AutoBahn drive from Berlin to Nuremberg Photos

Sam was from Heroldsberg, a small town near Nuremberg. On weekends, we often use to drive from Berlin to Nuremberg on his car. I remember, it was the first time Continue Reading →

How Hiking in Germany is different to Hiking in India

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A thought of walking into the woods always excited me and especially, if it’s Germany and amidst the Bavarian forest. So, I was there at Sam’s house near Haroldsberg, Nuremberg in south Germany. We spent some time over there.

One day, I asked him to take me to a nearby hiking place so that I can see what hiking in Germany looked like and how was that different to hiking in India.

So, I looked out for some hiking places around Nuremberg and I found one. We drove to that place. And here is how Hiking is different in Germany than India.

Hiking in Germany vs Hiking in India:

Here are some of the hiking differences that I noticed while hiking in Germany:

  • Hiking in Germany is more organized than hiking in India.
  • You get to see the sign boards everywhere and even at the bifurcations so there are chances of getting lost is very minimal.
  • Hiking has a defined area where you can hike. Out of that area, you cannot hike. And hikers respect that demarcation.
  • While on the other hand, there have been a lot of trekking incidents in south India where a lot of mishaps have happened.
  • On the top, you will see benches to sit and enjoy the view.
  • Other hikers greet you and locals do not disturb you unless and until you do not disturb them.
  • You can drive literally much closer to the hiking spot peak.
  • There will be a parking place as well.
  • Also, there will shops on the top and even the guest houses as well.

Pictures from Small hike near Nuremberg, Germany:

A bench at the hike top Bavarian woods near Nuremberg hike Large agricultural farms near Nuremberg Hiking near Haroldsberg (5) A tractor trail on a hike a village near nuremberg Fallen log in the woods Hiking view while hiking near Nuremberg

Leipzig in One day from Berlin: Monument to the Battle of the Nations & Old Market Square

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Leipzig always attracted me from Berlin. Moreover, I also wanted to visit Leipzig because it has got an attractive name. Being situated not so far from Berlin, I along with one of my friends, decided to take a tour of Leipzig on weekends in a single day.

Leipzig in one day:

The best way to reach Leipzig from Berlin would be to use the regional express trains. There is also a special weekend pass for five people which you can take and use any of the train & bus services throughout Germany. I do not remember much about it but here is a site where you can check about these informations: German rail passes.

So, in short, the pass we had allowed us to use all the trains and bus throughout Germany and that was a kind of relief for us because even if we get off the track, we can use any of the buses or the trains to from one place to another. Anyways.

Regional express trains from Berlin take around 2-3 hours to reach Leipzig. We started early morning so that we could have ample time in our hand. Here are the places that we covered in Leipzig in a day.

Journey to Leipzig from Berlin is very beautiful one. Regional express in Germany are mostly double decker and not so crowded. So, I decided to find a sit on the first floor so that I can have a nice view throughout the journey. There were a lot of tulip or lily farms on the way and they really looked beautiful.

Lily farms on the way from Berlin to Leipzig

Lily farms on the way from Berlin to Leipzig

Leipzig Hauptbahnhof:

Hauptbahnhof is the german translation for the “main railway station” in English. Surely, Leipzig Hauptbahnhof was something which caught my attention the moment I got down there. It looks archaic and you will feel that you have stepped into some roman empire area with long pillars and arches.

Monument to the Battle of the Nations:

Monuments of the battle of nations is a very big monument located on the edge of the city. it’s really magnificent. When you approach this monument, you really feel that you are approaching something really grand. The big architecture, the big pillars these things give you a feeling of having stepped into a Roman time.

So, there is a ticket house just at the entrance, you will have to buy tickets to enter inside the monument. Once stepped inside, there are stairs to go till the top. These stairs are little clumsy and narrow.

You can even take small breaks at the different levels while climbing up the stairs. As approach closer to the top, you will find the view getting more and more beautiful.

