Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg, Germany

Our surprise day trip destination? Hamburg! When H and I were planning our trip to Germany, we knew we wanted to travel by train. So we looked into booking our tickets early, but didn’t want to be stuck with certain trains at certain times. What if our plans changed? We looked into Eurail Pass, and that’s out we found the German Rain Twin Pass. It’s a special pass for two people traveling together through Germany. We bought a ticket for 4 days, and only used 3. Thus the impromptu trip to Hamburg. We were pretty happy with the price and value of the pass. I’d recommend it if you’re going long distances, but be sure to do your research.

Hamburg is just a short 2 hour hop from Berlin and so we grabbed a early morning train and arrived mid-morning. And of course, instead of being sunny, it was freezing and raining. And then it snowed. Since we went on whim, we didn’t really know where to go or what to do. But we wandered around and fell in love with the city. It’s a charming, confusing city filled with old brick warehouses and new homes. And ships! It reminded me of Seattle, which is probably why Hamburg is possibly my new favorite city in Germany. Sorry Berlin, you’ve got competition.

Hamburg Germany in WinterHamburg Germany in WinterHamburg Germany in WinterHamburg Germany in WinterHamburg Germany in WinterHamburg Germany in WinterHamburg Germany in WinterHamburg Germany in Winter

Oh, and those warehouses? Some of them were converted into apartments, with balconies that hung out over the canals. I can just imagine them with exposed brick walls and big windows. Doesn’t that sound like a nice place to live?

Catch up on all our adventures in Germany:
Berlin: Part One, Part Two, & Part Three
Bonn & Cologne
The Rheingau
Dachau
Munich

Berlin: Part 3

Berlin: Part 3

This last set of Berlin photos (see part 1 and part 2) covers three of my favorite Berlin landmarks: the Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, and the Jewish Memorial. We covered all three places on our last day in Berlin. All three are free, but you do need to register for the Reichstag tour (right here), I’d recommend doing that a few days in advance. As strange as it sounds, the Jewish memorial is one of my favorite places in Berlin. I also like cemeteries. They’re calm. Peaceful. Anyways. It started to snow as we walked through the memorial. First, little flakes. Then, big, fat flakes. I wrapped my scarf around my head and across my body to cover my camera. And then it stopped. We slowly wandered over to Brandenburg Gate and to the Reichstag for our tour we were early, but we got to go up anyways. As we walked around and around the dome, the sun broke out. I’ve toured the Reichstag before, at night. It’s completely a different experience. I’m still not sure which I like better. I just know I love the dome, even though most Germans don’t. Later that night, as we waited for the bus, I snapped those nighttime frames. The TV tower at Alexanderplatz and the Berliner Dom.

Winter in BerlinJewish Memorial BerlinJewish Memorial BerlinJewish Memorial BerlinJewish Memorial BerlinJewish Memorial BerlinJewish Memorial BerlinJewish Memorial BerlinJewish Memorial BerlinBrandenburg Gate BerlinBrandenburg Gate Berlin Pariser PlatzBerlin Reichstag DomeBerlin Reichstag DomeBerlin Reichstag DomeBerlin Reichstag DomeBerlin Reichstag DomeBerlin Reichstag DomeBerlin Reichstag DomeBerlin Reichstag Dome

Berliner Dom at Night

I’ve got a few more Germany posts for you still. And then I’ll need to go on another adventure 🙂

Catch up on all our adventures in Germany:
Hamburg
Berlin: Part One & Part Two
Bonn & Cologne
The Rheingau
Dachau
Munich

Berlin: Part 2

Berlin: Part 2

You can find my first post on Berlin here. We ended up spending only three days in Berlin, and we had a long list of places we wanted to visit. At the top of the list was Olympiastadion Berlin. We try to visit Olympic sites when we travel, maybe someday we’ll even make it to the Olympics! It costs 7 Euro to visit the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, but I think it was worth it. Our tickets were discounted because the bell tower was not open, so I think they were only 4 or 5 Euro. Either way, it was impressive. We weren’t able to tour the locker rooms or anything, but we got to wander around on our own.

