Hamburg, Berlin, and Bremen

My parents left this morning after having spent a week with us.  It was great to see them, to catch up on stories, to play Pinochle with them, and to get their help carrying things back to the States.  While they were here, we showed them three cities: Hamburg, Berlin, and Bremen.

It’s just a co-incidence that the cities that they visited are the three city-states in Germany.  We saw Hamburg because we live here, Berlin because my parents really wanted to visit the flashpoint of the Cold War, and Bremen to see the Freimarkt, the closest equivalent to a big Oktoberfest in northern Germany.

We spent almost half their time here in Berlin.  It was a great visit that meant a lot to both of my parents.  My Dad was most moved by the Checkpoint Charlie museum, with the memories of the Cold War and the fight for freedom hitting home.  For my Mom, the biggest thrill was probably seeing a Giant Panda at the zoo.  She’s a huge fanatic for pandas (there are hundreds of stuffed Pandas in one room of the house), and we spent a lot of time looking at one of the Panda’s at Berlin’s zoo.

Into the Parliament Chamber at the Reichstag

Into the Parliament Chamber at the Reichstag

The Surreal Ramps and Mirrors of the Reichstag Dome

The Surreal Ramps and Mirrors of the Reichstag Dome

Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace

Panda at the Berlin Zoo

Panda at the Berlin Zoo

My Mom and her Friend, the Panda

My Mom and her Friend, the Panda

We went to Bremen to see the Freimarkt, but that turned out to be the least interesting part of the trip.  Essentially, the Freimarkt is like the midway of any large American fair, with a lot more sausage, beer, and Döner Kebabs.

Fortunately, the Freimarkt brought along with it the Historischer Markt, a smaller gathering of more traditional food and crafts in the main town square (the Freimarkt was in a big parking lot on the other side of the train station).  We really enjoyed the Historischer Markt, with the woodworking, metalworking, food, and mulled wine.  Especially the mulled wine.  We had lots of mulled wine.  Especially with added Amaretto.

Other than that, we walked around the old city quite a bit.  This was really nice for my parents, because they’d never been to Germany before, and Hamburg and Berlin don’t have much of the “cute half-timbered houses surrounding a brick Gothic church” feel that is so common in the rest of Germany.

The Ubiquitous Bremen Town Musicians

The Ubiquitous Bremen Town Musicians

The Roland Statue in front of the Town Hall

The Roland Statue in front of the Town Hall

The Historischer Markt

The Historischer Markt

The Great Hall in the Town Hall

The Great Hall in the Town Hall

One of Four Model Ships in the Town Hall

One of Four Model Ships in the Town Hall

The Rainy Roofs of the Historischer Markt

The Rainy Roofs of the Historischer Markt

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About Lance Finney

Father of two boys, Java developer, Ethical Humanist, and world traveler (when I can sneak it in). Contributor to Grounded Parents.
This entry was posted in Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Hamburg, Berlin, and Bremen

  1. Maryann McGee says:

    Great idea to share your trip/visit with others! Keith & I enjoyed it. Thanks!

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