Another thing, which caught my attention about the Monuments of the battle of the nations was the interior. The interior is just magnificent. I mean it’s really beautiful and awesome from inside. The interior reminded me of one of the churches which I had visited in the Rome.

So, to reach this monument, you might have to walk a bit from the main road. There is a long water body along which you walk. The walk gives you a feeling of approaching something really great.

Also Read: Traveling Hamburg in One Day: Best Places to See in Hamburg

Monument to battle of nations in Leipzig

Monument to battle of nations in Leipzig

Old market square, Leipzig:

Once we returned from the Monuments of the battle of the nations, we decided to head to the Old market square and explore more places in the town of Leipzig.

We had already explored some of the famous places in Leipzig like Federal Administrative court of Germany and old town hall at the market square.

Federal Administrative court of Germany:

Federal Administrative court of Germany is situated not so far from the old town square of Leipzig. This place is quiet and serene and not so crowded as well. There is a canal flowing in front of the building and you can sit there and relax in the park.

Federal Administrative court of Germany in Leipzig

Federal Administrative court of Germany in Leipzig

The old market square of Leipzig is a very happening place. Just like any other European town, you can enjoy a lot over there. There are many things to try, listen to the street music and street shows etc.

Around the old market square, there are some famous churches of Leipzig also. You can explore them as well. You can sit and have a beer and pizza over there.

It’s really a happening place. You can go shopping, buy ice cream, buy books, buy a souvenir and do a lot of things just to take a taste of the German culture and how an old market square looks like.

In the evening, we caught a train to Berlin and returned happily after exploring Leipzig on feet. Here are some of the pictures from Leipzig.

Also Read: Himmelpfort camping experience with my German friends

Leipzig pictures:

Castle view from the top of monument to battle of nations in leipzig

A Castle view from the top of monument to battle of nations in leipzig

Leipzig city view from monument to battle of nations

Leipzig city view from monument to battle of nations

Monument to battle of nations wall, leipzig

Monument to battle of nations wall, leipzig

Near Federal administrative court of Germany in Leipzig

Near Federal administrative court of Germany in Leipzig

Old market square building in Leipzig

Old market square building in Leipzig

Old town square leipzig

Old town square leipzig

Walk to Monument to battle of nations

Walk to Monument to battle of nations

Himmelpfort camping experience with my German friends

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Himmelpfort camping experience was something which I would like to always discuss. The main reason being camping in Germany is totally different from camping in India. I am validated to write such opinion because I organize camping & trekking in India and I can very well differentiate that.

Camping in India vs Camping in Germany:

There are a few things that I would like to highlight in terms of camping.

  • It is hard to rent a camping space in India but in Germany, people rent a camping space and camp there
  • Camping is allowed only in certain areas beyond that camping is not allowed. While in India, we even camp in a reserve forest.
  • Germans, in true terms, setup a small home while they camp. They come with a lot of stuff like grills, chair, table, playing stuff, cycle etc.

We, in India, camp in a frugal way. I was not aware of such camping style until I got to see it for my own.

Himmelpfort camping Experience:

Himmelpfort is a camping place almost 100 Kms North of Berlin beside a lake called Stolpsee. Once you arrive at certain camping point, there will mostly be an office where you will have to go, register and rent a camping place. The camping area is mostly like a big ground where everyone pitches their own tent.

Besides, there will a common bathroom for all the people who camp over there so the surrounding remains clean. There will also be a restaurant where you find beer and eatables. I mentioned beet because Germans just love beer.

I remember it from the Koh tao Island. Usually, I am not a beer fan. Two litre of beer is sufficient for me. However, when I was there in Thailand with my German friends, my beer capacity has literally gone to four to five liters per day. When I returned to India after 15 days of the trip, I had gained some weight as well. Keep aside my beer belly part. Anyways.

When we reached there, we talked with the guys at reception and we found a camping ground. Unaware of the German activities, I thought we would all go for cycling and at least for hiking around the area. But the tent was pitched.

