One thing struck us at our first discovery tour: Bremerhaven has much space. All streets and places are wide and vast and nothing is really narrow. Between the houses there is much space and you can always see far. You are always near to water. It looks quite strange when a car seems to drive over the water because the street is very near to the basin. Or when behind houses loading cranes are peeking out. The connection to shipping and fishing is omnipresent.
City and Pedestrian Zone
But also the city and the pedestrian zone are wide and vast. Inbetween is much space. Always something historical. An old industrial memorial. Or an old house. Right beside, but subtle connected there is something new. It is so much fun to look around here. Behind every corner there is something to admire. Like the university for applied science which is right at the end of the pedestrian zone. One the one hand an old store-houses area and on the other side a modern creative and artistic architecture. You can’t stop wondering. And you can take pictures here without end.
Only a couple of minutes to walk there is the Weser beach. A tiny sandy beach. A couple of beach chairs and the dike. Here natives and tourists are wandering, look out on the water or let the wind caress their faces. Everything is close and drawn from curiosity you end up at the Havenland. One museum right beside the other. In-between again old cultural assets and modern design. A shopping center. A hotel with a viewing platform in lofty heights. Right beside there is the marina. Everything harmonius side by side.
Somehow this is the nice thing about Bremerhaven. Everything mixes up. You walk through the streets and you will meet professional skippers or sportsmen. And everyone is busy with their own occupation. Old things persist beside new things. Work with leisure activities. Science with sightseeing. Tourists mix with natives. Wonderful.
Cycling in Bremerhaven
We rented bikes at the tourist information office and hit the town. And we ended up inevitably at the harbour. You can’t get around the harbour here. There is a harbour everywhere. New harbour, old harbour, city, harbour, fishing harbour, container harbour and overseas harbour. You might mess it all up in the beginning with all the names. Doesn’t matter. Just have a look. And listen to the natives. They offer their advice unasked and share their haunts or recommend where you can have the best fish! Great!
Fishing Harbour Bremerhaven
At the fishing harbour there is a special area: The shopping window (Schaufenster Fischereihafen). Here everything is about fish and fishing. There is an old fishermans’ village and fish is prepared, processed, smoked and their are again some historical things to be admired. But also here where you would assume only tourists there are also natives shopping fish from sellers that could have as well their own stand up comedy program. Or they buy one kilogram of Granat – as the shrimps are called here – from the last shrimper to shell them.
Many workers let you have a look at their work. There are some transparent factories: You can watch the fish processing through a window. Or go to see the fish smokehouse with historical smoker. And one gets tipps everywhere.
Fish and Co.
So we ended up at „Fisch 2000“. A snack bar which we never would have visited if it wouldn’t have been recommended by several locals. But you can eat here very good fish. No fuss. Fresh prepared and yummy. And here Bremerhaven is reflected in miniature. There is the traveler with suitcase sitting beside the worker with smocks. Pensioners besides touristic families and all enjoy their fish. Dreamlike! But please bring some cash. Fish is only sold against cash.
View over Bremerhaven
There are some other view points: The container view tower. At the overseas harbour. The name has a double meaning and says it all. The tower is build of containers and you can watch the container harbour with all the loading cranes and lorries and coming and going. At the evening this all becomes a shadow play in front of the sun set.
Other points for a general overview are the viewing platform at sail city at the Havenland. Here you can have a panoramic view. In the summer time you can even watch the sun set. But this is nothing for people with fear of heights. The radar tower would be another possibility but it was closed while our stay.
Actually one should visit every place twice. Once at high tide and once at low tide. It looks completely different. The difference are around four meters anyway.
Along the Geeste
We had a bike tour along the Geeste with the amazing horseshoe bends and enjoyed nature but also the industrial culture.
Bridges and Locks
Take your time in Bremerhaven. It is nearly impossible to get quickly from here to there because you have to cross a bridge or lock. And then one has to wait until the boat is gone. At the lock at the new harbour you can hear the announcements in the local dialect. Very funny.
Shop around the clock
There is also plenty of time for shopping. One supermarket is open 24h from Monday to Saturday. And it is huge. Have we talked about time yet. If you like you can pay in dollars. Where else can you do that?
A lot of water, many ships, huge width, much fish, a lot of old, a lot of new, a lot to discover.
Photos © DieMeurers