Monday, June 9, 2014

Day 19--To the Mouth of the Weser (note correct spelling)

A day completely off the bikes. We took the train to Bremerhaven, a town at the mouth of the Weser River. It's about an hour by train. 

But, before I get to today, it's time to tell the story about Burger Park (from yesterday in Bremen). So, a long time ago (not in a galaxy far, far away), there lived a wealthy woman who really liked the citizens of Bremen. So much so, that she wanted to donate a parcel of land for a park. Her brother, a rather selfish person, wasn't too happy about her giving away land to the people of Bremen. 

The woman thought the way she would determine how much land to give, would be to give as much as one person could walk around in one hour. Her brother, likely in a sarcastic manner, said why not make it a whole day? The woman thought that was a great idea, and she would allow her brother to choose the person who would do the walking. He chose an old disabled man, but the man still covered quite a bit of land in 24 hours. So, consequently, the park is quite large--and quite nice too!

And now, back to today, and the train to Bremerhaven. Round trip, it only cost 8,50€ per person (that's 2 hours of train riding)!

Markus looks a little scared, but he did a good job taking the selfie of us on the train!

From the station in Bremerhaven we walked to the water. 
It's not the ocean, it's still the mouth of the river.

At that point we decided our breakfast was used up, and we were hungry. There just so happened to be a kind of food carnival place next to the water. Markus, Alex, and I had Kartoffel Puffer mit apfelmus (delicious fried shredded potato patties with applesauce).

After our food, we walked through the mall of shops. Even though it is a holiday weekend, and Sunday to boot (Pfingsten--Pentacost), many of the shops were open. 
The mall is in the round building.

Our purpose for going to Bremerhaven was to go to the Deutsches Auswanderer Haus.
Bremerhaven was a major gateway for German emigration and immigration. The Deutsches Auswanderer Haus is an interactive museum that chronicles the path of the emigrant, as well as the immigrant, from around the mid-1800s to the 1960s (until air travel became more accessible). With our admission tickets, we were given boarding passes with a person who emigrated, and a person who immigrated. There was also a card that you could place on these headset things to hear the story. Mine was in English (quite helpful).

We followed the path from the waiting room for 3rd class passengers, to the dock, and aboard the ship. On the ship we could see the area for steerage as well as 1st class (I will take that, thank you very much!).
Here's Alex feeling a bit seasick at the dinner table in the later years when the conditions for 3rd class were getting better. (The lady across from her appears to be thinking, is she gonna hurl? Because if she does, that's gonna totally ruin my appetite!)

From the emigration side, we passed into the immigration side. The people we had were real people, and these were their true stories. Now we were following the stories of people who immigrated to Germany. Their were photos and stories of how life was at that time (60s and 70s). Alex and I were very familiar with many of the things (like the theme song to The Flintstones). 

We watched a movie about a woman who was German, but lived in Buenos Aires. Then, there was a room where you could look up family history. It was through the German (.de). 

After we finished in the Museum, we walked back to the train station. The weather had changed from sunny to cloudy while we were in the museum. It was just starting to rain (thunderstorm) just when we made it back to the station. We got some ice cream, and waited for our train back to Bremen.

We made it back to the main Bremen train station (not where we were getting off). They announced there would be a delay because of a tree on the electric wires. So, we got off the train and caught a tram back to Alex and Markus' house. 
On the Tram

At home we had a great dinner, and then watched the presentation from their US and South America trip that Markus gives. It was excellent, and makes me want to go there!

I've had the best time here, and I am sad to be leaving in the morning. But, I know we will see each other again (right, Alex???). Maybe we can tour together--we would most definately laugh our way down the road! So, for now, I will not say goodbye, I will say bis bald (okay, I'll say that if it means "See you soon"...if it doesn't, could you please tell me how to say "See you soon"?). 

You both have a forever place in my heart!

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