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Issue #141 July 4, 2019

The MyGermanCity.com G-ZINE

The MyGermanCity.com G-ZINE — the Germany Magazine — provides you with news, updates and happenings in and around Germany. While saving you valuable time, this e-zine prepares you and sets you up for an unforgettable Germany experience.

July 2019 Topics

In this issue . . .

  1. Must-See And -Do Events
  2. German Phrase
  3. German Quote
  4. Trip Tip
  5. Good To Know
  6. Next G-ZINE's Preview

 

From Marcus' Travel Desk...

While our friends on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean are celebrating their Independence Day this month (and worth mentioning having been helped by the Germans, by the way), here in Germany the festivities on/around July 4th involve events like music and wine.

That's not to say you're not gonna get hamburgers and fireworks in Germany like they do over in America for the holiday—it's just that you'll find Hamburgers (as in people from the city of Hamburg) and fireworks at the infamous Hamburg DOM extravaganza more towards the end of the month than the beginning.

Oh, July isn't just a one-pony show when it comes to festivals and festivities. The month is chocked full of stuff to do—and if you're obsessed with the Middle Ages, the Kaltenberger Ritterturnier is a perfect blend of the medieval meeting modern conveniences.

When it comes to the modern, by the way, the streets of Berlin are awash with color for its annual Christopher Street Day. You don't have to be gay to join in, anyone with an open heart is welcome.

Now, Gay Pride of the today's Berlin is quite the opposite of what you'll have found in Nazi Germany's time in the city—a period of time from which Martin Heidegger lived. Herr Heidegger was a German philosopher from Meßkirch (built 1889, and in his adult life he carried on affairs with a number of Jewish women despite having Nazi ties himself.

Berlin is also one highlight on this G-ZINE's Good To Know, because it's all about some amazing Cycling scenic routes. So if you're in the capital city, grab a bike and ride along the Berliner Mauerweg (Berlin Wall Trail).

Of course, there are others, like the Diemel Cycle Route, the Monks' Trail.

Also not far from Berlin (approx. 74km/46mi) is this month's Trip Tip—the charming town of Jüterbog. You'll find Jüterbog to be a blend of centuries old architecture melded with modern day festivals, and surrounded by some awfully beautiful Brandenburg countryside. Well worthy of a Trip Tip, I must say.

I also say it's time to stop rambling so you can finish up reading, and I can go find a quiet spot for a proper German beer.

—Marcus

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Must-See And -Do Events

Classic Open Air

For more than a quarter of a century the Gendarmenmarkt is the place to be for the annual Classic Open Air, a few days of beautifully composed music, as well as singers and other musical ensembles. What's great is that it isn't one particular genre of music—you'll enjoy everything from Opera to more modern Pop styles. Do yourself a favor, get your tickets beforehand. And, I seriously suggest taking public transportation instead of trying to find parking.

https://www.classicopenair.de/en

Freiburger Weinfest (Freiburg Wine Festival)

Driving probably isn't a good idea if you're gonna hit up the wonderful Baden wines at the Freiburg Wine Festival. Then again, if you're sitting around the stunning Cathedral sipping these delicious libations—do you really need to go anywhere? There isn't just wine either, you've got great music playing, and delicious food, too.

https://weinfest.freiburg.de/

Speyerer Brezelfest (Speyer Pretzel Festival)

I knew I mentioned food for a reason, and not too much else screams German food than the beloved pretzel. There's a Pretzel Queen, lots of music, and the Fairgrounds here in Speyer are family friendly for the entire event. Plus, Tuesday is Family Day. Remember to buy yourself some pretzel souvenirs, the kind you don't eat, OK?

https://www.speyerer-brezelfest.de/

Kaltenberger Ritterturnier (Kaltenberg Joust)

Let's face it... Life in the Middle Ages was serious work; no indoor plumbing, the plague, you get the point. However, everything medieval here in Kaltenberg couldn't be better. Come see one of Germany's best spectacles of the period with Knights, Maidens Fair, lots of drinking and dancing, artisans, and even jousting. No doubt any medieval King or Queen would feel right at home. You'll love it.

https://www.ritterturnier.de/en/

Hamburger DOM

The Hamburg DOM is no ordinary festival. Oh no, this is a month full of gorging yourself of currywurst and schmalzkuchen; a chance to thrill yourself on some new amusement rides, and all the family friendly entertainment you can handle. Remember, entry is free but if you wanna save yourself some cash, Family Days are Wednesdays. The Hamburger DOM is touted as the largest festival of its kind in Northern Germany—and it's a party the likes you'll never forget.

https://www.hamburg.com/dom/

Christopher Street Day

Berlin isn't the only city in Germany to hold this annual Gay Pride event, but it's one of the best. Plus, this isn't just about a party in the streets—this is an event that's steeped in political activism for equal rights for everyone. The rally ends at the Brandenburg Gate, the perfect locale for a day of celebrating everyone's diversity; and Berlin Pride is one of the largest of its events in not just Germany, but all of Europe.

https://csd-berlin.de

International Beer Festival

If beer drinking was a sport, Berlin would no doubt like be the champion. The International Beer Festival is a rare gem of finding some of the best beers from not just Germany, but globally. All the beer drinking fun takes place along Karl-Marx-Allee, and you're treated to more than just the beer. There's music, and food, and all-around good cheer. Prost!

https://www.internationales-berliner-bierfestival.de/

Saxones

There's little time left to see the special Saxon exhibition at the Landesmuseum in Hanover. The Saxons' history spans back centuries—and Otto I was himself a Saxon. While parts of the Middle Ages were the Dark Ages, the Germanic Tribe, known as the Saxons, had art and jewelry that are nothing short of stunning. Just note that the museum is closed on Mondays.

https://www.landesmuseum-hannover.de/ausstellungen/saxones/

 

German Phrase of the Month

  • English: Please come in for the interview on Tuesday at 2pm.
  • German: Kommen Sie bitte am Dienstag um 14 Uhr zum Vorstellungsgespräch.
  • Pronounce: Coh-men zee bittt-e awm deanstawk oum veer-tsayn oohr tsoum four-shteh-loonhks-gay-sprahk.

