Hilversum and Bremen, Consumption, Sightseeing, Running   2 comments

Coffeeshop De Leeuw Hilversum sign

Flights from Bristol to Bremen require a plane change in Amsterdam and with the layover and the arbitrary airport nonsense it takes nearly as long (and is just as expensive) to fly to Bremen as it does (is) to take the train from Amsterdam Schiphol.  The train requires a change in Hilversum and I decided to grab some pot for the journey and to have a few beers before continuing.  I was a fan of the Lion when I used to catch the train back to Amsterdam Z.O. after long runs when we lived there so I stopped there for a little White Widow.

Coffeeshop De Leeuw Hilversum

They have a sort of segregated smoking area, which is nice and convenient if a little weird (it is a glassed in room crammed with people while the rest of the house is kind of open).  I guess it dates to the smoking (tobacco) ban in workplaces but it wasn’t like this in the old days.  From there, I wandered up to De Kroeg for a few glasses of Jupiler.

De Kroeg Hilversum


Football (Ajax vs ADO Den Haag) was on the projection screen but a couple came in and asked for music and the bartender begrudgingly put on some really nice stuff including Dylan doing some blues.  Everyone was a regular except me.  And, the Jupiler was cheap and cold.  Perfection.  Plus, the bartender had an interesting shaped head and facial features that would have let him be cast in period dramas set in the bulb-eating days (or earlier); this thought crossed my mind, I remind you, after the first marijuana I’ve had in a year followed by 3 or 4 Jupilers (Jupileren?).


De Kroeg Hilversum bar


In Bremen, I dropped the luggage at the hotel then dashed to Shanti Shop (location 6 on the running map, below).  Prepped for the week, the only thing remaining was dinner each evening and runs in the morning.  Well, that and work but my colleague was doing most of that bit so I just had to show up and pay attention.


Shanti Shop Bremen


The runs and the walks are consolidated on the map, here, with the restaurants and some other sites also marked.  The mileage added up like this

Sunday  was a slow jog due to ice on the streets and resulted in 3.9 miles to the east (and to the head shop) and ended with a stop for a feast at Mexcal (“1” on the map), where I got a platter of mild Mexican food with a slight German spin on it, and a pitcher of beer (ice-cold Haake Beck).

Monday morning I headed up the Weser but in the dark I made stupid choices and found a dead-end just past Übersee Park.  The run logged 6.5 (net 10.4) more miles in the cold (it never got past freezing, this trip).


2016-01-21 Bremen run walk map


The Monday commute saw some awesome colour in the sunrise and, after work, my work mate and I went to find an Italian place I regularly hit but, lost and too cold to keep looking, we opted for the first thing that looked good.  I think his words were, “this MUST be good, there are scads of old locals in here,” which is how we came to dine at Kreta (#2 on the map); I had a meat platter, some sort of cabbage based salad, potatoes, tzatziki sauce…yum.  The walks to the lab, to Kreta, and back to my hotel added another 6.6 miles (17.0 total) and took me past this odd sculpture:


Bremen run statue
Tuesday yielded another pre-dawn run on icy paths in the dark past the football stadium and on to the island (6.9 miles for the loop).  This was the worst of the snow and ice days and the commute walk found me layered with snow.  The evening was clear and the wind died down so I explored the abandoned town centre before taking a chance on Zui Yuan (3 on the map), where I was treated to some unremarkable but at least not salty Chinese (Szechuan beef and a bit soggy fried rice).  The walks added 7.5 miles for 31.4 total.


Bremen sunsrise

Wednesday morning, the dark-time run went out to Weseruferpark where I still managed to find a dead-end peninsula (which is good since I logged another 8.4 miles and almost made myself late for work in the slow going).  The commute and dinner hikes saw another 6.5 miles and some sunlight and clear skies in the late afternoon.  For dinner, I did more Greek at the spectacular Plaka (4, where the Dolmides are to die for).

The lunches throughout were at the dining room of the business I was visiting; these are always good but also always kind of heavy (liver and onions with mashed potatoes and gravy one day, a giant burrito-like thing they called a Turkish pizza another).  Sandwiches of meats and cheeses plus a little bit of fruit served as breakfast (I gain weight here).

Thursday morning I had a train to grab at 8:30 so I made a shorter (5.5 miles) run to and around Burgerpark which I believe is technically closed that time of day.  It was a bit spooky and I think I rousted some rough-sleepers.  With that, the Bremen runs ended on 31.2 miles (with the walks making the total coverage 51.8 miles).


Bremen Dom


The staff at the Greek places brought out ouzo with the beers and another round with the bills.  They pour it like water — some older dude at Plaka kept coming upstairs and, on his odd gesture (he had more elaborate ones as he and the ouzo tap became more and more lubricated), another ouzo would be produced and in a single move he would pick up the glass, down the liqueur, and place the glass on the condensation ring it came from.  Opa:


Plaka Bremen beer and ouzo

Oh, right…number 5 on the map is the Meisenfrei, an old favourite.  They had some aging rockers on Wednesday night and — with nothing but travel ahead and gyros, kalamari, dolmides, beer and ouzo behind — I made a bit of an evening of it.  Decent bar, could have used a better band.

Bitterballs and beer at Murphy's Schiphol

Bitterballs and beer at Murphy’s Schiphol…heading home


Posted January 24, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Beer, Booze, Drugs, Tourism

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2 responses to “Hilversum and Bremen, Consumption, Sightseeing, Running

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  1. Pingback: Running (and such) Update: Jan-Apr 2016 | The Endless British Pub Crawl continues...

  2. Pingback: Last year can fuck right off: 2016 by the numbers (mostly) | The Endless British Pub Crawl continues...

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