Christmas Break around ‘the City on the River’, Hamburg
Christmas Break is coming, and that means there will be no class for about two weeks. Actually, for me as a second year student, the classes had finished in last July, so at the moment I am just dealing with my research project and thesis. As most of students in our program are foreigners, every year, then it does not really make any sense to go back home during the very short Christmas Break. What to do then?
In fact, we are very well-received in this Land, but still, it somehow depends on the attitudes of each person. I mean, as foreigners, we also need to show our respect and generosity to the locals, and have to be smart in building up communication. I have already talked about our relationship with the congregation in the churches we regularly visit –and in some other places, too-, and it has helped us a lot in keeping good communication with them. Some of us are taken as ‘their children’, which in other words, we really have ‘new family’ here in Germany.
At this time, I myself have two (2) pairs of German parents. The first one is in Seevetal (Ohlendorf, 30 minutes from Hamburg), and the other one is in Höver. They have been taking very good care of me, and during the last Christmas Break (December 2014), I was picked by my German parents who reside in Seevetal. During the break, we went enjoying Hamburg, one of the most beautiful cities in Germany -after Munich and Berlin. In fact, Hamburg is known for its port, and is basically a popular tourist destination. I guess, it is because of the beautiful view and places it has, such as: beach, unique historical monuments, nightclubs, red light districts, and the most interesting one is, it is also known as ‘the city on the river’. The River Elbe, one of the longest rivers in Germany, flows right through into the North Sea, and of course, by being named as ‘the city on the river’, then there must be many bridges and canals. Besides, the port in Hamburg is the-second-busiest port in Europe, and according to the information, it is the third largest port in the world after London and New York. It is also called, ‘the Gateway to the world’ (well, Hamburg has many appellatives).
We toured Hamburg by a tourism bus with its guide who was explaining about the history around the City, and after that we moved around the port. It was so interesting that we were able to surround it a boat, seeing many ships brought their loads. Around 1.00 pm, we had our lunch at the restaurant nearby, and we have already known the common secret that it is always romantic to have our meals with the water around.
Moving slightly ahead, we headed to Hamburg Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market). Again, the water around the city was just adding a lovely atmosphere for the visitors, that they could enjoy their Glühwein while gazing into the water where a big Christmas tree was installed. We spent about two hours around Weihnachtsmarkt and the city, and went back home in the evening. Until today, anytime I pay a visit to Seevetal, my German parents and I are still going for some walk around the Elbe River. And, for this coming Christmas Break, we have planned to spend some days together, and I hope that we will be again having a quality time around Hamburg, ‘the City on the River’.