Thursday, September 29, 2005

Munich


Munich is the third largest city in Germany, located in the heart of Bavaria. It is a traditional German city with a lot of historic landmarks and little modernized structures. Last summer, I visited Munich for the first time and was extremely impressed with all the great things it had to offer me. Munich has something for everyone, from traditional museums and churches to beer gardens and a great nightlife. I spent three days in Munich and still have plenty to go back and see for my next trip.
Munich is a cultural metropolis with world-renowned museums, such as Alte Pinakothek and the Deutsche Museum. There are museums for just about every interest, from technology to fine arts. In addition, for those of you who are German car enthusiasts, there is a state of the art BMW museum, which is considered one of the most attractive museums in Munich. The Englischer Garten is another great attraction; it is Munich’s 900 acre park that offers beautiful meadows of flowers and greenery.
Munich also has some great historic churches to visit. The Cathedral Church of Our Lady is a landmark for Munich and can be found on many postcards. It is a late gothic church with two tall domes that can be sighted from many parts of the city. The Rathaus or city hall is located on Marianplatz and is home to the Glockenspiel. Usually tourists wait outside of the city hall at 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. to watch the Glockenspiel go off. Tourists can also sign up for Mike’s bike tours by the Rathaus; I would suggest this tour because the guides are really entertaining and informative. Marianplatz is also a popular area for shopping and has various restaurants that offer the city’s traditional cuisine. High-end shopping can be done on Maximilianstrasse, where famous designers like Chanel, Gucci, and Burberry have stores.
Now what would be a city without some great nightlife? Well Munich is a great city with a great nightlife to offer its visitors. Munich has a wide range of beergartens, bars and clubs. The most famous beergarten, Hofbraeuhaus is a definite must. It is centrally located and offers its visitors two choices of beer (light or dark). In addition to beer, its visitors can eat traditional Bravarian food and listen to the Ump pa pa music. For those of you who prefer a more upbeat nightlife, Munich’s club scene is the place to be. P1 is a legendary nightclub on Prinzregentstrasse1 with many famous clientele; it is open 365 days a year and has free admission for those that can pass the bouncers. Other happening clubs are Pacha, Atomic Café, 4 0 0 4, and Nachtwerk. For those of you who prefer a relaxing night with a few drinks, a trip to one of Munich’s bars is the perfect choice for you. Some famous bars include Brasserie Tresznjewski, Café Glockenspiel, Casa de Tapas, Schumann’s, and Cocktailhaus.
Munich is a great German city to visit and has a tremendous amount to offer its visitors. I hope those of you who are fortunate enough to visit Munich, make the most of it and try to see as much as possible. I plan on taking a trip back to finish where I left off.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Frankfurt am Main


Frankfurt am Main is a major European metropolis recognized as one of the most open-minded and diverse cities in Germany. The city is situated along the Main River in the German state of Hesse. It a melting pot of cultures, consisting of 180 different nationalities. A majority of its immigrants are from Turkey, the former Yugoslavia and Italy. The city has a population that is 45% Protestant, 37 % Catholic, and the remaining 18% are either Muslim or Jewish. In addition, Frankfurt has the second largest Jewish community in Germany, behind Berlin.
It is considered the financial capital of Europe, home to the European Central Bank and headquarters to many large companies. Frankfurt is nicknamed “Bankfurt” or “Mainhattan” by its locals due to its numerous high-rise buildings. The city has nine skyscrapers taller than 150 meters, ranking second behind Paris. It is home to a number of major commercial banks, such as the Deutsche Bank, Dresdner Bank, and Commerzbank. Frankfurt's financial industry gives it the highest GDP per capita of major cities in Europe and makes it fifteenth in total GDP production as a city.
With 36 museums, innumerable galleries, theatres and nightclubs, Frankfurt stands tall on the German cultural skyline. From comprehensive art collections to special interest exhibitions on the popular Museum Embankment - the artistic institutions of the city have something to offer for everyone. The best known museums are das Städelsche Kunstinstitut und Städtische Galerie, called Staedel, and the Senckenberg Natural History Museum. Other museums include the Museum for Modern Art and the Schirn Art Gallery. Additional slights include Saint Bartholomeu’s Cathedral, Saint Paul’s Church, the Palmengarten and Alte Oper, Frankfurt’s famous Opera house.
If you thought that all there was in Frankfurt was frankfurters with sauerkraut and beer, guess again. Frankfurt is home to over 3,000 restaurants. Chefs from more than 70 different countries offer a variety of culinary delights from their home countries. But, for those who would like to experience typical Frankfurt style, I would suggest Sachsenhausen’s renowned apple wine district. Frankfurt is home to Apfelwein, the German version of cider with an alcohol content of 5.5-7%. The beverage of choice for most locals, tastes best when accompanied by a traditional Frankfurt dish, such as frankfurters and mustard, pork ribs and sauerkraut, or just a plain pretzel.
Lesson in German:
der Stadt- the city
besuchen- to visit
der Urlaub- vacation

