I had the chance, for my 6-month internship, to end up in Hamburg, Germany. It was my first time in Germany, and frankly I was not sure how it was going to be. Maybe that’s a French thing, but when we think Germany, we think of WWII. We see Germans as cold and their language as rude and aggressive. But I thought that Germany was surely more than that, and I could not judge people based on History without even trying to know them. So I took the opportunity!
I made a great decision by going there. Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany, after Berlin. It is a beautiful city, with a huge port, and so many different districts that are worth visiting.
After some researches, I learned that Hamburg is part of the Hanseatic League, which was a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant federations and their market towns that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe. This association can be found on licence plates: HH meaning Hansestadt Hamburg and on the city’s official name: Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg (Free city and Hanseatic of Hamburg).
On the blason of Hamburg, we can see the castle’s doors closed, which represent the weapons of Hamburg since the war ended on an unconditional surrender.
What I love about Hamburg
The things that I love the most about Hamburg is that even if it is a pretty huge city, it has many green spaces, its port is beautiful and nice to walk by, and the city is very clean!
I mean, Europeans are known for being heavy smokers and not very careful when it comes to the environment, right? At least, I know the French are (Yes, I can be objective about the French). In Hamburg, you have ashtrays on trashes everywhere, and people actually use those! Its crazy, right?
The people are kind as well. Some Germans I was working with told me that Northern Germans are seen as colder than Southern Germans. I mean that’s pretty much the same that is said about France (and that’s true!). However, even if I haven’t had the chance to visit the South and meet people from there, I never had a problem with any of the Northern Germans. They were always willing to help me or never looked at me differently because my German was so limited.
Many Germans speak English! That was great for me, as I had never studied German before going there… ^^ It ended up being easy for me to ask directions, order food and other.
Beer, Beer everywhere! And sausages! I can tell you that even if I liked beer before going there, my trip there was a revelation. Germans beer are so good, just like the Belgian ones. Most importantly, when you order a pint in Germany, you actually get a 1L beer, and a 50cl beer for a small one. That was great stuff.
I hope this introduction will make you want to learn more about Hamburg!
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