Berlin Olympia StadionBerlin Olympia StadionBerlin Olympia StadionBerlin Olympia StadionBerlin Olympia StadionBerlin Olympic Stadium TourBerlin Olympic Stadium TourBerlin Olympic Stadium TourBerlin Olympic Stadium TourBerlin Olympic Stadium Tour

I could go on and on about the museums we visited in Berlin, but I’ll make it short. We’d go to all three of them again. Two are pictured below.

The first is Topographie des Terrors, which is about the Gestapo and SS during WWII. No, I didn’t take H to another concentration camp, but he did agree to come to this museum. The museum is located on the former site of the SS Headquarters, right in the middle of Berlin, near Checkpoint Charlie. There is an indoor and outdoor exhibit, but we skipped the outdoor exhibit because it was covered in snow. This museum is free. Free is good.

The second is the DDR (German Democratic Republic) Museum. This museum was SUPER fun, because you get to interact with all the exhibits. They’ve got school books, propaganda films, old cameras, a crazy old soviet game, and even an apartment replica you can tour! The admission fee for adults is 6 Euro for the DDR Museum. Everything is in English and German at both the DDR Museum and Topography of Terror.

Lastly, we visited the German Resistance Memorial Center, about the German resistance movement during WW II. Are you sensing a theme here? A little boring for most, but I think H liked the resistance memorial a lot. It was hard for him to visit WWII museums and monuments, and feel like no one tried to speak out. The permanent exhibit is in both English and German, but they also have free audio guides in multiple languages. Also, free. And in a sweet old building, but it is a bit out of the way.

Berlin Topography of Terror MuseumBerlin Topography of Terror MuseumBerlin Topography of Terror MuseumBerlin Topography of Terror MuseumBerlin Topography of Terror MuseumEast German Museum BerlinInteractive Museum BerlinEast German Museum BerlinEast German Museum BerlinEast German Museum Berlin

We had planned to go to the Altes Museum or perhaps one of the other large museums on Museum Island, but ran out of time, because we took a day trip instead. There are plenty of Museums in Berlin, and while I was cruel and dragged H to all these cold places outdoors, don’t think that planning a winter trip will be boring! It’ll just be cold.

Catch up on all our adventures in Germany:
Hamburg
Berlin: Part One & Part Three
Bonn & Cologne
The Rheingau
Dachau
Munich

Berlin: Part 1

Berlin: Part 1

After two weeks of hanging out with friends and family in Munich, the Rheingau and Bonn, H and I made our way to Berlin (Berlin!), where I took far too many pictures because we did so much. I’m certain we didn’t sleep. These photos are a little out of order, but I wanted to group them together. Unlike what we did, which was assess the weather every hour and change our plans. You’ll see later, but there was one day where it started out snowing, then got sunny, then snowed again, before all melting by the time the sun set. Berlin has crazy weather!

This first set has some gratuitous candy shots of my (now long gone) Haribo stash from our trip to Bonn, photos from the fantastic Eastside Gallery (free! art!), and a few shots from the now defunct Templehof Airport. We didn’t stay long, because despite how sunny it is in the photos, the wind was howling and it was cold. But, if you’re going to Berlin, I highly recommend going there. While the terminal is still there, the runways are now a huge park where people do crazy kite-skateboarding, roller-blade, and walk their dogs. Only when you’re walking down the tarmac and you realize how huge the runways really are, do you realize how small you are. Thanks to Ashley of Chasing Heartbeats for the rec!

Haribo Candy Bonn Factory StoreHaribo Candy Bonn Factory StoreBerlin Wall Eastside Gallery ArtBerlin Wall Eastside Gallery ArtBerlin Wall Eastside Gallery ArtBerlin Wall Eastside Gallery ArtBerlin Wall Eastside Gallery ArtBerlin Wall Eastside Gallery ArtBerlin Wall Eastside Gallery ArtBerlin Wall Eastside Gallery ArtBerlin Wall Eastside Gallery ArtBerlin Wall Eastside Gallery ArtBerlin Wall Eastside Gallery ArtBerlin Wall Eastside Gallery ArtBerlin Tempelhof Airport FieldBerlin Tempelhof Airport FieldBerlin Tempelhof Airport Field

More to come! Also, we had an extra day on our train pass (which I’ll write about soon, I promise) and we took a day trip. Any ideas where?! It’s now my favorite German city! Sorry Berlin!

