Just got back from the long study tour week long trip to Hamburg, Koln, and Amsterdam.


Our first stop on the trip was in Hamburg, Germany, one of the largest cities in Germany and a fairly large port city.  It also has more bridges than Amsterdam.

During WWII it was largely destroyed in bombing campaigns and so much of the city has a newer modern feeling and is also pretty car-centric, although it did have a fair metro system that covered the city center well.

We visited Hafen City, a new development area on a former harbor and shipping area.  The area revolves around the harbor front and has lots of new architecture, buildings, and will soon have a new U-bahn line that runs from the city center to Hafen City.  It is a rather large development area since it is as large as 40% of the original central city area.

A lot of the harbor front has to relate to the water.  As I said there are lots of bridges, and the tide can rise 10 feet within the course of the day.  The harbor and inlets had dramatically different water levels from day to day because of the fluctuating tides.  

We had a guided tour around the harbor area, and saw a lot of new projects such as the concert hall by Herzog and DeMureon and the Unilever Building which has a plastic outer building skin that blocks the wind and helps to insulate the building in the winter.

We ate at a German Beer House and I got to have some good German beer and then we had the evening on our own.  Some of us went to a ‘new emerging area’ of the city called St Petri which was formerly the red light district but now apparently has more trendy shops and things.  I was unpleasantly surprised because it looked like someone plopped a Las Vegas/ Sleezy Hollywood hybrid into the middle of Hamburg.  It did have some better cafes and more down to earth shops of the main street, but otherwise there was neon and kitschy touristy things everywhere.  The street even came complete with faux hollywood stars (only a few).  Afterword I got to take the U Bahn back to our hostel and went to bed.

The next morning we went to go see the older city center area.  We had some sketch sessions and walked over more bridges and saw the Radthus.  Hamburg also has a small lake opposite the harbor which was quite scenic.  However it began to get cloudy and rainy, and we soon grabbed some coffee and jumped on the bus to our next location : Koln (Colonge).