In summer, life here takes place mainly on the Weser and in Bürgerpark - SUP instructor Tessa Heyde shows us her favorite places in the Hanseatic city.
Between the water lilies a few ducks practice paddling in a slalom. The branches of large old trees almost dip into the water. And now we're about to pass under one of the small pedestrian bridges. It's nice and green here and nice and cool, despite the summer heat. Tessa is thrilled, she rows and laughingly exclaims, "Well, now, if this isn't romantic." Yes, it is, and also quite nostalgic. Because we are gliding through the shady Bürgerpark in two old wooden rowboats that can be rented here. Together with the city forest, this is Bremen's largest park. Tessa is otherwise more likely to be standing up and moving in a different direction - on her SUP board. And her home port is not the Bürgerpark, but the small SUP station "Ins Blaue" at the Werdersee. The Bremen native and her boyfriend have been running the rental shop, which offers courses and excursions, for about five years. Today she shows us her favorite places on the water.
So we best start Let's start at the beginning: 9 o'clock in the morning. We meet Tessa Heyde at the station of the Sielwall ferry, which tirelessly chugs back and forth on the Weser between the city and the Weser Island southeast of Schlachte. Tessa arrives like a whirlwind with her bike on the bike path directly on the river and pushes it onto the small, white ship - buy a ticket, park the bike to save space, enjoy five minutes of wind and water. It's her way to work. Her SUP rental is located behind the allotments and sports fields on the Weser Island. There's a large container with boards, a DLRG post and Tessa's outdoor workstation: a small table in front of a bright blue wall with her laptop shaded by a pink umbrella. Pretty cool out here. And jwd. The Weser Island is a bit out of time in a very relaxed, congenial way, and the city bluster is really far away here.
Tessa tells: "The Weser Island isn't really an island at all, it's connected to the countryside, but for me this green oasis in the middle of the city already has quite a bit of island flair." This is where the people of Bremen:inside come for a little time out. And perhaps for water sports on the Werdersee, the quiet, idyllic branch of the Weser. According to Tessa, it's great for stand-up paddling because it's not only calmer than on the Weser, the current isn't as strong. This morning, however, it is blowing quite a bit, and it therefore remains quiet at the station. Also Tessas small, vegan snack bar does not open - pity, we would have tried the vegan fish & chips already times gladly. "I understand," says Tessa, "they're really mega, we've tried all the varieties."
Bremen forms together with Bremerhaven the smallest state in the republic. And the Hanseatic city, home to around 570,000 people, really does seem to be up to all kinds of things. Nostalgic in the city park, cool and young at Lake Werder. And peppered with sights at Schlachte and in the old town. That's where Tessa wants to go with us now. We have another coffee at Café Sand just before the ferry station, and Tessa tells us how she used to build sand castles on the banks of the Weser. She is convinced: "Every child in Bremen knows the beach here." And indeed - the current sandcastle generation squats in the sand and unabashedly builds trenches and towers. Time to chat a bit: Tessa started her own business rather by accident. When the stand-up paddling trend started, she rented out a few boards from her basement to people who were interested. In the meantime, a small water sports company has grown out of it.
Arrived at the Schlachte It's Bremen's most touristy part of the Weser shore: famous sailing ships, such as the Alexander von Humboldt, are moored there. There are restaurant and hotel ships, excursions, and a lot of maritime flair - and the impressive marketplace with the Bremen Town Musicians is only a stone's throw away. From the Schlachte, where we have a quick lunch, we cycle across the market on bike paths and a wide bike road to the Bürgerpark - and after rowing back to the river. This time we head west, along the river, past avant-garde-looking Waterfront apartment buildings to Waller Sand - an artificially created sandy beach at the end of the neighborhood, where you can relax with a view of the cranes of Neustädter Hafen harbor.
There Tessa sits with us in the sand and tells us why she likes Bremen so much as her home: because all routes are so easy to take by bike - the city does comparatively much for cyclists. Because her home is so rich in water and more and more beautiful locations are opening up on the waterfront. In addition to Café Sand, Tessa recommends Die Komplette Palette just outside the city. And because the lifestyle in Bremen, Germany's smallest state, is so relaxed, international and cosmopolitan. The sun is already low as we whiz along the waterfront back into the city, crisscrossing Überseestadt, the former port area. A new district with restaurants and bars is currently being built there. Tessa especially likes the transitional period; she enjoys watching the neighborhood grow, because it also gives rise to many creative ideas that are spun out. It remains exciting in her water-loving hometown.
P.S.: Who wants to sleep on the Weser, who books a mini-cabin in Bremen on the former sailing ship Alexander von Humboldt - incidentally, the ship from the 90s Becks commercial with the green giant sails. They have long since been caught up and the space available in the rooms in the ship's belly is really limited. But the place to spend the night is something special. There's a restaurant on deck of the colossus lying on the Schlachte. And at night, guests are gently rocked to sleep.
Cover picture: Charming Hanseatic city - the best way to discover Bremen is by and on the water © Oliver Raatz
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