 

German Quote of the Month

"If I take death into my life, acknowledge it, and face it squarely, I will free myself from the anxiety of death and the pettiness of life - and only then will I be free to become myself."

—Martin Heidegger

 

Trip Tip

At first I questioned whether the Brandenburg town of Jüterbog was truly Trip Tip worthy. It's not a rock-around-the-clock kind of town, but I found it to be utterly lovely. And if you're in the mood to explore the quintessential German town, look no further than right here.

One of the first things I noticed about Jüterbog was its stunningly beautiful village churches, each more beautiful than the next. Of course I have a favorite, and I'll give that honor to the Dorfkirche in the village of Neuheim—whose origins date back more than 800 years ago.

And if the medieval has you mesmerized, then it's off to see the Liebfrauenkirche (built around 1171), once home to Cistercian Monks. Be sure to get your camera ready for pictures of Zinnaer Tor (once part of the town's inner gate) and the Neumarkttor (just near the Nikolaikirche).

By the way, the brick Gothic architecture of the Rathaus makes a great photo-op, as does the 14th century Church of St. Nicholas.

Not everyone is into the whole history thing, so lucky for you nice people, Jüterbog is a modern place with all kinds of cultural activities to keep you busy. The nice people at the Tourist Office (located at Mönchenkirchplatz 4) can help you with taking a Night Watchman Tour, or tell you about the Christmas Market, or Prince's Day that's held every year on the second Saturday of September.

If you don't mind, I'd like to mention how Jüterbog lies along the Radrouten Historische Stadtkerne (Historical Town Cores) numbers 4 and 5. And, I'll give a shoutout to some great hiking routes like the 10km Spitzbubenweg, or the 48km Luther Tetzel Way that runs to Wittenberg.

Ooh, I almost forgot to mention how Jüterbog sits right along the Flaeming Skate, a perfect area for skaters, hikers, and cyclists.

Funny, it's the cyclist thing that brings us from the Trip Tip to the Good To Know, and since you're only about 74 kilometers / 46 miles from Jüterbog to Berlin—maybe you can get both in on your next trip to Germany? :-)

https://www.mygermancity.com/Jüterbog

 

Good To Know

I remember as a kid getting on my bike, wind in my hair, meeting up with friends to explore the neighborhood. Never in a million years did I know back then that there were bicycle routes designed to explore past my own little universe—places full of history and education and idyllic countryside.

My intention was to mention a couple of routes today, but the Berliner Mauerweg (Berlin Wall Trail) struck my fancy. It was too fantastic of a route to just gloss it over. This one circular route of approximately 160km around the capital city is well worth getting to know all on its own.

I'd gander to say that many of you younger readers won't remember a divided Berlin, when the city was divided by watchtowers, and how the Potsdamer Platz & Leipziger Platz were once a "no-man's land" during the Cold War years from 1961 to the fall of the Wall in 1989.

The area of the Potsdamer Platz is now a hustlin' and bustlin' area of a reunified Germany, just as it was up to the 1930s. The information boards found around places like the Potsdamer Platz are multilingual. So even if you can't read German you're able to appreciate the historical significance of city squares like this.

Also, be sure to stop for a minute to reflect on the stunning landmark of the Brandenburg Gate, which once stood within the Soviet Sector, unaccessible to those from the West.

If you go even just one small section of the Berliner Mauerweg, be sure to go along Bernauer Straße. The street was infamous for its people on the Eastern side trying to make their escape to the West from its large apartment blocks. Eventually the apartment complexes were bricked closed, then demolished, by the East German government—after quite a number of people died in their freedom attempts.

If you follow the gray signposts with white writing, you'll also find yourself stopping at places like the reconstructed Checkpoint Charlie, one of the most famous of the Berlin Wall's border crossings worldwide.

And you'll also stop at exhibits marking such notable dates as November 9, 1989; and special exhibits at the St. Thomas Church.

One chilling stop along the Berliner Mauerweg is the Topography of Terror, or Topographie des Terrors. It's a blended indoor/outdoor museum at the former headquarters location of the dreaded Gestapo and Einsatzgruppen.

Despite the Berlin Wall Trails' dark history, the route itself is family friendly for bike riding—and can also be hiked if so inclined.

The Berliner Mauerweg is a great way to explore around the city, a chance to see it fresh; and to see how the city has transformed itself over the last three decades. So, isn't that good to know?

 

Next G-ZINE's Preview

Short 'n sweet, here's what's coming up next in Germany — a preview of the next G-ZINE:

  • Plan On Plön
  • Count Counts In Cochem
  • Cycling & Spas, Oh My

 

Published by Marcus Hochstadt
Founder, MyGermanCity.com

Ortsstr. 52
76891 Rumbach, Germany

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