Another slow start today means it all ends up a little stressful getting to Bremen in time for the booked tour of the town hall. Robert woke up around 4am, I too was awake then ended up waking Al by calling over to Robert to tell him to turn off his light and go back to sleep. Took me ages to get back to sleep hence a lay in this morning. With no time to make lunch we found a park and ride and jumped straight onto a tram making it to the town hall with a few minutes to spare. It was slightly worrying that I may have accidentally booked onto a German tour given everyone around us seemed to be speaking German and my booking email was all in German but luckily inside they made a call for the English tour and a few of us moved over (think we were still the only native English speakers in the group). It made us chuckle that the first fact we were told is how the town hall is on the UNESCO world heritage list. This is our third one in three days and makes me wonder how many there actually are. In case you’re wondering Google says as of September 2023, there are a total of 1,199 World Heritage Sites located across 168 countries, of which 933 are cultural, 227 are natural, and 39 are mixed properties. Turns out we have quite a few left to see 😉 There are two parts to the town hall, the old and the new. The new purely being built as they needed more space rather than due to it being destroyed in the war. In fact the town hall was one of only a few to survive with over 60% of this area being destroyed and 90% of buildings at the port. I can’t say I’ve been in many town halls but this is a beautiful example.
We’re really lucky to be in Bremen right now as for two weeks of the year they celebrate Freimarkt which is the biggest funfair in Northern Germany. It’s split into two with the small one right outside town hall suited to younger children with a variety of food stalls.
Whilst checking out the options we find ourselves at the famous Bremen town musicians statue. The Bremen Town Musicians is one of Germany’s most beloved folk tales. It tells the story of an old donkey, a dog, a cat, and a rooster who team up to become town musicians. On their journey, they come across a house filled with robbers, and scare them away!
The kids choose a cheese pretzel whilst I go for a German sausage. After tasting the pretzel Al gets his own along with a quarkball, kind of like a donut made with a type of cheese.
After food we go look around the 1200 year old cathedral, the kids entertain themselves by choosing their favourite coat of arms, it’s possible to climb a couple of hundred steps to get a view from the top bit decide not to bother.
Next there’s a famous street that is listed on all the ‘must see in bremen’ guides - Böttcherstrasse. It was completed in 1931, meaning a “city within the city”. The architecture is elaborate and was designed as a tourist attraction where you can find museums, places to eat and drink asking with many home made products.
At the end of the street we took a short walk by the river before retracing our footsteps towards the main fair and finding a few nice photo opportunities.
It certainly was large and the kids faces immediately lit up. Of course they wanted to go on every ride and Robert’s first choice was the huge spinning chair ride.
Liliya wasn’t too impressed that she couldn’t go but we did find a smaller version for her too.
They both loved it. I had promised both kids they could choose a sweet treat and they both decided on candy floss, the aftermath of which looked like a blood bath on madam!
The next ride they chose was a fun house and they were able to go on that without either Al or I. They loved the moving floors, wobbly bridges, epic slide and the big hamster wheels to finish.
When they found another version they wanted to go on that too, Liliya was too young to go solo so I ended up joining them on that one.
Could have been a disaster as there were plenty of times they could have fallen in water!
Of course they were hungry after all the excitement so we got food then went on the ferris wheel together.
After that we got the tram back to the moho and drove on to Hamburg. I sat in the back to keep them awake on the drive as tomorrow we’ve got a VR experience booked at 8.15 so if we’re to make it we all need a good night’s sleep.