There is more to Hamburg than the port or the red light and party district St Pauli. Despite the lack of the famous natural wonders in this part of the country, surprise surprise (or not) there are actually some castles here. Well, not directly in the city centre and definitely not as grand as the magical Neuschwanstein. They tend to be smaller on this side of the country.
Last January before the city was covered by snow for several days, I went to Ahrensburg – a small town which is still part of Hamburg Metropolitan, where one of the castles is situated. Schloss Ahrensburg or the Ahrensburg castle, that is how it is called.
From the city, you can take the U1 or regional train (RB) and soon S4 (now under construction). A lot of options. Sweet as! I happened to take the RB. You could take a bus from the station to the castle. Since the castle is within walking distance (for average people living in Germany) from the station, I then decided to go there by foot instead. The other reason was so I could have a bit of a glance of the town centre. Not much going on there for a Saturday afternoon. All non-essential stores as in the rest of the country were closed.
The Ahrensburg castle is surrounded by a big park and a moat. It is unclear if the moat was originally used for defence but now it is of course only ornamental (according to the Wikipedia page, the moat has always been serving artistic purposes ;)). The walls and big windows of this 16th century castle seem to be much more plain compared to what is customarily of a castle, but I think it is still a beauty. It especially stands out against its green surroundings.
I already knew that I would not be able to enter the castle itself due to lockdown so for now I could only enjoy the outer view of the estate. Sure, you can see some pictures of the interior and learn a glimpse about this place online. But I am curious how the inside really looks like.
Apart from the park and the moat, the old mill also caught my attention. Although it looks very old but is still really pretty. Too bad the quality of the picture that I took was not as good.
Like a true German resident, I could not pass the opportunity of having a long walk whenever possible. Whenever I meet someone new in Germany and ask what his/her hobbies are, Spaziergang is almost always one of the answers. So I left the castle, trying to consistently stay by the Hannau river, then crossing Mühlenbach river through big houses and yards until I reached Großhansdorf where I took U1 to go home.