Today is Ascension Day and the weather – until this afternoon’s thunderstorm – was hot and sunny. The tradition amongst young people seems to be to load up a small cart with beer and head into the countryside to get bladdered. Each to their own . . . but it was all good-humoured.
More canal interest. The route from Lauenburg to Lüneburg goes past the Scharnebeck Schiffshebewerk on the Elbe Seitenkanal (linking the Elbe to the Mittellandkanal). I didn’t really look at the word properly: I thought it was going to be big Schleuse. From a distance, the northern end is impressive:
but going alongside I looked hard and realised that there was a gap in the canal where it went over the road. Of course! Heben – it’s a lift for ships. A twin lift, in fact, to overcome the difference in heights. My goodness! Continental Europeans certainly take their waterways seriously. I would have liked to look at it more closely, but in such circumstances Wikipedia is your friend.
Lüneburg reminded me of Lübeck – marooned prosperity in brick with Dutch influences. It’s built on a salt dome, which Lüneburgers mined for the salt . . . talk about undermining yourselves (rather like Staßfurt’s Senkungsgebiet). The subsidence is obvious, but it’s still a very handsome town. I would have liked to explore more, but that thunderstorm was due.
And now for a couple of days on the Lüneburger Heide.