Our last official day on the Fairy Tale Route dawned with clearing skies and the promise of a 15° day. Perfect! With Bremen being an approximate 2-hour one-way autobahn drive from Hameln, and an extension further north to Bremerhaven as an option, CTF joined us for the day trip.
In a word, or three, Bremen charmed us. In its lively Marktplatz a small Oktoberfest was underway, too, adding to the general merriment.
The Bremen Dom, its interior shimmering in the early afternoon sunshine.
The Schnoor Viertel with its medieval lanes of fisherman’s homes and stores worth visiting.
With mid-afternoon approaching we realized that Bremerhaven would have to wait for some other holiday, Bremen was simply that enjoyable. We snared a table in the Marktplatz, filled it with wood-roasted salmon and Kartoffelpuffers (deep fried potato pancakes) from the Oktoberfest stalls, plus a couple of Beck’s beers (the Bremen Beer!), and soaked in the atmosphere and sunshine. Clayton Theodore, meanwhile, busied himself soaking up the various bits of food that had been dropped about. Everyone was happy.
Anna Grace and I also spent considerable time in the Bremen Bon Bon shop, but there’s little evidence remaining of those souvenirs.
The city exhausted my camera. Even Tony was compelled to take his iPhone out of his pocket for some snaps. Every other step in the Schnoor Viertel of medieval lanes and preserved fisherman’s homes demanded at least two or three snaps. Tourist crowds were non-existent in this area, which could easily have swayed our opinion in another direction. The shops were interesting; my only non-postcard souvenir of the holiday came from Bremen, a lovely hand-painted watercolor of the Bremen Town Musicians that perfectly summed up our feelings of both the city and of our holiday.
Eventually we reluctantly dragged ourselves back to the carriage, the incentive being dinner at Hameln’s Mexican restaurant, which the hotel concierge described as, “Excellent.” First, though, we had to endure an additional hour of autobahn construction delays on our return. Thoroughly starving by the time we reached Hameln, we deposited CTF in the suite and headed out for an early dinner of Mexican food goodness.
But like the planned trip to Bremerhaven, this too did not happen. The restaurant just happened to be closed that evening for a private, “Comedy Night.” We were not amused. To the “Paulaner im Rattenkrug” we went, having exhausted the other viable dining option, Italian, the evening before. We placed three orders of “Oktoberfest Weisen Hendl,” and raised our glasses to toast the, “Most excellent Bavarian Mexican food we’ve ever had in Northern Germany,” laughing so hard that we may have caught the attention of other restaurant goers.