The sun burns relentlessly on this hot Wednesday in May, even before noon. The young man from the boat rental on Lübeck's Moltkebrücke gently pushes the bow of the rowing boat off the jetty, and after a few pulls it glides away in a southerly direction, towards the Amazon. Not the real one, of course, which is 9,056.09 kilometers away according to the beeline calculator. But the river Wakenitz, still dammed to form a lake here in the center of the Hanseatic city and just 15 kilometers long, is often advertised in tourism brochures, quite un-Hanseatic, as the "Amazon of the North". Does that fit? Just take a look.
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