A confession: we stayed on the outskirts of Bremen. I never went into town. Suzi and Eva took all the photos while I stayed back and finished off some blog posts. I had been to Bremen before, long before, in February of 1963. It had been the coldest winter in 100 years. Even the morning fog was frozen, stuck to every tree and shrub, white like in a fairyland. And when I left the following day on a creaky old ship destined for New York, the harbor was filled with ice.

Bremen's market square

Bremen’s market square

During WW II, Bremen was bombed to smithereens. It’s still being restored. In the original style. Such a beautiful city. http://www.nww2m.com/2012/09/bremen-bombed-art-destroyed/

Restoration seems to go on forever.

Restoration seems to go on forever.

The market square has so many beautiful buildings.

The market square has so many beautiful buildings.

Narrow lanes beckon.

Narrow lanes beckon.

Fancy brickwork

Fancy brickwork

Side of the enormous brick cathedral

Side of the enormous brick cathedral

A museum of carillons (Glockenspiels)

A museum of carillons (Glockenspiels)

Bells above the museum play to people in the square.

Bells above the museum play to people in the square.

There’s lots of public art displayed over the old town.

Here is a real person impersonating a sculpture.

Here is a real person impersonating a sculpture.

Eva stands beside a  sculpture depicting the characters in a famous Grimm fairytale.

Eva stands beside a sculpture depicting the Bremen Town Musicians, characters in a famous Grimm fairytale.

Another rendition of the fairytale characters

Another rendition of the fairytale characters

Yet another rendition

Yet another rendition

Oh, an appealing brewpub

Oh, an appealing brewpub

There's seating in the inner courtyard.

There’s seating in the inner courtyard.

Or one can find plenty of vittles at the open markets.

Or one can find plenty of vittles at the open markets.

Side streets are always appealing.

Side streets are always appealing.

Always something new to see

Always something new to see

Cats Cafe

Cats Cafe

Does he want a handout?

Does he want a handout?

A small appealing restaurant.

A small appealing restaurant.

More outdoor artwork

More outdoor artwork

There’s a leafy green walk down by the River Weser. At this time it is flooding. So you walk or bike through a bit of water while river barges ply along undaunted.

River Weser at flood stage

River Weser at flood stage

Not all of Bremen is ancient. In fact, most of life here is right up to the minute.

Take that, neighbors!

Take that, neighbors!

Isn't this a nice twist?

Isn’t this a nice twist?

Most everything in Germany is consciously ordered.

Most everything in Germany is consciously ordered.

While the gals are at play I’ve been hunched over the keyboard all day. Our hostess suggest we walk to the beautifully restored brewery that’s only a mile away. Indeed, that is the answer to a long day.

The brewery, with murals

The brewery, with murals

Dining and drinking indoors

Dining and drinking indoors

We secure a scarce outdoor table.

We secure a scarce outdoor table.

We love German suds.

We love German suds.

This would be the end of this post except that we take a one day trip to nearby Bremerhaven, the harbor town at the mouth of the Weser. Eva has a particular reason to go there. A large building houses the records of all the emigrants who left Germany over the past century or so on ships for new worlds. Eva thinks her records might be there although she sailed in 1961 from Southampton, England, and never looked back. Unfortunately, no records of hers are there.

The Emigration archive

The Emigration archive

Ships pass here to all parts of the world.

Ships pass here to all parts of the world.

Eva and Suzi look through old record drawers.

Eva and Suzi look through old record drawers.

The building contains a museum depicting how it was 100 years ago to board a liner and wave goodbye to loved ones left ashore. We are seriously moved.

Depiction of a departure

Depiction of a departure with only a suitcase in hand

We will depart now for Hamburg on our way to a ferry and a two week stay on an enchanting island.

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