On Friday morning I made my way from Bochum back to Hagen to catch a train to Hamburg. After spending the last two weeks with people I was back to real solo travelling. It was evening by the time I arrived in Hamburg and made my way to my hotel. I checked in and then back to my usual routine of going for a wander to check out where I was, what was around, and where I could find something to eat.

I found two Christmas markets on my wander and took a moment to walk through them. Well one I walked through and picked up a few bits and pieces. The other one I started to try to walk through and then was not interested in dealing with crowds of people that don’t know how to walk and trying to actually look at anything was painful. This is when I went and found dinner. I then just headed back to my hotel for the night, did some work, and sussed out what I was going to do the next day.

One of the reasons I wanted to come to Hamburg was to round off my Beatles journey. From Liverpool to Hamburg they went and playing here was a significant part of their story. On a more personal note, before my Mum was born, her Mum bundled up my aunt and uncle and took them on a train ride to Hamburg so she could see the Beatles there too. So on my to do list was to head to take a photo of the Beatles statue in the Reeperbahn.

I decided to take myself for a walk there so I could check out the city along the way. In the park I walked through was an epic outdoor ice skating rink. I also came through the St. Pauli xmas market. Up until now, every Christmas market I have walked through pretty much has the same or very similar stalls. There isn’t a lot of diversity. But this one, if you are looking for the perfect gift for your bondage lover, this is it or some sexy lingerie to turn the heat up while it’s cold out. There were even clearly labeled vegan collars, so there was something for everyone.

After getting to the cookie cutter Beatles statues I took my photo and then walked to the train station right near by. My next stop, was traveling to the other side of the city to where Google told me there was the Primark. The jacket I had wasn’t really enough to cut it I felt for the -2 degree temperature I was going to be out in tonight. I had booked in for a tour. So I was off to go find myself something cheap and warm. I rocked up found the shopping centre, found the shop, found a jacket, and walked straight back to get on the train. On the way back to my hotel I then stopped for a bite to eat, and then headed back to drop off my bits and pieces, do some work, and rearrange myself for the tour.

As I walked to the meeting spot for the Haunted History of Hamburg tour I noticed these little white things in the air. Then I realised they were snow flakes! My first snow flakes of the season. I even saw one that landed on my glove and it looked like a snow flake! I’ve never seen that before. It was pretty cool.

Just as we met for our tour which happened to be outside of the crazy busy xmas market, Santa was about to do his thing. We were also waiting for two people so we stood there and watched as Santa in his sleigh flew up to the tree while talking about his Reindeer. After this show, the other two people found us just as we were about to start, and then we got started. This tour was great, and my new jacket was fantastic for walking around the city in minus two degree weather. One of the things I love about these night tours is that you get some great stories but I also then find out about places to come visit again the next day on my own.

So that’s what I did the next day, I walked back through some of the stomping ground from the night before and took some snaps which light really helps to capture it all better. The big one was heading to St. Nikolai church and visiting the museum in it’s cellar. Back in 1847 the spire of this church was the highest in the world and is still the highest in Hamburg. The museum offers an insight into Hamburg prior to Operation Gomorrah and how much the Nazi regime had been preparing the population for a bombing air war. The board game (picture below) was a reality check in just how manipulative and mastermind taking control over a population and altering perceptions times were. The museum doesn’t glorify any one’s behaviours during these times, It just shares facts and I was really impressed with the way all the information was presented. If you ever visit Hamburg, I do recommend visiting here. I also suggest bringing tissues if you are anything like me. It was when I got to a display, (which has been on permanent loan since 2009 from Warsaw’s History Museum) that shows images of Warsaw from 1939 – 2009 that I really needed to take some slow deep breaths, and bat away the tears welling in my eyes. From that moment and through the rest of the exhibition tears falling down my face was pretty unavoidable. Even writing this now, I am tearing up.

I sat and watched the 18 minute film that was also on display, recounting stories from those that had survived the attacks in Hamburg in 1943. I walked through and saw the items that people had donated along with their stories. People are shit, and by people all of those that think that money and owning land and power and control and all of that rubbish, the ones who ruin everybody’s lives. They are shit. This is why I hate humans. I really don’t like anything that makes me feel these sorts of feels. I was definitely having a Leelloo moment during this.

After leaving the museum I just went for a walk to process and re-centre myself. I grabbed a bit to eat and then I had a photoshoot session with a seagull. I spent about 10 minutes with this bird taking photos of it and fitting it with the scenery behind it. It didn’t fly away so it seemed cool to listen to me chat to it and do this. I think the guy sitting on the seat near where I was probably thought I was a weirdo… Meh…

The next day was my last day in Hamburg and I just did some work and figured out how to post some things. Just not to Australia as they told me we don’t send there. Turns out they do, it’s just really expensive to send a 1kg parcel to Oz. Like €69. The €17 to send to the UK though was more reasonable. It really did take me a good part of the day to send a package as when I first went to buy a parcel box Visa’s don’t work, none of the cards I have would apparently. So then I had to go get cash. Which the homeless woman outside ended up also benefitting from cos I gave her my loose change. I had ended up walking past her 6 or 7 times by the time I sent the parcel. We smiled at each other and nodded each time.

After all that I did some of the work I needed to especially as tomorrow was going to be a travel day as I make my way to Rostock. This trip in Germany is such a funny one. Pretty much based around fitting in catching up with people and running errands before I make my way back to Croatia.