“I might have been born in Liverpool – but I grew up in Hamburg” – John Lennon
Lennon was quoted with this when they talked about the beginnings of The Beatles when they still used to play in Reeperbahn’s small bars during the early years of the 1960’s.
And Reeperbahn is the world’s largest red light district. Go Figure.
From Berlin, we took SBahn going to Hamburg for a 3hour trip only, then from Hamburg we took another local train going to Mölln, and my friend’s (Henni) dad picked us up at the station. It has been a long time since I have this feeling of excitement that our grandparents will pick us up from the terminal during summer break or Christmas break, we were all excited and happy to be together again.
Then when we arrived their home which looks like a cabin in the fairytale – Goldilocks and the 3 Bears, we were welcomed by his mom who prepared homemade lasagna for dinner with all the cheese, bread, veggies and wine beautifully arranged on their oak wood dining table, aaaahhh…I felt like I was a child again!
In Mölln, we finally saw the countryside of Germany, we went to the woods (feeling Hansel and Gretel hehe), I saw windmills, real Christmas pine trees, hedge hogs (eew!haha!) and cows! And the cows here are like those model cows from the milk cans or cows on any storybooks! I always see one colored cow, but this time it is the black and white cows! Hahaha! Forgive me but it’s just my first time seeing things I used to imagine when I was a kid :P
The next day we went to city of Hamburg…
Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and one of the world’s largest and busiest ports! It has more streams, rivers and canals than Venice and Amsterdam. Its economy relied mainly on shipping trade since the old times; it has the largest container terminal in Europe and has become Hamburg’s famous landmark.
We went to the following places
- Rathaus – town hall
- Michels – baroque church, most famous landmark
- Speicherstadt –world’s largest old warehouse district
- Landungsbrücken – harbour promenade
- Alster lake – recreational area in the heart of the city
- Hamburg Dom– nothing relly special haha! We just passed by it and stare and criticize its architecture :P
- La Sepia Restaurant @ Schulterblatt – the best fish in town! The best food I had in Germany so far…they gave me birthday cake there hehe
- Reeperbahn – the world’s largest “red light district”, located at St.Pauli district and known as Germany’s sinful mile. We even went inside Herbertstraße, the street where 18 years and below and women are not allowed (or advised) to go in! But it was broad day light so we were a bit fearless and daring, glad we made it to the end of the street ALIVE!
We were feeling too cold and tired so we went back to Mölln very early! And to our amazement, the dinner was ready with a hot pumpkin soup! The table was again arranged like Christmas Eve! How I miss this feeling during my childhood.
Then Eva (Henni’s mom) was so sweet to give me a box of Toblerone with homemade ribbons and real flowers as a birthday gift! I nearly cried…I so miss having a family around you.
On our last day, I forced Henni to play piano as my birthday gift and he played “Mad World”. I don’t know why he played that haha! I know it’s a sad song, people sometimes relate this song to emptiness, death and worst is suicide! Okay there’s a “Happy Birthday” on its lyrics so okay I can forgive him hahaha!
I find it kinda funny, and I find it kinda sad :P
The complete lyrics say: “Children waiting for the day they feel good. Happy birthday, happy birthday” And yes, just like the old days and until now, I am always excited whenever my birthday is coming, coz I know I will definitely feel good, and this year, I really did :)
Then the last verse of the song goes like: “Hello teacher, tell me, what’s my lesson? Look right through me, look right through me” . And my greatest teacher is God, so I asked Him what was it that made me felt good on my birthday this year?
My experience in Hamburg brought back my childhood memories — summer breaks and Christmas breaks at our grandparents’ house, the fairytales and storybooks I used to love, and my dream to see the world…and it all happened during this birthday trip and I can never thank God enough for making my childhood wishes come true :)
Perhaps, unlike John Lennon’s perception of Hamburg, I guess my version would be:
“I might have been born in Manila, but I grew up “believing with my Hamburg” — my fairy tale, my dreams, my family.