We started our short tour of Northern Germany (we are coming back to Germany towards the end of our trip), with a visit to Bremen. There were some beautiful buildings centred around the market square including the town hall and cathedral, plus lots of people having their photograph with a statue – we did a bit of googling and it was the ‘Towns Musicians of Bremen’ seemingly Bremen’s most famous statue depicting a fairy-tale by the Brothers Grim. Apparently rubbing the donkey’s feet gives you good luck (would be rude not to have a rub). We visited the glockenspiel and the old streets of Schnoor. Most of the day was spent with Graham correcting me on my pronunciation of Bremen, still haven’t got a clue of the exact pronunciation. Personally, I found it an ok city with some nice old buildings whereas it was Graham’s favourite we visited.
One day in the city and we already craved some quiet. We happened to stay the night in a town called Sittensen which had a nature reserve right next to it. The reserve was an old peat mine which has been restored and was a beautiful nature reserve. I geeked out on the very good interpretation, well managed paths, great sculptures and lovely hides. It was a freezing day and even snowed while we were there! The hides looked out on several very large pools with waterfowl and we saw 3 cranes which I was overly excited about as it’s the first standing (rather than flying over) wild cranes I’d ever seen.
That evening we visited and stayed the evening in Luneburg. Really beautiful place, so many beautiful traditional buildings all very triangular in shape. Nice river with big willow trees, lots of churches and we went sampled our first German beer.
The next day we went to visit Hamburg. I didn’t know much about Hamburg but I really liked it as a city. It was busy but didn’t feel claustrophobic as it had lots of open spaces and nice wide streets. TOP FACT Hamburg has more bridges than London, Amsterdam and Venice combined! There’s a few lakes, lost of canals and water ways and it’s a port town. There’s a nice mix of old and new architecture and it felt a little like Manchester.
Our last day in Northern Germany was spent in Lubeck because both guide books and general internet searching had recommended going. We went on a Sunday so it was quite quiet. It had a few very nice building but on the whole there wasn’t a lot of to see or keep you entertained for long. Saw everting in a couple of hours ambling. The buildings reminded me a little of Duloc in Shriek. The absolute highlight though was the marzipan museum. It hosts the biggest ever artwork made from Marzipan, made in 1964 it took 3500 hours to create and depicts 12 important figures in Marzipan history. Its mental to think that the sculpture is still solid today 55 years on!