It's been a busy busy week for me in Hamburg! I visited Ohlsdorf Cemetery which is one of the oldest and largest cemeteries in the world. Though I only got in about 2 hours before the sun set, the beauty and eerie calmness of the cemetery was an incredible experience. There are numerous family plots within the grounds, and even an area behind a church that is used as a general memorial for people to mourn loved ones. As I mentioned, I was in the cemetery when the sun set, and let me tell you... that was an experience. I was exploring the cemetery alone, and was about 20 minutes away from the entrance/exit of the grounds. Luckily there were street lamps along the road, but it was definitely an experience that kept me on edge!
I also explored Sternschanze, which is an area similar to that of Kensington Market in Toronto. With a lovely hand drawn map of the area created by a friend, I explored the area and managed not to get lost (yay!). The area was composed of many little shops and boutiques, as well as small restaurants and cafes. There were also many secondhand stores in the area, which were nice. I stopped for lunch at a small Portuguese cafe (Transmontana), which was across the street from the 'Rote Flora' - an abandoned house that squattors frequent and is always covered in graffiti.
On Saturday, my sister took me on a surprise trip to 'Heide Park', an amusement park not unlike Wonderland in Toronto (well technically it's in Maple, but I digress). The park was located in a small town about an hour south of Hamburg by train. It was my first time travelling by regional(?) train so I was very excited. What I hadn't anticipated were 1) the crowd of people that would be there, and 2) the roughly 2km walk to/from the train station and Heide Park itself. My sister and I spent the entire day going on rides, eating food, and laughing - there was A LOT of laughing. All in all, it was a great time and I'm so happy she brought me. We left around 20:30 to catch the last train back home, and unfortunately for us, the 2km walk to the train station would be in the dark. There were no streetlights on the entire 2km stretch of road, so as such, our walk was completely illuminated by the stars. We did eventually make it home after a tiring day, but it was worth it!
Schokolade und Haribo-Cola
Lastly, I went on a photo safari yesterday through St Pauli/Reeperbahn. This area, as mentioned in a previous blog post, is the entertainment/sex district of Hamburg. We met our group at Beatle Platz, and began our photo safari. The ladies of GGI Hamburg are anglophones who live in the area, some of whom I had the pleasure of meeting on the photo safari. St Pauli/the Reeperbahn is where everyone goes to let loose and blow off some steam on the weekends. The area is also therefore, somewhat 'alternative', with graffiti and political messages all around. It was an amazing photo safari, and ended in the cutest cafe I have ever seen. It was a great day!
There is a street in St Pauli that is strictly for pregnant and/or South American prostitutes
At night, they can be seen through the windows of this building
Me standing on a tree root that decided to grow alongside the sidewalk
A grill made of an old metal bathtub and rebar
I realize this blog post has run very long and it should have been separated into 4 different blog posts, however I've been busy (as you can clearly see!). I will try to write more frequently, but at the very least you can expect a weekly update.
I hope you enjoyed my adventures this week in Hamburg. Until next time - cheers!