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As temperatures are dropping and rain is turning into snow, the Hanseatic City
of Hamburg is transforming into a lovely winter wonderland. Beyond the hustle
and bustle of the city center with its Christmas markets, Hamburg offers many
other ways of embracing the spirit of the festive season. So why not take a
stroll along the River Elbe to experience the special winter magic that awaits
Standing at the St Pauli Landungsbrücken and looking onto the shimmering
façade of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, the city’s port unfurls its full beauty
once darkness sets in. Reflected by the water’s slight movement, the ships in
the port now shine in their own colors and create an unforgettable maritime
atmosphere. Once the Christmas tree is set up at the bow of the Rickmer
Rickmers museum ship and all lights have been switched on, the port’s docks
appear to be wrapped in a soft winter coat.
Every ferry and every tugboat passing becomes a part of this winter
wonderland, with little Christmas trees and festive lights attached to almost
every vessel. As the evening sets in, the first light snow can be seen falling
against the backdrop of the Old Elbe Tunnel with its clock tower. So, we now
tighten our scarf, put on our gloves and make our way down Grosse Elbstrasse
in the direction of the Elbe beach.
Our wintery walk leads us past the historic Fish Auction Hall, and now at dusk,
this beautiful building exudes a special charm when the cobbled streets are
covered with the first snow. The lights are on in the neighboring houses, and
locals with their loaded shopping bags can be seen strolling along the river
before returning to their warm sitting rooms – this is the Christmas scenario to
be experienced away from the busy city center.
As the evening proceeds, the container port on the far side of the Elbe is
immersed in a misty glow, and even the machinery becomes part of this winter
wonderland experience. The lights reflect on the smooth surface of the water,
and the vibrant city of Hamburg now shows its tranquil beauty. Arriving at the
Elbe beach, we close another button on our coat and enjoy this peaceful winter
stroll with its special charm. We then take in the moment before finally heading
back to the Christmas rush in Hamburg’s busy city center.