Today was a lovely sunny day (well lovely by the weird weather standards that we are currently experiencing) so we decided to head out to Bremen which is the largest city closest to us.
Our visit to Bremen got off to a great start as we unexpectedly arrived in the middle of an Easter Fair. Before we knew it, Alex and I were caught up in the bright lights and excitement of all the rides and tasty German food. Balloons, bumper cars, stuffed bears and the smell of bratwurst en masse!
We kicked things off with a “Schmalzkuchen” which is a German doughnut but not really. It is a lttle square pocket of batter that has been deep-fried and covered in icing sugar – totally a moment on the lips a lifetime on the hips stuff but SO worth it.
I had my heart set on winning a stuffed Shaun the Sheep at the “Shooting rabbits with an air rifle game” (I have no idea what the proper name is for that!) so Alex and I loaded up our air rifles and gave those unsuspecting bunnies the what for. So much for the all guns a blazing idea – those slippery little guys got the better of us (it had nothing to do with the fact that I almost shot the vendor as opposed to the target – bad aim) and we ended up walking away with two plastic roses. Not quite what we had in mind.
Of course no visit to the fair is complete without a session on the bumper cars. Alex bravely decided to let me drive which I think he now regrets as he has a sore knee and I have hurt my back. I don’t remember walking away with aching limbs when I was younger…is this the sign of age creeping up on me????
We decided to nurse our creaking bodies with the next German delicacy, “Eis-wie-Sahne” which is ice cream that is like cream. It is the softest most delicious thing you have ever tasted. Licking the ice cream is like licking a cloud that has been gently sweetened – it is so soft.
It took a huge amount of self-control not to hop from stand to stand to sample all of the foods…willpower had to come into its own today.
After we had our fill at the fair, we headed into Bremen for a stroll. Our first stop was the Rathaus which is a Unesco World Heritage site in the centre of Bremen. The Rathaus was built in 1405 and has alternating rows of red and black bricks which is quite wonderful to look at. But it is the statue of the donkey, dog, cat and rooster on the side of the Rathaus that has people queuing up for photos. The statue of these animals will easily steal your heart and imagination – they have come to be the symbols of Bremen. This statue is called “The Musicians of Bremen” and refers to the story told by the Brothers Grimm.
The next stop for us was a little part of the city called the Schnoor. The Schnoor is the oldest quarter of Bremen and is made up of very narrow streets and a variety of 17th and 18th century houses. The houses, all unique in their own right, are tightly packed into the streets and very much look like they are supporting each other in case any of them decides to fall over. The Schnoor is an artist’s and a collector’s paradise as each house has a shop offering sculptures, glassworks, wooden crafts, handmade chocolate, jewellry, etc. Anything your imagination can conjure will be on offer in dazzling pink in one of the shops.
Alex and I were very taken by a tea shop tucked away from the main road and decided to stop for a cup of tea. Now this is not any old cuppa tea, no no. After making your way up a narrow staircase to the restaurant, you are presented with a menu of tea choices. You instantly understand that here, tea is an experience and a delicate ritual. We truly engulfed ourselves in our tea drinking experience as Alex had Green Tea with Peach Petal and I had a Rooibos Tea with Passion Fruit and Mango. Sipping the tea was like immersing yourself in a warm bath, it was so relaxing.
Feeling completely reinvigorated, we decided to slowly make our way back home to Verden as our cats were waiting for their evening cuddle.