Sunday, September 4, 2011
Bremen in northern Germany, great lanes for bikers - one takes you directly to the football stadium "Weserstadion" and to the world famous club of "Werder Bremen"
Weserstadion, Bremen. PHOTO BY. http://www.flickr.com/photos/38127313@N00/
Bremen, one of the biggest cities in northern Germany, has a history of over 1200 years in which it was most of the time politically independent. Wikitravel, which is good for a briefing before your visit, says this about biking in the city:
"Bremen is the most bike-friendly city among the biggest German cities." And on their "to do list" for visitors, we found the suggestion to either "see a match of Werder Bremen ( ), a team playing in the Bundesliga (German premier league) ", or to "visit their stadium (Weser Stadion) ( ) for a few euros."
Off we went, on Thursday, September 1 , 2011, a nice summer day, partly cloudy, but the temperature just ideal for biking, 20 degrees Celsius, while many other parts of Germany were much warmer and had to put up with uncomfortable humidity and thunderstorms. After strolling through the centre of Bremen, from Hauptbahnhof through Soegestrasse to the famous Rathaus, with the folding bike from the city centre and its magnificent medieval buildings to the banks of the river Weser. There is a very nice lane taking you along the river all the way to the "Weser Stadion".
Curious about the Brompton rear rack
From my riding experience in Bremen, where I saw large numbers of commuters biking to work in the morning and where everybody seems to be using the bicycle for many sorts of trips during the day, I can only confirm the proud promoters of tourism in Bremen: Yes, indeed, this is the most bicycle friendly city I have seen so far. Occasionally, when waiting at a traffic light or when looking for the right way, a friendly cyclist from Bremen would start to converse a little. One of them was quite curious about my Brompton`s rear rack. Referring to the rear carrier`s elastic cords, he said he had never seen such straps on a rack and he wanted to know if he could buy them anywhere or if they came only with the Brompton rack. I am afraid, they will fit only with such a carrier, but Brompton does sell them as spares.
Low water level
Riding along the Weser river I noticed that the water level was rather low. In my previous post I have commented on the low water level of lake Edersee which has to feed some water ways in northern Germany, but mainly the river Weser. The reason for the the low water level this year is the lack of rain, especially during the spring season when we had an unusual draught for three months. Some experts attribute this to a climate change as a result of a general warming of the oceans.
Werder Bremen players gave autographs after their training
Arriving at the fooball stadium "Weserstadion", we had the opportunity to watch the famous soccer team of "Werder Bremen" doing their daily training. When the training session was over, the team walked past some cyclists and a small group of bystanding fans, 8 to 14 year old kids, who received autographs from the friendly players. A reporter interviewed one player. We learned that team captain Per Mertesacker is leaving Werder Bremen in order to play for the Arsenal Football Club (North London). Also discussed was the transfer of 18 year old Florian Hartherz from Vfl Wolfsburg. 200 000 Euros was the amount paid to Wolfsburg for letting him go. Europe´s Premier League player market is definitely a kind of big business. It gives a bad taste to football as a sport and fascination for young people.
Alternatively, a ride through "Bürgerpark"
In case you are not so interested in football, your folding bike trip in Bremen could just as well go to another great destination: Riding through the city forest "Bürgerpark", just a short distance from the train station, will satisfy any biker who is out for leisure and pleasure: there are small lakes, restaurants and animals that are a great attraction for children. Buergerpark Bremen