We arrived in the German city of Stade yesterday and spent the night in a room we found via Airbnb. Stade was early on our list due to its history as a part of the Hanseatic League. Actually, we left Germany today. We are on our way back home to Sweden after a great road trip to France. It is not over yet, we will continue in Denmark for a few more days before returning to Sweden on Saturday. Stade was the perfect end to our visit to Germany as we started in another Hanseatic town 19 days ago – the city of Lübeck. It’s time to sum things up.
Stade: The Hanseatic League and Conquered by Sweden
Stade was for centuries a prominent member of the Hanseatic League, together with cities such as Lübeck, Goslar, and Riga. The architectural similarities between the cities are still apparent today. Stade remained a member of the Hanseatic League during five centuries, from the 13th to the 17th century.
Sweden captured Stade in 1636 during the Thirty Years’ War. The town switched hands again shortly after that. Sweden recaptured the town. The Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 granted the town to Sweden. Stade remained in Swedish possession until 1712 when it was conquered by Denmark. Some of the buildings in the center of Stade were built during the Swedish era and are still in use today.
Stade: Our Walk in the Old Town
We left the home of our Airbnb host this morning and drove the few kilometers to the center of town. Here we began our walk with a stop after a few hundred meters. It was time for some breakfast and we found a café that our host had recommended. Once more Little A got an audience with people in the small cafe.
Afterward, we continued our walk along the cozy streets. The small streets are like small replicas from our previous visits of Riga. There were a lot of people out on the street today, especially at the main square where there was a market. Our walk finally took us to the Schwinge River, a small river that flows through Stade and into the river Elbe. Along the Schwinge River, there is the nicest view we found in the town. Here we admired old Hanseatic buildings from the Swedish era on the side of the river and then an old sail boat in the water.
Our visit to the town was eventually cut short. The weather changed from cloudy to shining sun before it started pouring down. We rushed back to our car and decided that it was time to continue our journey.
Autobahn: A Lond Drive and Leaving Germany
We continued towards Hamburg. The plan was to continue north towards Denmark from there. Our destination was Kolding in southern Denmark and Google Earth estimated the driving time to less than four hours. Let’s just say that it took a bit longer than that. It went quite smoothly through Hamburg before we got stuck in a traffic jam north of the Elbe River.
The road narrowed and made room for construction works along the road. And as it happened, there had been an accident along this now two-lane road. This created long queues and for long times we were standing still. Once we actually got going again a car a few meters in front of us didn’t start, which caused further delays as everyone needed to pass that car as well. We didn’t mind staying in a warm car as it was raining outside. It did, however, get a bit frustrating that it took one and a half hours to travel a few kilometers.
Once we reached Flensburg near the border we were both quite tired and hungry. We did, however, make a stop and see if we as well could find any alcohol to our liking to fill up our “bar” at home. Flensburg seems to be a quite popular destination for made Danes and Swedes that want to buy alcohol cheap. These are the kind of trips that we don’t really understand.
We did eventually arrive in Kolding and are looking forward to exploring the town tomorrow.