Today, 3rd of October is a national holiday here in Germany. We are commemorating the “Tag der Deutschen Einheit”or the German Unification Day. The day of coming together of Germany as one country. The time when the Berlin wall fell and East and West Germany finally reunited to become one solid nation as it is now.No more cold war. No more divisions. As the whole world know, Germany had a share of tragedies, morbid war stories and dark past. But now everything is different. It is a new Germany and became a home for many migrants, foreigners, including me. But then this post is not about history, its all about Food! Food that Germans and Ausländer like me enjoy here everyday!
So I thought of writing something about this land that became my home for the last 3 years up to now. Germany is really more than Football, great cars, castles, and Autobahn. This beautiful country has lots of worthwhile places to see, things to do and great nature and yes—lots of delicious food that meets more than the eyes and appetite!
Do you want to know another special about Germany? What do Germans eat for breakfast?
What’s in their table for breakfast?
Beer, cheese, sausages,musli and bread, lots of dark, seedy breads; these are the staples in every German table every day. I am also a certified convert now. I have been converted into this German, or rather Bavarian diet. Believe it or not, I think I eat more bread now than I eat rice!
But do you know that somewhere down south, people eat something “unusual” before they start their day?
I am living now here in Bavaria ( or Southern Germany) for almost 3 lovely years now and one thing that really caught my eye is the traditional Bavarian “Weisswurst Frühstuck“or in English we can say it as “white sausage breakfast”.
This beloved Bavarian breakfast is composed of white sausage boiled in water, lots of sweet mustard (senf) , freshly baked Pretzel and yes– would not be complete without a Weissbier ( or wheat beer!). Some omit to drink beer but normally you can always find this breakfast meal in restaurants, bakeries and during Volksfest or festivals. During weekend markets, there is always a food stall that sells these combo and it’s pretty cozy to see them eating this way. Add the fact that people here are seen in Dirndls and Lederhosen almost as often as they enjoy sitting in Beer gardens!
Every country has its own delicacy when it comes to breakfast and main dishes they eat everyday. Way back home, we opt for a warm breakfast. This means our love for everything with “rice” seemed to be a normal choice. Fried rice, with sunny side up eggs and hotdogs, sometimes with “Tuyo” (dried fish) ,a cup of Coffee and a slice of mango or bananas . In Holland, I’ve learned to eat bread with “Hagelslag”or chocolate sprinkles. I remember my days in Kuwait, we eat lots of Khubz (or Arabic bread) with almost everything , of course with milk, Chai and Gahwa coffee.
What do you usually eat for breakfast?
What is the native specialty in your place?
More of the Food culture in Germany in these Posts :
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There is something like “Ruhetag Sonntag” ( or Quiet Sunday) we have here in Germany. While in other parts of the world, Sunday is more like normal weekend day, it is not so here in Germany. It was quite a shock for me when I first came here because I’ve got used to having Sundays as a time where I can enjoy the shops and do shopping since it’s a normal rest day from work.
Ruhe Sonntag in Deutschland means “Ruhe”or rest, quiet, silent, and it is actually a law here. Don’t mess up with this tradition especially if you are in Southern Bavaria. You can’t even make too much noise like vacuuming because it will disturb your neighbor. One time, my husband mow the lawn and our neighbor raised their eyebrows and informed us that it’s better to do it on other days. If you plan to drill or play loud music, then you need to think twice again.
If you forgot to do your groceries then good luck to you.Don’t get me wrong, Germans loves to shop. But it really makes sense that they always do their groceries with their lovely wooden baskets on week-days. I find it really interesting to see their baskets in their bicycles filled with daily groceries. I spotted many old people visiting a shop buying a bottle of something, fruits or the recent “Angebot” of a local supermarket. On Sunday, supermarkets are closed and you can’t find anywhere to buy your chicken or fruits. It is very rare that shops are open on Sundays, only on few festivals and night fairs.
