The Northern Germany Tour: Part 1

Part 1: Bremen, Bremerhaven and the North Sea coast

David and I both had the week following New Years off, so while we were in Braunschweig we decided to take advantage of the time off to explore some parts of Northern Germany neither of us had visited yet.

We first drove to Bremen, which was just a quick 1.5-hour drive. I had made a list of the must-sees in each city, so we set off to check these out. As far as tourist attractions go, Bremen doesn’t have very many. After about 2 hours of walking around the city, we had pretty much seen all of it. Of course it has beautiful architecture, churches and some very nice quarters along the river and we decided it was a very livable city, but not a huge tourist destination. It was still fun to explore, though, and we were even blessed with a few hours of sunshine although the weather had predicted rain.

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IMG_1665^a famous street in Bremen, Böttcherstraße

IMG_8031^Kinda blurry, but the only pic of the 2 of us in Bremen. Enjoying some afternoon coffee and cake

IMG_8034^Cafe Knigge, just about any cake you could imagine!

The most famous thing in Bremen is the statue of the Four City Musicians (Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten). There is an old German folktale by the Brothers Grimm about a donkey, dog, cat and rooster who are traveling to Bremen. Along the way, the animals see robbers inside a house and decide to stand on each other’s backs outside a window and perform music in hope of gaining food. The robbers end up getting scared off and the animals take over the house and never actually make it to Bremen. A statue of them was erected in the Bremen town square, became a huge hit and can now be found on every souvenir bought in Bremen. There are also replicas of them in all forms across the city.

IMG_8017^The original statue

IMG_1648^A funny replica we found in a mall

The next day we drove 30 minutes further to Bremerhaven. It was a gray, drizzly day, not ideal conditions to see the coast, but we still wanted to explore the harbor. The city of Bremerhaven doesn’t have much to it, but on the water there are museums, shopping areas, a zoo and aquarium, and most interesting to me was the Deutsches Auswandererhaus, or the German emigrant museum. Bremerhaven was one of the largest emigration harbors in Europe in the 1800s and 1900s. My family (my grandmother, grandfather and uncle) emigrated by ship from Bremerhaven to New York in 1952, and their names can be found in this museum. The port of Bremerhaven is the 4th largest container port in Europe and 2nd largest (following Rotterdam) for the import and export of cars. This naturally was exciting for David and we drove along the port awhile and saw all of the thousands of cars to be exported/imported.

IMG_8055^checking out the harbor

IMG_8059^German Emigrant Museum

IMG_1720^Does it get much better than a hot bratwurst for lunch?

IMG_8060^Container Transporters

IMG_1715^Fun times in Bremerhaven!

That afternoon we continued up the North Sea coast, stopping a few times to look at different views and once to get a fish sandwich (for David) and hot chocolate (for me). We had a funny encounter with the man running the fish trailer and proceeded to talk with him for 30 minutes. He gave us some good advice for our journey and we then continued on to arrive in the city of Lübeck. But first we had to cross the Elbe River, so we drove David’s car onto the ferry and had a fun, 30-minute river adventure. That evening we arrived in Lübeck. It was a full day, but we had lots of fun exploring the North Sea coast!

IMG_1743^David with his fish sandwich and car in the background

IMG_1736^My hot chocolate, and our new friend behind the counter

IMG_1746^David’s car on the ferry

IMG_1757^Ferry riding, whoo hoo!

IMG_1777^Titanic, anyone?

Coming Soon: The Northern Germany Tour- Part II: Lübeck & The Baltic Sea

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