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October 1st 2011
Published: December 4th 2011
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I got up early to get a train to Hamburg. It was only an hour and a half journey and the trains in Germany, as you can probably imagine, don't mess about. They just get from A to B at a decent speed unlike in all the previous Eastern European countries I had just come from where the trains seemed to painfully judder along. Strangely though, the train both to and from Hamburg AND the train from Berlin to Paris were all late unlike all the other trains I had been on so far which had all been on time. For that reason German rail gets marked down slightly as I had high expectations.

Armed with my Lonely Planet guide, I attempted to find the main town centre but ended up walking away from it on the wrong side of the river. This part of Hamburg didn't look particulalry opulent and reminded me of an inner city British borough. I found a bakery and bought some breakfast - a pastry and a donut. I realised I wan't anywhere near where I needed to be so headed back to the station to get a better map. I headed straight for the Town Hall.

I got there in time to supposedly meet the free walking tour but there was absolutely no sign of it, so I was to have to make my own itinerary. I had read about the ocean liner-shaped building so I headed for that. Chilehaus really was an impressive building. I then walked along Willy-Brandt Street to St Nikolai Church which is the second tallest building in Hamburg and went to the top to get a panoramic view of the city. Hamburg was heavily bombed during WWII and there were information plaques and photographs of the damage just after the bombings with the city in its current state as a backdrop. Kind of a before and after shot. I would definitely recommend going to the top of this burnt out church as it is beautiful in itself and you get to see for miles in every direction.

Hamburg has one of the worlds' most famous red-light districts so my visit to Hamburg would not have been complete without a visit to Reeperbahn which I headed to via a park with the Bismarck Monument in it, which is dedicated to Otto von Bismarck whose actions unified Germany and

Ocean liner shaped building. Brick Expressionism style of architecture
made it a major player in world affairs, and Landungsbrücken, which is a historical monument that serves as the central transportation hub.

Unfortunately, I only entered the first little bit of 'Sin Mile' formally known as Reeperbahn and didn't really see anything whorey. I ate my chips and moved on up Budapester Street strolling back towards the central station via the main lakes, which by the way are filthy, to go back to Berlin.

Additional photos below
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St. NikolaiSt. Nikolai
St. Nikolai

Second-tallest building in Hamburg

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