Sunday, June 30, 2013

A home exchange in Hamburg

We decided to do a house exchange in Hamburg for a few reasons. Firstly, when I was at the Shanghai EXPO2010, Germany had a very impressive pavilion that included a presentation on a major harbour redevelopment and other interesting 'sustainability' initiatives in and around Hamburg.

More recently, I read about IBA, an International Building Exposition happening this summer in another waterfront area of the city.  Finally, as Vancouver so often talks about becoming the Greenest City in the World, I thought it would be interesting to spend a month in what most consider to be the Greenest Country in the World!
So here we are in a very comfortable house in a leafy mature ring suburb. We are a ten minute walk to the subway which takes us downtown in 20 minutes.
A delightful pedestrian zone surrounds the entrance to the subway with all the shops and services one could ever need. It's a very pleasant way of life. We have a car, but so far we haven't used it. We don't need to. We have bikes and will use them, as soon as it stops raining!
One of the reasons I hesitated to come to Germany in the past was that I didn't think I would like the food. One of the reasons I'm already planning to come back is that I love the food. But then again, I grew up enjoying smoked fish, sausages, lox, herring. In that respect, I've died and gone to heaven.
One of the things I did not appreciate is just how much water there is around this city. In addition to the river, Hamburg has more canals than Venice and a large inner city lake network.
Hamburg is a city-state so the impressive city hall serves a dual purpose
There is also a very impressive City Hall with a very nice bar/restaurant inside.
Of course for many, a highlight of Hamburg is its red-light zone....

Over the next few posts, I will offer far too many photos of the older and newer parts of the city, and the major harbour redevelopments. Both the older areas and the new architecture is quite impressive, although some of the new buildings definitely are an aquired taste, to put it nicely. So let's start of with some of the other things we saw around town during the first couple of days.
Some of the neighbourhoods feel very much like parts of England
Just one of the many grand buildings that either survived the war, or has been subsequently rebuilt

1 comment:

Kevin Taylor said...

We live in a small town in the Great Southern region of Western Australia. It is a farming area. We are 1.5 hours from the coast. Would our destination be too hard to trade? It certainly would be an experience. To see more info please visit