Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Bremen am Weser

Bremen is one of three cities in Germany that has retained independence as its own state (Bundesland) in the country. The others are Berlin (the capital, makes sense) and Hamburg (another huge city, also makes sense). But why is Bremen also an independent (and the smallest) Bundesland? Well that's history, folks.

Looking at the map of Bremen the fact that it was once a medieval port jumps out quite strongly, as the old city moat has remained largely preserved, and lies in the middle of a city park. Bremen was part of the medieval Hanseatic League (I have learned that in North Germany you can't escape this word) and as such became quite prosperous, and asserted itself as an independent city-state throughout almost its entire existence

The old city hall of Bremen is a UNESCO site and iconic of the city. Out front stands the enormous statue of Roland, a knight and sovereign of the city.

Bremen City Hall - Rathaus

More importantly than all that stuff, the sight that can't be missed in Bremen is the world-famous Beck's brewery. Forget the fact that so far as German beers go, it tastes like crap, I've been there!

Each one of those boxes is an entire crate of beer bottles. Jaw-dropping.

The conclusion to our tour

The Haake Beck Regatta

The day we landed in Bremen was coincidentally the day of the Haake Beck (local brew/brand put out by the Beck's brewery) Regatta. We caught Bremen on the day of this momentous event where brave souls compete to doggy-paddle up the Weser on inner tubes to claim victory over the other competitors. The prize? Guess.

The Bremer Stadtmusikanten

And no trip to Bremen would be complete without visiting (and groping at) the Bremen Town Musicians. These guys are from a Grimm's Fairy Tale that unfortunately everyone there but myself seemed roughly familiar with. All the same, they're cool guys. I'd sit down for a Beck's with them anytime.

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