Greetings from Bremerhaven!
We (a group sponsored by the Office of Exchange Programs at Jacobs University Bremen) visited Bremerhaven today, with our main stop being the Emigration museum. This museum was done up quite well, and guided you through an recreation of the emigrants' experience. One room was the dock, with luggage and crates piled around, the ship there ready and wating, the machinery of the docks and the drips/waves were right there. Figures dressed up and standing there were so realistic that I expected them to come to life at any moment...occasionally one did, and then I realized it was another guest.
While at the Emigration Museum, I looked up a few of my ancestors (Mom's side) who emigrated to the US through Bremerhaven and then Ellis Island (the "Island of Tears" in virtually every European language.) I learned some more about a few ancestors and will work more on compiling that information when I get back this fall.
After the Emigration Museum, we stopped by a fish restaurant (Bremerhaven is known for a lot of good fresh fish) and an U-boat turned into a museum. Only a war could drive people to engineer something like that!
We then walked along the docks, where each of the Haneatic Ships were in port for a special celebration. There was also a Medieval festival going on, with artisans, blacksmiths, shepherds, cooks, and cloth-makers showing their various trades in tents along the main walkway. It's the first time I've ever seen knights in shining armor, still with the shield bearing their coat of arms, just walking around in the street. It was a remarkably well-done medieval fair.
The video postcard that I recently sent marks the end of Stage I and the beginning of Stage II of this summer's trip. As you receive this postcard, I'm packing up and leaving Jacobs University Bremen, stepping out into a whole new world. We'll see where I wind up from here!
Grace and peace,
Postcard photo, text, & software ©2007 W. Ben Towne / WBT Productions.