Wednesday, 20 May 2009
Kirchentag Day 2
Well things didn't quit turn out as I expected because the train was diverted due to an ambulance on the line between Osnabruck and Bremen. So we had to go to Hannover and then back to Bremen and arrived about 2 hours late. My mobile phone is not working in Germany(dont use Orange if you travel to Europe use T mobile or Vodaphone!). So some kind men let me use their mobile to ring my friends in Bremen to warn them the train was delayed. They looked up the information on the internet and managed to meet we at the correct time. A small miracle. The rest of my long journey was spent discussing the political and economic situation in Germany which seems to be slightly better than UK because of the strength of the euro.
Bremen is taken over by the Kirchentag. Itself some 500,000 to which some 300,000 visitors have been added for the festival from 20-25th May. The city is also full of police because there is an important football match tonight. Bremen are playing in Turkey and their is a big screen in the town. I slept very long after such a long journey yesterday. This morning I managed to take the tram into the city centre, pay my registration of 89 euros and go to the welcome for overseas visitors. There I met a member from my old church, Carrs Lane in Birmingham, who is now also a URC minister. The International Centre has free drinks all the time so it is good to know this! ( I am thinking in German again so my English is going heywire). After a welcome with Kenyan singers (Kenyans are the biggest foreign group) I went to try to get money back from Deutsche Bahn for my late train. I got a token for 8.8 Euros which Ive given my friends. Then I went to St Pietr Dom (the Cathedral) to attend the opening ceremony which was a reflection on the death of 6 million Jews and the misguided theology which led to the Holocaust with music and readings.
Bremen is very busy with lots of marquees and exhibitions. In general it is a bustling energetic place and hotter than in the UK.