How I travel (Part 4)

I like small towns. I also like cities, but as I am not a huge fan of being a tourist, often big cities wear me out. They also can make me feel guilty. They also wear out my feet, cost a lot, and many other things. But most people don’t go to small towns. This is a) because they are hard to get to and b) there is not a lot to do there for tourists.

However, because I’m a little crazy, I tend to go to a lot of small towns. I think that the smallest town I’ve ever stayed in was Brackenheim-Botenheim, Germany (pop. unknown) in 2004. It is the location of this picture and the longest time it ever took me to pay a hotel bill. (And by me, I mean my mom. For the record it was about 6 months. But it got paid.)

Spring Break

It may or may not be the case that I end up in small towns going to concerts. This trip, I went to Meldorf, Germany (pop. 8,000) and Lüneburg, Germany (pop. 72,000) for concerts as well as a suburb of Hamburg. To be fair, Lüneburg is a substantial town, but it is a tourist town for Germans, not really anyone else. The main museums in town are only in German and other than cycling, there’s not much to do. Other than eat ice cream.

This is my post to convince you that small towns are cool. I will also refer you to this ancient post if you have forgotten how cool small Swiss towns are.


In Lüneburg, you can park your motorcycle in the middle of a field/forest.


There are also cool buildings. Like the water tower. I think I could have climbed it, but I spent too much time not knowing how to check into my hotel, so I failed.


Yet another cool building. This was across the street from my hotel and looked oddly zebra-esque. Apparently Lüneburg is known for salt mines, but this also led to unstable soil and so a lot of the buildings aren’t exactly straight. This one is more than some…


Luckily, even in small towns, the restaurants are on facebook!


I have no clue what rubber duckies have to do with optometry or eyeglasses, but obviously they are a critical marketing point. And is it just me or does the guy on the left look a little like Carl Kasell?


I thought this was a cool windowsill, so I took a picture. Then the dude poked his head out and said something to me in German. It wasn’t angry though, so apparently he was happy I took a picture of his birds and clog.


Church towers are very important, even in smaller towns. Lüneburg was somewhat confusing to navigate because it had not one, but three cathedrals!


Here is the cathedral I went to a concert in. It is the cathedral J.S. Bach grew up as a choir boy in. It is pink inside.


More churches!



Because I was worried about how to occupy my time in Meldorf after the Ag Musuem, so I preemptively rented a bike. The rental store was very nice. They charged only 6 euros for a whole day and took care to explain to me (with consultations with folks who spoke better English than others) that if my bike was stole I had to pay for it and that’s what I was signing. Here I am on my bike ride.


Apparently you can keep donkeys in your yard in Meldorf. (I was sneakily taking this picture because the dude had just come to move the donkeys.)


Also, if you bike down the right street, you will find a windmill. I think there was a restaurant in the windmill. It was very random.


Also, every town should be required to have buildings with sayings on them in Latin. And another building with Latin characters on it (e.g. Ovid, Aristotle).


The Dom (Cathedral) is in the middle of the town square and is surrounded by parking lots, cafe tables, and very strange street patterns. I never understood why the cars could drive in the pedestrian area, but apparently they can. And then they end up entering the parking lot and hopefully no one dies in the process.


The Meldorf Dom and the location of the evening concert.


Inside of the Dom. Very pretty and with phenomenal acoustics.



This is a town of about 3 people. I was there for the workshop that brought me to Europe in the first place. We all stayed at Spiedel BrauManufaktur which had a hotel, restaurant, and conference rooms.

I love that this was the view from our balcony. (This patio is where we ate lunch every day. The open windows on the second floor of the yellow building are from the room where we met every day.)


The only open shop in town that we could find claimed to have a lot of items. They did not, however, have the pervasive European Ice Cream bar. There was another shop just down the road, but it was suspiciously always closed. The church is in the distance and the city hall (for all five of the villages of Hohenstein) is on the right.


The front of the brewery/hotel/restaurant/conference center. I love the painted buildings.


So, in summary, small towns are good! You should go to one.

5 Responses to How I travel (Part 4)

  1. Katie says:

    I would definitely like to see more small towns. Every time I’ve gone to one, I’ve loved it. In your photos the German ones look particularly charming. Strangely enough, I think I spent a few hours in Lüneburg once. I went there with my friend and her parents on the way either to or from Hamburg. We also saw Bremen, which was absolutely beautiful. Anyway, point is, I agree with you – small towns are great!

    Also, that guy definitely looks like Carl Kassell. It also looks a lot like Joe Biden to me. Either way, I love that picture.

    • Katie says:

      Lüneburg is near Hamburg, so that was probably the case. When we travel together we should focus on small towns. AND THEN WRITE A BOOK ABOUT IT. Perhaps we should head to the Andes where there are lots of Alpacas as well.

      So are you saying that Carl Kasell looks like Joe Biden? I’m confused. Also I want to know what’s happening to those rubber duckies after the fact.

  2. Reid says:

    I would definitely like to see more previous stylesheet on this blog. I’m not sure “Katie’s Blog of Awesome” works unless it’s in a huge bold gothic font in all caps.

    • Katie says:

      Are you saying that I should change my stylesheet in general or because of the name of my blog? I chose the original one [stylesheet] at random while travelling, so I figured I’d do a better job when I thought about it…maybe not.

  3. Simon says:

    Well, when I first saw it, I thought it looked like Joe Biden. But then I read that you thought it looked like Carl Kasell, and I agreed with that, too. So I guess, yes, they must bear a resemblance. In my head, anyway.

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