower of St. Michaelis's church. In the morning there was very crowded so I didn't stay in the line, but in the afternoon the rain brought me again to this place. I was going to ask how tight are the stairs to climb the tower, but my brain was frozen. I went straight to it. It was ok, nothing compared to the experience from St. Peter's basilica. The tower offers you a panoramic view over the whole city.
The tower of St. Michaelis's church
In the picture below, the tallest towers that you see are as following: in the center is St. Nikolai church, in the right is St. Katharinen, and in the left, from front to back is St. Petri and St. Jakobi.
I end up this day with a walk in Speicherstadt, the warehouse district. In the twilight the redness of the buildings is enhanced. The brick architecture flourished in Hamburg in 1920. Brick was viewed by builders and their architects as a more effective and durable material in the rough climate of the north. What decides the brick's incomparable play of red, yellow is the firing process.
After reading Dan Brown's Inferno I wanted to go to Florence! That was two years ago and I had booked a trip for March 2020 but it was canceled due to the pandemic. This year I booked another trip for March, but that one got canceled too because I got covid. One month later I finally managed to visit Florence, but the plan doesn't always works out the way one expects. Initially the trip was for 3 nights but the airline with which I got the flight tickets changed the timetable and the first direct flight to return was after another 2 days, therefore I ended up spending 5 nights. Which turned out to be better! The journey to reach Florence was hellish! Apparently the airport is small, between cities, with only one runway, fairly short and not very wide. Additionally to that, the place is surrounded by high mountains, which is why it can be approached only in one direction. Not only does the terrain brings this challenge with it, but it also effectuates in a very unusual microclim
During the rainy days and with the current restrictions, my only consolation is writing about magical places I discovered in the past months in Netherlands. The subject of this post is De Haar Castle, a place rich in stories! The joy of exploring this flamboyant castle De Haar is the largest castle in the Netherlands, once the private residence of the Van Zuylen family, whose descendants still stay there yearly. In the last century, the castle also frequently hosted members of the international jet set with their lavish lifestyle; from Coco Chanel to Roger Moore, they too left their mark on the sumptuous rooms of the most opulent spot in Utrecht. I visited the castle a couple of weeks ago, together with my dearest friend, Ioana, and it was a lovely Sunday, even with some warm sunshine! This year I bought Museumkaart which allows free entrance to about 400 museums in the Netherlands, De Haar Castle included! Despite the months when the museums were/are closed, I got to use it a coup
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