23rd April 2019 – 26th April 2019
To avoid trees and on route, we decided to make our next stop Bremen in North West Germany. We found a designated parking area for Motorhomes on a small island within walking distance of the town which was perfect. Bremen is a commercial and industrial city with a major port on the River Weser. The old town an oval area surrounded by the Weser River is beautiful, as is the Marktplatz or Market Square which is dominated by the opulent facade of the Town Hall of Bremen. In July 2004 the building was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Our first evening we meandered around the old town,stuffed ourselves on a gorgeous meal and luckily had a 30 minute walk back to the van to wear it off ! The little island we were staying on had lots of kleingarten (meaning ‘small garden’) which to us means allotments. They are lovingly taken care of all with little huts which cover anything from a tool shed to a mini house, complete with cooking and washing facilities, a TV and sleeping area. The allotments are split into different clubs and there are 44 clubs in Bremen. There are a list of rules one being the height of hedges, 1 metre and 10 centimetres and apparently this is checked ! It does give the gardens a form of uniformity and they are lovingly cared for. This time of year all the blossom is in full bloom, the lilac trees are just starting to burst and everything is coming alive. I took Chloe for a walk around them, accessed by small paths. The only trouble is you can easily get lost, which I did and with a dead phone, David wasn’t took happy when we returned as he had began to think we had been abducted ! The following evening there was a big football game on in the stadium which happened to be very close to where we were staying. Bremen versus Bayern Munich, you could hear all the cheering and although I am the furtherest you could get from a football fan, I said to David I would have loved to have gone as the atmosphere sounded amazing.
The next day we headed further North stopping for the night near Kaltenkirchen. Chloe was in her element here as we were within walking distance from a lake. Now up until last year Chloe had never really been swimming a great deal, but in Greece by the end of our 3 months we were all swimming together. So, when she saw the water all she wanted to do was get in, but she still needs a little encouragement with either ball or stick throwing, but she loved it !
The great thing about travelling is the people you meet along the way and where we stayed for the night we met the fittest 84 year old German man who we learnt was a Hilter Youth when he was 8 years of age. His Dad was in Stalingrad and through his limited English which was far, far better than our German, he relaid stories of when the Americans passed through giving him a ride on their tanks and feeding him chocolate. I so wish we could have communicated better as he was an absolutely fascinating man. He told us that his wife had passed away 2 years ago and he travels in his Motorhome and to stay fit he exercises 2 hours each morning. As David and I stood there looking at him with not an ounce of fat on him, we looked down at our bellies and though we need to take on this fitness regime.