Lübeck is one of those pretty little towns that call your name when you look at a map and you see you’re relatively close. It’s a Hanseatic city (meaning, I think, that it’s been a free city and not under rule of some emperor during medieval times); which means it has a pretty awesome, in-tact walled-city feel; which means it’s been UNESCO world heritage site; which means, yes, I spent a day wandering around.
Lübeck is also the marzipan capital of the world. They claim they made it there first; thanks to a famine, all there was to eat was sugar and almonds, and so a “bread” was made. I visited Niederegger, probably the most famous maker of marzipan in Lübeck, and it was so much fun and so delicious. It was hard to not throw everything in my basket to take home. The main Niederegger store in Lübeck was also part-museum, and there were so many beautiful marzipan confections, including a replica of the Holstentor gate that symbolizes Lübeck.
My favorite part about Lübeck, though, were the ‘secret’ courtyards I stumbled upon. After walking through a very low-ceiling alley, I found myself in what looked like a private courtyard. Curious, but wanting to be respectful (through a window I could see someone making breakfast in their robe!), I turned around and continued down the main road. Just a few steps further though, I found another alley. No door – just an alley and what could have been a street sign. So, I went through… and saw clearly that I had found a network of alleys and courtyards that were more charming than the marzipan fruits. It turns out, these alleys and courtyards are a think in Lübeck, so I don’t feel like a trespassing peeper. (That’s a good life goal: not to be a peeper.)
Runner up to favorite thing about Lübeck: all the fish. [Shocking, right?] Being located on the Baltic coast, fish features heavily in its cuisine. Though I was only in Lübeck for an overnight trip, I found a herring sandwich known as fischbrötchen (literally, fish bread) made with herring (matjes) and enjoyed it while walking around and admiring the UNESCO buildings. Not a terrible way to spend a Saturday in October!