Every Sunday, everything is closed, that includes shops, mall, offices and almost everything. Only bakeries, restaurants, gas stations and of course, Beer gardens are open for business. Train stations are open so as the train operations so you can still take your train and go wherever you want to go.Bus service are also available during Sundays but they run on fewer schedules. Normally you need to wait almost an hour for the interval of the trips.
So what do Germans normally do on this day?
I live in Ingolstadt, a budding town here in Bavaria ( or Bayern) where people greets you with Servus instead of Hello. A place where people wear Dirndl and Lederhosen on almost every occasion, even on weddings! Bavarians are very traditional and Catholicism is seen into everyday life. And while the practice is based on faith, it’s also a law.
Article 139 of the German constitution states, “Sunday and holidays recognized by the state shall remain protected by law as days of rest from work and of spiritual improvement.”
I have been observing what’s going on here in my neighborhood during Sundays. Normally people sleep in during weekends so if you are an early riser like me, you can enjoy nature all by yourself. Many Germans ( or I dunno exactly where they came from!) loved doing some kind of sport during Sundays. They love to run, jog and walk no matter what the weather is. Sundays are also perfect for cycling especially if the weather is fine.
One of the frequent place to visit on a lazy Ruhetag Sonntag is this view of the river Donau ( Danube) from the Glacis Brücke ( or Glacis Bridge /Bruckenkopft). Here you can have a beautiful view of the foliage and colorful trees especially in Autumn. I often visited this bridge for a morning walk and here I discovered the beauty behind the mist.
In the other places where I’ve lived, we lost our wallets for shopping, especially if there are so many Sales.Not so here in Germany. Sunday is a sacred day for the Germans. Germany and many of its European counterparts held a long resistance to Sunday shopping, despite that they have a good economy. I lived in Bavaria, a very conservative region, and most of the smaller Bavarian towns, Sunday is a time for reflection.
People here also go to church on Sundays. But I notice that this practice of faith is not the same as in Philippines where there are really massive church goers. Same goes in Kuwait where Muslim people visits the mosque on Fridays, I tell you, the crowd going to pray in Mosques is big. Here, it’s also very quiet in the church, on many days, its empty. but I admit that they have beautiful churches. I find it quite funny that there are more people going to Oktoberfest or in Volksfest, or just sit in their favorite Beer garden on Sundays, rather than the number of people going to church .
Sunday is a day of rest, so everyone deserves to have a rest from work as well. Common people visits their Oma and Opa, having family lunches and taking a walk together. On Summer, you will noticed that most Spielplatz ( or playgrounds) are full of children with their parents having a morning play time together. Many mothers are having a playgroup meet up in parks and having a picnic. Staying indoors is really a second option only when the weather is not good.I have the feeling that after living here for almost three years, it is like a sin if you don’t go out. People here just love enjoying open places, fresh air and healthy options.
How do you spend your Sundays?
Do you also observe special traditions in your town?
Until next time, Get out, relax, spend time with your love ones. Drink beer and sit in the Beer garden if you like, after all…. it’s Silent Sunday!
As I sorted out my gallery, I noticed that I have quite a few photos that shows where I stand, like a compass indicating my bearings. It’s funny because I haven’t realized that I’ve got this habit of looking down and when I see something interesting, I snap my phone and take photo. I’ve thought about the idea of collecting these photos and make a post out of it showing that wandering can be life changing.
Isn’t it wonderful that we make a pause in order to admire where we are walking and not always in haste?
Well the road system and pavements and everything is totally different from Kuwait to Germany. Here, the roads are better, smoother, and well paved. There are actually plenty of foot paths and the manholes are worthwhile to look. Not so in Kuwait where it is very hot outside and there are no beautiful thing to look down on the ground, only dust.
I started taking photographs of manholes or drainage lately and develop a habit of looking down for some things that is mostly written down.When I came to Germany, I followed the path of “Stumbling stones“or Stolpersteine which wakens my curiosity about its interesting story about the victims of World War II and Nazi in Germany. There is so much more than these stumbling stones. Even if I grew up on the other side of the world, it really makes me grateful that dark past is over and I have the freedom to walk out in the streets without fear.
