After 5 nights in Amsterdam trying shrooms, enjoying gay pride having some amazing times and even Segway-ing through the city it was time to hit the road yet again. This time however it was a bit different I knew where I was heading (Hamburg, Germany), but I wasn’t going to be staying at a Hostel. I was going to be staying with one of my readers. It’s something I had never done and was looking forward to even though I had my fears at 1st it turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life.
If you are wondering why I had fears at 1st it is because well I think it is natural to feel that way when a complete stranger emails you and invites you to stay in their home for a few nights. Carolin contacted me a few days before I left Houston to start the next leg of my trip telling me that she has been reading my blog since my trip started and that she enjoys it a lot. She was also wondering why Hamburg was not on my itinerary and if I had plans to visit, because if I did she would be more than happy to give me a place to stay while I was there.
I of course was excited that she emailed me and let me know she follows my blog (I always wonder who reads it) and that she enjoys it, but even more happy that she was offering me a place to stay. The entire month before my arrival we made our arrangements via e-mail and the excitement grew more each time. As soon as I purchased my train ticket from Amsterdam to Hamburg I gave her the details and she let me know she would meet me at the train station.
Unfortunately it wasn’t that easy my train had been delayed because an accident and since I don’t travel with a cell had no way of contacting her I was going to be an hour late. When I arrived to the train station I searched for her and couldn’t find her. The fear I had at 1st set back in and then I was freaking out because I did not have a back up plan. I hurried up tried to find a Wi-Fi connection so I can email her and couldn’t find one. Luckily an Internet café was in the station and logged on and emailed her right away. She replied instantly and apologized and said to not move and she would be on her way ASAP. She finally arrived and got there with a sign that you can see pictured and my fears were gone. It was the start of an amazing 8 nights in Hamburg.
I don’t want to bore you with the full details of what I did the entire time I was there, but want to share with you my favorite two moments. One is about a night of partying from 9:30pm to 10:30am (this post) and the other is about camping in Northern Germany and a quick visit to Denmark (Thursday’s post). Even though I did so much while I was there, but these were the highlights of my stay in Hamburg.
Caroline had warned me in advance to get ready for Saturday because it was going to be a long day and night. We spent Saturday afternoon visiting a local flea market; walking around the city and then watching Queen Mary 2 leave the harbor. We then got home and in a hurry changed and headed out for the night at 9:30pm yes early, but it was because she had an epic night planned for me. It started with having some wine at a park and enjoying an orchestra water show. These huge water fountains would shoot water up in the air and make amazing formations along with the beat of beautiful orchestra music. Sadly we only caught the end of it, but I was still amazed. We hung out a bit more in the park and then walked to Hamburger Dom. With three fairs (spring, summer and winter) per year Hamburger Dom is the biggest and the longest fair throughout Germany. I felt like a kid all over again wanting to do everything. I hadn’t been on a fair ride in a very long time so was excited to be at one. Me and Caroline knew we both wanted to the staple of any fair the WILD MOUSE or CRAZY MOUSE. We paid got our tickets waited in line scared because we both had done it years ago and remembered how scary it was. Lucky for y’all I caught it ALL on video.
Hope y’all enjoyed me screaming like a lil girl and laughing my ass off. We also did this tall chair spinning thing that was so fucking scary (here is a picture of it). I find it funny how childish fair ride make us feel so alive and in the moment. It is such an amazing rush of excitement. We were at the fair until it closed at 12:30am. After the fair is when the real party started.
We made our way to what is known as Hamburg’s “Mile of Sin” it is the largest red light district in the world. Yes it is larger than Amsterdams and yes prostitution is legal in Germany too (I had no clue). This red light district though is very different than Amsterdams. The portion that has women displayed in windows is blocked of for men only, but along the whole way you will find clubs, bars, sex shops, sex cinemas, stripper joints and just about everything you can imagine. We tried to do some bar hopping in that area, but it was so crowded so heading to another area and same so after a few hours of wondering around seeing a lot of things we wanted to get our drink on. We then bought some beer at a local beer shop and took them down to the harbor and chatted away as we got our drink on. After spending some time there we decided it was time to head back to the bars. It was already around 4am, but it seemed like it just got busier every where we turned. We hit up a few more bars and clubs and were still going strong at 7am. At that time it was time to do a Hamburg tradition. After you party all night long you make your way to the Sunday morning fish market.
The fish market was quite the experience and one of the most unique I have ever experienced. It is a mix of locals who are going to actually do some shopping and also locals who just got done parting and are looking for food and want to continue drinking the morning away along with tourists from all over the world. The market not only sells fish, but lots of other stuff. As soon as I arrived I was amazed it was just so big and everything was being sold. What I loved was the stands that were selling fish sandwiches. I lost count of how many I tried or actually ate because we would all buy a different one and share it. After eating though Chris and I were done our energy had died it was already around 8-9am, but Caroline had so much energy left and dragged us along everywhere. In the end we did not get home until 10:30am and were excited to relax and spend all day Sunday sleeping and doing nothing. Caroline still had energy left and wanted to show me more of the city… I had to let her know I am lazy and am okay with doing nothing for a day.
I have partied hard many times in my life and also many times from night to sun rise, but this hands down goes as one of the best so far. I loved how everything we did was legal. In Germany you can drink in the streets until whatever hour you would like; all the clubs and bars are open until who knows what hour. Then the fact that I did all this with two of my readers that were locals of Hamburg and people I had just met was the cherry to top it all off. Caroline and Chris thanks again for giving me such amazing hospitality and showing me sides of Hamburg I probably would have never seen had I not been with y’all. It’s things like this (not the partying, but the hospitality of complete strangers) that make me loving traveling. It reminds me that the world is still filled with so many nice and amazing people.
So have any of you been to Hamburg? Did you do the epic Saturday night out and Sunday morning fish market? To travel bloggers that read my blog have any of you ever stayed with one of your readers? Hope to hear from all of you.