My Walking Tour Part 1...getting to know Hamburg..a novice tourist!

I think that being so new to something allows you to be almost overwhelmed and definitely fascinated by everything.....which on reflection of my feelings on this day......I was all of the above!!! Lovin ALL of it but anxious at the start.... I really had no idea where I was and I didn't really trust the map because it was a bit vague!!! (Parky.....lucky I have learned some stuff on coping when you are going into a new situation ....that's where you have sent me many a time....and I have for the training!)   
Find #11 on the map. Just underneath the first 'e' in the word Reeperbahn, is where GT's appartment is (Querstrasse) and was the starting point for my walking tour. It was the very first time I had ventured out on my own. I didn't know where N, S, E, or West was and it took me 30mins to decide which direction I had to walk... I found out by asking the friendly policeman who had been watching me for some time with an amused look on his face....!! I really didn't want to start off wrongly....I was so looking forward to getting to know my new district that I had hesitated far too long, just to get it right!!!...
Davidstrasse took me directly to the camera began working in earnest to capture everything...the sight was fascinating and, as the sun was shining, I was in my element. Everything was important and grabbed my head was jerking from left to right, up high and across the water ....along the the people lured me along St I moved from one landing bridge #12 to the next in awe of the number of cruise vessels available to tour the multitude of waterways winding their way through Hamburg. Across the water I could see Blohm & Voss, where GT was hard at work in their shipyard. Enormous cruise ships were in dock waiting for attention...
I moved along Baumwall wrapped up in the history and beauty of the ancient buildings..I almost missed the turn off to Deichstrasse,#13 where one of the few complete row of houses still stands. It came through the Great Fire of 1842, the modernisation of the city, and the air raids of the second world war almost unharmed!!! I was lost! No....not geographically.....but emotionally!!!!..........I became so absorbed in the story attached to each building, the view from the rear of these romantic merchants' houses, now mostly restaurants, and their unique interiors....that I lost all sense of time and space! It wasn't until my phone rang and dragged me back to the here and now that I was able to give myself permission to move away from this powerful encounter with the past!
St Nicholas' Church #14 has been left exactly as it was after the bombing of the second world war and acts a a peace monument to the 50,000 people who died in the air raids in Hamburg alone! Over the Trostbrucke which spans the Nikolaifleet then back over Hamburg's oldest bridge, the Zollenbrucke-1633.
I passed St Katherine's Church #15 ... which would probably be quite imposing but she was under wraps being nurtured back to her beautiful self...  and crossed Zollkanal to the Speicherstadt #16 or "city of warehouses" apparently the biggest in the world. Embedded in this area are the German customs Museum, Hamburg Dungeon, Minatur Wunderland, the Spicy Museum,....and apart from the multitude of warehouses and offices, there were some very inviting wine bar and restaurants! Naturally, I was drawn in and wined and dined on a well earned red wine and antipasto platter....Energised to continue, I meandered here and there, diverting from the tour map to discover quaint little streets full of character and history! Chilehaus #17, close to the old town centre, was a gigantic brick building divided vertically, the eastern tip of which is designed in the shape of a ship's bow. The museum of Arts and Crafts #18 and then #1.....Hauptbahnhof...(Central Station)!! I had finally made it to the train station I had visited with GT on my first night here! It was enlightening to see it in the daylight and be abel to orientate myself geopgraphically....(on that first night I could have been on the moon for all the sense I had of any directions being taken then!!) Hauptbahnhof has the largest freespan roof of any railway station in Germany. The many restaurants, kiosks and shops make it a buzzing precinct inside the thundering daily comings and goings of 100's of trains....
#2: Monckerbergstrasse = the shopping street with the highest level of turnover anywhere in Hamburg. One major department store after another, flanked by specialist shops for everything...The 'Boulevard of Shopping Dreams' takes in 1/4 million visitors every day....needless to say....I got stuck in this precinct!!!! Not only people shopping, but also wining and dining waterside in little cafes and wine bars....I decided to end my tour at this stage.....explore this enticing area.....then catch a train home in time to meet GT for dinner!!! Blown away by the diversity and emotion of my day.....I very happily put my walking tour guide away with the intention of completing it in the morrow!

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