Sunday 19th August
Our campsite for tonight: Reisemobilstellplatz am Kuhhirten, Bremen – GPS N53.064499. E8.819340
The Stellplatz itself was very crowded with very tight spaces (about 100) however in a lovely treed setting. Very expensive with the bathroom and WC facilities available at an additional cost. Wifi is included but when the park was full, virtually impossible to get even connected let alone send or receive an email. There is no TV reception because of the trees so all the locals switch to Internet to stay amused and compete with each other for reception.
The huge plus here is that a pathway runs beside the Stellplatz and within a couple of minutes walk you arrive at the Weser river where a small passenger ferry takes you to the other side. A further ten minutes scenic walk along the riverbank takes you to the beginning of the Aldstadt. You can also bike it as the path is shared by everyone – today we opted to walk the short distance.
We rate this old town highly and it is amongst some of the best we have seen. There is so much to see here, it took us all afternoon into evening to see everything we wanted to see.
The Schnoor quarter is Bremens oldest district and is a maze of 15/16th century houses lining the cobble stone alleys and is now home to artists and goldsmith workshops and galleries. Took time out to visit a lollipop shop to see how they are hand made – yum. Saw lots of tourists eating these huge lollipops.
Bottcherstrasse, a pedestrianised arcade, is Bremen’s “secret high street” with a gilt relief called “Bringer of Light” and a carillon made from Meissen porcelain.
Next to the Market Square is the home of the 5.55 m Roland statue – the most famous of the 26 Roland statues in Germany. Here also is the Gerhard Marcks bronze statue of the Bremen Town Musicians. This is a Grimms Fairy tale of four ageing domestic animals mistreated, who run away and become musicians in the Bremen.
It is believed that if you rub the donkeys legs your wish will come true. Both statues are well photographed by tourists.
The whole area is gob smacking with street after street of cathedrals and churches and the amazing town hall (Rathaus). Schutting (guild hall) built in 1537 is now the chamber of commerce. All have a huge “wow factor”
Really should be included in the “must see list”.
Enjoyed a lunch and a cool drink in one of the market square restaurants and people watched and rested before returning back along the riverfront, across with the ferry and home. There is a man made beach and café the “Sand Cafe” on the campsite side of the river where hundreds of locals were sunning and swimming. Could not get a seat in the overcrowded restaurant so back to Ziggy for a quick snack.
Had a really super day in Bremen.
Monday 20th August
Our campsite for tonight: Schaufenster Fischereihafen, Bremerhaven – GPS N53.526531. E8.577130
This port is home to all sorts of ships including a submarine in the harbour. Some very modern high rise buildings are on the waterfront with a massive museum that houses maritime memorabilia.
There are two other Stellplatz closer to the centre but chose this one because it had spectacular views of the harbour and uninterrupted breezes which the others did not. The waterfront hub just a few minutes walk away has a trendy area of restaurants and shopping areas made by using the existing old warehouses and buildings. Very trendy and much like Fremantle in Australia though a smaller version.
Dropped into the local tyre place and ordered a new shoe for Ziggy (arriving tomorrow) and then spent a pleasant afternoon walking around the harbourfront.
Tuesday 21st August
Ziggy is happy with her new shoe and my driver booked her in for a wheel alignment and balance (tomorrow) so we stay close to Bremerhaven for another day.
Our campsite for tonight: Parking Dedesdorf, Dedesdorf – GPS N53.444061. E8.499520
Great little Stellplatz taking only five Mohos (each space clearly defined by lines) and we were lucky enough to be last in. Beautiful location right next to the river with a long beach which is great at high tide, but mud flats at low tide.
Off with the bikes for a ride through the countryside which is now very flat with little or no mountains anywhere in sight.
Arrived back to find a small Moho (Van conversion – we call them door slammers) that had squeezed in between us and our neighbour not leaving even enough room for us to open our habitation door – “not happy Jan”! Waited until they came back and then politely asked them to move on as we had paid for the pitch.
There were two small cafes on the beachfront with a large car parking area for cars only. The carpark was full and soon we were told that a musician was booked for the night. After dinner we carried our deck chairs to the beach and sat and listened to the music while the sun went down. This spectacular sunset, a couple of drinks and some great music to listen to made it a great night.
It finished quite early at around 9.30pm so back to Ziggy for a coffee. We were greeted by a young lady armed with a microphone who began to ask us questions about why we had visited Dedesdorf.
She said she was interviewing people for her radio station – The Driver said we were from Australia and that our German was not very good and that she may be better off interviewing someone else.
She said his German was fine and so she recorded an interview – forgot to find out which station she was from so didn’t get to hear the interview on air – but it was all a bit of fun.
Wednesday 22nd August
Started the day by returning to Bremerhaven to have a wheel alignment and balance done after Ziggy got her new shoe yesterday.
Our campsite for tonight: Altes Faehr, Kleinensiel – GPS N53.443199. E8.484450
Small gratis campsite that is advertised as taking 5 Mohos only but at day’s end we managed to squeeze in double that number.
Very quiet spot directly opposite side of the river to Dedesdorf with views across the river. No services here but very peaceful so took the opportunity to do a few chores including clothes washing and spring cleaning in “pink zone” while my driver attended to some items in the “blue zone”.
We are at the mouth of the Weser River now and there is a huge amount of boat traffic passing by and so there is always something to see. The locals come here and spend time on the beach (not one we can appreciate as we have some of the best beaches in the world at our back and front door at home).
Thursday – Saturday 23 – 25th August
Our campsite for three nights: Schleuseninsel, Wilhelmshaven – GPS N53.516621. E8.149680
Great Stellplatz with only the grassed dyke protecting you from the strong sea breezes (or was that tempest) coming off the North Sea. There are three Stellplatz along the North Sea front at Wilhelmshaven – all with great aspects but this is a lot more protected, yet close to everything.
Ventured up the grass dyke in front of us and walked for miles along the Seafront. Views forever out to sea and passed by some magic little seafront holiday bungalows nestled in amongst the trees. Little passenger boats taking tourists for trips around the harbourfront were packed.
There are bikeways across the top of the dykes that run forever but too cold and windy for us so walking was the choice for today.
Ventured back towards the harbour and walked along the touristy waterfront strand. This is a pedestrian mall that runs along the top of the dyke for a couple of kms with the beach on one side and restaurants and funky shops on the other. The beaches are lined with rows of two seater white wicker cane chairs and look like soldiers ready to go to battle and for a mere €9 you can hire one for the day – did not see many occupied!
From there we visited the Deutsches Marinemuseum on the river front where there were submarines, destroyers and many other ships and marine equipment on display. It was late in the afternoon so opted to go through thoroughly tomorrow.
Woke up to a miserable wet and windy day so bunkered down for some reading and Internet – a bonus this Stellplatz has a Wifi network but the other two don’t. It is times like this that we really appreciate Ziggy for the huge amount of habitation space and windows she has, compared to other Mohos.
Weather on day three was a little better though still windy with scattered showers. Made a move towards town around lunchtime when some patches of blue appeared so packed our wet weather gear in the backpack, dressed in winter gear now as outside temps were around 20 degrees in the middle of the day and walked the three kms into town.
80% of this town was totally demolished during WW11 and they don’t appear to have rebuilt it. One section of ruins and a few bunkers remain as a reminder. Great shopping mall that runs forever but not much else to see.
Dark heavy black clouds were creeping in on the horizon so our 3km walk home ended up being almost a run. We made it home with a minute to spare before the heavens opened up and it pelted down hail for about 20 minutes.