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Issue #146 November 1, 2019


The 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.

November 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...

Here it is November, the last full month of Autumn, and I'm truly sorry I only found out about the Vorpommern-Dorfstraße. Now before you ask what does one have to do with other—I'll tell you...

Up here in the northern German countryside, this wonderful scenic route is probably best seen in the Spring and Summer. Either way, I'll tell you all about it this month already in the G-ZINE's Good To Know. Then you can plan a visit after Old Man Winter leaves, ok?

In my not-so-humble opinion, I don't think I'd wait to visit Bad Schandau in the Saxon-Switzerland / Ore Mountains region of Saxony. Have you guessed? This fantastic spa town is my choice for the Trip Tip.

With its amazing spa, charming village churches, castle ruins, and plenty of hiking and cycling trails and routes, this is a great place to visit to see Germany away from the hustling metropolises. A quieter Germany. An Old World Germany, if you will.

Anyway, back to modern times and the G-ZINE. The German Quote of the Month is from Johann Gottlieb Fichte, a philosopher who was born in Rammenau in 1762. Johann, my good friend, while you might have studied at such prestigious universities like the Leipzig University and the University of Jena—you were incredibly sexist.

Would you believe Herr Fichte believed that women shouldn't have any property rights or civic freedom? Shocking by today's standards, right?

Speaking of today, how about I give some fantastic Must See & Do Events a mention? Get ready for the Hamburg DOM, which makes its final appearance in 2019. Don't worry if you can't make this one—they host it three times a year.

But, that's yet another mention in another G-ZINE, huh?

As far as multiple mentiones are concerned, 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. So head to Berlin for a few days of educational exhibitions, and whatnot.

What else? What else? Oh yes, of course, it's time for Carnival. What? Really? Yup, Germany's Fifth Season starts on November 11th at 11:11 (on the dot!). I've only mentioned it a bazillion times over the years. ;-)

And of course, as with many of Germany's traditions, November ends with those wonderful, magical, charming Christmas Markets. I can already hear the Glühwein calling me. Do you hear it, too?

Maybe I've been behind the computer too long, so I'll end my Intro right here to let you get on with it.


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Must-See And -Do Events

30 Jahre Mauerfall (30 Years Fall of the Wall)

2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Where else but in the city itself will you find outdoor exhibitions, historic films, and other educational opportunities to learn the capital city's history from its division in the mid-to-late 20th century. Berlin's a wonderful city to explore any day, and its even better with opportunities like this.

Jüdische Kulturtage (Days of Jewish Culture)

Don't leave Berlin just yet—stay for the annual Days of Jewish Culture with an array of concerts, exhibitions, literary readings, and so much more. You'll find events for the kids, the kids at heart, and everyone in between with live cooking shows, puppet theater, and Acapella performances—but best to get your tickets as soon as possible. Discounts are available for seniors those with disabilities, and students, by the way.

Hamburger DOM (Hamburg DOM)

The Hamburg DOM is an event so grand it has to be held three times a year, and this is the last one of 2019. The cold northern German air isn't going to stop thousands of people from enjoying amusement rides, eating local cuisine, and buying souvenirs. Family Day is still on Wednesdays, so you'll save a few Euro. Plus, as with many events in Germany—this is a totally family friendly affair.

Personally, I'll take the fireworks on Friday nights at 10:30pm with a hot cup of coffee.

Karneval (Carnival)

While most people might associate Carnival with February, the season of Carnival starts on 11/11 at 11:11 most famously in the city of Cologne. All the hubbub begins at the Heumarkt with brightly colored costumed people partying it up in the streets. There's food. There's music. There's dancing. And there's you, if you choose to join the festivities.

Burg Frankenstein Halloween

  • Until November 10th (weekends)
  • Mühltal

Burg Frankenstein is eerie on the brightest of days, now mix in a night of a dozen scary zones for a Halloween extravaganza—and you've got yourself a pulse pounding good time. I gotta be honest... this isn't an event for the faint of heart, so only the bravest will meander around the dozens upon dozens of "monsters" that you'll find in the millennia-old castle.

