Bremen, Germany

We have headed to Bremen in Germainy for the weekend. Being from Australia, where we are so internationally isolated, it is bizarre hearing peope say things like “I am going to France/England/Spain/Somewhere for the weekend”, much less doing it. It only takes four hours on a couple of trains with one anxity causing transfer, and we are there. Some things do help get there quickly.

screen display in train showing fast speed of 194kph

We are here to visit Christa, a lifelong friend of the Tall One, and her partner Helmut. They met during holidays when they were kids, became pen pals (when people use to do such things) and have a shared love of art. Here she is in front of one of her works in a bookshop window in Bremen.

woman standing around in front of a painting 🎨 inside a shop window display

To say we are being treated well by our hosts is an understatement. We have bikes, we are shown around, we eat. Even breakfast is an experience; plenty of yummy dark bread, loads of cheeses and some home made strawberry jam. I am not fond of jam, it is usually too sweet, so when I say that this is just fantastic, you can be sure it is.

2 women sitting at a table that has lots of cheese and bread

The only thing Christa and Helmut haven’t organised well is the weather. The wind is cold and strong and it is showery. But so far we have managed to time our bike rides to fit between the rain.

We headed into central Bremen which like most cities in Europe, dates back to the 16th century and earlier. Apart from Rotterdam (and others no doubt), which has no old buildings and has mostly been rebuilt, Europeans were lucky that the older parts of most cities seemed to escape bomb damage during WWII.

I just realised I skipped ahead a couple of days, so let’s rewind to Thursday, “Father’s Day”, but not like the Father’s Day we know, where the idea is to spend time with dad and be thankful.

In Bremen at least, Father’s Day is celebrated by going cycling with other fathers, taking along lots of beer and loud music. They were having fun and were friendly, so didn’t spoil our 25km ride along a dedicated bike track through what I think is a conservation area. I even managed to score a beer from one group, I wish I had taken a photo.

As we rode, I was stopping regularly. I am still captivated by the thatched roofs…they are just beautiful. So are the women 🥰

two women with bicycles standing in front of old house with thatched roof.
building with thatched roof
building with thatched roof

This is a little bit of what it was like.

Did I mention food yet? When we got home it was time to make a Dutch favourite, apple cake. The pictures might do the talking…

Back to our city ride, unless I realise I have missed something else. It is about a 30 minute ride into the centre of Bremen, easy cycling because a) it is flat with plenty of bike lanes and b) cyclists have right of way.

The centre is dominated by a big square surrounded by old buildings including a Protestant church that recently had its floor removed for an archeological dig. They found graves of bishops dating back hundreds of years and many of the artifacts are now on display in a fabulous museum. For the pendants, yes, they put the floor back…

This was the church Christa had attended, so while not getting special celestial access, she did have some local knowledge, including that you could climb to the top of the spire via a spiral staircase, so tight that passing people was a real squeeze and photos just didn’t work. But we were high above Bremen, including above the bell.

church bell in tower, from above.

The old buildings are beautiful, if only we could remove the tourists (irony noted).

old building in Bremen

In case you were wondering, yes that is a Ukrainian flag, they are pretty much everywhere in Europe…except maybe Russia.

wrought iron hanging from front of building

There is a fairy tale about some animals that stood on each other’s back and pretended to be a monster to scare something away: I think I missed this one as a kid. But it is pretty popular here including being made into a statue.

statue of animals on top of each other from fairy tale

Touching the legs brings you good luck…really…I did my research.

2 people standing beside statue
fancy door of church in Brehmen

But not everything is old

modern stairs way with angles and colours
it’s the angles…

Of course, McDonalds makes their own unique contribution to the beautification of this historic part of Bremen.

McDonalds with rubbish outside
This is right on the main square, note the old buildings in the reflections

As if that wasn’t enough for a day, we came home, made an excellent ratatouille and had dinner with more guests, then went for a drive (normally a bike ride, but it was raining on and off) to the rhododendron garden. Who knew there are so many different varieries.

First, a panorama that won’t do the scene justice

panorama of beautiful flowers

Choose your favourite, I don’t think there are any duplicates.

If the showers stop I will try to fix the front step and then we will no doubt tear some hair out trying to finish building this. Best to think of it as a 3D puzzle.

frame of hot bouse

I was about to publish, when a friend of Helmut’s arrived for a visit. Not being German and not being a soccer fan, I didn’t recognise Marco Bode – https://en.m.wikipedia.rg/wiki/Marco_Bode. I don’t think he was offended

I just learned some German – when goingze to der hardwaren, try notten to locken der keysen der caren.

2 Replies to “Bremen, Germany”

  1. Me

    Fabulous Steve, gorgeous photos especially of the flowers, yes i remember living in Switzerland in 86 and going to Germany and Italy for a weekend, quite bizarre, keep enjoying yourself.

  2. Karl

    Thanks for the posts Steve, I love following along. I know I don’t need to tell you but enjoy👍


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *