Browsing articles tagged with " Hamburg"

Strolling under the Elbe

Berlin, 1 July 2013
INFO@itineri.de

It is one of the jewels that Hamburg offers its visitors: the Elbtunnel. In the time is was constructed, it was considered a masterpiece of engineering, which comes to no surprisa when one learns the tunnel was built in the early 20th century (1907-1911). Almost half a kilometre long, it is some 25 metres deep, under the bed of the Elbe. The two lane tunnel connects Landungsbrücken, on the central district of St. Pauli, with that of Steinwerder on the other side of the river.

The old tunnel, which is called so by the citizens of Hamburg, to differentiate it from the one built in 1975, is mostly used by pedestrians and bikers, in our days: strolling amongst mosaics and engravings, they can cross the river in just a few minutes, and for free. Drivers, on the other hand, must pay 2 Euros on each sense: although cars use normally the new tunnel, consisting of four lanes, some still use this hundred year old infrastructure mostly because of logistic convenience.

There are four big elevators on each side of the tunnel, the two of them in the centre appreciably longer than the others and ready to support up to 10 tones, “only” six the ones on the sides. Above them, on each end of the tunnel, two constructions welcome the users. Unlike the one located on the St. Pauli side, which was restaured back in 2008, the dome atop the south building, in Steinwerder, was destroyed during the bombings of 1943, being afterwards replaced by a flat roof.

Back in 2000, a pretty original activity was born, which by the way is not advisable for clastrophobics: an underground marathon, one of the very few worldwide. Due to safety reasons, only a maximum of 280 runners can participate in it; they must run 48 times along the two lanes of the tunnel. Unfortunatelly for sportsmen and sportswomen, the last editions could not take place: both lanes are currently being repaired.

In 2003, the Elbtunnel was declared a protected monument.

Photo elevator: Alter Elbtunnel in Hamburg (c) dirk@vorderstrasse.de CC BY
Photo tunnel: Alter Elbtunnel Hamburg (c) Wimox CC BY-SA

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Markets in Germany

Berlin, 12 March 2013
INFO@itineri.de

Farmers markets have a long tradition in our world, for they were and still are the place to buy fruits, vegetables, meats and other products, directly from the producers. Also in Germany there are markets, of course, some of which deserve a visit. Let’s go discover some of them?

Photo gallery: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11873897@N08/sets/72157632980077234/

Marheineke is one of the few indoor markets remaining in Berlin, and there are three reasons why we advise you pay a visit to it: good, fresh products are sold inside, the building is nice and it is located in an area packed with restaurants, mainly on Bergmannstrasse (definitely, a reason to visit the place, isn’t it?). The market, that is celebrating its 121st anniversay this week, was almost completely destroyed during WWII, then rebuilt in the fifties and finally modernized back in 2007. The subway line U7 will take you there (Gneisenaustraße station). Would you like to take a glance? Come on in!

Also advisable is the Neukölln turkish market. Every Tuesday and Friday, tens of traders locate their stands on Maybachufer, between the Kottbusserbrücke bridge and the Schinkestrasse: fruits, vegetables, legume, also clothing and accessories, fill up this part of the bank of the Landwehrkanal starting at 11AM until mid-afternoon. Odours, colours and many products you probably will not recognize, for the market is on the border of the Neukölln and Kreuzberg districts, where many of the Turkish “Berliner” live.

If you would like to learnt about other markets in Berlin, check this article published by the Morgenpost: http://static.apps.morgenpost.de/redaktion/grafiken/Wochenmarkt.pdf. You can also get some information (in German) about markets in the city by clicking here.

Of course, markets are also in other parts of Germany. In Munich, for example, you should see Viktualienmarkt: outdoors, it is located near the central Marienplatz, on the same place where it has been for a bit more than 200 years. There are some 140 stands offering a wide range of products, many of them from Bavaria. Also in hamburg you can see markets, like Marktzeit: it is open every Saturday from 9.30AM till 2.30PM in an old factory (old in “spirit”, because a fire burnt it down back in 1977, having been rebuilt afterwards according to its original design). Finally, in Frankfurt (am Main) you can go to Kleinmarkthalle, which opens Monday through Saturday from 8AM until 6PM (4PM on Saturdays).

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“A” as in airports (of Germany)

Berlin, 26 February 2013
INFO@itineri.de

The so called “low cost” companies are no longer what they used to be, but flying is still a reasonable way to travel to Germany, even if arriving from a European country. Here you have some information about the airports to reach Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Cologne:

Germany’s capital city, Berlin, has postponed four times the opening of its new airport, “Berlin Brandenburg International” (BER)*. This facility will replace the current airports of Schönefeld (actually, the one under construction is an extension of this) and Tegel, due to shut on the same day of the opening of BER. In the meantime, and after the historical Tempelhof closed down back in 2008, Tegel and Schönefeld are the two gates to enter Berlin by plane. Most flights operate to/from Tegel, but low cost companies like EasyJet are based in Schönefeld.

Tegel airport is located in Berlin (AB zone of the public transportation tickets), whereas Schönefeld is outside the city boundaries, in the neighbouring land of Brandenburg (C zone). From Tegel, it takes some 20 minutes to reach Zoologischer Garten (bus lines X9 and 109), and about 30 min. to Alexanderplatz (line TXL). This central square can be reached from Schönefeld in only 20 minutes, on board a regional train (lines RE7 or RB14), but in over half an hour by travelling on the S-Bahn (urban network), considering change of trains at Ostkreuz or Warschauer Straße stations.