I don’t know exactly where did this fashion for feet-photography came from.Do you agree that internet is a great influence, it’s the source of all fad just like Photo Challenges here in WordPress. It’s the same as “Selfie” or “From where I stand ” type photos came out as soon as smartphones were born. I also love those people who photographed themselves with plants. These green-type photography is something that I do as well.
In life, we also stand where big changes in our lives happen, or situations where we stand in a line between important decisions and choices.
Where are the most memorable place and situations that you stood your ground and took photos?
Do you have any particular subject for photography?
Have you enjoyed this post? Make sure to hit the Follow button for more Expat stories and travel stories on this Blog. If you are an Expat Mama, you might want to be featured in this Blog for our series on Expat Mamas around the World! Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you interested in Art? Please like our page and browse on my original Paintings Here.
Don’t forget t follow me on my Twitter and my Instagram for more updates. Thanks for dropping by and until next time! Tchüss!
I am always fan of Art, in all forms. I love painting in different mediums but not tried Spray. I think this technique requires great talent, control and electric motivation.I find Graffiti artwork very moving. It has a silent message, a radical expression I must add. It requires a lot of attention because our senses are easy to deviate from its message. Some call it only a fuzzy mess, some says it’s vandalism.
Some says it’s an aggressive way of expression. What do you think?
But then, it can move you. It catches your attention and maybe, maybe out of the blue, it can be “electrifying”.
Do you like Graffiti Art?
But I am never fan of an piss-off electric attitude.
And yes, sometimes, it pays to have an electric attitude.
Yesterday was the first day of school here in Bavaria, for most parents like me, it’s one of the times we anticipate. We can’t afford a vacation of more than 6 weeks so we’ve survived the “Urlaubzeit” (or summer break) by doing “small vacations“. Budget wise and travel-wise, it’s all our deal to keep the little one busy and for us to keep the day going keeping with our day jobs!
We’ve been to the Hops fields which get us up close and personal about the raw material of German beers, One of the most memorable thing we’ve done was cruising into two rivers in one day without breaking our budget!And yes, toddlers enjoy boat trips as well!
But first, what do you think of the view below?
Yes, we sailed by boat through this Gorge! On the heat of summer , we discovered another nature adventure, and yes, we didn’t need to travel so far. Just approx. 1 hour max. (55 kms) drive from Ingolstadt, we head towards to the tranquil city of Kelheim. Kelheim is another beautiful town here in Bavaria which is known for its Kings, Celtics and Dukes and the relaxing boat trips along rivers of Bavaria. Thank God for the Dutch husband that discover this excursion trip, if not for him, I wouldn’t be able to see the hidden beauty of the Danube Gorge! Kelheim is also famous for its natural attractions because of its nature reserves, adventure hiking trails, cycling adventures, and the city’s cultural heritage. It lies within the proximity of the Danube river and so close to the Naturpark Altmühltal. Together with my parents in law and my ever active 5 year old story teller, we got our Tickets and boarded our boat ( MS Ludwig the Kelheimer ), that’s going to sail us through two rivers — the Danube and the Altmühl!
We decided to take the ship and explore the Danube Gorges up to the Monastery of Weltenburg but the weather kept on bothering me. But then we stick to our plan and off we go. In the middle of the trip, we were greeted by fleets of heavy delusions of rain that we almost cringed and wanted to go back home! How on earth can we have a boat trip in this rain? But then we continue driving. Tell you frankly, this trip reminds me so much of the boat trip we made when we are in Regensburg where we made an excursion up to the Walhalla, or the German Parthenon!
For those of you who doesn’t know, Southern Germany is famous because, it is Bavaria, the only Bavaria, the beautiful region in southern Germany where Castles and dreams go together so good. Plus, we have King Ludwig. When he is on his rule, he kept himself busy building his dream castles. He is really a one of a kind.The king of sky- is- the limit , and has extraordinary imagination and lover of great architecture. In Bavaria, he built so many beautiful Castles, Halls and gigantic monumental structures that made Bavaria a tourist magnet as it is now.One thing, he likes to build either on a high hill, on top of a mountain. It’s always like we need to climb, hike, travel by boat or with a Bergbahn or just walk, in order to reach his memorable hideaways!
