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|