Both airports, all together, welcomed in 2012 some 25 million passengers (London Heathrow 70 million, 105 million all three New York airports).

Hamburg is the second city in Germany and it takes only 1.30 hours to reach from Berlin. Nonetheless, more practical to get there is through its airport: with the line S1 of the S-Bahn, you will arrive at the city’s central station (Hauptbahnhof) in just 25 minutes. Or you can take any of this bus lines: 26, 39, 274 and 292. Other advisable airports are the one in Lübeck, connected with downtown Hamburg through the bus line A20, and that in Bremen, which also has a connexion with Hamburg in some 90 minutes (check the website of bus2fly).

As for Munich, its airport is connected to the city’s Hauptbahnhof (main station) with lines S1 and S8 of the S-Bahn. The journey takes about 45 minutes with both lines, and from the Hauptbahnhof you can reach the rest of the city with the metro (U-Bahn) lines U1, U2, U4 and U5. Another option to get to Munich is through Memmingen airport: although it is located 110 kilometers away from Munich, Ryanair offers several bus connexions between the airport and the city center.

Finally, Cologne is very easily accessible through Cologne‘s airport (officially, “Köln/Bonn”), with the S-Bahn line S13 to/from the city’s Hauptbahnhof: you will only need 15 minutes! The station, by the way, is located next to the city’s famous, wonderful Cathedral (Dom, in German).

Now you know what you need to know, when you prepare your trip to Germany! But before you land here, do not hesitate contact us and our private tours and services in English, to discover Berlin, Munich, Hamburg and Cologne, amongst other cities (our e-mail: INFO@itineri.de). Our tours are the best in town, and besides you do not want German to be a problem for you, do you? 😉

*We have dealt with the future Berlin airport in two articles: Berlin Brandenburg International and BER, an airport not taking off.

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Those who are no longer here

Berlin, July 16, 2012
INFO@itineri.de

When preparing a trip, very seldom are cemeteries on the list of “Places to see and things to do”. Anyway, some people find they are interesting, worth a visit. Not without reason; after all, many of them are wonderful gardens, places to enjoy a walk in peace, spaces inhabited by histories that used to be, which can even, and maybe surprinsingly, teach us something.

There are over 200 cemeteries in Berlin, meaning a total surface of 1,000 hectares. Among their trees and flowers, sepulchres, graves and gravestones, inscriptions remind us of names and years lived by women and men, girls and boys. Most of them unknown to the visitors, but among them, here and there, some well known ones: Brecht, Dietrich, Schinkel, once the royal architect of the Hohenzollern, or Kollwitz, German artist, symbol of the pain coming from the battlefields, she who lost her 19 year old son Peter, at the WWI. These names, and tens of others, of writers, musicians, important figures who have become a part of history, they are all there, in some of these cemeteries all over the capital city.

Information on the Berlin cemeteries can be found on this website: friedhoefe-berlin.de.

Also Hamburg, Munich and Cologne have, of course, cemeteries worth a visit. Ohlsdorf, in Hamburg, has a surface of almost 400 hectares, which make it the biggest park-cemetery in the entire world. Information on the cemeteries in this city is available here: friedhof-hamburg.de. Regarding Munich, on this website there are many details about its cemeteries, being Waldfriedhof the second biggest in Germany. To end up with, here you can consult the listing of the over 50 cemeteries in Cologne.

Since 2001, Germany celebrates a “Day of the cemeteries” (Tag des Friedhofs) every third weekend of September. This year, the event will take place on the 15 and 16, always with the aim of bringing these places to the citizens.

PHOTO: Friedhof III der Jerusalems- und Neuen Kirche, Mehringdamm 21 (Berlin)

Sounds from the water

Berlin, July 9, 2012
INFO@itineri.de

From the year 2007 on, a crowning jewel is being built at 53° 32′ 29″ N, 9° 59′ 3″ O: the Elbphilharmonie. According to the last official reports, the curtain of Hamburg’s future concert hall will rise on time for the season 2015/16.

Elbphilharmonie

Located between the new urban project HafenCity and the mythical Speicherstadt, the place where the Elbphilharmonie is being built makes it possible for it to be seen from almost anywhere in the city. The new Philharmonie will thus become a sort of “musical lighthouse” of Hamburg, considering its privileged position on the waters of the Elbe river.

From an architectural and design point of view, the building by Herzog & de Meuron will be 110 high, a 26-storey, thus ousting the Radisson Blu Hotel as the highest construction in the city. The huge glass window will be made up of more than one thousand pieces.

Looking back up to the moment when the project was announced, the vital process of the Elbphilharmonie has been anything but quick, and its opening date has been postponed several times. It seems, though, that its coming-out will definitvely be in 2015. The building will have cost about 323 million euro, far beyond the 77 million inicially estimated.

As long as the Elbphilharmonie is not ready to host concerts, these take place at the historical Laeiszhalle, where maestros like Richard Strauss and Igor Stravinsky have performed. Both institutions, Laeiszhalle and Elbphilharmonie, will share the city’s music centrality as soon as the builfing now in construction is finished.

Photo: Elbphilharmonie (c) mjaschy CC BY-SA

Links and more

To know the programme of concerts and activities at the Laeiszhalle: http://www.elbphilharmonie.de/events.en
Live picture from the Elbphilharmonie: http://www.hamburg.de/webcam/elbphilharmonie/

Finally, a video to stroll around the yesterday, today and even tomorrow of this emblem of Hamburg. Enjoy it!

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