Today I got to take a trek though the woods, explore the town of Hamelin, and meet the Pied Piper!
The morning started out with a quick walk through Kellerwald-Edersee National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I was only out of the car for a few minutes because it started POURING. I would later find out that several of the surrounding areas were eventually evacuated due to flooding. It was quite a storm1
Fortunately, the rain started to let up on the journey to the town of Hamelin, which is known for its association to the Pied Piper. The legend Pied Piper of Hamelin, who is also known as the "Rat Catcher" or "Pan Piper" dates all the way back to the middle ages. Legend has it that a man was hired to lure rats away with his pipe, but when the townsfolk refused to pay him, he used his powers to lure their children away instead.
You can easily see the influence of this legend on the town. There were stone rats tiled on the street, and a huge statue of the Piper at the town square:
After the tour of Hamelin, it was back into the car and straight up to Bremen! The town of Bremen served as inspiration for "the Town Musicians of Bremen" story by the Brothers Grimm. Today, a statue commemorates their presence, and it's thought that rubbing the Donkey's legs brings good luck:
In addition to the statue, there is also another UNESCO World Heritage site in Bremen. The town hall is considered on of the most important Gothic Architecture sites in Europe. It was huge, and super pretty:
Bremen marks the official end of the Fairy Tale Trail. It's been a crazy couple of weeks, and a drive of about 1,000 kilometers. I definitely feel like I've gotten a much better sense of who the Brothers really were- they were real people, with real experiences, who took the time to write about what they knew. Their significance is not just in writing stories, but in preserving their culture and standing up for their beliefs, no matter what the cost. I can't wait to take these lessons back to school with me this fall.
I'll be posting another couple of updates as the jet lag wears off and as I reflect more on the trip, but for now- thanks for joining me on my journey! It's been an incredible few weeks!