Travel & Places

GUIDE TO HAMBURG

November 10, 2016

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We woke bright and early to catch a train from Berlin to Hamburg. We drifted in and out of sleep, waking to watch the scenery change as we approached the new city.

Upon arrival it was refreshing to notice the differences between Hamburg and Berlin, despite them being so close geographically. It is a wealthy place with some immaculate areas, working ports with fresh fish restaurants- which of course means water, and lots of it. Not something which you see much of in Berlin, a landlocked city. We stayed in Hafencity, an old port area in a hotel which completely embraces the fisherman, Docker vibe of the area. You can read more about that here.

The plan was to rent bikes and cycle round, but we didn’t call ahead and so instead we were presented with an electric ‘tuc-tuc’ styled bike which zooms at speeds of up to 45mph! It was absolutely hilarious! Passers-by peered into the cart, expecting to see some cute babies but instead found me and got a shock when they saw how fast it went. We were laughing and wobbling all the way, with a few narrowly avoided capsizing incidents!

I am lucky to have friends from Hamburg who gave me a stack of tips and ideas for our trip. Being armed with this knowledge meant that we didn’t need to waste any time looking for things to do, we had it all ready and got to see so much. So, I wanted to pass on these gems and share the wealth with you in this guide to Hamburg

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Areas to visit:

  • Schanzenviertel- A vibrant district full of cool bars, shops and good places to eat. It’s a little like Kreuzberg in Berlin,
  • Gängeviertel – A little area filled with artist’s residencies, galleries, bright graffiti and sculptures. The pictures above where taken there.

Places to eat and drink:

  • Bullerei– I read about this on so many Hamburg travel guides and blogs, then my friend confirmed its greatness and we booked a table. The food is delicious, I loved the gin menu and the décor is really funky. Also it is in Sternschanze, which I mention above.
  • Fischmarkt– Have a fresh fish-roll for breakfast, the hard-core party goers call here for breakfast on the way home from clubs.
  • Elbgold – Now you know I don’t drink coffee but Nick does, and wow, he was raving about this coffee

 

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 Things to-do:

  • Deichtorhallen – The gallery pictures in this post were taken here. We saw some interesting contemporary art here and loved the building
  • Planten & Blomen – Hire a bike and explore this beautiful park
  • Strandperle– In the worlds of the local’s ‘It’s a real Hamburg institution’. A patch of beach where you can sit with a glass of wine or beer and watch the ships coming and going out of the harbour. You can go by bus, but you can also hop onto a ferry from Landungsbrücken to get there. It takes around 15-20 minutes, and the ferry is even part of public transport (in case you gate a Day Travel card).

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If you find yourself in Berlin and would like to see more of Germany, then I would recommend visiting Hamburg by train, it’s a wonderful journey and it only takes an hour and forty-five minutes. Have you already been? If so I would love to read your tips in the comment section below.

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I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain.

November 3, 2016

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I’m missing my Grandparents immensely today. My best friend has recently lost her Grandad and is preparing her reading for the funeral.  As a result I re-visited the eulogy which I wrote with my family and read at my Grandparent’s funeral. Naturally it evoked lots of special memories and a deep sadness that they are gone.

I remember writing the eulogy with my sisters, Aunty and Mum. We sat around the dining room table with a suitcase of old photographs. Each telling stores about them whilst laughing and crying, with a glass of wine in hand. By the end of the night the speech was written.

When I got to the church the vicar held my hand and said God would give me strength. I did indeed feel strength and read each word without falter. It felt so powerful reading those words to a church full of hundreds of people who had the up-most respect for my Grandparents.
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They were a wonderfully wholesome couple who had a huge influence on the lives of my sisters and I, along with many other people that knew them.
Sadly they both passed away within days of each other and we had a joint funeral for them. The Rector said during the service: “Their lives were so bound up in each other – and they have left this world together. They did everything together and looking after their grandchildren was one of their greatest joys.”

He went on to say: “I have been amazed at the number of people who stopped me in the street to tell me of the passing of this wonderful couple and each and every one had wonderful memories of them.”

Though I am thankful that they both lived until 73 and had fulfilling lives, it never feels like the right time to lose someone you love.
Everyone suffers the loss of a loved one at some stage during their lives, it is heartbreaking that special people must leave us. But my goodness, how lucky we are to have had people like that in our lives in the first place. If death teaches us one thing, it is to live.

The title of this post is of course a quote from Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep a beautiful poem written in 1932 by Mary Elizabeth Frye.

