It’s interesting that just as I was about to write this post I read an article in the Weekend Financial Times entitled “Golden Sylva“. Basically, it’s about an architect in Germany using his own woodland to build his own low-energy house. The woodland has been owned by his family for centuries … “Frey is not alone in Germany with his love of woods. The citizens of Europe’s leading industrial economy are deeply attached to their trees. About 2 million people in a population of 80 million possess at least a patch of woodland, often no larger than a copse but nonetheless a personal treasure … in German culture, the tree is uniquely significant. As Hans-Peter Friedrich, a former agriculture minister, says : “You find woods in every German story”.”
The article goes on to explain what Mr Frey is doing and how he is going about the construction etc. but later it reverts back to the tree-related roots of Germany’s founding myth and the importance of woods in German art, music and literature.
The Chalk Cliffs Walk in the Jasmund National Park is not to be missed. Our first day on Rügen was a Sunday and we thought the Park would be busy so we opted for it to be our second walk on the Monday.
You may possibly think that Rhona and I did nothing in Lübeck but trail round museums and galleries and alleys and courtyards and churches but indeed, you’ll be surprised to know, that we did lots of sitting down too!
The first evening we found The Rathaushof near the Town Hall and ate herrings and potatoes. A very typical dish of the region; and that is what it is all about for me.
The Behnhaus-Drägerhaus Museum was totally unknown to me before my visit to Lübeck : but what a gem! Quite a big gem, actually. Just a few doors along Königstrasse from Willy Brandt House at numbers 9 to 11 the Museum/Gallery is housed in two adjoining classical mansions.
Here is a link to a very brief glimpse of the character of the museum.
Our walks through the alleys and courtyards and visits to the three houses with connections to Nobel prize winners only occupied the late afternoon on the day we arrived in Lübeck and the morning of the day we left. That left all of one day to visit a gallery, a museum and relax (yes, we did that as well!) on a river boat trip. On our final morning we also managed to fit in a visit to the huge and dominating St Maria Church (Die Marienkirche). And, would you believe, it is not the only vast church in Lübeck. Another day and we might have visited them all.
Lübeck is proud to claim three Nobel Prize winners among its residents: Thomas Mann (1875-1955) Nobel Prize for Literature in 1929); Willy Brandt (1913-1992) Nobel Peace Prize in 1971; and Günter Grass (born in Danzig in 1927 died Lübeck 2015) Nobel Prize for Literature in 1999. All three claim this Hanseatic city as their home. The writer Thomas Mann was born here and for the first 18 years of his life called this city on the river Trave his home. The politician Willy Brandt was also born in Lübeck and, similarly, spent his formative years in the Hanseatic city. The author Günter Grass moved to Lübeck at the age of 68 – to be, as he once stated, “closer” to Thomas Mann and Willy Brandt.
Where to begin? Where to begin? I arrived home on Wednesday after my wonderful visit to Germany and Scandinavia and now comes the hardest part – sifting through photographs and deciding which to include and which to discard.
Here is just a taster selection and I hope to expand on some of the visits and walks during the next couple of weeks.