Ding dong ding dong, ding dong ding dong….the church bells echo loud and proud across the village of Visbek. What a beautiful wake up call but at 6am, a tad too early even for Mac n Tosh. I squeezed into my jogging pants and braved the cold, crisp morning. With Mac n Tosh on the lead, off we went for a jog and some power walking with the odd sniff here and there!
We hit the road and within half an hour we were arriving a Breman camperplatz located on the river and just 1.2 kilometres outside of the centre. The gentleman at reception was extremely friendly and told us to find any a spot, get settled in and then return to reception to register. When I returned to register and pay €13 he kindly gave me a map of the centre, a little guide book and a brief overview of what to see. Then he showed me the shower block, toilets and the box where you place your orders for fresh morning bread, wow!
As I returned to Vin, blue skies appeared followed by almighty hail stones. Blinking ek! Within seconds everywhere was white. Well we didn’t expect that! We all sat gawking out the window in utter amazement, especially Mac n Tosh . With the weather looking rather questionable for a couple of hours and the fact it was still very early, we decided to crack on and do our weekly cleaning. I did inside whilst Craig did the washing…in between dodging the hail stones. By 1pm the blue sky minus the hail enticed us to hop on the Brompton bikes and cycle in to the centre.
A cycle along the banks of the river Wesser to the first bridge, a quick right and hey ho we arrived in the fairytale city of Breman. There are so many different sides to the city with historical market square, narrow lanes of Schnoor quarter or the ultra modern shopping area. Where to first? Whats down there? A tiny little alley, Schnoor quarter, Bremen’s oldest district is a maze of lanes lined with narrow, timber framed houses from 15th and 16th century set close together like pearls on a string. The area is was full of cafes, restaurants, goldsmiths and pretty little arts and craft shops.
Around the corner, St Peters a beautiful Romanesque cathedral, with its vast twin towered façade, dating back to11th century and has been extensively refurbished. Inside, the sandstone bas reliefs divide the western choir stalls before you walk down the aisle and see the an intricate wooden pulpit.
The to the market square, which is the focal point of Breman. The town hall, the ratkeller and Roland statue provide some spectacular detail just a shame the majority is covered in scaffolding. Little market stalls surround the town hall selling everything from one off designer clothes to made to order stone collection. Opposite the state parliament, the gabled houses and the Schutting guildhall.
Little did we know but we had left the best until last, Böttcherstrasse. I fell in love with this place and could walk up and down the 110 meter stretch all day. Architectural heaven. Dating back to 1920 this former lane in which the Coopers (Böttcher in German) lived and worked. A lane with museums, exquisite shops and hidden courtyards. The twisty lane with brick built art deco facades, archways, stained glass windows and cobble street were amazing.
As we cycled back over the bridge we could see all the restaurants, bars and cafes on Schlache embankment…a cue for teatime!
Our sleep spot tonight, a friendly camperplatz located on the river bank in Bremen. A great spot and Vin feels all the better for a bit of “plug in” electricity plus he is feeling squeaky clean.
GPS position N053.065238 E008.820175
Route: Visbek to Bremen
Weather: high 11 Low 4, pelted to death with hail stones the size of golf balls but come the afternoon blue skies…but damn cold.