Day 4: Bremen, Germany

Bremen Travel Blog

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The Brementown Musicians
Friday was the most fun, random day ever.  The Annema's decided that they wanted to take Jena and I to Germany.  :]
Despite having to leaver uber early, we still had a massively huge breakfast, and were all piled into the car before the sun was even up.  Jena and Eva slept through most of our 2.5 hour drive to the town of Bremen.  I stared at more windmills.  Have I mentioned that they fascinate me?

Bremen is about 45 minutes across the border with The Netherlands, which means we got to drive on the Autobahn!  *squee*  And as nerdy as it sounds, that is truly something I've always wanted to do.  C'mon, no speedlimits!?  That's madness!

Anyway, the town of Bremen dates back to the 800s, and it was actually a preserved medieval town for hundreds of years.
St Peter's Church
.. right up until (you guessed it) the war.  Most of the town was completely destroyed then, although a very small section of it centred around it's main market square managed to remain standing.  So while most of the city is very new and very modern, you can turn a corner and all of a sudden feel like you've stepped back through some portal in time.

You may also have heard of Bremen as the site of the famous fairytale, The Brementown Musicians... which they are very proud of, I may add. 

The Annema's apparently hop over to Germany fairly often, so once we arrived in Bremen, the first place we hit was their favorite discount all-purpose store.  Eva and Mrs Annema went a little crazy buying things, and Jena and I held back with Mr Annema while he ordered everyone coffee and jelly donuts at the adjoining cafe (thus prompting an endless stream of "Ich bin ein Berliner" comments).

Mr and Mrs Annema then sort of gave us a tour through the old city, and boy do they know their stuff.  Mrs Annema could have been an official Bremen Tour Guide if she wanted to.  One of the highlights was St. Peter's church off the main square.  Yes, I know I just said I was completely Cathedraled-out on Europe, but this place was different.  Instead of just all dark stone inside, this place was actually colourful!  And it was authentic too...

Apparently, when restoring the interior some time ago, they discovered these original paint colours underneath, and so they restored the entire church to that scheme.  It has also prompted a huge amount of research into other medieval cathedrals throughout Europe, as they now think that most churches would have had these bright colourful interiors as well.

While we were in the old section of town (the narrow, winding, old cobbled streets with overhanging shoppes), we happened upon this old tea shop that was so tiny and cute that we couldn't help but stop in.  It was in an original building, and the ceiling and staircase up to the second floor cafe were so low and so narrow, that we all had to kind of duck until we were sitting in our seats.  It was delicious tea though, and the Annema's treated us while we all sat around talking about nerdy history stuff, and all the fun things we were looking forward to (and I think it's safe to say that we now have a partner in Mr Annema for if and when we ever decide to take the Trans Siberian Railway across Russia!  ^__^)

After tea, we bundled up yet again, and braved the elements for all of 5 minutes until we made it to The Ratskeller for lunch.
  Ok, The Ratskeller: Very cool place.  Fantastic atmosphere.  Very traditional German food.  Possibly the best meal I've had in weeks.  My favorite part, however, were the English translations on the menu.  Or rather, the attempts at English on the menu.  The meal of "East Frisian leg" being my favorite.  Thankfully, Eva's family also happened to speak German, so between the three languages we had going on, everyone was eventually able to figure out what they wanted to order.  ^__^  Although it did take about 10 minutes of charades for the waiter to figure out I wanted "Wasser" when I asked for "Water."

After lunch we split up, and Jena, Eva and I went to hit some shops in the modern part of town.
  It was my last desperate attempt to find shoes.  Sadly, I have to admit that I have now been laughed out of shoe stores in six European countries.  We did, however, find a Euro Store (or as I like to call it, The $1.21 Store), where possibly too much money was spent.

We ended up meeting Eva's parents back in the station near where we parked sometime around 5.00, and while they went to grab some last minute "German foods" to take home with them, the three of us piled into the car and took tons of ridiculous pictures and made completely immature and innapropriate comments about the word "Ausfahrt."

And such was Germany.  We had another 3-hour drive home, and yet again, about a half hour outside Leeuwarden, another storm hit.  Snow and ice this time though.  Luckily we knew it was coming, which is why we had left Bremen so early in the first place. We were even prepared with food rations and extra blankets in the car, just incase our non-4-wheel-drive tires failed us and we got stranded on the desserted highways of Freisland.

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The Brementown Musicians
The Brementown Musicians
St Peters Church
St Peter's Church
photo by: aloneinthecrowd