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From the heart of England to Finland: Day 2 / 1 August 2009

Church Wall Sculpture on External Wall

Disability Church Sculpture on Wall in Lubeck - Germany

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Paul Darke blogs the trip from Ghent, Belgium to Lubeck, Germany.

Woke late and tried to have a shower. In a shower one can only sit in on the edge of a ledge nearer the floor than the seat of a wheelchair. Why should I care if the hotel floods.  Up and out. We took the Motion Disabled sales brochure to S.M.A.K - Gent’s Museum of Contemporary Art. We left the Director and Exhibitions Curator the brochure Simon McKeown had printed for me to drop across Europe. S.M.A.K. was open but we did not have time to stop. In the car we then drove - with only a couple of service station stops.

We were driving from Ghent to Lubeck - a german town on the Baltic north coast. Just under 500 miles, it took us from 10.30am till 7pm. Not bad going and a big chunk of the travelling done (apart from the later dash across Sweden that is). We did stop for petrol and I had a terrible anxiety that we had put the wrong type of fuel in the car.

We arrived in Lubeck and found the Hotel Movenpick fairly easily. And yes you did get a free ice cream on arrival. It is very near the town centre. A quick refreshing face wash and then wandered into town through an amazing castle / gate situated at the entrance. Up the hill into the centre where a nice - yet typically cobbled - square awaited us. We eat in a large cafe with lots of patrons (germans in the main). Viennese Snitzels all round: very nice and quite well priced (£9 a throw). Everybody else seemed to be eating boiled pig knuckles (massive ones at that). Obviously either (or both) a local speciality or a bargain for the less discriminating eater.

We then wandered down to the waterway that surrounds the city centre making it an island. The weather was gorgeous, never under 25 degree centigrade - even at 10pm. We can but hope it will last. In our wanderings we found a typically religious statue on a church but, untypically, one of them was on crutches looking exactly how I feel every time I ever have to use my crutches.

The city centre was empty. On the way back to the hotel, by which time it was dark, we heard some music so followed it. The entire population seemed to be at a beer and music festival by the riverside. All we saw was an english trapeze act and an american soul singer (possibly big in Germany but no where else). The band mainly did covers of soul greats and to be fair, they did it quite well, apart from murdering an Al Green classic.

By this time we were tired and went back to the hotel to watch some football. It seemed to be the first round of the German League or FA Cup. I wrote the blog while we watched tv and then to sleep, perchance to dream. I can only hope that my dream is better than last nights - the boss of DASH (Mike Layward) and Sir Ian McKellen (out of Lord of the Rings) helped me get an ambulance as I had just broken my leg (which had twisted to face the opposite direction). Broken bones - more fears surfacing. Tomorrow to Puttgarden for the Ferry across to Denmark.

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