|Sunset in Hamburg's Hafencity.|
We're lucky to have the time to spend here in Germany's second largest city (a total of twelve days). This allows us to actually get to know the city a bit, rather than rushing through as day-trippers often do. I'm not knocking day trips altogether, but I do think that it is nearly impossible to understand a culture this way. So far on this trip, Dan and I have spent nine weeks in Germany - and that's not counting our upcoming journeys to Kiel, Hannover, Stuttgart, and even Munich for Oktoberfest!
Maybe I evangelize a bit too much about the "local travel" experience. I certainly wouldn't turn down the chance to stay in a luxury hotel if it was offered to me! But there is truly something to be gained from interacting with the people native to any given place, and it's something I will continue to do throughout my travels abroad, and even at home. Because interaction begets understanding which in turn breeds compassion. And I think we need a little bit more of that in the world, don't you?