Catch up on all our adventures in Germany:
Hamburg
Berlin: Part Two & Part Three
Bonn & Cologne
The Rheingau
Dachau
Munich

Bonn + Cologne

Bonn + Cologne

Stuffed full of cake and armed with a couple bottles of wine, we left the Rheingau and headed north again. After two weeks with family, H and I set off to visit a college friend. She lives in Bonn, and we hadn’t seen her since our wedding (which was over a year before our trip). She greeted us at the train station with hugs and an important question: would you like to go to the Haribo factory store? If you know me, you know I love my Haribo. Haribo is headquartered in Bonn and they have a huge store near their factory. I didn’t bring my camera in, but they have much every type of Haribo is at the store, and for cheaper than you’ll find anywhere else. It was about 0,75 Euro cents for a bag of gummi bears. We bought 8 bags of candy I think, for just about 8 Euro (some were more expensive). There is a section at the factory store where you can find specialty Haribo that is produced for other countries. We snagged some Haribo Panda bears that are made for the Chinese Market. Also, for 4 Euro, you can get a mystery box that is ~2 kilo of Haribo. You don’t know what’s in it, but it’s all Haribo goodies. I begged H to let me get one, but he said there wasn’t enough room in the suitcase. He was probably right. I would have eaten it all before we left, but my pants were already getting tight from all the cake! Besides our Haribo visit, we wandered cute little streets, visited the Bonn city center, and ate lots of food. I managed to not get a single photo of the three of us together and am still annoyed with myself. We left Bonn and headed to Koln (Cologne) for a quick stopover before changing trains to Berlin. We dashed out of the train station to visit the Kolner Dom and drink a proper Kolsh beer, On par for the rest of our trip, the Dom was under construction. Oh well! The last two images are from our train ride across Germany. It’s such a pretty and diverse nation.

Bonn street viewDoors of GermanyRiding trains in GermanyKolner DomKolner DomKolner DomTrain Travel in GermanyTrain Travel in Germany

Next up: a lovely little peek at my engagement shoot last weekend!

Catch up on all our adventures in Germany:
Hamburg
Berlin: Part One, Part Two, & Part Three
The Rheingau
Dachau
Munich

The Rheingau

The Rheingau

After a week in Munich, visiting Dachau and traipsing around in the snow to visit museums, we headed north to the area around Frankfurt. Most of H’s family live in the Rheingau area of Germany. I like to think of it as the Napa Valley or Eastern Washington of Germany. It’s covered in vineyards and churches and castles. Gorgeous tiny towns nestled up against the Rhine river. Visits to the Rheingau can get a little crazy, since we try to fit in all the family time we can. It means we eat a lot, visiting all the aunts and uncles and cousins we can. No family visit is complete without food. On this trip, we had visited Geisenheim, Mittelheim, Oestrich, Winkel, and Mainz. We traipsed through the vineyards and visited churches. I learned to make H’s favorite cake – Donauwelle – and ate more of it than I care to admit.

Mittelheim Catholic ChurchRheingau Church DoorsMainz CathedralGermany doorsMittelheim Wine VillageGermany Wine ToursRheingau Vineyard DoorsGermany Rainy Day WalksFamily home PhotographyGeisenheim CathedralGeisenheim CathedralFamily Shoot LifestyleGermany Home Lifestyle PhotographyGermany Family Home Lifestyle PhotographyGermany Family Home Lifestyle Photography

More of Germany to come.

Catch up on all our adventures in Germany:
Hamburg
Berlin: Part One, Part Two, & Part Three
Bonn & Cologne
Dachau
Munich

Looking for a wedding photographer who will travel to Germany? I’m US based, but available for travel to Europe. Questions? Email me at: emily@emilywenzel.com