Surviving a tumultuous history, the German Reichstag building is a must see in Berlin.
A stone’s throw from the famous Brandenburg Gate–the iconic symbol of the border where East Germany meets West–the Reichstag (parliament or diet) building looms large and imposing. The neo-renaissance facade, complete with massive columns, fit in well in the late 1890s when it was initially conceived to represent the power and might of the newly united German Empire. The original building took ten years to complete and has stood in one form or another as a symbol of the country.
In 1933 the Reichstag was badly damaged in [...]
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Yes, I know! I keep telling you this, but I just love it! I love living in the city of pigs! I do. I do.
Just recently I went on a tour of my town. After living here for about seven months, I figured it was about time I learned something about my little city.
The opening bit was about how Schweinfurt got its name. You see, Schweinfurt is on a river, the Main River, and literally, “schwein” means “pig,” and “furt” means “ford,” like to ford the river.
Apparently the Main River used to be much higher [...]
Continue reading Reflection #539 – Our Schweinfurt Pig, Germany
The little city of Schweinfurt where we are currently living has so much charm. I just love it.
We have a number of stone walls. We have gorgeous little outdoor restaurants. We have a beautiful town hall and town square. We have wonderful biking paths. We even have our own little river cruise stop on the Main River. The city was all but destroyed during World War II. It was a major target because of its steel bearing industry, much needed on tanks, and other big….machinery! It’s a very cute and “gemutlich” (comfortable) place, and we’re just happy to be here. [...]
Continue reading Reflection #526 – Stone Wall in Schweinfurt
Ask any child and they will tell you that Easter is one of their favorite holidays of the year! Easter in Germany is not that much different than the Easters I celebrated as a child.
Germany is rich in Easter traditions. From coloring eggs to chocolate Easter bunnies, many of their customs are similar to our own.
However, there is one tradition that I’ve never heard of before–that of the Osterbrunnen, or Easter Well. These decorated town fountains can be found all over the region called Franconia. And guess where I live?
As I said, we had never heard [...]
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Just a couple of weeks ago, we visited the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial.
Dachau wasn’t my first choice of sights to see, but a friend was visiting from Italy and she felt it was a must-see. This was my second time visiting, and the first time was 30 years ago. The entire museum has changed dramatically since then. In the past it was a much more visceral view of the happenings that took place there; I know I left feeling completely wrecked.
This time, they have updated the materials and included a lot more history and tales about all [...]
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Quedlinburg is a small medieval town in the Harz Mountains of Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany. It was designated UNESCO World Heritage Status in 1994.
This little guy and his dog just seemed to be welcoming us to the town.
There are three main characteristics of Quedlinburg that led to its heritage status: the layout of the town, with the medieval streets still in existance, the abundance of half-timbered houses, and the Collegiate Church on Castle Hill.
After having visited our fair share of medieval towns like Rothenburg, Eisenach, Carcassonne, to name a few, we thought we would be [...]
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Plenty to do and see on Kreuzberg (Rhön), not to mention some damn good beer!
With winter almost over, Jim and I decided to go with a few friends to enjoy the last of it. Driving to the well-known Bayerische Rhön Nature Park we were excited to enjoy a gorgeous day out and try the world-famous beer we’d heard so much about since we arrived in August.
These views greeted us on the sunny, yet cold, Sunday morning as we parked the car and climbed to the monastery to start our exploration of the area.
The first stop was the [...]
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Statue in front of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Wurzburg Residence
If you happen to be visiting Würzburg or the towns around it, you will probably want to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Würzburg Residenz. This statue greets you before you enter in the outside court.
The Hofbrauhaus in Munich is just the right mix of German culture, beer, and Bavarian food. The band is always playing. The barmaids are always carrying. The pretzel lady is always ready to sell you one. And, the tables are big enough to fit at least two nationalities of beer drinkers.
I love walking into the crowded room and choosing the table that has some interesting people sitting at it, before asking, “Ist hier noch frei?” Is this still available. Then we sit down and get to know our tablemates. I have sat with Taiwanese, lots of Americans, [...]
Continue reading Reflection #501 – Gentleman at the Hofbrauhaus Munich
German Valentine’s Pig
The Germans are a surprisingly romantic people and since World War II have embraced Valentine’s Day as a day to celebrate love.
Just like in many countries, the Germans like to give their special someone red roses, chocolates, and maybe take them out on a romantic night on the town.
It is a grown-up holiday, though. There is no exchanging of cutsie little Valentine’s Day cards at school. This is for people in love. Admittedly, many teens are also in on the deal!
You might wonder why there is a pig in the picture above. In [...]
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