17,000 daily steps to Purgatory and beyond


49 in Lubeck   photo by Andreas MuenchowD-fly Lubeck stairs

A blind date over coffee in Newark, Delaware leads to birthday cake in Lübeck Germany 363 days later.

Lübeck is a pretty great place for birthday cake (and dates), let me tell you. I love the town. It’s on an island so I can’t get lost, the architecture is so different and full of history, the people are friendly and I feel very comfortable there.

We left on a Sunday morning and took trains to Bremen, Hamburg, Lübeck and then chose to go a little farther to visit Andreas’ parents in Neustadt. After coffee with Christa and Lothar we returned to Lübeck in time to check into our Airbnb and then found Purgatory (Fegefeuer) Lane which led us to the Dom for a pipe organ concert that Andreas was curious about.

Caught editing photos in the Dom waiting for the organ concert.  photo by Andreas MuenchowIMG_0482The Dom20180729_190307

Our Airbnb was created in an old brewery built in 1290. The “room” we rented turned out to be a small apartment with a little kitchen. Along with our personal space there was a large indoor living room open to all guests and an outdoor garden. Our place was only as wide as our arm span with every convenience and was very clean and comfortable. The only thing missing from this American’s stay was a fan or air-conditioning. A luxury around here saved for grocery stores.

This is our Airbnb. Our room was the open window on the first floor.20180729_173320photo by Andreas Muenchow20180729_173520Andreas climbing the ladder to the tiny sleeping loft.20180729_173626

Northern Germany has been experiencing a heat wave this past week or so. Temperatures have been unusually high in the 90’s and there is no cooling in the houses, shops or restaurants. In Lübeck everyone was outside hoping to catch a breeze of any kind to cool down. Restaurants and cafés had their tables on the sidewalks and streets and people were out very late enjoying the slight drop in temperature after the sun went down.

Newer stained glass in the Dom. The original was lost during WWII.20180729_173219Our street.20180729_173251

My birthday was Monday and Andreas and I had a fun day revolving around food and family. We went out for a light breakfast then later met his parents and his mother’s middle school friend for coffee and cake mid-afternoon. After coffee we all had a nice walk through the city where the older folks, who are all locals, remembered bits of their shared youth 70 years ago walking past different buildings and streets. We gave the grand, short tour of our tiny digs and had drinks in the garden, then Andreas took us to a wonderful restaurant for a fancy birthday dinner. I couldn’t have wished for a better birthday. Actually, that’s not true, it would have been awesome if it was 20 degrees cooler. Ha-ha

Christa and Sieglinde enjoying the garden.Christa and Zekelinda

The next day Andreas and I explored Lübeck some more. There is always something new to find there. Mid-day, after just 13 or 14,000 steps the heat started to get to us and we joined the kids in the public fountain to cool off. Unlike the kids, we kept our clothes on.

Andreas croppedIMG_0508

Yesterday we celebrated the anniversary of our serendipitous meeting with dinner on a tall ship dating from 1919 in Bremerhaven’s old harbor. Here’s to many more steps and cups of coffee together.

The view from the ship’s gangway. 20180802_220542


4 thoughts on “17,000 daily steps to Purgatory and beyond

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