Northward bound Part 3:
Waymarks and Emigration
The best times to get a nice parking space in a city are the early morning hours. So shortly before nine, I found a place quite close to the inner city of Bremen.
There are quite a lot Waymarks here and as those are sadly not very common in our area, I had the camera ready.
The first waymark was at two Stolpersteine. Those golden bricks depict the names and life dates of deported Jews, who once lived there.
Stolpersteine, an arts project
We headed into the pedestrian area, where a huge market took place. The displays were colourfull and inviting, vegetables and fruit as far as one could see. Pitty the market stalls stood on the starting point of a multi cache. At least that’s my excuse, cause I’m not sure, if I calculated with the correct numbers and therefore couldn’t find the cache.
But at least the fountains, which were waymarks we could find.
Waymarking turned out to be quite stressfull. There is no density rule and so some of them were quite close to each other. I got to appreciate the 160m rule for caches, though.
A visit in Bremen must lead to the most famous citizens! The Bremer Town Musicians.
We found a funny modern art object on the theme, where they’re not musicians, but readers.
A different spin on the tale…
After checking them out we headed to the original. Finnuala was wondering, why the donkey had socks and light nostrils. But got her answer right away while she still asked, cause a visitor stood in front of the monument and had his picture taken while grabbing the donkey on the leg.
The only part reachable for adults were the legs, though. I guess the nostrils got polished by lifted up children.
The famous Town Musicians of Bremen
I must say, the waymarks made sure, that I paid attention to all the sights in Bremen, some spot’s I would probably have missed. And they can show your environment without any muggle none the wiser. No box can be stolen or dumped as rubbish. For urban areas this kind of city tour is a great alternative.
We got some tea for my mother, I wonder why I had to go into the shop, they have a huge and reliable mail order service. As it continued to rain, we decided to go to Bremerhaven and visit the emigration museum there.
This is an interactive museum, when you arrive you get a boarding pass for your ship and become a person who really emigrated. First you had to wait in a hall, where you could check out the life story of your alter ego. I was Martha Hüner, born 1st July 1906 and I emigrated into the United States in 1923, aged 17. Two aunts had paid the fare and promised a job as a maid servant.
Finnuala emigrated in 1948, aged 9 month as the child of Polish Jews, who had great difficulty to aquire the passports in order to be able to emigrate.
KS-HTK emigrated in 1886, aged 35, for the second time, he already had a job in Hawaii as the Royal Tailor. He was back in Germany to bring over his fiancée.
At the quay side
Before boarding the ship, we spent some time at the quay between all those people there, listening to their hopes and woes. Most of them were apprehensive, what might be ahead for them.
Emigration nowadays is quite different, I have totally different memories of my move to Ireland. The possibility to go back and forth any time I can afford the ferry ticket is giving reassurance. Taking only a suitcase is quite different from shipping your furniture in a shipping container. Sure, it takes three month to arrive, but still, your stuff will arrive eventually.
The different conditions on the ships were shown, a sailing ship, the first steamers and also the modern vessels, where even travelling third class was quite luxurious.
Dining room third class
I met two women there, cousines, one American, one German, they shared the great grandfather. We got chatting and they told me, they were kind of following now, what their great grandfather and the Americans parents had experienced. While we chatted we arrived on Ellis Island and followed a long tiled tunnel, which lead into an area with cages. The American was amazed and said, this is just like on Ellis Island, she had visited the place there.
Arriving at Ellis Island
Well, they promised us an emigration, and here I was, arriving on Ellis Island. I even managed to pass the emigration test. Finnuala didn’t, cause as a baby she didn’t speak any language, never mind English, had no money, couldn’t write or read. Sorry, no emigration for you. Turn back. I guess, the test wasn’t as strickt with babies, though?
Another part of the museum was showing the still happening emigration, now into Germany, from parts of the world, where there is war.
There was also a test yourself part, where several questions had to answerd figuring out, how flexible and able to adapt one is.
My answers were mostly C.
Seems like I’m an adventurer, who would have thought….
To quote shipbuilder Albert Ballin: “The world is my field.” This is true of you.
You are incredibly flexible, and have no trouble living in a foreign world or taking risks.
Does having fun or getting your kicks mean more to you than actually dealing with something more profoundly?
Well, yes, I have lived in a foreign country and can only recomend it to everyone, it broadens the horizon.
I don’t think, that I take risks, though. But food for thought.
Later on we had a walk along the River Weser dyke, where a Wherigo cache showed us all the important sights. It was great fun. I wasn’t aware, that the East 8° line is running along here, but we found the marking.
14.308km to Antarctica and at the riverside
My son certainly has a different opinion as to what might be a romantic setting.
I had parked for the night in the Bremerhaven Cargo Port area, in front of us a meadow, some industrial train tracks, a fence, a huge parking lot full of brand new cars and the quay with a horrendous gray brick of a RoRoShip, (roll on-roll off, car carrier).
To make matters worse, it started drizzling and everything seemed to be gray.
I told the children to get changed and ready to sleep and my son protested: Let us enjoy the romantic setting first.
Finnuala and I exchanged glances, checked, if he really was serious and then started howling with laughter. The poor boy. He had no idea, why we started laughing. His sister explained then, that his and our female point of view differ severely as to what might be romantic.
I wasn’t able to explain, I was doubling over the steering wheel laughing.
Well, check for yourself, if this is what you might consider a romantic scenery:
View from the camp site to the RoRoShip