After the tent was pitched, our day started with beer. Whenever there is a situation, Germans like to have a beer. And I loved that idea of having a beer for every occasion. So, after the beer, we pitched our tent, got settled up with our camping stuff, we headed for the lake nearby.

Yes. So another great stuff about the lakes in Europe is they are really cleaner compared to India and people respect Nature. Most of our days’ activities included swimming in the lake, having a beer, and then relaxing under the warm sun again.

Though in the night, entering into the lake was not allowed. But we still went inside the lake. The water was really cold for me. Imagine entering into the lake at the water temperature of around 8 to 10-degree celsius. For my German friends, that was not a problem.

Around midnight, it rained pretty hard. The ground got wet and cold. For me, it was really colder. Christian, a friend of mine, helped us with a warm mat for insulating the ground.

Next morning, had our breakfast and decided to play “Durak”. Durak is a Russian game. “Durak” in Russian means a Fool. This game has a very complicated rule. However, it is a very interesting game. And played that game for like hours and hours.

Next day, we repeated the same routine.

Some of the things that I learned camping with Germans were:

  • Germans like to relax a lot while camping. I think the same applies to the other Europeans as well.
  • Germans like to have a beer for every occasion irrespective of the hours of the day.
  • Camping is a big event for them. I have seen people coming in their own caravan & vehicle with the family tent, chair, table, candle & all.
  • Even kids play on camping all day long without any boundation.
  • People even rent boats and speed boats.
  • Germans do not like to talk much and they like to spend quality time alone in Nature.
  • Things like sunrise, sunset, stars, moon in the sky in the night play a big role in their lives on camping.

Himmelpfort camping experience video:

Himmelpfort camping Photos:

camping area near Himmelpfort Our tents at Himmelpfort Stolpsee near Himmelpfort camping Sunset on Stolpsee near Himmelfort camping (1) Sunset on Stolpsee near Himmelfort camping (2) Sunset on Stolpsee near Himmelfort camping (3)

Traveling Hamburg in One Day: Best Places to See in Hamburg

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Here is a list of beat places to see in Hamburg that you can cover in a single day on your feet. Some of these places include the main town hall,  city center, St. Nikolai church etc. Places to see in Hamburg in one day:

  • Mönckebergstraße (Main shopping street)

To the west of Hamburg Hofbhanhauf lies one of the very famous shopping streets of Hamburg called “Mönckebergstraße”. The moment you get out of the main railway station and step on this street, you can see a lot of branded stores on your left and right.

This street is a shopping street and you just have to walk straight on this road. So, Monckebergstrasse forms the main shopping area of Hamburg. Some of the brands that you can expect on this street are Promod, New Yorker, Nike, Vera Moda, Zara etc. Besides shopping area, this street has a lot of restaurants as well where you can sit and spend some time looking the shoppers crowd and after long shopping hours.

Besides shopping area, this street has a lot of restaurants as well where you can sit and spend some time looking the shoppers crowd and after long shopping hours.

There are some famous archaic and historical buildings on this street as well. If you are into history and knowing about the chronological changes of a place in history.

Mönckebergstraße (Main shopping street) of Hamburg (1) Mönckebergstraße (Main shopping street) of Hamburg (2)

  • Hamburg Rathaus (Hamburg Townhall)

After you walk almost a kilometer on the Mönckebergstraße, you will reach near the Rathaus building of the Hamburg, Rathaus is basically town hall of a city.

Hamburg is said to have one of the most beautiful Rathaus in the Germany. Basically, you will start recognizing the Rathaus from a distance. It has a beautiful church like tall structure in the middle of it. I think that’s a clock tower.

Just in front of the Rathaus, there is a big open and large space. In that open space, you will see a lot of people eating and having fun.

Alsterarkaden

Just beside the big Rathaus area, you will also see a water canal. It’s called Kleine Alster. You will see people eating there, beside the river. And, there are a lot of white arches. That actually forms a very beautiful and romantic and peaceful spot to spend some time.  You can also see the old wall and new wall in that area.

