I went to Hamburg for the weekend! This deserves its own shout-out, since we Berliners are famously lazy when it comes to the neighbouring city by the Elbe. Only 1.45 hrs by train and still too far away for most of us to go there regularly for a day or two. There’s not even a rational reasoning behind this, yet if you ask a random person living in Berlin when they’ve been to Hamburg the last time, I bet it’d be close to my answer before this trip: two years? Or maybe even three? It’s been some time, let me say it like that. Which is even more tragic considering that the Hamburgers are coming over regularly. I see my Hamburg based friends more often in Berlin than the other way round. One of them thought it was superweird we were walking through the Schanze together, since we’ve only ever met in Berlin. Anyway, I WENT. And I ATE. A ton of new places were added to the city, some old favs vanished and I was excited about the very long list of tips I had received from friends and followers. I will have to go back though, because just when I returned I found a lovely hand-written letter with even more tips in it, and I feel like I missed out on a couple of places (Hobenköok, HEAT, Balz & Balz…). So, I guess a trip in spring is coming up. Spring… 2020? Going north at least once a year is now on my agenda.
Seems like I spent most of my time in Hamburg in Altona – that huge district including the posh suburbs along the north shores of river Elbe as well as the crazy popular Schanzenviertel – Altona’s heart and old city center is located around the station called Altona (you can get here directly by train from Berlin) and has been suffering the same fate as so many other once busy areas after the war. Following almost complete destruction, the city tried to rebuild it as a new commercial center, remodeling it into a shopping area, but tragically failed to revive the old spirits and left the area more or less to rot since the 1970s… before it experienced a new investor’s boom in the last couple years. Today, the main street of Große Bergmannstraße looks like many other shopping strips in former West Germany, same shops, same bakeries, same same. However, it’s also home to a lovely café called Klippkroog, (which didn’t need all this introduction but got it anyway).
We Berliners are so rarely in Hamburg, it’s shame. A literal shame, considering this beautiful city is only 2hrs by train away. But then, two hours on a train! And however, this post isn’t supposed to be a rant about our (my) laziness, because I actually went to Hamburg a couple days ago and had some delicious vegan food at a restaurant I need to recommend to you: Leaf.
You know what, we Berliners should all go to Hamburg more often. Seriously, it’s a beautiful city and home to some very smart and very enjoyable people, like Melanie.