I finally have a yearly transportation pass for Hamburg. Yay. During the week that means I can travel anywhere within the Großbereich zone (which is Hamburg proper). On the weekends, it means I can also travel in Hamburg’s surrounding cities, with Ken, for free. Sweet!
Two weekends ago, excited by the beginning of July and to utilize our newly-acquired travel pass, we headed to a Hanseatic festival in Lüneberg called Hansetag. Hansetag is a festival celebrating the Hanseatic League, which was a coalition of harbor towns created in 1398 (according to Wikipedia) consisting of cities that were situated along the Baltic and North Seas.
Lüneberg is a small traditional town only 45 minutes by train outside of Hamburg. It mostly survived the bombings of WWII, and therefore has some incredible original German frescos, and medieval pathways. It’s really very cute.
While the Hansetag ended up being a bit of a mess – we were constantly handed brochures for tiny fishing villages along the Baltic Sea…no thank you – the city itself and some of the city purveyors were definitely noteworthy. We ate yummy brisket sandwiches, watched eels get smoked fresh, bought a huge tasty salami and sampled local Lüneberg beer. We also got the chance to see some traditional medieval costumes, as later in the afternoon there was a parade of cities. Each city held their banners high and marched along in clogs and ornamental dresses.
The city center had a huge stage where a full orchestra played movie themes for the entirety of our stay in Lüneberg. We got to hear the Indiana Jones theme, Pirates of the Caribbean theme and much more. There were other stages set up around the city each with a different musical variety. We happened upon a polka concert, and then a modern rock concert a little later. There was supposed to be a part of the festival where the street was transformed to medieval times, with blacksmiths and ladies churning butter…but Ken and I couldn’t find it. I think we ended up walking in circles a little bit.
In addition to being quaint, Lüneberg seems to have a huge outdoor shopping district filled with local cafés, galleries and shops. On a beautiful day, it would be a lovely walk.
We made it home at the end of the festival with bellies full of beer and beef, and proceeded to eat salami for dinner. Yum!