Friday, January 25, 2013

In search of Musicians

Up in the dark with most of yesterday’s snow still on the ground.  Tram fro Rosenthaler Platz to Hackescher Markt and then a train to the Hbf for a quick breakfast before getting our train to Bremen.  Lauren got a ‘Happy Weekend’ ticket which got her home to Worms at a good price, but the trade-off was that it took 10 hours – Happy Weekend tickets can’t be used on the IC or ICE trains.  Our trains went within 5 mins of each other which was good and no-one had to hang around at the station on their own.

Our train to Bremen went via Hamburg and passed through miles & mikes of very flat farm land.  There was still a bit of snow about leaving Berlin but most had gone by the time we got t Bremen.  Alissa met our train and navigated us to the apartment we’re renting here.  It is stunning, it’s almost like being in a hotel suite – new, stylish and with lots of attention paid to furnishing details.

After dumping out bags, we headed into the Alstadt with our lovely tour guide.  We checked out St Peters Dom first.  Dating originally from around 800AD, most of it is early Gothic and the Dom Museum contains a stunning collection of clothing, footwear and liturgical garments from the Bremen Bishops of the 14th century which were discovered when they had to do renovations & move the caskets from the crypt. 

After this we moved further into the Market Square – faced by the fabulous World Heritage Listed Town Hall built in 1405.  Legend has it that until then, the town had existed quite happily without a town hall so when the merchants decided they needed one, no-one could agree how big.  They gathered together all the townspeople who were eligible to vote and stood them shoulder to shoulder and formed a square – the size of which determined the size of the town hall.

We headed from the town hall, past the statue of Roland and itnto the Bottcherstrasse with it’s quirky buildings and a really cool lollie shop and down to the Weser River and along St Martins Quay.  We stopped fr something to eat and then were off to the Becks Brewery for the tour that Alissa had given us for Christmas.

We got a presentation about the history of the Becks company – it dates from 1873 and now accounts for 1 in 4 of every German beers drunk outside Germany.  We had a look through part of the production plant and then into the tasting room.  We tasted a Becks, a Haake Beck and another of your choice.  They make a special beer for fans of the Bremen Football team (this seemed popular among the pommies on the tour) as well as a number of flavoured beers (lemon, lime, orange).

We cambe back to the flat for a bit of a rest and then met Alissa for dinner.  We went to a very cool restaurant called the Erotick Kartoffel (which translates as The Erotic Potato) … all meals are served with a baked spud and then you add whatever meat you want with it.  A live piano player (doing covers of Elton John & Billie Joel) added to the ambiance, as did the corset clad waiting staff!

A long day but another really enjoyable one, made even better by the blue sky… hours and hours of it … made for a cold day (-3) but just seeing the sun was lovely.

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