Back to the roots

p1060175After 37 years I have moved back to Lüneburg, the town I grew up in. During these years I have been visiting Lüneburg regularly to see my family or to show the place to visitors from abroad, and during the last years I began to appreciate the beauty of this town.

When my mother declared that she wanted to sell the family home and move to a small flat it didn’t take us long to decide to sell our house in Schleswig-Holstein and buy the house I grew up in instead.

After many weeks of showing our old home to strangers we finally found a buyer and moved to Lüneburg 5 days before Christmas.

Staying in the house feels like being in a holiday home. The most important things are unpacked, but it doesn’t feel like home yet. I feel like an intruder in my parent’s house, but I am optimistic that these feelings will fade when we begin restoring and renovating the house.

I am also excited about exploring old places and discovering new ones. From now on you will find more fotos from Northern-Saxony here, especially of the area south of Hamburg.


It’s been a while

…. since I have posted anything here. I felt a bit bad about not finishig the A – Z challenge and running out of ideas for topics connected to North Germany.

Today I would like to take you on a walk through an old quarter of Lüneburg. The old streets I am showing you are around the St. Michaelis church. I was christened and confirmed there, just like my father. My parents got married in that church.

When I grew up in Lüneburg this “Altstadt” was pretty much run down. It was a place for poor, rough people to live and there were some quite seedy pubs as well as a cinema that showed films for grown-ups. I remember stopping there on my way to my rollerskate-training, as one could buy icecream for 10 Pfennig at the box office .

In some of the streets there wasn’t even plumbing in the houses. Twice a week a truck would come and some men would carry out some big, evil smelling buckets  and empty them  into a big container . I remember that a schoolmate of mine lived in one of these houses and cruel as children are we teased him about their loo all the time.

Now, enough talking. Have a look what the area around the church looks like today:

There are many interesting details when looking closer at the houses
Following this street you will come to the city center with its impressive patrician houses
It is quiet in these streets on a Sunday morning
Little back garden
St. Michaelis seen from the back side
Street from which the backside of the church was photographed
Walking through this street it is not far to the library
Street across the church.

Saturday morning

It is Saturday morning. I am sitting at my desk, having a coffee,checking my mail, when a ghost from the past pops up. A message on “Stayfriends”,  just a “hi, saw-your-profile-and-thought-I get-in-touch” message. At first I don’t have a clue who that person could be, after all, it is about  forty years ago, that we knew each other. But slowly there are memories coming up of the time around 1973/1975 when I was a teenager in a then small town called Lüneburg.

At that time we had to attend school on Saturdays. Usually we had lessons from 08:00 – 11.30 am.

As soon as school was finished everybody would try to get to the town center as quickly as possible. Some of the boys had small mopeds, looking like motorbikes, usually Kreidlers or Zündapps. If one of us girls could get a ride into town on one of those, we felt really tough. Once, I remember, one of the boys took me and myfriend Sabine onto his bike. None of us wore helmets of course and how we all fitted onto those tiny machines  is a riddle to me up  today. It remember wearing my favorite sweater that day, bright green, tight and sliding up showing my bellybutton when moving,

Once we got into town we would stroll along the pedestrian zone checking out who else was hanging out. Most of the time we all ended up in a pub called “Illert”.It doesn’t exist anymore.

Coming into “Illerts”  there was a long bar with some tables across from it. In the back was a second, larger room, and here the kids from my school gathered. Here I drank my first beer and had my first cigarette. I was thirteen then and felt very grown-up.

My friends and I  t hoped to catch a glimpse at the boys we had a crush on, praying to be noticed and maybe, just maybe be invited to one of their partys. There was always a party somewhere on Saturday night and not being invited anywhere was a disaster.

At that time it was fashionable to have a party-room in the cellar. Some parents didn’t have one, and  in that case we  just put some posters on the wall, mattresses on the floor, and a tape recorder on a table.  The lights were low.

Each party had the same procedure: about 15 to 20 kids standing around, checking who was there, circling around each other, making eye contact. The music fast, the first ones dancing by themselves, slowly being joined by others until couples were forming. After some time the music moved from “Crocodile Rock” to something slower until finally couples were clinging to each other, swaying to the music, the lights as low as possible.   There were always more boys than girls and the ones not finding someone would find comfort in the “Schnaps” they had smuggled in.

You could be sure that at this stage of the party a father or mother would show up, turn on the lights and send us home. We didn’t mind, as we were young and not ready to take things any further.

It was at one of these parties I had my very first kiss. His name was Klaus and he was not the one I had a crush on. I had almost forgotten this party, until today, when his message popped up. Will I answer him? Yes, why not. He is part of my history, and I am curious how his life developed. After all, for about a week we were going out with each other when I was thirteen.

View onto the town I grew up in
View onto the town I grew up in
This is the kind of bike we felt was really tough then.
This is the kind of bike we felt was really tough then.