Schiffahrt Kelheim and Personen Schiffahrt im Donau & Altmühltal are some of the companies who runs the boat trips and departs from the dock of Kelheim on a close schedule, daily ( Summer schedule, from May to October).For the updated boat trip schedules, do check their detailed Fahrplan in their website. Their prices is pretty decent and affordable. For this Summer vacation, they even have discounts for students and if you’ve got a grade of 1, then you can even have a trip for Free! If you’re interested about this, you can check the full information Here. Our ship was pretty full. Aside from the normal group of tourists and elderly people, I noticed that in our ship that its full of cyclists with their bikes, mountaineers, and families with small children. It’s really an adventure trip for all ages! A trip to Kelheim offers cruising the Danube narrows , trekking , rock climbing, canoeing, paddle boat rides , swimming and exploring the nature reserves and cycling with a view until your Adrenalin drops! Your pets are even welcome on board!
The Weltenburg Barock Dunkel is a dark bottom fermented beer specialty is being served in Weltenburg for generations.Where else can you see a Brewery, restaurant, Biergarten in a Monastery in front of a benedictine church?— Only here in Weltenburg!.. and yes–Only in Germany!
It was quite an enjoyable smooth boat ride with only occasional showers and soft winds.Inside the boat is a restaurant which also serves different refreshments and dishes so you won’t really worry about being hungry on board. There is an audio guide Tour on run so we are informed on every significant details of the boat tour. Right on time, we made it to the Monastery of Weltenburg after 45 mins. and we hopped off from the ship to explore the oldest Benedictine Abbey in Bavaria. This monastery was built by the Asam Brothers who are famous with their Baroque masterpieces. I’ve seen quite some of their works in Asamkirche here in Ingolstadt and the Asam church in Munich. If you love Baroque, then you must really see this church
It’s almost lunchtime when we arrived in the monastery and just in time for us to grab some bite at the Weltenburger Wirthaus-Bladl. We are in Bavaria so even after a boat trip, we sit ourselves in front of the Asam church which is adjacent to the restaurant. What’s so special about this restaurant? It is actually the oldest brewery in a Monastery, and famous for its dark beer. Here you can enjoy the famous Kloster dunkel bier ( dark beer) and Bavarian traditional dishes such as the Weiss wurst (white sausage eaten with sweet mustard), Klosterwurst, Klosterkäse ( Cheese), and their Klosterkaffee.
What kind of family adventure have you’ve done lately?
If you’re in the vicinity of Regensburg, you can combine this nature adventure trip with a boat trip along the Danube, and to its neighboring town of Riedenburg where you can see the largest Crystal group, or if you are in the mood to discover some amazing Art while drinking Beer, then you can head on to Abensberg to see the Kuchlbauers Kunsthaus . You can also check more on Here.
Thank you for following my Blog and until then, see you again in my next family adventure! Tschüss!
Unplanned and totally spontaneous, today we droved along the Hop (or Hopfen in Deutsch ) fields in the quiet hilly town of Wolnzach, Bavaria. Wolnzach is the heart of Hop producing Hallertau region ( or Upper Bavaria) and is also a known “seal district “( Siegelbezirk). One of the great thing about living in Ingolstadt is that it’s so easy to do a day trip or excursions, plus the notable cycling tours in the vicinity. Within half an hour drive, ( around 35 kms) we reached Wolnzach where the green lush fields came in sight. It’s pretty amazing just to see them up close and personal. Totally reminds me of the grape vineyards in Moselle! Hop fields on hills are normal landscape scenery here in Southern Germany , especially in the Hallertau region (Holledau) 50 km north from Munich. I’ve seen these fields many times along Autobahn and I wished that I could see them close-up, and today my wish came true.
