The view from the ivory tower

Towering above the city at 52 meters (170 ft), the Philosophy Tower is the tallest building on the University of Hamburg campus.

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The view from the 14th floor of the Philosophy Tower overlooking Hamburg. As you can see pictured, Hamburg has a TV Tower as well, though it’s not as famous as the one in Berlin.

Officially called the Philosophenturm, it is colloquially known as the Phil-Turm. The building houses a cafeteria, no fewer than three libraries, a handful of auditoriums, and dozens of classrooms and offices.

And it’s my new place of work. Continue reading “The view from the ivory tower”

Ferry rides across the Elbe, or the poor man’s harbor boat tour

One of Hamburg’s most popular tourist attractions is the array of boat tours exploring the city’s various waterways. Between the Alster, a large lake in the middle of the city, the Elbe, one of Germany’s three major rivers, and the various canals criss-crossing the city center, there is certainly plenty of water to explore.

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Looking across the river Elbe towards downtown Hamburg, as seen from the “Theater am Hafen” (Theater in the Harbor).

Instead of booking a formal boat tour, which can set you behind €15-21, there is another option to get in a boat out on the water, and it’s basically free: ride a ferry. Continue reading “Ferry rides across the Elbe, or the poor man’s harbor boat tour”

Exploring Hamburg’s harbor

I signed up for a mailing list last semester to get updates on university-sponsored excursions throughout the city. I didn’t really expect anything to come of it, but one week an advertisement for an Alternative Harbor Tour caught my eye.

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Experience one of the largest harbors in the world – the Port of Hamburg, also known as the “Gates to the World.” This is no ordinary harbor tour. It will lead you through canals with rusty wharfs and along the state of the art, powerful container facilities, where the warehouse walls and steel scaffolding store the harbor’s treasures: Oriental carpets, southern fruits, coffee and cocoa beans. They are the treasures of the old colonial powers as well as the modern globalization. The containers hide their contents, making the movement of goods invisible. It’s a tour that reveals a new side of the harbor – who wins and who loses in this period of globalization. We look forward to your participation! Continue reading “Exploring Hamburg’s harbor”

Easter with the Anarchists (and some tourist stuff too)

Hey there! Long time no blog… I know, I know, I’m bad. Well, to make up for my lack of activity over the past couple of months, I’m going to write you a blog post with LOTS of pictures…

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See, here’s a picture already! That guy’s backpack says “FCK NZS” – a popular slogan here in Hamburg.

I spent Easter weekend in a rather non-traditional fashion this year: at an anarchist street festival. While Americans were out hiding eggs, Christians were going to church, normal Hamburgers were enjoying bonfires on the beach and Swedes were hanging colorful feathers on trees, the Hamburg neighborhood of Sternschanze was throwing a block party/street festival/demonstration. Continue reading “Easter with the Anarchists (and some tourist stuff too)”