TAP layovers are divided into nightstop – half a day – or a stay – a full day or more. On a nightstop, as we don’t have much time, we have to choose carefully what we want to do, which also helps me here in the blog to present you the cities by themes or neighborhoods!
The last time I went to Hamburg was in 2010, when I lived in Germany, and we can say that I also did a nightstop there, as I spent half a day in this pleasant city during an AFS fieldtrip along the north coast of this country. I remembered the center and the harbor, so this time I wanted to explore a new area that I did not know and where we can find a building designed by Herzog & de Meuron: the Elbphilarmonie.
The philharmonic is in an area of the city called Speicherstadt, which can be translated into “city of warehouses” and is considered the largest “warehouse city” in the world. It was built between 1883 and 1927 on stakes, creating an entire island area crossed by now channels of the Elbe river. Nowadays they still house some warehouses but it is mostly a tourist area and there are some museums.
The route we took was the following: we left the subway in Meßberg to go directly to the Poggenmühlen bridge to take the typical photograph of the Wasserschloß with water channels on both sides. Then we went to the referred space, which houses a tea shop and other good things and a coffeeshop. A must visit to the interior because it seems that the building was built on a street, you see the unevenness of the street and the promenade, very nice! It was also here that we noticed that each block was marked with a letter. We continued to wander between islands until we came across an area under construction that forced us to cross the Jungfern bridge back to “mainland Hamburg” and then cross the beautiful Kibbel bridge which runs above the level of the other bridges, crossing several islands, and arriving at the port of Sandtor, a much more modern area, with a lot of shops and restaurants, where we ate a delicious ice cream at Nice & Creamy! Already with the philharmonic well in sight we walked by the port in its direction.
It was a beautiful surprise to discover that the ascent to the balcony that separates the brick part and the glass part is free! It is always necessary to take a ticket for security and statistical reasons, but you never pay! You must go up the biggest escalator I’ve ever seen, but it still does not get to the top, taking a break with a panoramic view to the west. Another escalator later, this one of normal size, and we arrive at the place that takes us both to the panoramic balcony and to the entrances to the two auditoriums, these naturally closed. What struck me most were the curved glasses that lead us to the exterior! Then we discovered that the brick base houses a Westin hotel – and probably more things, but we could not figure out what!
I can only say that I loved returning to this port city and I’m looking forward to visit it another time!