That is me – the Old Lock Keeper’s House. View from “Lühedeich” (dike of the Lühe river) in early autumn. (Click here to enlarge!))

Welcome (Man and Dog) to the Old Lock Keeper’s House at the dike of the Lühe river in Grünendeich in the Altes Land („Old Land“ – the biggest fruit orchard in Central Europe) near the metropolis of Hamburg (Germany)! The Altes Land is located in the marsh on the southern shore of the Elbe river. It includes the municipalities of Jork and Lühe, and Rübke (Neu Wulmstorf) in Lower Saxony as well as Hamburg’s boroughs Neuenfelde, Cranz and Francop.

The Old Lock Keeper’s House – that is me. Maybe you have seen me before. Supposedly, I am one of the most photographed thatched cottages in the Altes Land. In the map below, my precise location is marked. A maximum of six beds (if needed a baby bed and a children’s protective grid for the stairs) are in my holiday home.

The literally crooked signpost on the dike of the Lühe river in front of the Old Lock Keeper’s House.

Größere Kartenansicht
Colourful sea of blossom in front of the windows

Colourful sea of blossom in front of the windows

Here with me, relaxation and well-being are on the agenda. I am no doctor, but the eavesdropping of the human species throughout my 200-year life has taught me that if neglected spirits are permitted to soar, the tension in the neck muscles decreases by itself.

Food for the soul can be a long walk or a bike ride along the Elbe and Lühe rivers, or by the orchards in the Altes Land. It is my pleasure to borrow you up to four bikes and a picnic basket (without supplies) free of charge for your stay. Depending on the season, white or white-pink fruit blossoms, red fruits on the trees, or glittering ice crystals give moments filled with happiness.


The idyllic Lühe river: Many sailing boats have a quiet berth here.

What makes Grünendeich and the Altes Land so special is not only its huge fruit growing area and unique culture, but also that a number of great ocean liners (container and cruise ships) suddenly appear between treetops and house roofs on the horizon. The tubs pass with a welcoming horn on the Elbe river and they seem to be so close that one feels one could almost touch them. This happens daily and throughout the year.  Much quieter than on the busy waterway between the North Sea and Hamburg is it on the idyllic and sleepy Lühe river, where sailboats have their berths.

Dogs are permitted on the beaches of the Elbe river..

Dogs are permitted on the beaches of the Elbe river..

The surf on the beach and the smell of maritime adventure get even convinced “landlubbers” into dreaming.  If the weather is really stormy, rough and wet, the games collection in the living room or a good book with a little jug of tea in front of a crackling fire can provide the necessary heat and entertainment.

The Altes Land is not only interesting for senior citizens. The biggest „Orchard of Central Europe“ is also looking forward to (young) families, dogs, sports(wo-)men, culture and history fans, gardeners, short-term and long-term vacationers alike. There is a lot going on here, but I will tell you more later. (See the reports in the various categories on the upper right side and the links!)

A flock of sheeps on the dike of the Elbe river. (Click to enlarge!)

A flock of sheeps on the dike of the Elbe river. (Click to enlarge!)

Now just quickly something about us “fish heads” (“Fischköppe”), as the North Germans call themselves. With the short term “Moin,” you can get through the whole day here. This is very handy for the local breed of people. We use “Moin” at any time of the day.  Those who are a little bit more talkative, add a second “Moin” to the first one. “Moin” or “Moin-Moin” signifies “Good morning,” “Good afternoon,” “Good night,” “Have a good day,” “Hello” or even “Welcome.” Well, then: … Moin!

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