With love X

Travel & Places

PICTURE POSTCARDS FROM 25 HOURS HAFENCITY HAMBURG

October 29, 2016

ledbylucy-hamburg-25hours-hotelbreakfast-hamburghafen-city-hotelsauna-25hours-hotel-hamburgroom-service-25hourshotel25-hours-hotel-hamburg-blogledbylucy-hamburg-breakfast-blogExploring Germany has been on our bucket list since we moved here a year ago. Last week we visited Hamburg and stayed at 25 Hours Hotel Hafencity and my oh my did we love it there *Guide to Hamburg coming up soon*

We stayed in Hafencity, the old port area of the city in a hotel which completely embraces the fisherman, docker vibe of the area. All of the interior design mirrors the area seamlessly, the sauna is crafted from up-cycled shipping containers and seats have been sculpted from stacks of carpets once traded in the area. We are fully fledged fishermen and women now 😉

Here are some picture postcards from our time spent exploring the hotel.

1- Picking out vinyls from the vast collection to play in the music room, our favourite space. We would love to host a party in here one day.

2. If you have read this post you will know that Nick is somewhat of a coffee connoisseur. He had scheduled a visit to Elb Gold coffee house into our Hamburg itinerary, then he found out that the hotel served this local delicacy with breakfast #HeWasPrettyHappy.

3. Nick playing Rocky with the vintage style punch bags and weighted gloves.

4. Enjoying a beer and chillaxing in the Finnish styled sauna while looking out onto the port.

5. Why can’t we have room service at home too?

6. OMG I had the best sleeps ever in this bed! (Hello new pyjamas that my sister bought me in America).

7. That’s an OJ I’m drinking with breakfast, not a screwdriver 😉

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Suggested Post: Picture Postcards: Life Lately

Collaboration: This post was written in collaboration with 25 Hours Hotel Hafencity 

Projects and Tips

WEDDING PLANNING PART 2: OUR DREAMY AND ROMANTIC WEDDING INVITES

October 18, 2016

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I am so excited (and a little nervous) to share my wedding invitations here. They are the first impression that my guests (and now my readers) will get of my wedding. So they are kind of a big deal.

I looked at loads of different designs and, like wedding dresses, there are lots of beautiful options. So how do you choose? I picked out a trendy design with botanical prints on a blush pink background and wondered if I should go ahead and order them. But then I discovered the the Fairy Tale Romance collection. And my heart sang out “this is it”. I feel as though they are timelessly to my taste and I totally adore them. People often tell you that when selecting a wedding dress you ‘just know’ when you try the one, I haven’t felt like that when dress shopping yet, but I did feel it when picking these invitations.

I have them stored in a little box in our office and I keep peeking in to see how pretty they are. I’m thinking of having them framed after the wedding along with a few other keepsakes, and perhaps having them feature in the wedding album too.

I adore how dreamy and romantic they are. The design reminds me of the location for our ceremony. Friends have been so sweet and commented that they are ‘so Lucy and Nick’.

They are from Wedding Paper Divas. I worked with the designers there and changed several different aspects to make them perfect for us and to suit our needs.

I really need to find a wedding dress that jumps out at me the way my invitations did!

Photo Credit: Images of the island by the talented Someday Today and photos of invitations by me

Suggested Post: Wedding Planning Part One

Travel & Places

BERLIN UPDATE: TRADITIONS TO MAKE A NEW CITY FEEL LIKE HOME

September 25, 2016

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You will never guess what? It has been a full year since Nick and I decided to make the leap and move to Berlin. It certainly doesn’t feel that long. I am often responding to the question ‘how long have you been here?’ with ‘six months’, because time has flown by. Some of you have been asking for an update on how we are settling in, so I thought our one year anniversary would be the perfect opportunity to fill you in.

Moving to Berlin was incredibly exciting and since we touched down a year ago we have been on a none-stop mission to find new places, discover hidden gems and see as much as possible. However, while thrilling, seeking out adventures doesn’t add up to the most homely, settled lifestyle. One year into the move and we have began to take pleasure in developing our own rituals and traditions here.

One of these things is going to the Saturday food market, stocking up on fresh veg and fish for the week ahead then cooking up an incredible dinner. The market is full of fresh produce and crafts like hand made pasta and artisinal cheeses. One of our most treasured stalls is the tiramisu and pizza stand. This place is run by two Italian guys, one makes the desserts and the other fries authentic, Napoli-style pizza right in front of you. The tiramisu is utterly dreamy and picking up a couple of pots for after dinner (or eating it immediately in the park) has become a regular occurrence – we found out later that it’s even gluten free!

You may have read that Nick loves his coffee (see this post for his top spots), and so this has also become one of our weekly routines. Every weekend we head out to try out a new coffee shop in a new district of Berlin. We usually spend the rest of the day exploring the local shops and sights. It’s been so much fun and has really helped us to get to know the different areas.

These little traditions are just small things that we take pleasure in, but it’s been a really important part of adapting to living in a new country and making it feel like our own home.

Have you recently moved to a new city or country? If so, do you have have any tips on making it feel like home?

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