The Hallertau region is the largest Hop- producing region in the world and they exist since 736!It’s no surprise why we have Oktoberfest and twice a year Beer festivals. There is no single occasion here that is not celebrated without Beer! Mind you, the beer culture here is so strong and has rooted itself as a cultural legacy. This is one of the first thing I embraced from the time we moved here. Did you know that aside from the home of Audi HQ, Ingolstadt is the birthplace of the Beer Purity Law. Now, seeing these endless Hops fields made me realize how on earth we were blessed to lived in a region were these “green golds” grew. I am not a drinker or beer enthusiast, but through time, I appreciate the value of this valued beverage like a noble Bavarian.
Here in Germany, we only need Hops, malt, yeast and water to brew Beer.This is what the Reinheitsgebot 1516 ( Beer Purity Law ) is all about. I already mentioned many times in my Blog that beer here is considered as “Food”and not an alcoholic drink. Our trip was just in time for harvest, the Hops that we’ve seen are almost all ready for harvest!
We made a stop in the Deutsches Hopfenmuseum Wolnzach and learned more about Hops from its botanical background up to its main role in Beer brewery. Imagine, around 14,220 hectares (35,120 acres) of hops are grown in this region and harvested in mid-August. Being around with these gigantic vines is a great experience. The smell and fragrant of Hops is really something you need to experience personally. In Germany, the total hops-growing area amounts to 19,000 hectares and makes up a third of global production
One of the coolest thing you can find there is the Hop picking machine, where it is the biggest and most expensive agricultural machine of all times. The museum’s own “Iron Picker” was refurbished and is now ready again for special demonstrations. When we arrived, a group of American tourists also came. They were cycling and they were are all excited to know more about Hops and making photos! One says “the smell of Hops is really strange!” My daughter said it smells like pee! I also find it strong , no wonder it was once quoted as “wicked and pernicious weed“!
Mind you, cycling along the Hop yards is actually another adventure that I wished to do myself!
Did you know that Hops plant cannot be harvested on their first year after being planted? But after its initial phase, they can produce for the next 70 years! This is really a plant for decades! Another crazy fact that I’ve learned is that Hops flowers should only be female flower to be allowed to be brewed.
Because pollinated seeds are undesirable for brewing beer, only female plants are grown in hop fields, thus preventing pollination .But how would you know if the flower is female or male?!
If you’re looking for a different kind of adventure for families and all ages and you’re in the vicinity of Upper Bavaria, a visit to the Hop fields should be on your list. What’s best, you can end your road trip with a Prost!
Do you have a Bier Wanderlust? If you have more time to kill, check out my post about the artist Hundertwasser and the unique Kunsthaus in Abensberg and Kuchlbauer’s Bierwelt where you can also learn about Beer brewing in a magnificent Artistic backdrop!
Have you ever been into a Gorge ? ( or Klamm in Deutsch)
I’ve been spelunking 2,500 feet underground inside the caves in the Philippines and hiking through waterfalls but I have no idea what is a Gorge! I had to google it first when I was looking for something to see in GaPa. Personally, this is my very first encounter with this unique nature wonder . Luckily, this summer we were able to see the flaming mountains in Mittenwald and explored around again the Zugspitze area in GaPa or also known as Garmisch-Partenkirchen . GaPa is another beautiful Bavarian city that is well-known magnet for Ski enthusiasts and winter sports because of the Zugspitze (the highest peak in Germany 2,962 m). It’s only approx. 2.5 hours drive from Ingolstadt, Bavaria thru A9 and A95 and only an hour trip if you’ll be coming from Munich!
Our summer this year were mostly into nature, mostly wandering in beautiful valleys and playing tourists! We grabbed the opportunity to do short trips because its Sommerferien here in South Germany ( Bavaria), my daughter had almost 3 weeks vacation ! Me and my husband divided our vacation days to stay with her while the Kindergarten is closed and in between the weeks, we both had vacation days from work. We’ve been trekking mountains, admiring glaciers and exploring the giant Alpine water reservoirs with my Little traveller , cruised into historical rivers and visited the oldest Monastery , following torquoise -blue lakes, soaking into the mighty waterfalls, and not but not the least–hiked through glorious Gorges- the Partnachklamm!
