“It is love, not reason, that is stronger than death.”
– Thomas Mann (famous writer from Lübeck)
Lübeck is the very first city in Europe that I have been.
From Singapore, I flew to Hamburg and booked my flight to Stockholm thru Ryanair, and as warned by friends, Ryanair’s airports are always out of nowhere hehe, and yeah, when they say Hamburg, they meant Lübeck which is 60kms away :D
My friend, Henning from Mölln, assured me that I will enjoy and will be amazed to visit Lübeck as this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and true enough, Lübeck is like going back to Medieval times because of its gothic architecture, cobblestoned roads, and has this atmosphere that I am inside a cake, just like in fairy tale’s little town settings :)
As this is the first Europe city I have been to – ALONE, I was a bit anxious and uneasy around me. I tried to pretend I’m not a first timer or a wandering tourist. I was very thankful too that it was cold and wearing layers of clothes made me feel unnoticeable, or better yet invisible!
However, going to my hostel, I got lost coz I can’t understand and speak Deustch (German) or perhaps I was too edgy. So I tried to approach people who can help me but one thing I noticed was most of the people around me were OLD, but I have no choice, so I approach an old woman who apparently can’t understand and speak English. She walked me all the way to my hostel and when we reached, she handed me 10 Euros! I tried to return it back to her but she insisted to give it to me! Strange but I was still grateful!
My hostel CVJM also known as a YMCA is located within the heart of the old city, just beside the Petrikirche (St.Peter’s Church) so it is quite convenient to stay here at 25 Euros a night. I started to walk around, and everything I see around me is just fantastic view! I see Lübeck as a town that you can just walk and wander around and you will not need any tourist map to go to any specific spots. At that point, how I wish I am with a friend who will walk with me, it was just an awesome moment.
I enjoyed even the quiet and romantic atmosphere in the many beautiful courtyards and alleys. I also loved walking along the canal which lies the home port of more than historical sailing ships which are still in use today. The ships come to life out on the Baltic Sea, and you can even take a trip on board some of them.
I was there on a weekend so I was fortunate to see the main plaza where they set up little market that sells anything from food, clothing etc, and of course biers :P There was also a live street concert and even if it was cold and raining, people still gathered and danced all night :)
These are some of the places I went to:
1. Lutheran Marienkirche (St. Mary’s Church) – Germany’s third largest church it remains the tallest building of the old part of Lübeck. It is larger than Lübeck Cathedral . Along with the city, the church has been listed by UNESCO as of cultural significance.
2. Holstentor – a city gate marking off the western boundary of the old center of the Hanseatic city of Lübeck, it is regarded today as a symbol of the city.
3. Petrikirche (Lutheran Church of St. Petri) – was built in the 13th century and is now associated with the arts, culture and the universities, it is just beside my hostel :)
4. Church of St. Jacob (Lübecker Jakobikirche) – The three-naved brick church (built in 1334) is the church of boatmen and seafarers and was consecrated together with St. Mary’s and St. Peter’s.
5. Lübecker Rathaus – (the town hall) is considered one of the oldest and most magnificent town hall buildings in Germany.
6. Lübeck Cathedral – is a large brick Lutheran cathedral and part of Lübeck’s world heritage.
7. Cafe Niederegger – Lübeck’s reputation as the “marzipan capital” stretches back to 1800, directly opposite the town hall with its marzipan salon, where visitors can learn all about marzipan. The twelve life-size marzipan figures are particularly impressive.
When I was already at the airport waiting for my flight to Stockholm, it suddenly occurred to me that the old woman who had helped me to find my hostel was talking to me in Deutsch all the time and I was talking to her in English. Yes she may know few English words like I also know few German words, but I couldn’t figure out how did we converse with each other!
I feared for my safety, I was too paranoid about getting robbed, mobbed, ripped off, bullied or worst getting locked up or killed, forgive me but it’s just that it was my first time to travel alone and first time in Europe where my appearance is obviously foreign.
And in the middle of my anxiousness, I know God is my only companion, I know He sent me that old woman so I can reach at my destination safely :)