A fellow we met at the left-wing bookshop in Marburg recommended Lubeck to us. He said we must visit his home town even if we go nowhere else in Northern Germany! Well, he was right. We had no trouble spending 4 days in this pretty, quiet, unassuming, very clean town. Of course there is an old medieval town which is on an island enclosed by the Trave river. Our hotel is located not far from one of the 2 remaining old town gates - the Holstentor (1478). It is a twin towered red brick structure with twin spires that crookedly lean toward each other. It is also the well known land mark of the town. There are lots of red brick gothic buildings here, grand churches and of course a Dom (cathedral). We went for a boat cruise along the Trave river and canal and were able to admire the pretty townscape with tall church spires. No English commentary on the boat but we could guess a lot of what was being pointed out.
We visited the Gunter Grass museum which displayed exhibits regarding his novels, his visual works of art as well as his political views and life. Unfortunately
none of the information was in English - this is not uncommon in Germany. Not the case, however, at the Buddenbrookhaus, where there was a lot of information in English about the lives of Thomas Mann and his family. Did you know that Heinrich, Thomas's brother wrote the novel upon which "The Blue Angel" was based? The museum's focus is on Mann's 1929 nobel-prize winning novel, Buddenbrooks, and the museum is in the house where Mann's grandparents lived. Spent a couple of hours here reading and reading.
We attended an afternoon organ concert in St Jacob Lutheran church (1334). Performances by students of the organ at the Lubeck Music School. We dined on Baltic fish at a restaurant which had been the Guild Hall of the Seafarers 500 years ago, we traveled to Travamunde, sea resort and ferry port, by local bus. This resort is on the Baltic sea and is a favorite holiday resort with a very long seaside promenade. Preparations were underway for a Promenadenfest and food stalls and music stages were set up. The sun came out and it was quite warm, so warm in fact that we had a dip in the Baltic sea. The
The Holstentor (1478)
Medieval town of Lubeck could be entered by 4 gates - only 2 remain and this one is the land mark of Lubeck.
sky and sea could not equal that of Greece but the sand was clean and promenade long and lined with green park areas. Instead of the ubiquitous deck chairs and umbrellas which cover the beaches in the Mediterranean, there are instead, covered cane bench seats (blue and white striped) that people rent. No Africans or Indians selling their wares along the beach here! There was even a lifesaver look out tower and there were machines along the promenade which required a payment before heading to the beach below - all in German but we figured it was money for the lifesavers.
Thomas Mann museum was fantastic but the marzipan was not a favorite. Greg and I dislike marzipan but it is certainly popular here, Niederegger being the major producer.
We also spent some time booking a hotel in Copenhagen and changing euros to danish kroner. From here to Copenhagen is a 4 hour trip. Accommodation is expensive (Govt vat charge 25%). Should be interesting :)
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