The picture above is the village of Lupburg, our home away from home while in Bavaria. Our house is on the right, below the onion dome church . The people are friendly, helpful and best of all, love to keep things "in order."

Baltic Sea Cruise Day 1

7 Aug Kiel, Germany We slept well last night, rocked ever so slightly by the waves as we chugged toward Germany.  The day started off grey and cloudy and by 6:30am we were slowly pulling into the port of Kiel.   Everyone was anxious to get off the ship but first, we had to visit the never-ending breakfast buffet.  Most of the fare was European standards...bread, cold cuts, cheese and traditional yogurt.  But, Lindsey managed to find the cocoa crispies and of course, there was a station dedicated to pancakes.

Our goal for today was to disembark in Kiel and  take the train to the town of Lubeck, an hour long journey through German countryside.  MSC conveniently had shuttle buses available for cruise passengers wanting to get to the train station (hauptbonhof) and we happily accepted the transport.
The Holsten Gate: the gateway to the original Old Town. 

Upon arrival to Lubeck I consulted my Germany guidebook and learned about this UNESCO world heritage site.
Lübeck is the city which, more than any other, exemplifies the power and historic role of the Hanseatic League. Founded in 1143 by Henry the Lion on a small island of the Baltic coast, Lübeck was the former capital and Queen City of the Hanseatic League from 1230 to 1535. As such it was one of the principal cities of this league of merchant cities which monopolized the trade of the Baltic and the North Sea, just as Venice and Genoa exerted their control over the Mediterranean.

Wilhelm has a commanding presence

About 20% of the city was destroyed during WWII, but the 15th C Holsten Gate with its leaning towers and the city's  Rathaus still stand. We sat at the outdoor Niederegger Cafe and enjoyed tasty marzipan coffees and traditional German pastries while listening to the classical tunes from a brass quintet based out of St Petersberg. 
Yvonne, a master at wrapping gifts, Niederreger marzipan shop

In front of the Rathaus...Enjoying the sounds and tastes of Lubeck on a glorious Sunday morning

Inside the Niederegger Shop...marzipan fashioned into all sorts of unique shapes. Lindsey holds up a cruise ship

Stephanie and Bryan on the train ride back to Kiel