Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Frieren in Bremen

[ Freezing in Bremen ]

I mentioned before that it was a very busy transition from January into February, but I also noted that amongst all the dates, projects and deadlines stressing me out in various checklists on my desk, there were definitely moments of fun.

Just recently I was uploading pictures and sorting them into folders, and then I saw the photos from Bremen - !... I let this story slip through my fingers - and realized that amongst all of the changes taking place, I had neglected [ or more realistically put off - "I'll write about this... later" ] writing about another semester-ticket adventure that my friends and I took on the Regionalbahn through Niedersachsen.

Bremen is actually another Bundesland [ like Hamburg] but their status as separate "states" even though they are small [ and more like metropolitan areas] are still counted within our semesterticket to travel through Niedersachsen.

The trip was actually one destined to be one with lots of time sitting and talking amongst one another - not only were we together the entire day, but the train rides [on the slower Regionalbahn] with many Umsteigung , transfers, had us ride about 5 hours there, spend about 5 hours in the city, and then 5 hours back home - epitomizing the "one day trip".

I had no expectations for Bremen - and from the way I described, it was actually more of a brief day off and interjection into the other hectic events of the time. I can honestly say that I just woke up early on the Saturday, packed some snacks and went [ and thinking back now, regarding how distant Bremen is, that is almost as crazy as waking up and saying "oh, I am going to go to Chicago today" ... oh wait... I have done that before...].

[ This is a church with a building attached. What it used to be... I don't know, but know it sells Wurst and other German snacks. Kind of comical when you take the entire sight in all at once ]

The snow in the pictures may give a beautiful accent to all of the great architecture of the old-town in Bremen, but to express how we really felt - after so many frigid trips, we were all done with Winter. So cold in fact, that after our frequent pit-stops in random shops and cafe's just to warm up - about every 20 minutes - we would fantasize about the great sites we were seeing , with the attached idea of "and what if we did this here, or that there in spring time!"

Coldness aside, Bremen really impressed me. Its old town may have been small, but it was dense. There were beautiful churches, the altes Rathaus, narrow streets hundreds of years old with little boutiques lined with statues and the tracks of the tram running through the city. We still need to go back in the spring [ in addition to the picnics we want to have on the harbor ] and visit the churches [ which were unfortunately closed ] as well as the Schnoor [ a famous small ally with more small shops and historical buildings ] once more to really capture the heart of Bremen.

Right in the middle of Bremen stands Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten, which is a statue representing the Brothers Grimm tale of The Musicians of Bremen. In short, the animals, old and repressed by their owners, escape and travel to Bremen, known for its freedom, and enjoy their lives as musicians. The symbol is seen readily all around the city.

Bremen was a very nice city, a great surprise, and a city that I hope to see again this year, hopefully to catch more beautiful views of its harbors and gardens in the spring time, as well as visit some of the closed historical buildings to learn more of the history of the Northwestern coast of Germany.

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