Why did you leave Catalonia?
Due to professional and familiar reasons. I wanted to live in another country for a short period of time but I have ended up been living here long enough to claim German citizenship!
Why did you choose Bremen?
I got my first job here and I liked it so much that I decided to stay longer.
How long have you lived there?
My first destination was Hamburg in 2008, the pearl of the North, with large areas of parkland and lakes. It was my hometown until 2012 when I moved to Bremen.
Are you happy with the job opportunities you found in your adoptive country?
Yes, I am!. I work as a teacher for an international school and I am also an advisor for the European Council of International Schools and Cambridge University Press.
What do you think is the best thing about living in Bremen?
Bremen is very green and pleasant, with a river promenade. People ride their bikes so the air quality is excellent. It is also a small city, somewhat like Girona. Renting an apartment is affordable and utilities are not expensive. This is our best kept secret.
What do you consider the highlights for any brief visit for the first time?
The top 7 tourist attractions are the Marktplatz, the Town Hall (UNESCO World Heritage), The Cathedral of St. Peter, Böttcherstrasse, the Schnoor district, the Rhododendron Park and the famous statue of the Bremen Town Musicians!
And if visitors have more time or make a return visit?
Hamburg is only an hour away and it is worth a visit. Did you know that it has more bridges than Venice? Then go to the stunning islands in the North; Sylt, Juist or Langeoog.
What do you miss most from home?
Escalivada, crema catalana, ratafia, you name it! Also, family and friends and that bright rounded yellow thing that I believe you call it the sun?
Do you plan to go back to Catalonia?
Maybe when I retire or sooner, who knows? My job here is great and I always go back to Catalonia for short periods of time. I miss the Catalan way of life but I also like to take advantage of the fact that I can enjoy the good things that Bremen and Catalonia have to offer. Living internationally is just great!
SOME SUGGESTIONS:M.Àngels Ribas
Can you recommend a place to have lunch with friends?
Schüttinger is the place to go, a brewery with a rustic character and long wooden tables. The food and beer is great there, typical German.
Where would you have a special dinner for two?
For German food, the Bremen Ratskeller but I recently discovered one of the finest Italian restaurants in Germany, Gallo Nero, delicious home made pasta and incredible Italian wine.
When is the best time of year to plan a visit?
Spring. It's beautiful, specially in May, provided that it doesn't rain.
What is the best kept secret about the area?
Its main square. Did you know that you can walk underground? You need a special permission with a tour guide. There are 650 German wines in vaulted cellars and the treasure chamber, a locked cellar with a vintage Rüdesheim from 1653, the oldest wine in Germany, lit only by candlelight. Only two people are allowed to take a sip, the cellmaster and the current mayor of Bremen. In 1978, Queen Elisabeth II had the rare privilege to drink a small sample, as an exception to the rule.
And yes, I have been there.
- Catalonia Today 02-04-2017 Pàgina 14