11 Lübeck and Hamburg, Germany Trip #10 – part 1

Finally, I am back from my three weeks of traveling Europe! That also means I have a lot of good stories and photos ready to share to you all. So dear readers, get ready for it!! First, as promised, let me go back to my last solo trips to Lübeck, Hamburg and Cesky Krumlov.

My last EU Rail trian ride to Northern Germany

So what happened at Lübeck, Germany?

At first, when I got on that train to Northern Germany on Friday, July 20, the thought that this was going to be my last solo trips in Europe this summer did not sink in. I got used to taking a train every Friday night that even that train felt more like an exciting routine than a sentimental ending to my fun summer time. My work was also busy that week as I was finishing-up my responsibilities before I leave the office. Hence, some part of my mind was still in the office..

Vienna to Hamburg and Lubeck (Trip 10) on July 10, 2012

But there were one thing that was different in this trip. And that was YOU. Yes, you the readers! Right before this trip, my blog had over 60-100 viewers per day and I was receiving feedback from various people how much they have enjoyed the stories and photos. Thus, when I got on the train that day, I did not feel alone. On the other hand, I felt like I was traveling with the 100 friends, family, and future readers who will read my blog one day and plan their own Europe trips! It was exciting to realize how my exciting adventure could benefit others. I did not know yet how I was going to take this experience into another adventure, and then, something fascinating happened during this trip.

FYI – This is how I sleep on the train and meet new friends.

It must be because I was feeling braver after each trip, or it must be because I felt like I was traveling in a group instead of alone, or because I travel alone and people are curious to learn why a young Asian American girl is traveling in such condition to such far places. Either way, I felt more curious. And I wanted to understand the culture and the histories through the people. I had met many people in my previous trips, but I have not exchanged my personal contacts. Now, however, thanks to this blog project, I was easily able to start or continue a conversation as I introduced them my blog and my interest in continuing this journey.

By the time I returned home on Sunday from that trip, I surprised even myself when I realized that I meet and chatted with at least 20 different people speaking with them in English, German, and French! It was fascinating! Though short, I learned so much and heard such interesting stories from each encounter. To list a few of the people I have met, they range as vast as this: the Austrian student studying environmental architecture from Vienna who happens to go to the school next to my residence in Vienna; the happy old German couple traveling each year via cycling in Germany and Austria; the German opera singer family with two boys from Basel who was visiting their grandparents; the jolly sisters from Amsterdam reuniting in Hamburg; the Tunisian guy traveling from Tunisia to Copenhagen via train through Italy, France, and Germany without a passport or a train ticket; the young girl from Kosovo returning home to Hamburg; the happy pastry shop owner in Lübeck who learned to bake delicious goods from Pennsylvania, USA and France; and an African residing in Vienna learning German who led me to the English Church service on Sunday. I was enlightening! I would like to thank them again for sharing their stories and time with me, because this is that really made my last trip special. Even when I think now how honest and sincere people were, it makes me wonder why we can’t be more honest and humble in the world of politics…

New friends I meet on the train ride – My train ride to Hamburg, Lubeck

So after my long train ride from Vienna, what did I discover in Lübeck and Hamburg, Germany?

Hamburg Train station – One has to change trains here to go to Lubeck

The short answer is that this is another part of Germany worth visiting. I heard that if one wants to understand how vast Germany geography is one should plan to make a visit to at least Berlin, Munich and Hamburg. That advice, I learned from my trip to Lübeck and Hamburg, was true!

Train ride from Hamburg to Lubeck
Train ride to Lubeck has beautiful scenary

While my time was short here, I enjoyed every moment and this is why:
1. Interesting brick gothic architectural: I heard how different northern Germany architecture was from the South and the middle of Germany. But to see them in person was another level of awe-ness. After walking out of the train station, one will reach the city center the beautiful old town area. I luckily missed the large tourist crowd by arriving in the city in the morning. It was quite colder than I thought, I should have realized considering how much farther north Lübeck is from Vienna. Still, I lost track of time admiring these buildings and city wall. I mean check out some of these places below.

Hello Lübeck!

Lübeck’s brick architecture
Pointy Lübeck rooftop
Under the beautiful blue sky at Lübeck

2. Small but not too small: Lübeck is not as big as Hamburg or Munich for sure. But it was still worth a good visit. I heard Bremen is another good visit from Hamburg but Lübeck seems like another equally good one. The main tourist sites may be similar for those who are visiting for just tourist purposes but there were many small shops and restaurants that one could enjoy the afternoon.

A few must check out places I suggest are….

a. A visit up the church to see the city view: There are two points in which one could see the beautiful city view of Lübeck. The one I took was the church close to the entry of the city. Don’t be tricked by the empty inner part. If you walk to the side you will find the elevator that will take you up. When you have an amazing weather you will be able to see a good view like this!

Lubeck view from the church
City view of Lubeck

b. A visit or dining at the Schiffergesellschaft: This was one of the spots a local recommended I check out before I leave the city. At first, I wondered why. It is one of the oldest restaurants in Lubeck and has a symbolic and historical significance. How can a restaurant play such a role? Well, the moment I entered the building, I realized why for I found myself saying..wow. The photos didn’t really turn out that well, but I hope those who visit make at least a short stop here.

Spotted the ancient place
Inside the Schiffergesellschaft

c. A visit to the St. Marien or Marienkirche Church: This place is hard to miss. It is near the old town center and is a huge beautiful gothic bricked church. The image is quite symbolic but the inner part is quite interesting too. One can enter with an additional small fee and have a short walk around. The church still has the old tower bell that crashed into the hard stone ground during an attack in World War II. They have kept it to remember how long it has sustained and protected people’s wish.

Beautiful Lubeck church
Inside the Church
The Church bell fallen during WW II.

It was almost one in the afternoon and while I had enjoyed my fish sandwich from one of the cafes I was craving something for some yummy dessert. So when I stumbled upon this café at one of the small streets, I was happy.

Engelsbaeckerei Cafe Spotted at Lubeck!

It was small but had a cozy feeling. I could already smell the delicious dessert that looked adorable as well. After ordering few items, I seated myself near the window to write my postcards while I eat. I bit into that blueberry cheesecake dessert and wow. It was amazing!

Yummy yummy – you can find out more at www.engelsbaeckerei.de

The happy owner explained how she had opened her own shop after learning pastries in France and in America. Her brownies, however, was more yummy than what I had in the states for they were Belgium chocolate. It was a happy ending to my adventure at Lübeck that day. I thanked her for her delicious goods while I made my way back to the train station to head to Hamburg, the second city of the day. (If you are there next time, do check out!)

See you soon!

Check out about what I found at Hamburg at PART 2!