A perfect day for cycling the “Tour de Grass”: the sun is shining and the regional yellow rapsflowers are in full bloom, glowing in the countryside around the historic town of Lübeck.

From Springtime until Autum, this Bike -route is amazing.

Our guests normally provide their own bikes; however, the Team of our Klassik Altstadt Hotel can always organize a bike hire if wanted.

The 46 – kilometer – long “Tour de Grass” from Lübeck to Mölln normally starts in front of the Grass House on the Glockengießerstrasse 21.  We suggest that you push your bikes from the Hotel in the Fischergrube 52 directly to St. Marys Church and visit the Grass House another day. 

The “Tour de Grass “app not only shows you the route but also provides additional facts, memiabilia, stories, and regional information at certain waypoints associated with Günter Grass. By solving various tasks with the help of augmented reality (AR) you can virtually collect so called “finds” that bring you to the next “level” in addition to more stories and poems. The goal is to rise from “pupil” to “Nobel Prize winner” by the end of the tour

In front of the St.Mary´s Church ( Marienkirche) you are able to scan the little bronze devil with your smartphone and virtually experience a tour of the inside of the Church, also known as the mother church of the red-brick Gothic period. This technology is extremely useful should the Church be closed. You can see the three- part picture of Günter Grass´s Golgotha- Hangs. It is an expression of his confrontation with the topic of forest dieback. With the help of the “AR” portal of the app, you can look at the modern triptych. 

Start in Lübeck for the Tour de Grass

The first item that can be collected is “Dead Wood” – actress Katharina Thalbach reads Grass´s poem “Dead Wood 1990- ´The Cloud as a fist over the Forest. An Obituary`”.

Lübeck is also famous for its marzipan, a traditional sweet made from ground almonds and suger, which can be found in many shops and café´s around the old town.

Niederegger is one of the oldest houses of Marzipan as it dates to 1806. In front of the Niederegger house, you learn that the famous marzipan café inspired Günter Grass to write down his “vision” of a multicultural and peaceful coexistence in a poem. In his text, “Turkish gentlemen” discuss with the Lübeck anarchist Erich Mühsam and our other literature Noble Prize Winner from Lübeck, Thomas Mann – in a casual round. Besides receiving a further item from the “App” that is called “Foreigners” – Günter Grass reads his poem “Vision” in which he gives a wonderful insight into what could have been talked about if these completely different Characters that also lived in completely different centuries could have talked about whilst enjoying “Oriental sweets “(Marzipan is said to have originated from Turkey) and “gurgling water pipes”.

pure nature

On the bike towards Mölln

Now its time to hop onto the bikes! Off to the countryside towards the Eulenspiegel city of Mölln. Most of the way you can cycle along a flat pathway that runs alongside the water. Grass called this famous route the vibrant “blue vein” of the Duchy of Lauenburg. It is also known as the pathway along the “Elbe – Lübeck – canal” which was created in 1900. 

It is 61 Kilometers long and joins the Baltic Sea via Lübeck with the river Elbe near Lauenburg. It is defiantly one of the most beautiful, picturesque landscapes that one has seen. You will be able to experience the magic that inspired the artist Grass to live and work here. The bright yellow Rapsseeds line the Elbe – Lübeck Kanal

Boats bob along the Elbe – Lübeck – Canal passing the old Stecknitz River. You will pass an artistic Sculpture called “Fish in the Head” which is meant to remind us of the historical purpose of the former river that was replaced by the modern Elbe – Lübeck Canal. The app, as well as the signs along the way, inform you about the historic Hanseatic salt trade. For example, in 1398, salt was transported from Lüneburg to Lübeck via “Flatboats” that were pulled most of the way by cattle or even man (Stecklnitzfahrer). Built between 1391 and 1398, the Stecknitz Canal was the first European summit-level canal and one of the first of the earliest artificial waterways in Northern Europe. Of course, there is also a collectible in the Grass App “Salt”. The first sentence in Grass´s famous novel “Der Butt” – “The Flounder” – “Ilsebill salted away” – won the award for the most beautiful first sentence.

Grass Oak tree

Before you reach the idyllic village of Berkenthien at the Berkenthiener lock, after about 15.5 Kilometers of cycling we recommend that you take a small break. If you wish our Klassik Altstadt Hotel can accommodate you with a small pack lunch.

There are many interesting stops along the way, such as the Salt Prahm, where you can virtually build a flat- bottomed ship with the help of AR, like those that transported salt to Lübeck 500 years ago. 

Our personal highlight of the “Tour de Grass” is the stop in the quaint little village of Behlendorf in the Duchy of Lauenburg. This is where the Noble Prize laurate Günter Grass lived with his wife Ute for the last 30 years of his life. Both Grass and his wife are buried here. Fields stretch out on both sides, with sheep and cows grazing on wide pastures. Here you can even see the storks build their nest on chimney tops. Pure rural idyll. You can learn a lot about the Behlendorf lock, one of seven locks that bridge the 12- meter difference in altitude between the Trave in Lübeck and the Elbe in Lauenburg.

The long ascent from the Elbe – Lübeck Canal up to Behlendorf is worth it, although I personally would not have been able to make it up the steep slope without the help of my e-Bike. It is the only challenging part of the Tour, and one could always push the Bike. Having reached the house where the family Grass lived you can certainly recuperate and enjoy the Station “Garden”. You can use AR to recreate how Günter Grass captured this stunning landscape with quick brushstrokes. The view from here is just amazing. Günter Grass is still so present in this beautiful region. At the Behlendorf Lake, you can hear the poem that Günter Grass wrote in this exact spot. Hearing him read couldn´t be more intense. 

Before you arrive in Mölln, you will cycle through a fairytale forest. Here you will pass by a Hude Oak, which is 350 years old and was often drawn by Grass.

Having reached the Mölln train station, you can catch the train that stops hourly in Möln and takes only 35 Minuets to get back to Lübeck.

Inspired by this wonderful way to experience Günter Grass´s artistic legacy in this region, we could imagine, that you visit the Günter Grass Museum the next day with a completely different approach.

Till Eulenspiegel in Mölln

Important information:

The entire “Tour de Grass “is 46 km long, the route is partially uneven, hilly and not paved. 

You should plan a whole day out. The Tour takes at least 6 to 8 hours if you use the “Tour de Grass” app with all its features and stations on the route. 

We recommend that you download the “Tour de Grass” app completely in our Klassik Altstadt Hotel beforehand. The app is completely free of charge.

We would gladly accommodate you with a lunch package. It is also useful to tale an extra power pack with you, since the app consumes a lot of power.

We are of course aware of the fact, that the App needs to be translated into english so that our English-speaking guests can enjoy the complete benefits if the app. 

Nevertheless, we are still of the opinion, that the “Tour de Grass” can also be cycled even if the user cannot understand German. Our Team from Klassik Altstadt Hotel can acquaint you with a vague route and some extra information. 

We wish you a wonderful day out in the fresh air. 

Günter Grass-Suite in the Klassik Altstadt Hotel
Discover Lübeck by bike