I can usually tell pretty quickly if I am going to like a city or not.
Maybe that’s my superpower!
I knew I loved London even before I had even seen anything except for the airport and the Tube’s Piccadilly Line. It’s still one of the weirdest feelings I’ve had. On the other side of the coin, I pretty much knew straight away that I wasn’t going to like Cologne or Paris.
Sure feelings can change after the initial visit to a city. I’ve said before that I didn’t like Melbourne when I first went there, now it’s one of my favourite cities. Likewise with Sydney – for years I hated that city, though I think that had more do to with the automatically installed hatred for all things Sydney when I moved to Brisbane. But over the last few years I’ve been to Sydney a number of times and really love it now.
One city that I really loved from the minute I arrived is Hamburg, Germany.
In stark contrast to Cologne, I found Hamburg light & airy. Yes a weird thing to say about a city but Cologne, to me was dark and imposing – I will admit that it may have been more to do with the weather more than anything else. I actually had reasonably good weather the day I was in Hamburg – which can make a drastic difference when travelling.
I can’t even pinpoint one specific moment or thing that happened but I instantly fell in love with the city.
Unfortunately I was only there for for one day (well half a day really) and it was coming to the end of my 4 weeks in the UK & Europe which meant funds were running extremely low, so I did the one thing I knew I had to do … jumped on a hop on hop off bus and went around the city.. a few times.
Strangely, Hamburg actually reminded me of Christchurch a bit – even though it was NOTHING like Christchurch. It was just this feeling I have in Christchurch, I had in Hamburg.. wow, I could not explain that any worse than I just did.
Whatever it was, Hamburg definitely got my attention.
One thing I really loved was the Speicherstadt area. I loved the old converted warehouses. I loved the red bricks and the old world feel to the buildings.
As I was going around on the bus, I fell in love with the city more and more – even the quirky ‘men’s only’ street in the red light district of the city. It was very quiet the day I went past it 🙂
It really surprised me how much I actually loved Hamburg, considering the rest of the trip but I’m glad I added it to my itinerary and I definitely know I need to go back to check out the city in more depth.