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Published: August 31st 2006
If there's one thing that I've learnt in Bremen in the past months is that if its raining it's not one of those lovely 'sit inside with a book days'. Because those days happen all too often and if you abide by that rule you'll become a hermit.
So being the 30th of August, my birthday, I decided to go and wander the streets of Bremen in the rain and discover some things that until now I never knew existed.
So this blog is essentially another photo album of images that have been taken around Bremen on a rainy day, which if you know Bremen in winter is quite common.
Just so you have something to read if you want, I'm gonna add some of my views on the photos I've taken, feel free to read or just browse - the choice is yours.
The first photo is the infamous 'bremen town musicians', which baffles me. No the statue doesn't, it's the story that doesn't make any sense. The short version... these four animals were on their way to Bremen to become musicians but got distracted along the way by a house with food and with happy
bellies they never left... which if you put 1 + 1 together, never leaving the house means never getting to Bremen. But these four animals are famous here, for what? Well I can't work that out.
But the statue, a famous photo point and good luck charm - if you rub the donkey's shin, is very popular for tourists.
These are the five houses which are a popular Bremen postcard shot. I am not exactly sure of the accurate blurb that should go with these buildings, but from what I gather they are popular because they are historic buildings from the old town back in the day.
Third in line is the Dom - or St Peter's Cathedral. A beautiful old church that has just recently undergone interior restorations. Not only is it a famous Bremen landmark, it is also a popular meeting point and a very well-liked place to hold 30th birthday celebrations. For those of you who are not familar with the German tradition, I'll fill you in...
If a man should happen to reach his 30th birthday without being married he will go through the ritual of cleaning (in most cases) the cathedral steps, which
are littered with beer caps by his mates. He has to sweep these caps up until he has the opportunity to be kissed by a virgin. This can generally take some time... which is why the friends that accompany him will generally bring along a small billy cart filled with plenty of beer and a stereo.
And don't think the females get away easily if they reach 30 still single. They do no have to sweep up beer caps, but instead they must walk through the town cleaning the door handles on buildings until they are kissed by a man. Which also draws a crowd, and friends in tow with beer and music.
Photo number four is the statue that stands to the left of the Dom, with the Bremer Bank in the background. This statue is often overlooked or not even noticed because he lives right next to the Dom, which fills the skyline and generally every tourist photo. And you know what - I don't even know his name or why he has been immortalised... sorry folks.
The next photo, number five is Roland. He is another Bremen landmark who's history again I'm not fully authorised
to explain, as I do not know it. But what I do know is that he has pointy knees and is yet again another popular meeting point.
Up next, number six doesn't seem too interesting if you just look at it. But there is a rather interesting story behind the cross on the ground. This cross is there in line with the Dom which is behind you (if you were standing where I took the photo) as a reminder of the last execution that was conducted in Bremen. A young lady was executed on this mark for numerous murders and plans for many more. And if you stand here long enough you will notice that as the locals walk past they will spit on the cross. This is a sign of their disgust for her actions.
The building in eight is in the main square of town, and I walk past it often but still don't know what it's purpsoe is, other than being a beautiful piece of architecture.
Nine: is looking back towards the Dom with the Rathaus to the left and the Bremer Bank in the distance. I am just enjoying living in a town
where there are such gorgeous old buildings and so much history.
The tenth photo is of the Bottcherstrasse entrance sign. This is a lovely small laneway which is filled with art galleries and jewellery stores and other small knick knack stores selling somewhat expensive souveniers. This year is Bottcherstrasse's 75th birthday.
On my adventure's I walked down a street I don't normally pass through and I found this nice fountain. The archways in the background are what remains of the parliment building, which was destoryed in world war two. A new building has be constructed in it's place, and looks very stereo typical of a building of it's era: the 60's, which is cool and all, but all it's neighbours; the Dom, the Rathaus etc that survived the war are so beautiful in comparison that this building just looks boring.
This photo is a nice display of the two different era's of architucture that exist between the Dom and the Parliment Building. With the Dom in the background dating back to the 1200's and the Parliment Building to the left through the arches dating back to the 1960's.
Up until now, the rain clouds were nice
enough to only give me a little sprinkle every now and again... but as I got to the Schoonr Quarter the sky's opened up and gave way to bucks of water, making me very wet and cold.
But determined not to let the rain dictate my adventures I carried on.
So this is a photo of the Schoonr Quarter which is a small steet housing small galleries, gift shops and cafes. It is the only remaing part of the city that has the small old buildings and one person wide alley ways as you can in photo fourteen.
Leaving the schoonr I stumbled across a christmas store. Now it's only August your saying, yes your correct, and in Australia we are used to christmas decorations comming on display around November. But this is a year long store filled with all those decorations for christmas trees that you only see in the movies. There are no bright plastic coloured balls with their paint chipping off. All the decorations are glass or fine jewellery and they are certainly worth their detail. With each piece averaging 4 or 5 euros. There's no 20 candy canes for 2 bucks in this store.
And going in there certainly brings out the child in you. I managed to sneak a photo of the christmas tree that is set up in the shop, although no photography was allowed.
So with the rain getting heavier and my socks all soggy, I decided that it was time to head home. The camera went back in the bag and I walked briskly home managing to step in nearly every puddle accidently.
And that was my birthday adventure... rainy Bremen!
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