Wednesday, 24 August 2011
Arriving at Travemunde in the township of Lubeck in Germany, was fascinating. We sailed up the harbour entrance and reached the pier at around 8.30am and there we were, tight into the town and so close to the promenade that I could have stepped off the ship and be in a coffee house in 3 steps. Once in the old town the ship was like a living presence. The Boudicca is a smaller ship than any of the American liners I have been on, so it can get into smaller ports than they. This was a maiden dock for Boudicca, and it was clear to see that the townsfolk were so excited to have us here, and that we were going to be good for their businesses ! I think we doubled the number of holiday makers in one fell swoop!
The town had such a warm and inviting feel, it seemed untouched and unspoilt, even though it is a favourite German seaside resort. The promenade was full of families, as well as staid and very well dressed elderly couples wearing Loden ! The magnificent beach huts are one of the signature sights of Travemunde, and when I found a superb and entirely local coffee house I sat in one to eat my Kleines Fruhstuck (Little Breakfast !) I was surrounded by the true ambience of German traditional life.
Now if we are talking coffee, it has to be said that Travemunde prices were a planet away from Aarhus. You can see from the picture how fine my platter was, fresh peach slices, grapes, cheese, preserves, roll and butterball, not to mention the fine coffee – and, wait for it, all for 3 Euros 90 cents, around £3 sterling. Now never let it be said that I am obsessed with the price of coffee, but I feel as if I am doing a Europe wide survey on the price and quality control of the said beverage !
Germany is winning hands down at the moment!
I found the ‘Demel’ of this area. Lubeck’s most famous confection is marzipan, and the shop was a treasure trove of everything marzipanish ! All handmade in the shop, and such creations that would make even the greatest marzipan hater be converted on the spot. Needless to say I purchased enough to sink a small paddle boat!
There were a few places where handmade artefacts were a joy to behold, especially the wrought iron man who had produced the gorgeous music stand in the photograph. I ummd and ahhd ( how do you spell that?), walked away, then post Fruhstuck, walked back. Took a photo, walked away...............etc. etc, and eventually I realised ‘discretion was the better part of valour’, and resisted the temptation to buy. I had to make, at this point a brisk re entry to the ship, before ‘discretion’ turned rapidly to ‘ desperation’ and I found myself explaining to a puzzled petty officer, what the hell I was doing bringing what looked like a weapon of mass destruction onto his ship ! Thank goodness we are now waving goodbye to Travemunde or I may have cracked. Would have looked great in my music room, and it would have doubled as a novelty BBQ.
We finally left late this evening and I decided to go up to Deck 10, the top of the ship, and watch the sail away. I was above even the captain’s ‘eerie’ and could see him on his lookout deck enjoying the singing from the pier, the sad waving goodbye from land to ship and vice versa, and general partying. He left the outside bridge, and in my innocence I assumed he had gone for his navel mug of late night cocoa and hard tack biscuit, and I relaxed, leaning on the rails as close to the top of the ship as one can go. A moment later I almost jumped overboard when clearly the musical captain pulled the lever and blew the ship’s horn. I was 2 steps away from it and the decibels were so loud my body vibrated and it pinned me to the rails. This happened three times as we left the harbour, and each time I felt as if I had been aurally x rayed !