3 -5 July 2012 – Lubeck
Force majeure – we motored up to Lubeck on 3 July in the morning and went through the bridge on the 1200 noon bridge. We have not been disappointed!
The marina isn’t flashy, and the harbour mistress didn’t put in an appearance (so no payment has changed hands and we therefore had no access to the wifi on day 1.) Yesterday (Wednesday 4th ) a young man put in an appearance for about an hour first thing in the morning to take money: the harbour mistress is about to have a baby in the next 4-5 days and he was doing a favour to the owner. He reset the electricity and gave me the wlan code. He had gone by 9.30am when the next wave of boats came in under the bridge. The office hasn’t opened this morning, so some boats have left and not been able to pay.
There is a real mix of boats. Some are off down the canals to Luxembourg and Berlin (the sailing boats have their masts down.) There are big motor boats with huge rope fenders, and slender vintage boats that embellish the harbour – and would be more suited to a museumhafen mooring the other side of the bridge.
But the city is lovely – very heavily restored after the bombing of WW2, but a real gem. After lunch we took a walk round – the first task to track down the tourist info office, which is located near the Holstener Tor – an impressive 13 century brick gate into the city.
We bought a tourist map with a 90 minute walk taking us around the city. The tourist info office is located behind the Holstener Tor.
Most of the city is built of brick. It is a Hanseatic port and the architecture reflects a strong dutch influence. There are the usual street names eg Horsemarket; Mill Street. But then we walked doen Fegefeuer – Purgatory! What an address! Fancy being able to say that you have a house in Purgatory! Travelling east, there will be more famous hanseatic ports – Wismar; Rostock; Stralsund – and it’s said that these cities are even better as the E Germans didn’t have the money to restore them. What we found is that work on the houses in Lubeck continues – but more and more houses have the stucco taken off, with the result that the plain brick detailing speaks for itself.
Yesterday 4th (Wednesday!) was still hot and sunny. In the morning the dinghy was lowered and we motored gently through the harbour and the canal round the city. There was less industry than expected, and the banks are wooded with parkland and cycle tracks close to the water. There are a lot of tourist boats doing the kanal-und hafen- rundfahrt. In the afternoon Roger started to feel unwell, and had a fever. He’s better today, so we plan to go cycling (via the tourist info to get a cycle map.) But we’re delayed – a couple of police came to call to understand why we had an defaced red ensign. A wide-ranging conversation followed: from the inadequacies of the regulation of the London financial markets; the problems facing the Eurozone; and the value of the BBC. I think they wanted to practise their English!
Later… We’ve cycled for 3 hours, round the town and up the canal. A harbourmaster has put in an appearance. Rain is forecast tomorrow so we stay another day, at least….