|If you’re traveling through Germany by train, it’s easy to begin to believe that the entire country is nothing but a collection of drab, stucco-covered 5 story apartment houses, punctuated by odd, somewhat jarring glass-covered office buildings. Each town has a few old relics that have been lovingly rebuilt or one or two that actually survived. But once you’ve seen that one, you’re done, and it’s back to kilometer after kilometer of the same old same old, punctuated by the obligatory Fußgängerzone, which in turn is populated by the VERY SAME collection of businesses, in the same distribution, even in the same order. Usually, the nicer stores are located in the “Altstadt”(old city), and the rent slowly drops as you get closer to the Bahnhof, where you find the Spielothek(gambling halls) and Internet cafes. So when you bump into a town that truly has some identity left, and OLD identity at that, it can be a really colorful experience.
I arrived in Lübeck in the evening, just before sunset. I really regret that I couldn’t take more pictures, because every turn offered something beautiful and truly unique. But I was hungry and needed to find the theater, then really needed to eat. However, I did manage to get a few shots. Everything was rapidly closing, and it was too cold and windy to stand outside and munch on a döner(the Turkish version of gyros). But I found a nice little place and had some curry, and then walked to the oldest part of the Old City, to meet my host, who led me to her house. By then, it was completely dark. By the Way…..If you ever go to Lübeck, and you’re by yourself or have just one companion, I highly recommend Regina’s place in the Domviertel. You can find it on airbnb.de. Ask me if you’re interested.
She met me on Hartengrube (that’s the street name), because the warren of pedestrian-only streets is confusing in the daytime, and almost impossible to navigate at night. We wound our way around several sharp corners, almost rubbing our shoulders on the walls of the tiny 13th and 14th century houses on the side as we went. We arrived at the house, and she handed me my key. It was at least 8 inches long, and must have weighed a quarter of a pound. The door (pic here) has a humongous hole for the key, and it took some doing for me to figure out how it worked. We then dropped my bag at the door, so she could show me how to find my way back to the theater the following morning. It involved a rather small passageway… (passageway pic) on which I banged my head pretty good, forgetting about the crossbeams they use in these old buildings.
In the morning, I like to get out and move around before leaving for my audition. So I bent down and navigated out the passageway to the Obertrave, a canal which runs along the Domviertel edge. I followed it south and east, til I had to go up some stairs (pic). Which brought me face to face with the Lübeck Cathedral. WAAAYYYY too close to take a picture, so I walked around the neighboring lake along the Obertrave, and rounding a bend, got this view. (pic). I tell you, in the cold, crisp spring air, it was almost transcendent. But alas! by then, it was time to get back to the house, change into my audition outfit, put away everything and head to the theater. I twas a nice quiet walk to the theater, a good audition, with nice people who helped me move things along so I could change clothes, rush out, and get on the 2:08 to Hamburg, so I could get on the 3:01 to Munich, which I was on until 9:17, then two more trains, arriving at Innsbruck Austria just short of midnight.