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Issue #140 May 2, 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.

May 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 on a quiet holiday morning the mist of an early storm lingers in the blossoming light—and it was all the inspiration needed (with coffee, of course) to start the May issue of the G-ZINE.

Now, before you ask why I am obsessed with mentioning the weather (and coffee) just about every issue, I'll tell you... We Germans love the great outdoors, and the weather can play a factor in what kind of Must See & Do Event to attend.

Ahhh, method to my madness, yes?

Anyway, I'd gander to say events like the Rhododendron Flowering Season in Bremen are best enjoyed on a sunny day, and all the special activities at Berlin's International Museum Day might be good for a rainy one. But, what do I know?

Wait, before you answer that... I know that it's time for the Hafengeburtstag (Port Anniversary) in Hamburg. And I know that the culturally rich city of Dresden hosts its annual Music Festival this time of year.

And what else I know is the Good To Know has another installment of some incredible Women in German History. Interestingly enough, a couple of women from Germany had influence and prominence in Royal Courts hundreds of miles away from their homes within Germany's borders.

Heck, one of them even had prominence miles above Germany's borders.

Speaking of Germany's borders, the German Quote of the Month comes from Walter Anderson—a man not born within Germany. All right, how does he get a spot in this section?

You see, Herr Anderson might have been born in the Russian Empire's city of Minsk—but his parents were Baltic Germans who relocated to Germany in 1939. Yup, I got this amazing 20th century folklorist on a technicality.

Either way, he was born to a remarkably educated family (his father a University Professor, one brother a mathematician, another brother an astrophysicist), and Anderson himself had a Master's Degree from the University of St. Petersburg. Before his accidental death in 1962, Walter was a professor (then Professor Emeritus) at the University of Kiel.

Maybe I should have kept flowing with a northern German town (like Kiel) for the Trip Tip, but it's not to be. Nope, the honor this month belongs to town of Traben-Trarbach—an admirable climatic spa town on the Moselle River in Rhineland-Palatinate.

Traben-Trarbach has two of my favorite things—a spa and castles (coffee is a given). So after a day of exploring the countryside—a spa treatment awaits.

I know, just like you're waiting for me to finish up here so you can check the weather for the listed Must See & Do Events. ;-)


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Must-See And -Do Events

Rhododendron Flowering Season

Ok, a plant's flowering season isn't always following the calendar—but either way, it's that time of year for these bright and vibrant flowers to make their springtime comeback. The Park is home to hundreds of various species of the Rhododendron; a great place to come if you're looking for your own garden inspiration—or a romantic stroll. Hey, your choice, but either way, look around and you'll find amazing other species of flora indigenous to the northern area of Germany, too.

Thüringer Bachwochen (Thuringia Bach Festival)

This isn't even a music festival limited to one town or city—nope, you'll find the works of Bach being played all over churches and theaters throughout the state. And the events aren't just limited to music, because over in Arnstadt you're able to take in a special 90 minute Bach tour before a concert at the Bach Church—and the Lutherhaus in Eisenach also has a special tour if you're interested.


Looking to let your hair down for a little (ok, a lot) of fun? Well, you can do it right here at the bi-annual Dippemess in Frankfurt am Main—with delicious street food, amusement rides, and even a pottery market. All this action is steeped in history dating back to the 14th century, although it has changed over the last few centuries. And just remember, Tuesdays are Children's Days and Thursdays are Family Day. Still, everyday of the Spring Festival is great time to be had by everyone.

Die Blaue Nacht (The Blue Night)

In English, if you're "blue", it means you're sad or a little melancholy—but here in Nuremberg when the town turns blue—it's a celebration of sorts. Well, it's a Long Night of Art & Culture, that's for sure. There's art. There's music. There are activities for the kids. It's whatever you think it is, and more. Try not to miss the highlight of Saturday night's Blue Night that runs from around dusk to midnight. And you'll find pillars with all kinds of informational details scattered about—a perfect atmosphere of family fun and education.

Hafengeburtstag (Port Anniversary)

No where, and I truly mean no where, does a city party like Hamburg. And if you've seen the spectacle that is this Hanseatic City's Port Anniversary you know. If you haven't had the opportunity, here's your chance to party along the Elbe River dotted with grand ships and tugboats. It's also a chance to eat, drink, dance, and explore in a jovial, family-friendly atmosphere.

Nürnberger Volksfest (Nuremberg Folk Festival)

The Nürnberger Volksfest is another grand scale event that's evolved over the centuries. What started as a birthday celebration to King Ludwig I is now throngs of people gathering to enjoy thrilling amusement rides, yummy food, and buying souvenirs at one of Bavaria's best Springtime festivals. All the fun starts at noon, ending late into the night (11pm on weekdays, midnight on weekends and Easter Sunday). This event also designates Wednesdays as Family Day, but the kid in all of us will have a spectacular time no matter what day it is.

Dresden Music Festival

Choirs and orchestras, soloists and ensembles all meet in the glorious city of Dresden for a music festival so grand it can't be contained to just one month. You'll find events held in venues like the Annenkirche, the Neue Synagogue, and Schloss Pillnitz for musical programs that'll delight the senses beyond your ears. This year's theme is Visions, and offers music in celebration of Germany's Bauhaus Centennial.

