After receiving a Dirndl last year from Marco’s father and his girlfriend for Christmas, I was excited to finally have a chance to wear it out for the first time. Unfortunately, Marco does not own any Lederhosen. However, he did wear a checkered collared shirt, which is what men traditionally wear with their Lederhosen.
When the German boyfriend and I left the apartment last Sunday, we didn’t plan to go on a sightseeing trip. Rather, we were hoping to find some new summer clothes in Hamburg since it was a Verkaufsoffener Sonntag, meaning that all of the shops were open.
Unfortunately, the shopping trip turned out to be an overwhelming failure, and after about 3 hours, we started driving back home with nothing but 3 pairs of socks. To make matters worse, we realized that the entrance to the Autobahn was closed.
So, we were reading the road signs, trying to find a different way home, when we saw a sign for Lauenburg.
“You know, I always wanted to visit Lauenburg,” Marco said.
“Okay, let’s go.”
The sign said it was only 21 km away, so we decided to turn our unsucessful shopping trip into a fun little excursion to the history city of Lauenburg.
After parking, we walked over a bridge, and I snapped this picture of the street below:
After walking over the bridge, the first building we came across was the castle tower (Schlossturm). Unfortunately, the castle itself burnt down in 1616, and all of the other parts have since been destroyed. However, the historic tower remains.
So, what was supposed to be a Sunday of shopping turned into a spontaneous city trip. Although it was not planned, our two hour city tour was actually very nice, and Marco and I have both fallen just a little bit in love with Lauenburg. For anyone that lives in the area, I highly suggest checking it out.
When was the last time you went on a spontaneous day trip?
While enjoying the beautiful weather last weekend, a surprise thunderstorm hit. The sky opened up and poured down rain for a solid 30 minutes. And when the sun came back out, so did something else…
I really love German Christmas Markets. They are definitely my favorite part of spending the holidays in this country. So although we are leaving for Nuremberg tomorrow, where the biggest Christmas Market in all of Germany is, I still wanted to see Lüneburg’s this season.
Known here in Lüneburg as the Historischer Christmarkt, this is a special Christmas market that takes place for just one weekend each year. Since neither the German boyfriend or I had ever been, we decided to stop by on Saturday evening.
Unlike a traditional German Christmas market, which has wooden huts draped in Christmas lights, the Medieval Christmas market attempts to remain authentic to the Renaissance style. This means no electric lights, traditional clothing, and handmade goods.
While this may sound sweet, we weren’t really impressed. It was basically just a dark and dreary market with sparse points of candlelight.
There was one upside, however: the bratwurst cost one euro less than at the regular Christmas market in Lüneburg.
On the last day of July, Marco and I went into Lüneburg to take a picture for the HGTV House Hunters International Globe Traveler competition. I explained what the globe traveler competition is before in an earlier blog post — but basically, all you have to do is take a picture somewhere abroad with the House Hunters International bandana.
Here is the picture that Marco took of me. I am standing on a bridge overlooking the Ilmenau River in an area of Lüneburg known as “am Stintmarkt (stint market).” During the Middle Ages, stint (also known as smelt, which is a kind of fish) was frequently traded here. Today this area is full of bars and restaurants.
I studied abroad in Lüneburg for the Fall semester of my senior year of college in 2011. After studying German for about 4 years, I knew I wanted to go to Germany, and my school was only affiliated with programs to Lüneburg or Berlin. Now you may ask yourself: Why would you choose Lüneburg, city of 70,000 people, to Berlin, full of history, culture, and Germany’s capital!?
The answer: $10,000
Although my reason for choosing to study in Lüneburg was purely monetary, it has turned out to be one of the most influential decisions I have made in my life.
The best part about studying in Lüneburg as an American through the USAC program is how truly immersed in German culture you can become. At Loyola University Chicago, most students choose to study abroad in Rome. They studied at an American university in a foreign city, which meant living, studying, and hanging out with almost exclusively other American students. This is not the experience that I was looking for when I made my decision to study abroad.
I chose to live in student housing for Leuphana, and I was housed in a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment with 2 German men. This meant that from day one I was truly immersed in the culture and language, giving me no safety net. Although I obviously still had most of my classes with all of the other American students and hung out with them throughout most of the day, I was still heavily immersed in the culture and language.
Through these experiences, I have realized what is truly important to me, found amazing new friends, and met the love of my life. So now, although my boyfriend will be the first to say that Lüneburg is an incredibly dull city to live in, I still believe that it is a truly great city to study in.