Hello from Bremen! What’s up?
Today was a nice, busy day- but not too long. I succeeded in waking up early, I was showered and dressed by 8:40, which I’m not sure how I did without an alarm clock. But since that’s pretty early to go out and explore a German city, especially on a Sunday, I took the time to relax with some tea and went on the computer for a little bit to plan my day.
I left around 10:40 and walked towards the Altstadt- or the Markt and city center. Let me tell you, Bremen was dead at this point. I didn’t see many people and everything was closed (I wasn’t at the city center yet). I happened upon the windmill and walked through the little park around it. I stopped for a bit on a bench and enjoyed the morning :). By the time I got out of the park, the city had come a little more alive (it was after 11- I had heard the clock chiming). I easily found my way to the city center and I promptly took in all of the sites; they seem to all be crowded around the Marktplatz (pictures to come soon). The only thing I didn’t really experience today was the statue of the commemorating the “Bremen Town Musicians” fairytale. You have to touch the legs of the donkey for good luck and there were always people around it, so I decided to do it early tomorrow morning. Also, sound travels, apparently, really well in the Markt, so everytime I was there, musicians were playing music and you could hear it all over the Marktplatz- first an accordian, later some jazz and also a lute-like instrument. Very nice.
So after I looked through the Markt, I happened upon the Boettcherstrasse, which has some really cool Gothic and Art Nouveau architecture- it was declared degenerate art by the Nazis. I somehow managed to find the Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum, which was actually really cool and the first museum dedicated exclusively to a female artist. Paula Modersohn-Becker belongs to the Expressionist movement, so her art was right up my alley. My favorite thing about Expressionist (and Impressionist) art is to get really, really close to the painting so that you can see all of the brush strokes and colors and you can’t tell what you’re looking at because it looks just like color splotches. It’s also always interesting to see a tiny bit of orange or blue paint in a tree, grass, house or person- right where it doesn’t belong. Anyway, the museum also had an exhibit of Lucas Cranach’s art, who is a Renaissance artist famous for portraits and religious images. He did that one portrait of Martin Luther, which I’m sure you would all recognize (as I suspected- if you go to Martin Luther’s Wikipedia page, it’s the supplied photo of him, ha). Well, it sure was an interesting contrast between Modersohn-Becker’s art and Cranach’s. Cranach has an intense attention to detail that is totally non-existant in Expressionist art- he basically drew every individual hair and his potraits were very realistic. Needless to say, such art is a little boring for me to look at, but I’m very glad that I saw it! There was also an exhibit of the “Overbecks and Modersohn. Zwei Kuenstlerpaare (two artist couples)”- two couples of artists who worked in the nearby Worpswede and later moved to Boettcherstrasse. Paula Modersohn-Becker’s art was included in the exhibit and there were a lot of landscape pieces, which was also quite interesting for me as I wrote my final art history paper on landscapes :). One piece of Hermine Overbeck’s of a small, solitary tree in a field reminded me of one of Caspar David Freidrich’s pieces. I found out that this museum had an exhibit on Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (who I wrote my final paper on) and is going to have an exhibit on Expressionism coming soon- I’m very sad I missed and will miss them! Needless to say, I added to my postcards-of-art collection :).
Afterwards, I made my way to the Schnoor district. I had planned to eat here, but it was a little too expensive so I decided I would go back tomorrow for a nice dinner. The neighborhood is really nice, but small, unless I missed part of it haha. There are a lot of really strange, cute shops! I resisted the urge to buy many things 🙂 hehe.
Of course by this time, around 2:30, I was getting very hungry. I was having a hard time deciding where to eat, so I ended up choosing this “Beck’s Bistro” on the Markt. There were a lot of people there and they had a lot of tables outside, so it seemed like a good choice…but it wasn’t anything special. The only thing that was good was that I got my Beck’s, of course extremely overpriced.
Anyway, since I hadn’t gone into the St. Petri Dom, I did at this time. Sadly, one of the beautiful towers is under construction, so photos that I got of the outside are really ugly. The inside was really lovely, as usual, but I still maintain that the church in Neuchatel is my favorite :). My favorite part of the church was the Bleikeller, which was actually quite morbid. So you go down into this basement and what do you find?…… Corpses! Yes, indeed, they have 8 corpses on display- open caskets with plastic separating the viewer from the body. It was really neat, but kind of gross haha. The church has a really nice garden called the “Bible Garden” in which every flower that is mentioned in the Bible is grown there- or was it the other way around? Either way, it was nice :).
From there, I made my way back to the hostel, but not before I got an ice cream :). I was quite tired, so I planned to take a short nap, but ended up sleeping a little too late to go out again- oops. I guess I’ll have to hit the Schlachte- a river “promenade” lined with bars- tomorrow night.
Tomorrow I plan to take a short, side, day-trip to Worpswede, the artist colony that the Modersohns and Overbecks were a part of. I’m going mostly because all of the museums in Bremen seem to be closed on Mondays (wtf?!) and I would like to see more art. The whole of Worpswede seems to be having an exhibit concerning “art and the soul” so it sounds awesome and it sounds be a nice day! I hope to get back early enough to tour the Beck’s factory, but if not, I think I’ll live.
All in all, Bremen is a lovely city. The air seems different here, which is a strange observation, but I’m fairly certain it’s because Bremen is near/surrounded by water and not mountains. I think it may be the absence of humidity, but it’s nice. Also, it’s much more windy here (but still not TOO windy), which I like. Although, (I think this judgement may be premature, but I’m just gonna put it out there), the more and more I see of Europe, the more I think Freiburg is the perfect city. I have absolutely no complaints about Freiburg, but I can always find something I don’t really like about other cities…. Hmm. Hopefully Bad Aussee measures up ;)!
Anyway, I can’t upload pictures yet, sadly, so you’ll all have to wait ’til I’m back in Freiburg ;). But I’m going to try to update everyday, if I can, on my trip because I don’t want to have to remember every little detail after it’s all over haha.
Until next time…