Friday, August 15, 2014

Hamburg again.

Today we did a bus tour of Hamburg. This wasn't so new to me because I've been to Hamburg many times. Hamburg does not make my top five favorite city list, however, I will always be fond of it because it was the very first city I experienced in Europe. I still remember thinking the money was like Monopoly money, being both terrified and excited, not knowing a lick of German, having separation anxiety since Poco and I hadn't ever spent more than 48 hours apart, and overpacking. 50 pounds of luggage overpacking. (I must have thought it was a third world country or something.) So each time I return to this city, it is fun to remember that young naive grad student who showed up in Germany, totally unprepared, and reflect on how I've changed over the years and how Europe has largely help shape who I am today. It's a very nostalgic city for me.

Our tour ended at St. Michale church for an organ concert. I was glad to hear a organ concert, but sad it was so short. One funny note: the fellow from yesterday with the tambourine at the organ? When he heard the Toccata and Fugue in d minor (Bach) he got all excited and stared fingering the pew in front of him as if he was pretending to play. He seemed eager for people to notice this, and was unaware of the Germans sitting behind him giving him dirty looks at making a scene. I rather thought he was just pretending to play and not actually playing the right fingers on the pew because it looked wrong. Much to my amusement, his fingers got more animated when the real organist was playing.... the pedal solo.  

After this I walked around with a small group to see the various sights of Hamburg. We visited the ruins of the St. Nikolai. This continues to be one of my favorite places and I am so glad they left it as-is. It's unreal to walk through the ruins and imagine what used to be and serve as a powerful and visible reminder of the horrors of war. One statue in the corner is powerful and gets me every time. 

You can just see the grief and despair as this fellow mourns the harshness and coldness of how brutal humans can be. It's strange to think about the wars that happen and we say we learn from them, and then war breaks out somewhere else over something else. Sick. We just never learn our lesson. 

From here, we went to the Katarinakirche where I got the CD that they recorded last year but hadn't yet released. I was very pleased to see that the facade was no longer covered with scaffolding. 

By this time I was just with two former CURF professors and I was glad that I could show then the city. I can read maps but have a tendency to get lost so it was great to be able to confidently navigate a city and show then around. When we got to the Jakobi, I died not to play that organ and remembered the time I did play it. I was so tempted to buy the poster that temps me every time, but it was raining and I have no good way to get it back home. One of these days, I'll remember to pack an empty tube and get it back home. 

Then, in the afternoon, we went to the Miniature Wonderland. This is the most amazing museum. I could write an entire book on it. If you want to know more, google it, or ask me to lend you the 4-hour DVD I bought at the gift shop. 

All in all, this was a good day. 

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