Hugging a man dressed as a giant blue bunny while watching the sun come up over one of the world’s busiest harbours is a pretty unusual affair. Unless, of course, you’re in Hamburg, where it might just be a weekly occurrence.
Down by the city’s fishmarket on any given Sunday morning you’ll find crowds singing and dancing to the market’s live music, but unusually for an event that’s typically the last stop of an all-nighter for barcrawlers from the nearby party district, it’s a very varied congregation. Families munch fish brotchen from market stalls and early-rising tourists stand about in padded gilets with coffees, as assorted partygoers – including on one particular recent Sunday a small band of very tired, fairly merry journalists – dance the morning happily away.
This May three of our editorial team, along with long-suffering Ink photographer Tim E White, decamped to the Hanseatic city for 92 hours for a very special issue of easyJet Traveller – our first to focus on a single city. Our idea? To find out what makes it tick, and compile a list of 26 unique, alphabetical reasons to love the city.
What transpired was like something out of – for those of you with memories that stretch back to the 80s – Challenge Anneka. From our first appointment, interviewing a Reeperbahn DJ an hour after landing at the airport, we barely stopped for four days, taking in the best of the city’s high-culture, low-culture, nightlife, sport and business offerings to compile our list.
If we’d worried about finding 26 separate things to extol, there was certainly no need. An intellectual’s football team, Germany’s first craft brewery, houses that make their own electricity from algae… all signs we were somewhere pretty special.
Along the way we interviewed more than 20 locals, took three comprehensive tours and totally exhausted our photographer Tim, who confessed he’d never been asked to do a 24-hour shoot before. The result? Four tired, happy people, enough photographs to sink one of the city’s container ships and a struggle to cram in all our passion for the place into just a few pages.
So look out for it in the July issue of easyJet Traveller. Hopefully it will inspire some people to go and see for themselves what a cracking city it is. And if you do happen to reach the fishmarket, say hi to the blue bunny for us. (Posted by Sarah Warwick)