Visiting this gorge should be on your bucket list if you’re around Munich or southern Germany. The 5 Euros entrance fee is totally worth it. I’ll share with you some pictures I’ve took from our hike but I think photos don’t do justice when you see it personally. Now I understand why it is being visited by roughly 200,000 people every year!
First I did my research because I cannot really write about things I don’t know. So if you’re willing to learn something from Geography, here it is.
What is a GORGE exactly?
A gorge is a narrow steep valley formed millions dinosaur years ago and usually a powerful river flows and cut through the rocks and forms deep incisions. They’re like gaps in between mountain rocks! A walk inside a Gorge will leave you speechless and you will really cramped your neck looking up high and ogling through the narrow slits and limestone rocks! If you look closely at the rock textures, you would be amazed from the amount of beautiful changes it went through to be in its state now. They even found numerous fossils on the rocks so imagine the living things that thrived all through those centuries in this place. But just imagine the amount of water that gushed through these rocks!
Partnachklamm is the most famous Gorge in Bavaria. It lies in the Reintal Valley in GaPa and strategically located near the Olympic Ski Stadium in Garmisch-Partenkirchen . This stadium is quite famous for Winter Olympics 1936 and this is where they held the Winter Olympics long time ago (yes, during the Nazi regime ) ! You can even see where Hitler stood to watch the games. The gorge is 702 metres long and, in places, over 80 metres deep. It was designated a natural monument in 1912.
I need to mention it here because this is actually the place where we managed to park. Going to the Partnachklamm from the Ski Stadium is reachable only by walking ( ON FOOT!) around 2 km for half an hour doable hiking. We actually enjoyed the scenery going to the Gorge, it was quite peaceful, and the sound of the waters is really relaxing. If you feel lazy or challenged, then you can also take the horse -drawn carriage for 5 Euros per person. We took this option on our way back to the car because it was raining and it would be a challenge for my parents-in-law to walk again and my daughter is already whining because she is tired.
It’s really a beautiful experience for all of us. So imagine my wonder when I’ve seen these massive walls of rocks with the massive thundering sound of water gush. It was deafening, intimidating, and overwhelmingly beautiful. I am appalled that beautiful things are always hidden and you really need to exert an effort to find them.
One thing, the water’s color is crazy beautiful! For almost an hour, all I can hear is its thundering gush. The showers and foaming vapors in rage and the color changes from clear to icy bluish then greenish and torquoise are really unforgettable! I have read that when rocks weathered down through times, the minerals from the rocks are dissolved and small pieces are released into the water causing color changes. Iron, manganese, and calcium carbonate from limestone rocks can cause the water to change colors.It is a long natural metamorphosis. I have observed this as well when we were in Kaprun in the Hochgebirgsstauseen and watching the Salzsach river in Salzburg.
Experiencing the Partnachklamm with my 5 year old is also very special as she is so bewildered by the stones and walking in darkness. The trail going to the Gorge is safe for all ages, properly marked and with guide railings. The only thing that I regret was I wore the wrong shoes! My poor white shoes was a total fail! I was not prepared with the right shoes but at least I have a waterproof jacket on because we were drenched by the showers and water splashes.
If you’re around GaPa, make sure you pass by to Partnachklamm and be amazed by this natural setting. Another adventure is to experience it in Winter where the frozen water formations is something different. Seeing the icy stalactites is also something on my list.It is a great family excursion to combine with other activities you can enjoy around the Zugspitze region. If you’re ambitious and in good shape, you can continue on for another eight or nine hours to the glacier near the top of the Zugspitze!
If you are interested on doing a hike through the Gorge, you can check it in Here for more details on opening times and prices. Other interesting places to combine with this activity can be found Here.
Now I can’t forget how I celebrated my birthday this year.What a threat indeed. Partnachklamm, you are beautiful!
How about you, what family adventures you’ve been doing lately?
Interested to explore all the Gorges in Bavaria? Check out this informative article Here, also what do you think of this piece of Art?
Thank you for dropping by, and see you next time in my next Expat adventure! Tschüss!