This past weekend, the program travelled to the northern port city of Hamburg. The city is a key German port of commerce and trade and it had held so much significance in the past that Hamburg is its own state. In the day, we were given a tour of the city by one of our program professors, Dr. Jan Behrs. Throughout the city we explored the Portuguese quarter, an area where many sailors from Portugal settled to conduct business in Hamburg. The result is a blend of cultures that can be best seen in the architecture and cuisine. After a long day of walking, we all settled for a late lunch where I ordered an absolute unit of a paella. The paella featured fresh seafood caught earlier that day in the surrounding waters, or at least that’s what the server told me. Regardless, it was delicious and interesting to see a cross of culture.
Later that night, I embarked on a pub crawl through the Reeperbahn with some of my peers. For those who don’t know, the Reeperbahn is a street and entertainment district and exists as one of two major centers of nightlife in the city. Oh, I forgot to mention it’s also the red light district. Essentially, it has all the traffic and neon of Las Vegas but take away the gambling and add in more adult oriented activities. This is largely due to the fact of Hamburg being a port city where sailors would go the Reeperbahn in search of relaxation and nightlife. The existence of the Reeperbahn is something of an anomaly from my pair of foreign eyes. Although some may say its an epicenter of degeneracy, it is actually very well regulated and many government services take care of the area to ensure safety and security. If given the chance, I would love to go back to the city.