Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Lubeck to Luneburg
The road to Hamburg is heavily travelled, and is an impressive 20 yards wide in places. Military companies, haulers, peasants, seamen, gypsies, caravans, peddlers, carriages, carts, freight wagons and vardos compete for passage going both ways, even to the point of pressing the party off the road. Its a good, clear day for travelling, and everyone is out here making their way from the basin of the North Sea to the basin of the Baltic.
Still, the road is of such terrific quality that the party is able to make good time. Worse than the road, however, is being hung at the ferries across the mouth of the Elbe at Hamburg. There are literally hundreds of scows and barges zipping back and forth across the river, between banks and sandy islands - for the river is low in October. The water is fearfully cold, and in six weeks may freeze solid if there's a bad winter. This is quite a lot of the discussion the party hears.
For the party to get across, it costs 1 g.p. per creature and person ... and this is without entering the town proper itself. The party is then dropped upon the opposite side, where the grass has turned completely brown. Throughout the whole morning the party has not seen a single green tree - but as they ride up the left bank of the Elbe, there are still signs of a waning late summer. The land is flat, with ponds scattered about between brown fens and willow trees, at least until late afternoon as the party approaches Luneburg. It is there, outside the city walls, that the party finally settles down for the night.
There's little or nothing in the way of 'encounters,' so-called. Plenty of opportunity to chat with others along the road, the sort you'd expect to meet, worried about the winter or closing up their affairs before the snow flies. Virtually every field is stubble now, and the only produce filling carts are potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips and parsnips. The grounds outside Luneburg are quiet - Andrej remembers being here before, but briefly. Luneburg is a town of about 750 buildings, and just now there are heaping stacks of timber to be seen in every direction. Thus, between such stacks, the party virtually has the night to themselves.