On my last visit home to Germany, I finally got to go to this pub that my parents had been telling me about for years. They discovered it only a while ago, even though it's been in business for like ever. My Opa used to go there as a young man. The name of the pub is Treffpunkt Kaiserhafen or Die Letzte Kneipe Vor New York (The Last Pub Before New York). It's an old sailors' dive in the industrial port of Bremerhaven, which also used to be the final stop for many European emigrants leaving on ocean liners on their way to America. Hence the name.
The pub serves hearty, traditional food, good local beer and spirits, and has entertainment on some evenings: formidable Brunhilde Lüchau sings shanties, hits from past years and one or two recent pop songs, all in German and backed up by the Ocean Band. And if you like, you can share a bit of the spotlight and belt out a tune as well. My family and I stuck to raising our voices at our table, though.
Die Letzte Kneipe Vor New York is a shrine to seafaring, the walls are covered in maritime memorabilia, there are deep diving suits, fishing nets, old nautical instruments and figureheads. A big fish tank draws your eye to the wall were generations of seamen, sailors, longshoremen and dock workers have signed their names.
I hope you enjoy the photos I took. There was so much to see, and the place felt distinctively like home to me, with all these reminders of the sea that I grew up around.