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Friday, March 15, 2013

The Hanseatic League & a visit to Luebeck

Driving along the northern coast from the Baltic, where we spent 4 weeks, to Bremen where my family lives you pass several cities that belong to a league of their own: Hansestaedte. Hanse or the Hanseatic League was founded as  a commercial confederation of towns doing business together, in the Late Medieval Ages and Modern Times (13th-17th century). A trade group that also served the purpose for defense. It stretches from the Baltic the north Sea. There are also some in England (Yarnouth) and in the Netherlands (Groningen). I mentioned Stralsund and Wismar before, another in the East is Danzig. In the former West or Federal Republic of Germany there are Luebeck, Hamburg, Bremen, Braunschweig, even some further inland like Osnabrueck and Cologne.
This name still exists in the official German's airline's name: Lufthansa and reflects the importance they once had.
So on our way to Hamburg Airport to drop of our exchange car, we got stuck in Saturday afternoon/end of summer holidays traffic outside Luebeck.
No better time to leave the motorway and do some sightseeing, maybe combined with a nice dinner, hubby suggested. Luebeck is well known for its Tor (Gate) and well liked for its Niederegger Marzipan. A walk into the old town center was a joy-- seeing all these medieval buildings, mostly timber-framed houses. We had dinner in a wonderful old restaurant: its interior remarkable for Medieval shipping paraphernalia called "Luebecker Hanse". Spot on- we were right in the middle. The food was gorgeous too, freshly prepared and slow cuisine which speaks for its quality. However, the day was getting longer and we  were in a bit of a rush because we still had over 150 miles to go and still drop of the car and pick up a rental instead.

Opposite Retaurant Hanse is an old Puppet theater, still active, bit there was no tome too view it. Definitely worth another visit.
With another major traffic jam on the A1 just outside Bremen, it was almost 23.00 hours by the time we reached our destination. Thank goodness for the car's GPS system. We might still be standing there....

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