With my love for train and subway travel, I have a favorite subway line in my hometown Hamburg, Germany: the U3 Hamburg U-Bahn. The most scenic section IMHO is in-between the stations Baumwall, Landungsbrücken and St. Pauli. There the train goes above ground and rewards you with fantastic views of the Hamburger Hafen (Hamburg Harbor or Port of Hamburg).
When I traveled to Germany this past week to visit my family and catch up with friends, I took the opportunity to take a quick ride on the U3 subway to record the view of the Hamburg Harbor for you.
It was a grey but bright day (as is so typical for Northern Germany), so only one direction of shooting worked out because in the other direction the sun turned everything else into silhouette. Unfortunately, this means that this video couldn’t feature the old harbor buildings with the entrance to the Alte Elbtunnel (Old Elbe Tunnel) that greets you when you emerge from below ground between the St. Pauli and Landungsbruecken stations. But I figured I’ll be back to Hamburg a lot more in the future, and one of these days I’ll shoot a fully dedicated video of the harbor, not just a drive-by shooting.
A few facts… The U3 Hamburg U-Bahn train started running in 1912, which makes it Hamburg’s oldest city train track. The U3 train line is about 20 km (12.5 miles) long and is often referred to as a Hochbahn (Elevated Train) because most of the 26 stops along the circular U3 train line are actually above ground. However, the U stands for U-Bahn or Untergrundbahn, which means subway. Other areas it connects are downtown, the upscale Eppendorf neighborhood and the outlying neighborhoods of Barmbek and Wandsbek, where I was born.
The Hamburger Hafen (Port of Hamburg) is located on the Elbe River, a little over 100 km south-east of the North Sea. It’s Germany’s largest, Europe’s second largest and the world’s 15th largest sea port. By the way: ich liebe den Hamburger Hafen!!!
On a side note: later that day, I witnessed and filmed an action in the Münzviertel (a Hamburg neighborhood) by the koZe (Kollektives Zentrum = collective center). This group of Hamburg activists are currently occupying (aka “squatting” in) an abandoned school building, which is scheduled to be torn down in order for a private developer to put up some fancy buildings.
The associated local activists include my father, Günter Westphal, who is a social artist heavily involved in the neighborhood. They would like to see this city-owned area and the future buildings to remain public and cater to the needs of the community instead of the growth of personal wealth of private developers. The occupied building currently houses a bike workshop, a coop, creative work spaces, and most importantly, housing for refugees. On Thursdays, they have bar night, where my dad, a few friends and I got to drink beers and talk about how we can make this world a better place. I met so many inspiring people that night and couldn’t have been more proud of my father, who turned 73 a few days later! At some point, I will publish a video of the koZe action I recorded that day. It’s the least I can do to support koZe and my father’s work.