Monday, June 06, 2005

A Little Lübeck Laugh

We arrived at the Lübeck train station at 7p on Friday and walked to our hotel after crossing this Puppenbrücke = Puppets Bridge.

When I saw the "puppet" on the right, not yet knowing any of the history, I thought it was the backside of a naked woman with her hat, suitcase, and rolled-down stockings. HA. What a way to travel, I thought! (Can't you just see it!) Well, once I turned the corner to look frontside, I discovered it wasn't a woman at all! Not even a man, if you want to be technical about it.

"Puppets" is the affectionate word used for the 8 Roman gods standing on the bridge as a protective entrance to the Old Town. This one just happens to be Mercury, the mythological messenger communicating information to one and all and ruling shipping, couriers, and all forms of transportation. He also happens to be my Gemini ruler! So I had quite the laugh.

I didn't find out till too late that if you touch his naked backside, your courageous grip is considered good luck for your time in Lübeck. Another laugh. That would have been fun but I was too busy taking pictures-- though the gods know I would have definitely stopped to touch my ruler's backside!

Incidentally, these figures were originally made of sandstone in the 18th century but started sustaining irreparable damage from exhaust fumes. They were replaced with figures reconstructed of artificial stone. The sandstone originals are in the St. Annen Museum, which we saw on Saturday. So you could say they started and ended our nice weekend and were the sandwich "meat" in-between. Definitely worth their weight in stone!

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