Burg Frankenstein is right, the angst is real.

Ohh, don't ya just love Halloween?

Jazzfest Berin (Berlin Jazz Festival)

What's with the German love of Jazz? I don't have an answer to that, but I do know that the capital city hosts a much anticipated Jazz Festival every year at October's end/November's beginning in various venues (like the Haus der Berliner). If you're into this genre of music you'll really enjoy it. And it's wonderful that there are some events held in both German and English, and some admission is even free.

International Film Festival

This film festival isn't a wild party-til-the-cows-come-home type event. Nope, it's a more subdued for those who prefer this type of thing. But don't go looking for blockbuster Hollywood "bang 'em up, shoot 'em up" type flicks. Oh no, these are thought provoking, educational films from counties like Israel, Spain, Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Morocco. And while this Film Festival isn't as famous as the Berlinale, it's definitely worth coming to see these theatrical releases.

Aachener Weihnachtsmarkt (Aachen Christmas Market)

  • November 22nd-December 23rd
  • Aachen

Did you really think you'd get through November without a mention of a Christmas Market? Well, if you're gonna visit one—make it Aachen. Come try the local Printen (it's like a gingerbread man) whilst gazing at the magnificent Cathedral and twinkling lights. Or, munch on some handmade candy as you buy some locally made handicrafts, as you soak in the family friendly holiday atmosphere.


We Germans love nothing more than tradition, and you've got almost two-and-a-half centuries of it here in Bad Tölz for the Leonhardifahrt. The parade of men on horseback, the married ladies enjoying the parade route in their decorated wagons, the bright eyed children sitting sweetly for the spectators—it's a wonderful way to experience the history and tradition of the Old World. The highlight of the Leonhardifahrt is the religious blessing of both equines and humans. This isn't your party-like-a-rockstar kind of event. It's truly remarkable to see it for yourself.

Halloween at the Europa-Park

There aren't too many days left to enjoy the spirit of Halloween at the Europa Park, so hurry. The younger kids might not appreciate attractions like Bloody Mary's Mansion, but there's still plenty of not-so-scary attractions like the Grisly Pirates Maze and Spooky KIds Village that's more cheeky fun than heart pounding fear. Keep a look out for the pumpkin Halloween decorations. There's even a Halloween Parade. Ooh, don't you just love this time of year?


German Phrase of the Month

  • English: The ___ class is fun/is no fun at all.
  • German: Das Fach ___ macht mir Spass/macht überhaupt keinen Spass.
  • Pronounce: Daz fahk ___ mahkt meer shpaws/mahkt uber-how-pt kay-nen shpaws.


German Quote of the Month

"He who is firm in will molds the world to himself."

—Johann Gottlieb Fichte


Trip Tip

Two things you might know about me after reading all these G-ZINEs and the thousands of pages of One: I love castles. Two: I love spas. (Coffee too, but that's something for another day). And what happens when I find both in a German town? Right, somehow it finds its way on the Trip Tip. ;-)

So, welcome to Bad Schandau in Saxony, located right on the Czech Republic border. Now I mentioned a castle, right? Well, besides the ruins of what was once Burg Lilienstein (circa 1200 A.D.), and the ruins of Burg Wildenstein (from the early 15th century), there's also the graceful looking castle in the village of Prossen. Too bad it's not a medieval castle—but you can't have everything, I guess.

Ohh, who am I kidding? Yes you can, because Bad Schandau also has its own spa. The Toskana Therme is a perfect place for rest, relaxation, spa treatments like facials and massages, and even a Kneipp stream.

Don't worry if you can't do it all in one day—the spa has a great 5-star hotel nearby.

And trust me, you're gonna want to stick around for a while. How else will you get to bike around the Elbe Cycle Route? Or stroll along the Malerweg? There are a number of themed hiking routes, if you're interested—like the 14km Caspar David Friedrich Trail. Or take snapshots of picture perfect old churches like the stately looking one in Krippen (with its beautiful clock tower & steeple).

By the way, don't miss out seeing the 14th/15th century Church of St. John either.

