After five weeks in Ukraine, I was ready to travel some more. I flew from Kiev to the airport in Lübeck, Germany, and then took a bus to Hamburg. The journey took about an hour, but there was so much beautifully green scenery on either side of the highway, that the trip didn’t seem nearly as long. I arrived in Hamburg pretty late that day, and so headed straight to where I was staying. The result was that I had only one full day (with bipolar weather) to actually see Hamburg. Unfortunate, really; Hamburg is beautiful and green and — one of my favourite aspects — very clean.
I wandered around and saw as many of the main sites as I could, though the only “attraction” that I actually visited was Miniatur Wunderland, a model railway exhibition (the largest of its kind in the world, apparently) that was highly recommended to me. And I understood why. It was a spectacular sight. All the models of different parts of Europe with trains running through them (through cities, through mountains) were so incredibly detailed and carefully thought-through, I was simply blown away. One could stand there and stare at this miniature world for hours — there’s constantly something new happening. There were many different kinds of models, including one of a mine in winter, another of a massive, fully functioning airport, and even a model tropical island surrounded by (real) water, yachts and ships floating and moving around in it. If ever you are in Hamburg, I highly recommend this.
Hamburg, on the northern bank of the Norderelbe, which is a tributary of the River Elbe. On the far right is the Elbphilharmonie, an enormous structure that Hamburg locals are very proud of: it’s part orchestra, part condominium.
Bridge leading onto a pier.
On the pier: the Cap San Diego.
St. Michael’s Church. I really like how green Hamburg is.
Inside the enormous St. Michael’s Church.
There are multiple organs in this church. What an enormous place.
One of the organs in St. Michael’s Church — the one that is above the entrance.
A cool statue standing in the midst of old church ruins.
One of the many canals running through the city.
Hamburg Rathaus (City Hall).
The Rathaus square.
Look at the detailing on the gate leading into the Rathaus.
Inside the Rathaus.
Creepy fountain inside the Rathaus.
Rathaus courtyard and fountain.
Near the Rathaus. Beautiful city, moody skies.
One of the many canals (and in the distance some of the countless bridges) in Hamburg.
Alster and the beautiful buildings on its bank.
The central train station, Hamburg Hauptbahnhof.
I love seeing trees in line city streets.
That is a lot of beer.
Ah, beautiful Hamburg. Miniatur Wunderland is to the right, in the second half of the first set of buildings.
One of the numerous, exquisitely detailed model railway exhibits in Miniatur Wunderland.
A model plane taking off on a model runway in a model airport. The detail is astounding.
Inside a miniature model mine.
Oh, and all the exhibits go through a full day cycle: morning, afternoon, evening, dusk, night, dawn, morning, and all over again. (Of course, it doesn’t take 24 hours for the models to get through this cycle.)