June 6, 2019 Lubeck GE

We have found a city in Germany that we really have a good feeling about.  As we have traveled around Europe we find cities or towns that we kind of instantly like.  Examples are San Sebastian, Seville, and Malaga in Spain, Dijon, Gardes, and Flavigny in France. It is hard to describe why, but it just happens.  So far on this trip we have not had that experience with any German cities.  We have discussed this several times over the trip, we have not had a bad experience here, but overall we are lacking the connection we have felt in Spain and France.

Before we headed out of Schwerin we headed to the town to take a look around.  It has one of the nicest castles we have seen, and it avoided major damage during the war and was part of East Germany so it’s old town has not been modernized like most cities in Germany.  Our tour of the city was quick but we enjoyed it.

Schwerin Castle survived the war intact.  My personal favorite castle in Germany.
Another view of Schwerin.  It was a really pretty city.

Today we found a city that we have connected with in Lubeck.  It is a relatively small port city on the Baltic Sea with a long and interesting history as a trading city.  But almost as soon as we arrived we liked the feel of the town.  Our parking spot is right across the canal from the old town, they do not gouge you for the spot.  After several weeks of hearty German food we opted for seafood and found an old slightly upscale restaurant with a great atmosphere.  The waiter not only served us efficiently but took time to have a nice conversation about travel, and the way different cultures take care of the elderly.  It was an unexpected personal connection.   

The interior of our restaurant, it used to be the sailors guild hall.

Lubeck is also famous for Marzipan which is a confection of almonds and sugar.  We decided we needed to sample some Marzipan so we went to the most famous bakery in town.  The pastry was quite good, and not as overly sweet to Ton as American pastries.

A Marzipan pastry.  Niederbergers has been producing Marzipan since the 1800’s.

We ended the day at one of the best breweries we have been to in Germany called Brauberger.  Their specialty is a Zwickel beer which is a cellared Lager.  It was quite good, and we split a pitcher and had a good time people watching.

A view across the canal into the old town from near our parking spot.
The sign on the city gate says Harmony within, Peace without.  

I know this sounds like many of our days, but this one was our best so far in Germany.  As we were walking back we discussed staying another day here even though we are feeling some time pressure, and are quite a long way from Belgium.

This happy devil captured some of the spirit of Lubeck that we liked.  The story is that he was conned into helping build the church by the workers who told him it was going to be a wine bar.

June 5, 2019 Schwerin GE

Once again we feel like we are running out of time for the trip.  We spent last night setting out priorities because we came to the conclusion that we did not have time to see everything we wanted to see.  The first thing we struck from the list is Berlin.  Ton has been there a couple of times already, and the parking for François did not look very appealing.  We were thinking of a trip following the Rhine but that is gone, or will be reduced to one or two cities.  Having a feel for what we did want to  see we made the decision to take a big drive on the autobahn to get up to the Baltic Sea coast of Germany.

Our drive today was 420 kilometers which is one of the biggest in our European trips.  We chose to use the autobahn thinking that we would cover that distance in about 5 hours.  The autobahns are very similar to our interstates and you can usually count on a pretty steady speed, but not today.  There was a tremendous amount of construction going on along our route so we spent a lot of time in long lines of trucks with frustrated BMW’s and Mercedes darting amongst the slow traffic trying to get to open highway.  At one point the road came to a complete halt and we sat in place for 30 minutes, when we got back up to speed we had no idea why we had stopped as there was no sign of an accident or construction.

We arrived in Schwerin about an hour later than we planned, and found a nice marina/Wöhnmobilplatz (another word for aire in German).  Schwerin is a lake front town and looks nice from the marina so we decided to head that way, Just as we were leaving to head into town we noticed what looked like a thunderstorm building in the distance.  We decided to head back to François and wait out the storms.  So really there is nothing much to report today besides our long drive.

The Marina, with a thatch roof boat house in the background.