So, what do you do when when of your favourite bands go on tour but you can’t make any of the UK dates? You look further afield, of course!
That’s exactly what me and my friend Sadie did in April – we hopped on a plane to Hamburg for the weekend to go and see Fall Out Boy. We arrived early afternoon on Saturday and left Sunday afternoon, giving us little more than 30 hours to make the most of our time in this pretty German city. Luckily for us, the weather was absolutely amazing so we could enjoy exploring in the sunshine.
Naturally, our first port of call was finding some food. After taking some touristy photos outside the city’s impressive town hall, we headed to Vincent Vegan – a 100% vegan burger place situated in the shopping centre food court. Although reading the menu was slightly problematic as it was all in German (who’d have thought?!) the burger and chips were soo delicious. My only regret was that I unintentionally ordered a water with basil leaves in it, which tasted like liquid pesto. Bizzare!
Needing a walk after all that food, we headed to Hamburg’s Planten un Blomen – a beautiful park with a lake and botanical gardens. It was surprising to find a peaceful area in such a bustling city. Just round the corner from the botanical gardens was a seating area and a few bars with the most chilled atmosphere. It would have been rude not to take advantage of the situation and enjoy a totally over-the-top cocktail in the sunshine.
After retreating to our hotel (IntercityHotel Hamburg) for an hour or so for a power nap, we headed down to the Mehr! Theatre for Fall Out Boy. Considering the band headlined the O2 Arena back in London, it was pretty mind blowing to be able to watch them perform in a rather intimate 3,500 capacity venue. Their set was a great mix of bangers from MANIA as well as some old school classics like ‘Grand Theft Autumn (Where Is Your Boy)’. It was such a fun night – this band never disappoint live. Above all else it reaffirmed my love for Pete Wentz, no matter how long his hair gets.
Hotel buffet breakfasts can be a disappointing place for vegans, especially when they’re continental. IntercityHotel provided clearly labelled soya milk so I could enjoy some oats, fruit and bread rolls to fuel day two of our mini adventure. Aptly, our morning consisted of a visit to Hamburg’s Miniatur Wunderland – the world’s largest model railway and miniature exhibition. Admittedly, I had my reservations when a friend told me I must visit but I soon understood why. It was brilliant! The amount of hours it must have taken to create such hugely intricate models is incredible. My personal favourite areas were Las Vegas and a festival scene, complete with muddy toilets! This is definitely a place that has to be seen to be believed.
After all that excitement, we still had a little bit of time to walk through more of the city before we left. The architecture in the city is really stunning, round each corner you can find a different beautiful building to admire, as well as the huge amount of lakes and rivers (it is a port city after all). There’s a great balance of old and new structures standing side by side, making one of the most visually appealing cities I’ve ever visited. I also noticed how clean and tidy all the streets were.
We soon found ourselves in the art quarter , which I wish we’d had more time to explore. We did however find a vegan cafe called Nasch and enjoyed a wrap, raisin & hazelnut cookie and a refreshing lime juice. Unfortunately it was time to head to the airport after this, where we spent many hours waiting for our delayed flight. Eventually we made it made it home ready for work again Monday morning.
It’s amazing how far you can go in just a weekend when you try! I’d definitely love to visit Hamburg again one day, there seems to be so much more to explore.