So we are in Germany now – having arrived from Tampere, Finland into Bremen the other day. We have been in Bremen for the last few days, staying with friends (Suzanne & Richard) in their lovely apartment which is just a short ride from the heart of Bremen.
We quickly realised that the Euro 2008 Cup (soccer) is in progress – and on the night we arrived Germany were facing off with Austria (the hosts), and it was a must win type of situation for Germany to allow them to progress through.
Suzanne and Richards apartment is conveniently located above a nice little bar – so we headed down stairs with some of their work friends for meal and a few drinks to watch the game – ending with Germany winning 2-0... needless to say the Germans were rather pleased!
The next day we headed out into Bremen on bikes we borrowed from Suzanne & Richard. This was th best way to get around town – everyone here rides, and the place is so flat its perfect (it also lets you cover more ground).
Coming into Bremen we new little about the city – we quickly discovered that its the home of the Beck's Brewery (and this stuff is cheaper than water over here – 4 Euros for 3 liters at the supermarket!). Its also the home of the Traveling Musicians from the Brothers Grimm fairy tail (a donkey, dog, cat and a rooster).
The old town has some classically beautiful German architecture – Churches, and other lovely old style buildings.
Riding into Bremen, we hit the Market Platz – basically the center of town, with lovely cafe's, buildings, and markets all skirting the main plaza.
After a quick coffee, we continued riding in search of the Beck's brewery. This was a little way up the river – unfortunately tours are only made on Thursday's and Fridays.
We road back towards town down the side of the river – heading past the many Bier Gartens (Beer Gardens) that are on the riverside. This got the better of us (well me), and we decided to take 5 in one of the Bier Gartens and sample some of the local beers – oh and a freshly cooked pretzel or two.
The following day we were lucky enough to have a local guide, Suzanne, to show us around. As it happened, Suzanne was actually meant to be heading out of town for a few days on business, but the night before she was dew to fly out she had a minor dental emergency with one of her teeth cracking – needless to say this put a halt to her business trip.
So while it worked out fairly we for us, it wasn't so good for Suzanne – but a quick trip to the dentist the next morning she returned minus a tooth, and with a rather numb mouth.
Suzanne took us out to the Burgerpark – a huge area of park land in Bremen – which was great. We pulled up at a little cafe in the middle of the park for some lunch, and a chance to sample some more of the local beer – Green Lemon (basically lime) Becks, Weissbier and Banana Juice (which was actually reasonably good), and the local favorite Haake Becks.
Later we walked back into town and sampled some of the local torte (cake) – my favorite being the German baked cheese cake!
We then toured through some of the small cute side streets in Bremen before heading home.
Today we have jumped on the ICE (Inter City Express) train from Bremen to Berlin (about 3 hours). These trains are awesome – traveling at over 250km on a smooth as silk line it barely any noise from outside – there is defiantly something to be said for good German engineering!