Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lovely Lübeck

None of us slept very well last night. With the swell coming into the harbour, the forepeak berth was really uncomfortable - possibly the first time we've ever found that in a marina. I retreated to the main cabin fairly early on and Sam followed me about 1am, feeling very unwell - although he didn't think it was sea-sickness.

Still, we gathered ourselves to get the 10.30 train to Lübeck. En route we were entertained to meet some of the Royal Navy crew of three patrol boats we saw coming in yesterday, with a small supermarket trolley of food and a vast one full of beer.

Lübeck is an interesting city, for several hundred years a leading light in the Hanseatic League, and full of medieval buildings, but severely bombed by the RAF in 1942. It was only saved from total destruction by a canny move to make it the official port of entry for all parcels for British PoWs.

We visited the astonishing Marienkirche, built of brick and roofed in copper, with hardly an accurately vertical line in the whole thing. It is absolutely massive, hugely high inside with massive columns supporting a painted roof - the latter presumably all new, since the roof was one of the things blown off in the bombing. (The bells also crashed to the ground, and two are left there as a memorial).

There are a number of unattractive modern buildings in the shopping centre - even right next to the Rathaus - but there are entire streets of wonderful merchants' houses and tiny courtyards once you get into the quieter parts of the city, occupied by more interesting small or specialist shops. Ben found a splendid hi-fi shop full of valve amplifiers and millions of euros worth of other kit, so he was happy. Altogether, much more different from Bremen than we expected, but well worth the 20-minute train ride. (€2.70 each, one way. National Express take note).

We're not really sure what the weather will do tomorrow, so will take a decision on our next move in the morning.

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