As promised, here are a few (ahem) photographs from our trip to Hamburg. It was so much fun – definitely the craziest New Years I’ve ever experienced, and the first in three years that I’ve spent with Trout! The city is harsh in its architecture, dotted with beautiful details and fantastic vegan food. The beer, of course, was excellent and the weather was kind to us for the most part.
One of the places I was most looking forward to returning to was Jim’s Burritos. A couple of years ago, when Trout was still tour managing, he finished a tour in Copenhagen so I flew out to meet him and keep him company on the drive back to the UK. We stopped in Hamburg for a few hours and ate here – it was my first taste of chipotle sauce and I was hooked straight away! They have a brilliant vegan menu (including seitan and tofu options) and the burritos are grilled, which I love.
For NYE we had a few drinks in our hotel room, and a mini party-tea, before heading to the same bar that we had been the previous night – they made the best cocktails, and had a great atmosphere. After a few drinks we walked down to the harbour for midnight – it was probably the scariest time of my life! It seems that Germany has a very different approach to fireworks – in the UK I think they are used mainly by organised displays and responsible families, however from the day before NYE there were fireworks being let off in the streets, kids throwing bangers at people’s feet, rockets being fired from wine bottles at the ground…it was pretty scary!! I’ve never seen so many fireworks being let off at once – it was impossible to photograph, you just had to take it all in and try to enjoy it, whilst keeping an eye out around you. It was an amazing atmosphere at the harbour; everyone was cheering, the boats were sounding their horns, and everyone seemed to be having a brilliant time. After around half an hour we started walking back to the main streets, stopping at 2 or 3 places along the way including a pub with people performing on the bar! Finally we got back to the hotel and collapsed into bed. An early checkout was not the nicest thing to wake up to, but we soldiered on and tried to make the most of our final day in the city, whilst it rained hard and the wind whipped past us.
We found a German Christmas market on the second day of our trip – it was so sweet, with lots of crafters and the most amazing smelling food. The air was filled with the thick warmth that comes from mulled wine, which cheered up a fairly dull and cloudy backdrop.
On our last day, after walking for what felt like hours in the rain to see some more of the city, we stopped at Backbord. I urge you to try this place if you ever visit Hamburg! The restaurant has a great rock-pub feel, with large wooden tables and music playing just loud enough. They have all of their vegan options clearly labelled, and although the menu is in german the guy at the bar is happy to translate. I opted for currywurst, which came with plenty of amazing chips and salad, and Trout ordered the schnitzel, which came with wedges and salad, and the most incredible tartar sauce! The schnitzel was kind of strange – it was made with slices of potato, rather than seitan – which gave it an odd texture. I don’t really know why they didn’t use seitan, as my currywurst was made of seitan – so I would definitely recommend that you order what I had . The portions in this place are huge, the flavours are great – and they have vegan mayonnaise, too!
It was so lovely to spend time with Trout and good friends – time that I could really relax and forget about other certain stresses. Unfortunately as we went for New Years most of the shops, cafes and restaurants were closed – it seems that this time is a holiday in Germany, and on NYE everything closed at 2pm, with some cafes and restaurants closed for the entire period of the 31st – 1st. Thankfully the places that we intended to visit were open, so I suppose it’s up to the individual owners.
I’ve returned to reality with the energy and motivation that I needed, and I know that I just need to keep this up. I have some exciting projects coming up, and am really going to try to make 2013 the year that I change so many things (for the better, please!).