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Saturday, 19th July – Bremen to Hannover

Waking up early in Bremen to beat the Saturday tourist crowd, we walked through the most gorgeous park Wallanlagen, and disturbed a few little rabbits having breakie 🙂

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Bremen is surrounded by parks and is pretty flat, you can see everything for miles, as we walked out of the park we saw something very cool in the distance and walked towards it. This is the cutest little windmill we have seen so far – and we’ve just come from The Netherlands!IMG_9215

Walking into the Altstadt or Old Town, we were overwhelmed. The buildings, statues and sculptures were incredible. We spent a lot of time wandering around not knowing where to start, everywhere we looked there was so much to see.

IMG_9363 IMG_9287 IMG_9275IMG_9288  IMG_9285 IMG_9269  IMG_9266 IMG_9244 IMG_9232When Keith was growing up his Mum read him a Brothers Grim story about the Bremen Town Musicians, it was on our shortlist to find the statue of the characters from the story. Not only did we find the famous statue, but a cute water feature as well.IMG_9259 IMG_9319

Sadly it was time to leave Bremen, like with Bruges we could have spent an entire week here it is definitely on the ‘favourites’ list.

The drive to Hannover was another trip where we decided to skip highways and do the back roads. We saw fields and fields of flowers where you could pull over on the side of the road, pick your flowers and purchase them using the old ‘honour system’.

The architecture of the local houses has started to change a little now as we head further East. The roofs appear to dwarf the houses and they are more slanted towards the ground.

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We had the funniest experience when reaching our hotel in Hannover. We entered the underground carpark and there appeared to be no parks available. Preparing to do a 3-point turn to reverse we had to wait for another car that came in behind us. We were chatting away and realised that the car had disappeared! Keith got out to investigate, used his handy phone app ‘World Lens’ to translate a sign, and realised that there was an automatic lift for the car that we had to use to go down to the next level. It was the strangest experience, driving in, the doors at the front and back closed and down we went!

Treated ourselves to a wine and beer in the hotel lounge and then crashed out, sightseeing in Hannover tomorrow.

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2014 European Adventure Germany
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Friday, 18th July – Amsterdam to Bremen via Oldenburg

Hi all, Keith here. Usually Bec and I write the blog together, but this day’s trip is pretty special to me. My mother was born in Germany and migrated out to Australia with her parents when she was quite young. Today was about finding the town in which my mother was born and grew up as well as the port from which she caught the ship to Australia.

Although thwarted (again) by some road closures and Dutch detour signs, we headed out of the Netherlands via the Afsuitdijk. This is basically a sort of 32km long causeway that was built by the Dutch between two parts of the country, across the open sea. The coolest thing is that it was built between 1927 and 1933 and is a massive highway today.IMG_9063 IMG_9067    My mother was born in a little town in north-west Germany called Oldenburg. We visited the actual hospital and took a photo – the hospital wing is still a maternity wing! The town of Oldenburg itself is really pretty in that it has embraced the original medieval style of plazas and narrow roads and modernised it into a labyrinthian shopping mall. The extant buildings are beautiful and the modern buildings have been finished in a complimentary style.IMG_9082
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IMG_9105 IMG_9108 IMG_9116  Bec and I stopped for a cool drink at a cafe in Oldenburg and it gave us a chance to practice German (we’ve been trying to learn on the sly). The weather has been amazing here and today it actually topped over 35 degrees!

Recharged, we headed out again for Bremerhaven, but again there were road closures. However, we embraced these because we’re really falling in love with the little villages full of amazing houses and barns along the way.

IMG_9129 IMG_9130Bremerhaven was where my mother left in a ship to go to Australia. The journey would have taken months at the time, but of course it only took Bec and I a day to get here on the plane! Back then, Bremerhaven would have been a pretty small town bustling with energy as a fairly major port. It looks totally different today!

There is a major hotel that has been built to resemble a giant sail and it has a viewing platform on the 20th and 21st storeys. I took lots of photos, including ones of the sort of boat that Mum would have left on, and the port from where it would have left. I wish I could be there when she sees these photos!

IMG_9139 IMG_9156 IMG_9161 IMG_9165IMG_9166 After our sightseeing was done, the drive took us to our hotel at Bremen, where we pretty much turned in for the night. We plan to be up early again tomorrow morning to check out the town of Bremen.

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2014 European Adventure Germany