For those who like those half-timbered houses, you'll find them in the village of Schmeltka—along with a mid 17th century mill. Even better it's along the Saxon-Switzerland National Park.

Just between you and me, what's really nice about Bad Schandau is a number of its eight villages aren't very populated. Seriously, Postelwitz not even 275 people call it home; Schmelka less than 200. You know what that means? Yup, plenty of elbow room for yourself while exploring around the Saxon-Switzerland and the Ore Mountains regions.

Ooh, look out for the Sundial Path (there are almost two dozen of them), and check out the National Park Center, and the Local History Museum.

Now I've only hinted at what's to see & do around Bad Schandau, but believe when I tell you there's more. And the wonderful folks at the Tourist Office (located at Markt 12 in Bad Schandau) will assist in helping you.

Please, they had me at spa and castles.


Good To Know

It's always difficult to find things to write about here in the Good To Know. Why? Because, when you think about it, what's really good to know? It's subjective, like art. What's important to you, might not interest me. But, I think I stumbled upon something wonderful with the Vorpommersche Dorfstrasse (Western Pomerania Village Road).

To be honest, I often feel like I neglect this amazing part of Germany. And I don't intentionally do it, but not today. Today I feel like this 90-kilometer scenic route in the Peene Valley of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is most certainly Good To Know.

I'm not quite sure why this region is called the Amazon of the North (because of all the lakes and rivers here?), but I do know you'll find just over a handful of quaint towns and villages full of old churches, Viking graves, old manors, Bronze Age history, and pristine scenery.

Tired yet? Oh please, we haven't even gotten started.

And start you shall, in the town of Anklam. This is the biggest of towns on the Vorpommersche Dorfstrasse, with a population of around 13,000 people. Forget people for a moment, though. Get your camera ready to take photos of the 12th century Church of St. Mary, its 32-meter high Steintor (Stone Gate; in a Brick Gothic design), or take a trip to the Heimatmuseum (Local History Museum), or Otto Lilienthal Museum.

From here it's on to Gützkow, a village of just over 3,000 people. While you're here take time to see its two "City" Gates, its 15th century Gothic Church, and its nature reserve.

Next stop is Schlatkow, a village that's home to barely 300 people. Besides its picturesque Village Church and old manor houses, it's known for its herons (didn't I say this route was mixed between history and the great outdoors?), and its Bronze Age Schlächenstein.

The Bronze Age stuff is also found in the next village of Stolpe, where burial mounds from the time have been found. While not nearly as old, but still old nonetheless, is the Benedictine Monastery ruins from the 12th century.

Stolpe is also known for its marina, its 12th century Slavic Wartislawstein, and the Gutshaus Stolpe that's now a restaurant & hotel.

Stay with me now, only two stops left on the Vorpommersche Dorfstrasse, ok?

Quilow, which politically belongs to the village of Groß Polzin, gets to boast the Wasserschloss Quilow, a beautiful Renaissance Water Castle from the 16th century. It's also home to some additional Bronze Age burial mounds, and a picture-perfect Village Church from the 19th century.

Truth be told, I've found the Vorpommersche Dorfstrasse to be a great way to see a less touristy kind of Germany—but I never expected to fall in love with the last village(s) on the route.

Ziethen (together with Menzlin) is a haven for those who love being outdoors. The moorish landscape, the peat bogs, the twelve different species of orchids, the eagles... ahhh the butterflies. What an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life this truly is.

A great way to enjoy this outdoorsy experience is to take a guided tour with a Park Ranger (available May-October), just as there are guided bicycle tours (also May-October). And one of the most awesome things you can do is take a solar powered boat ride.

Then again, if canoeing is more your thing, you can do that, too. Try to spend a bit of time on land though, you'll want to buy some goodies at the local farm shops.

Now you see why the Vorpommersche Dorfstrasse is Good To Know worthy? And I solemnly promise not to neglect Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania from the G-ZINE ever again.


Next G-ZINE's Preview

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

  • Christmas Market Shopping
  • Dinner For One Isn't Lonely
  • A Spider Christmas Custom


Published by Marcus Hochstadt

Ortsstr. 52
76891 Rumbach, Germany

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