Hamburg and Bremen, Germany

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My friend Ben had sent me a calendar of beer festivals in Germany this autumn. Neither of us had been able to visit Oktoberfest this year and were keen for a mulligan. Ben wanted to meet me in Stuttgart for the second-largest beer festival after Oktoberfest. I had just arrived into Split, Croatia however, and was decompressing from my time in the USA and quite enjoying it — I declined the invitation. Fast-forward a few weeks and it turns out there will be a different festival happening in Bremen the last weekend of October. We booked it – my first weekend adventure for quite some time.

I had never been to Hamburg or Bremen and this reconnaissance trip was shorter and easier than Havana and Mexico City  in terms of logistics — two nights, 48 hours. Short trips like this afford the freedom to be picky on what you do with your time because with so little of it, you are unencumbered by standard tourist obligations;  you can curate what is most convenient and “best” without being...