Notes from Puzzle Palace

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Lübeck and Rostock Germany

 20 May

Travemunde (Lübek) Germany

Germany holds a special place in my heart.  I have always felt a great love for this country.  You see, I came of age here and it is "home" to me.  When I lived in Hong Kong and got the chance to travel here I would well up with tears and be overcome with emotion every time I landed in Germany.  

Today was no different.  I still love this country and enjoyed stepping off the ship with my beautiful lover by my side to share the adventure with me.  We left the ship around 10:30 and went for a wander around town.  I had 2 shops in in mind that might sell puzzles but was sadly disappointed.  

We went to the Seabar for lunch and I had a curry wurst with bread.  I’ve been thinking of this since we knew we would be landing in Germany. It was my goto lunch when I lived here and I still love it today.  At home I often make the sauce myself.  You just can’t go wrong with a curry wurst.  

From here we went to an Edeka for some milk and brought it back to the ship before heading on a tour to Lübeck.  The bus ride was quick.  15 or 20 minutes tops.  We got there and started a walking tour.  Our guide took us down back roads and alleyways so we would see a different side of Lübeck than the normal tourist excursion.  Yeah right. I’ve been here before, and Tomas Mann’s grandparents house is not a 'good' stop.  I think it would have been better had she just shown us the main attractions and be done with it.  

I had a bit of fun with the devil, and not the one I married.

Later we went to a beer tasting.  There were 4 beers to taste, and 2 were good for me.  2 not. First, I do not like IPA’s so that one was out.  The first beer was good to begin with, but after tasting the others I didn’t care for it.  Add to that the change in smell as it sat there and It was really undrinkable.  The pretzels were good though.

When that was over we were given 1/2 hour in town to buy marzipan.  Ok.  No.  I found a place called toyshop and off I ran.  25 minutes later I came out with 5 puzzles.  Happy Happy Rox. 

We boarded the bus again and headed for the ship.  On the way, we saw a car we liked so we got back off the ship and walked over to take a look and a photo for our records.

We then headed back and had a lovely dinner with a couple of ladies newly on arrived for a two week stay.  

21 May 

Warnemunde (Rostock) Germany

We pulled into port at 7 am but that is simply too early for us so the curtains stayed shut.  Today we met with a friend of ours from the area to exchange puzzles, have a long overdue beer, and visit a puzzle shop or two in Rostock.

We met our friend Hendrik Haak, owner of and fellow IPPer at the boat before taking off on a short drive to Rostock for lunch. 

For us this trip to Europe has been heavenly.  We’ve been able to meet friends we haven’t seen since 2019.  How time flies.  I can’t believe it has been 3 years that we haven’t had our annual puzzle party.  This is the saddest part of the pandemic for everyone I think.  Not being able to see friends.  For this if nothing else, I am glad the ATW was diverted.  

Hendrik and I had a lot of puzzles to exchange.  I’ve purchased quite a few from him and he in turn had a bunch sent to me in the States. Normally we would exchange these at IPP’s, but since there haven’t been any, we are doing a delivery this way.  

We exited the boat and I asked the girl at the hospitality desk the first question I learned in my German class that being a good hausfrau I was obligated to take.  "Wo ist der bauhnauf?" I’ve waited over 40 years to ask that of someone and have it mean something. She laughed and asked if I wanted the answer in German and then pointed to the door.  How silly, it was right across the road from where we were standing.  Off we went. 

Hendrik picked us up around 10 am and we took the short drive to Rostock where we visited a puzzle shop, Wupatki. 

Inside we found a lot of puzzles. A few of which we don’t have yet, but most of which were of course duplicates to us.  This is the normal way of things for us.  It is a two story shop with kids toys and games downstairs and the things we are interested in upstairs.  It took me the usual 10 minute walkthrough to see what was available, and then I did the second much slower lap. 

As usual, I bought a number of puzzles but this time we were prepared with bags to bring them home in.  After payment, we walked down to the waterfront and made our way to a restaurant for lunch. 

We had a nice walk through the town and it was explained to us that the city was mostly bombed during the war so everything was relatively new. There was a wonderful statue erected by the city by a wandering minstrel.

I thought this to be rather sweet.  We also saw what was obviously a shoe store based on the ornamentation outside the shop.  
Another interesting sight we saw was the Glockenspeil at the Fünfgibelhaus (house of five gables).  This is actually a musical instrument and plays a 1/2 hour concert at noon every day from May-October.

The final statues we saw was Der Brunnen der Lebensfreude (the fountain of joy).  It is affectionatly known locally as the Porno Fountain. It was erected in 1980 and contains 10 sculptues.  The most interesting is the man and woman swimming together.  I'm not sure what they were thinking...I was drawn to it by the undulating ground it was on.  Only later did I notice the various nudity and shiny bits on the statues.  

Later, being too old to sit in the biergarten in the icy cold rain, we opted for a table inside the attached restaurant.  We ordered the obligatory German bier and began a what was a wonderful lunch.  As usual, I had a curry wurst and pomme frits. I don’t know what the boys had, nor do I care. I was in heaven.  Hendrik commented that my lunch was usually snack food-as if I didn’t know that.  I usually ate it at 4 am returning home from the bars.   

After we had finished our lunch, we walked back to his van to drive back to the pier.  George jumped in the back and had a nap while I chatted about the rain and grandchildren with Hendrik.  An all too short 20 minutes later and we were back at the ship.  Somewhere along the way I purchased a few hundred puzzles more from him.  Afterwards, we said our goodbyes and headed on board.  I’d like to say it was to puzzle away the afternoon, but this age a very good beer means that would be a lie.  I napped.  

We thought that all aboard was at 4:30 in the original itinerary, but that too had changed and it ended up being 10pm!  Had I realized that earlier I would have spent more time with our friend.  Next time!  I’m ever hopeful that we will be able to attend Dutch Cube Day this fall.  It’s been 4 years since the last time we attended.  I think we need some more puzzling time.

Now I’m off to set up the rest of our puzzling visits along the way.  Until next time, Happy Puzzling and Smooth Sailing. 

1 comment:

  1. Nice pictures and commentary. Thank You for sharing!!!