Category Archives: Travel in Germany

Destination Germany: Sailing in Brandenburg

When you think about summer vacation and water sports in Germany, you probably think about the North Sea, or the Baltic Sea.

Sailing in Brandenburg (dpa)

Sailing in Brandenburg (dpa)

But there’s a wealth of water sports right at the outskirts of Berlin: there are 3,000 lakes to swim in and lots of ways to explore Brandenburg’s waterways by boat – even with an old sailing yacht.
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Take a Look: Berlin’s Eastside Gallery

by Shannon Miller

Photo courtesy Beginnings in Bayern

Photo courtesy Beginnings in Bayern

Our last day in Berlin, we took my husband’s mom to the Eastside Gallery. She’s an artist, so we figured she’d love the murals painted on old sections of the Berlin Wall. It’s another way Berliners have turned ugly history into something positive.

Photo courtesy Beginnings in Bayern

Photo courtesy Beginnings in Bayern

During the Cold War, people in West Berlin drew graffiti on their side of the wall, and when the wall came down, artists joined together to create an international memorial for freedom by painting murals on remaining parts of the wall. The Eastside Gallery is one of the world’s largest open air galleries, but it’s had its share of problems. Just this year a developer for luxury apartments destroyed part of the wall to begin construction despite protests, and every year the wall is further damaged by weather and vandalism.

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Words on Wednesday (And Pictures): Corvey

Blick auf Corvey von der Weser aus (c) Kulturkreis Höxter-Corvey gGmbH Sigurd Elert

Blick auf Corvey von der Weser aus (c) Kulturkreis Höxter-Corvey gGmbH
Sigurd Elert

Corvey has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list and to celebrate we have some lovely pictures of the castle and Westwerk to share with you.  As we reported last week, “The committee stated that the Carolingian westwork and the Civitas Corvey from the Early Middle Ages stood testimony to the abbey’s extraordinary universal value. The westwork in Höxter, in North Rhine-Westphalia, is the only surviving example from Carolingian days and combines quite exceptionally Carolingian architecture with models from Classical Antiquity to create a veritable artwork, the committee found. Moreover, the imperial abbey was an intellectual, religious and political centre in France at the time, and played a decisive role in Europe. The Benedictine monastery was founded in 822 by the ruling Carolingian dynasty. The monastery, along with its school and library, was one of the key institutions teaching Christian culture in the Middle Ages. The westwork was built between 873 and 885 and decisively shaped Occidental architecture. To this day, the mythological figures that reference Classical Antiquity remain a special feature–the fathers of the Church integrated the images into the Christian world view.”

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Auf dem Berch! (A German Beer Festival)

by Kimberley Davidson

Photo courtesy Kimberley Davidson

Photo courtesy Kimberley Davidson

Even though Oktoberfest has worldwide recognition, every town in Germany pretty much has their own own beer or wine festival. In Erlangen, the Bergkirchweih (Berg for short or Berch in Franconian), is an outdoor event that lasts for about two weeks.

If the weather is nice, it’s great to spend the evening outside, drinking beer and dancing on tables. That’s right. Conservative, standing and waiting for the green light to cross at 2 a.m., law-abiding, yelling at you for not following the rules Germans. All up on the benches, dancing to Schlager music and American oldies that my parents jam to… surfing USA… inside outside USA… (breaks into old school dance while singing song out loud).

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Experience Germany: Straubing Fest

by Shannon Miller

Photo courtesy Beginnings in Bayern

Photo courtesy Beginnings in Bayern

Everyone knows Oktoberfest, right? Beer tents, people in Bavarian clothes, giant mugs of beer, carnivals, the whole shebang. It’s one of the first things people think about when they think of Bavaria, so would you be surprised if I told you a lot of Bavarians can’t stand it?
The main reason is, of course, tourists. Oktoberfest gets overrun by tourists, partiers, and general craziness, and as someone who’s been two years (soon to be three) in a row, I gotta say, Munich’s Oktoberfest can be kind of tiresome.

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