We gave the birthday boy his choice of how to spend his day today and as a result, we went by train to Bremen. It’s an easy hour’s ride away and the trains are comfortable and frequent. Good decision!
So, we caught the 1015 from the Hauptbahnhof, just five minutes walk from our hotel.
It’s a busy station and both public transport professionals in the family were agreeably interested whilst we waited for our train to arrive.
Arriving in Bremen, the outlook was a little stark – railway stations seldom have the best approach, we find.
Until we turn around, that is. What a great building – true Playmobil-style, suggested the youngest member of the family!
From there, we caught a tram around to the old town. Our rail tickets were valid on the local transport too, which was useful.
We are a little worried about the poster advertising Cornwall, however and fear tourists may be a little disappointed when they find the White Cliffs of Dover are not to be found there.
Anyway, we are here, in the Rathausplatz, outside the Dom and all is looking good so far!
Inside the cathedral, we are immediately captivated by the beautiful interior. It’s solid, Northern European in character, the vaulted ceilings and patterned archways are lovely and we like the quiet, unassuming atmosphere in here. It’s grand but not ostentatious and there’s nothing showy about the place.
The floors are pretty amazing too.
The way out takes us through the Bible Garden, where this small figure is in keeping with the whole place. I’m so pleased we came here.
Out into the square, then, and time to have a mooch around “Bremen’s Parlour”. I rather liked this knight’s moustache and the detail of his features, too.
There weren’t so many people around on this Tuesday morning, so we could wander about without hassle, taking photos, admiring the buildings and generally enjoying being here.
In the centre of the square there is a Hanseatic Cross in the cobbles and a group of people were meeting there, watched by a group of four policemen standing on the town hall steps. Were they expecting trouble? I thought it funny that all the women stood together and all the men stood a few steps away. Maybe they were planning something!?
Our eye had been caught by “a gold thing” over there, so we followed it up and found ourselves in the Böttcherstraße.
This small passageway was a curiosity and another example of brick expressionism – of which I’d never heard until I came to Hamburg!
Our guidebook offered some information to be going on with, then we read some more on the way home later. I’ll leave you to read about it for yourself though!
Suffice to say there were some interesting corners.
A small carillion up there between the gable ends which chimed the half hour as we passed.
A few interesting architectural details.
Some colourful stained glass.
And possibly the weirdest brick wall you ever did see.
At the other end of the street is the River Weser, where a broad promenade invites a walk along its banks.
A simple bit of graffiti made me smile.
We were soon at another quaint old district, the Schnoor
Here were more little streets to explore and small shops to peer into.
No doubt these small corners are packed in summertime, but on a day in early January, we had plenty of time and space to enjoy and appreciate them.
I really loved being here and was delighted we had come to Bremen.
My favourite small house/shop, perfectly proportioned and beautifully decorated, too.
The door had a splash of blackboard paint perfectly placed for the three kings to record their 2015 visit – the only such door blessing we’ve seen during this visit.
After a short exploration of the shopping streets in the modern city centre and a stop for coffee, our feet were complaining again. Keeping up with a youngster is a challenge!
So we found our way back to the tram,
went back through the station, noticing murals we’d overlooked whilst walking in the other direction
and caught the train back to Hamburg.
There was another feature of Bremen that was everywhere we went – I’ll share it in a separate post.