Hamburg Rathaus Timings for Guided Tours:

Monday to Thursday: 10AM-3:15PM
Friday to Sunday:  10AM-1:15PM.
Closed on official events
Languages offered: English, German, French

Hamburg Rathaus Entry fee:

  • Adult: Four Euro
  • Hamburg card holder: Three Euro
  • Free for children under 14 years of age).

Hygieia-Brunnen fountain, Hamburg Rathaus:

Just behind the main Rathaus building, there is another building which is called Hamburg’s House of Commerce (“Börse”). Between these two buildings, lies the famous fountain of the Hamburg Rathaus called Hygieia-Brunnen.

Following the canal to the right and crossing the traditional shopping road, Jungfernstieg, you quickly get to the artificial lake Binnenalster. Boat tours take you to the even bigger artificial lake, Außenalster, directly behind the Binnenalster with lots of sailing boats in summer.

Alsterarkaden near the Hamburg Rathhaus

Alsterarkaden near the Hamburg Rathaus

Hamburg Rathaus from front

Hamburg Rathaus from front

Hygieia-Brunnen fountain, Hamburg Rathaus

Hygieia-Brunnen fountain, Hamburg Rathaus

Inside Hamburg Rathaus

Inside Hamburg Rathaus

  • Binnenalster, Jungfernstieg

Situated at a two-minute walk from the Rathaus, Binnenlster is an artificial lake with a fountain in the middle of the lake. Binnenalster is a connected to another bigger artificial lake called Außenalster which is north of Binnenalster. You can go for boating in these lakes. Außenalster is famous for sailing during summer. You can also take a walk around this lake, even sit on the chair and watch the birds playing in the water.

Binnenalster, Jungfernstieg, Hamburg (1) Binnenalster, Jungfernstieg, Hamburg (2) Binnenalster, Jungfernstieg, Hamburg (3) Binnenalster, Jungfernstieg, Hamburg (4)

  • St. Nikolai Church, Hamburg

There are five main churches in the Hamburg and St. Nikolai is one of them. St. Nikolai church is situated almost at the end of the Mönckebergstraße, the main shopping street of Hamburg. This church, like other main structures in Germany, was also destroyed during the second world war. But they were restored also.

St. Nikolai front view, Hamburg

St. Nikolai front view, Hamburg

St. Nikolai side view, Hamburg

St. Nikolai side view, Hamburg

St. Nikolai under reconsturction

St. Nikolai under reconsturction

  • Hamburg Harbour area and Speicherstadt

Hamburg forms one of the biggest harbours in Europe and largest in the Germany which makes Hamburg a must see places in Germany due to harbours.

I have already written about Hamburg harbours before. Another fascinating thing which caught my attention was the Speicherstadt. Speicherstadt translates to the warehouses. And these warehouses make Hamburg in Germany the largest warehouse district in the world.

I would recommend you to read about these warehouses as they have a lot of interesting facts around themselves. Read more about warehouses in Hamburg.

Speicherstadt and hamburg harbour areas (1) Speicherstadt and hamburg harbour areas (2) Speicherstadt and hamburg harbour areas (3) Speicherstadt and hamburg harbour areas (4)

  • St. Michael church, Hamburg

Near the Hamburg Harbour and towards the west beyond the St. Nikolai church, lies the St. Michael church. The visiting fee for St. Michael church is very minimal but it worths a visit because of the view it offers.

There is an elevator that takes you to almost more than a hundred feet above the ground level at the top of the church. And trust me, from there you get an awesome view of the entire Hamburg from Hamburg harbour to even people sailing in the Außenalster lake.

Since this church is located nearer to the Hamburg harbour, the view will be simply awesome from the top of this church.

Außenalster lake view from At. Michael church, Hamburg Hamburg city view from the top of the St. Michael church, Hamburg Hamburg Harbour view from the top of the St. Michael's church Inside St. Michael's church in Hamburg