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

FIFA World Cup 2006


“Ole! Ole! Ole! Ole! Ole! Ole!” Soccer, the original football, is the world’s most popular sport. This summer, Germany will be hosting the 18th FIFA World Cup. The German national team has experienced some difficult losses during the past three World Cups, two of which they made it to the finals, but lost to Brazil. The last title they won was in Italy at the 1990 World Cup against Argentina, which helped gain Germany, their third World Cup title. Hopefully, Germany’s home field advantage will help them win their fourth title this summer.
The German National team is currently under a new coach, Juergen Klinsmann and has added a lot of new young players. However, the team is missing its all-star goalkeeper, Oliver Kahn and a key midfielder, Jens Jeremies. To take Kahn’s place, Arsenal’s goalkeeper, Jens Lehmann has been added to the line up and Bastian Schweinsteiger, one of Bayern Munich’s up and coming midfielders will help replace Jeremies. In addition, a new forward, Lukas Podolski is considered to be a key player to watch. The team has a lot of potential and still has one of my favorite players, Michael Ballack of Bayern Munich to help lead the team to victory.
Germans love the sport of soccer and enjoy participating as either players or fans in the stand. The 18th FIFA World Cup has picked the perfect destination for the event to take place. Germany has 12 host cities from Hamburg to Munich to visit and see the matches first hand. Tickets for the games are extremely hard to come by, but if you are one of the lucky few, you are guaranteed to experience something that you will remember for a lifetime to come. I am an avid soccer fan and hope my parents can fulfill my wishes and grab hold of some tickets as a graduation present. If not, I will have to watch the games on television at home like the rest of the world.
A Lesson in German:
Fussball spielen- to play soccer
das Tor- goal
die Mannschaft- team

Friday, September 16, 2005

Oktoberfest


Germany is most notably known as a country with great beer. Almost a decade ago, my father’s German family owned their own beergarden. Unfortunately, the beergarden is no longer owned and run by my family. My father’s relatives escaped the rough life they had in Germany during the war and moved to New York for a better life. My father’s grandmother was left behind and was extremely furious with them so she decided to leave the beergarden to her help to run. To this day, I do not know what happened to the beergarden.
Germany’s most famous beer festival called Oktoberfest (known by the locals as Wiesn) officially begins tomorrow. This year’s festival marks the 172nd time the event has been held. Even though the festival is called Oktoberfest, a majority of the festival is held during the month of September because the weather is usually more pleasant. The festival starts on September 17th and ends on October 3rd. It begins when Christian Ude, the major of Munich, taps the first barrel of beer and officially opens the World’s largest festival. Fourteen tents are set up along Wirtsbudenstrasse with choices from the Hofbraeu Festzelt to the Loewenbraeu-Festhalle. The tents are full of people situated at long wooden tables, who raise their beers to toast while they rock back and forth to the music. Each year, Oktoberfest is attended by approximately 6 million visitors, who drink more than 5 million liters of beer and eat over 200,000 pairs of bratwurst.
I have yet to experience the true festivities of Oktoberfest. The original festival is located in Munich, but most local towns throughout Germany recreate their own version of the festival. I plan to attend Munich’s Oktoberfest sometime to experience the greatest beer-drinking festival in the world.
A Lesson in German:
Bier- Beer
Prost!- Cheers!
Trinken- to drink

If you are interested in trying a good imported German beer, I would suggest Warsteiner.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Second Intro


The country of Germany is more than good bier and bratwurst with sauerkraut. “Germany ist wunderbar” as the old saying goes. It is a country with a rich culture that can offer its visitors breathtaking landscapes with the Alps in the south and its seas in the north. Whether you are traveling there during the summer or winter, you will always find something to do.
During the summer, visitors can vacation on Germany’s waterside. From the North Sea to the Baltic, Germany has more than 1,000 km of coastline and plenty of sun to offer you. For those interested in the river-scenery, the Rhine River is definitely the place to be. Journey the Rhine River and enjoy nature’s work of art with scenic landscapes of green terrain and old castles to both sides.
The scenery during the winter makes a visit to Germany definitely worth it. Its snow-covered mountaintops and cozy cottages transform it into a winter wonderland. The Bavarian Alps is a winter sport enthusiasts dream vacation spot with approximately 120 km of open trails to ski or snowboard on. As Christmas approaches, Germany offers its visitors the opportunity to visit one of over 2,500 Christmas markets. These Christmas markets are located in wonderful settings such as Nuremberg’s Christkindelsmarkt in Southern Germany. Its visitors can enjoy the festive atmosphere and wonderful aromas of gingerbread, bratwurst, and gluehwein (a hot cinnamon-flavored wine). In addition to the sweets, they sell handmade Christmas ornaments and local crafts. Fortunately, I was given the opportunity to visit the Nuremberg Christkindelsmarkt. It was the first time I ever took a trip to Germany during the winter and I would definitely love to experience it all over again.
A Lesson in German:
Gutentag- good day
Wie geht es Ihnen?- How are you?
Aufwiedersehen- Good-bye

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Intro


I decided to create a blog about the country of Germany. I am mostly German by heritage with a mother that was born there. My mom is one of ten children, but she is the only sibling that lives outside of Germany. My relatives come from the Rheinland-Phalz region, which is approximately a thirty-minute drive from the French border. The exact town is called Rodalben, it is extremely small and a majority of the town is related to me in one way or another.
Since I was in diapers, I have been visiting Germany at least once a year to see my relatives. I have cousins ranging from the age of four to forty-six with typical German names such as Herbert and Roland. My mom used to send me to German school every Tuesday evening when I was younger in order to teach me German. I used to hate going to German school because I always had to miss Full House and all the other fun activities my friends were enjoying. I also felt like an outcast when my classmates were going to places like Disney World on vacation and I had to spend a summer in Germany. All the torture I endured as a child has finally paid off and I am thankful for being German. Today, I speak German fluently and I am minoring in the German Language at the University of Delaware.
Through my blog, I plan to share my experiences I have had in Germany as well as teach you a little about the country. I also plan on to teach you some basic German and introduce you to various other things that the country has to offer you.