International Museum Day

For some, museums are stuffy places of just old stuff. For others, museums are a treasure trove of culture, art, and history. If you're the latter type folk, then Berlin's the place to be for all kinds guided tours, special events, and exhibitions. Germany's capital has some of the most amazing museums on an average day—and even more so on days like this.

Picasso: The Late Work

For those who love modern art, Potsdam is showing the later works of none other than the famous Picasso—whose later works include many portraits of his wife, Jacqueline. The Museum Barberini is showing many of these works within Germany for the first time ever, so here's your chance to see some of these rarely seen 20th century pieces.


There's not much 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, the museum is closed on Mondays.


German Phrase of the Month

  • English: What are the working hours?
  • German: Wie sind die Arbeitszeiten?
  • Pronounce: Vee zint dee arr-bites-tsaiyton?


German Quote of the Month

"Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have - life itself."

—Walter Anderson


Trip Tip

Spa? Sightseeing? Spa? Sightseeing? Such is the dilemma faced in the climatic spa town of Traben-Trarbach; my choice for this issue's G-ZINE. Frustrating as it is deciding which to do first, it's good to have choices.

Honestly, the best thing to do first is visit the Tourist Office (located at Am Bahnhof 5). But just so you know, their hours vary by the season. Anyway, they're a wealth of knowledge on not just the old churches and castles, but also the surrounding vineyards, guided hiking & biking tours, and all the cultural events each of its villages hosts.

That being said, no trip to Traben-Trarbach is ever complete without a visit to the Grevenburg, a 14th century castle that's been in ruins for the last three centuries. Nor should you miss a visit to the ruins of Kloster Wolf, or the ruins of Fort Mont Royal from the 17th century.

And just to keep in the medieval spirit, the town of Trarbach proper still has parts of its 14th century fortification wall, as well as towers like the White Tower (Mittelstraße 8) and Ramparts Tower (Grabenstrße 22), both from the 14th century.

Of course, Traben-Trarbach is a modern town, complete with its own spa that'll relax and rejuvenate after a day of cycling along the Moselle Cycle Trail, or hiking on the Moselsteig.

Trust me, your tired muscles will appreciate the rest at the Moseltherme's hot springs, saunas, and massage therapies.

Your tastebuds will thank you for stopping at one of the local wineries, and the gastronomic choices found around town. Plus, with all the festivals, you'll no doubt love the street food.

Oh yes, the festivals, don't wanna miss mentioning those... The month of May brings on events like the Open Wine Cellar Days, while June hosts the multi-day Old City Festival, and July the Wine Festival.

The cooler weather of Autumn and Winter don't stop Traben-Trarbach from all action. September's the month for the Street Festival in Wolf, or the Market Square Festival in Traben that's another multi-day extravaganza, and the Mosel Wine & Christmas Market is a multi-month affair running from November to January.

As you can see, from all there is to see and do in Traben-Trarbach, it's well worthy of its spot in the Trip Tip.

And I've well earned some time at its spa... :-)


Good To Know

Throughout history, Women have been called the Fairer Sex, (gasp!) the Weaker Sex—but in my not so humble opinion, men from centuries (and decades) ago didn't know too much. And they most certainly must not have known some of the ladies I'm about to mention.

One German woman in history actually managed not to have it all that terrible—or did she?. Ohh, the prospect of a Queen title came at a price for Anne of Cleves, a young German woman born in Düsseldorf in 1515.

You see, she became the fourth wife of the England's "off with her head" Henry VIII. But, the fickle Henry wasn't all that enamoured with Anna von Kleve—and asked for an annulment to their unconsummated marriage. Anne was smart, though. She didn't contest the annulment—and Henry gave her the honorary title of being the King's Sister. And for as many times as Henry was married (six), she was the last of his wives to pass away just shy of her 42nd birthday.

I guess being married to royalty isn't always good for your health, is it?

It certainly wasn't for Alexandra Feodorovna. Doesn't sound like a proper German name, does it? That's because she changed it from Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine (born in Darmstadt) when she married Nicholas II of Russia.

Alexandra was also the granddaughter of England's Queen Victoria, who really wasn't all that happy with her marrying Nicholas—she feared for her granddaughter's safety in the turbulent political climate of Russia at the time.

Looks like Grandma Vicky was right, because Alexandra, her beloved husband, Nicholas, and all their children were killed by the Bolsheviks in 1918. By the way, mystery surrounded the murder of the family (that at least one child survived)—and it took into the 1990s to prove by DNA that no one survived.

The turbulent times of the late 19th/early 20th century didn't help the career of Emmy Noether, an incredibly talented mathematician who made a lasting contribution to abstract algebra. I ain't gonna lie, I have no idea what that means—but I know Emmy suffered sexism of her day by being only allowed to "audit" classes at the University of Erlangen—and was a professor without pay.

She did, however, find herself a home thousands of miles away at Bryn Mawr College, a women's college in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Too bad she wasn't there long before dying at the young age of 53 in 1935.

Funny, the woman who had the most dangerous "job" in German history, actually lived quite a long time. Hanna Reitsch was quite the accomplished aviator and test pilot—during World War II.

Hanna, born in what was then Hirchberg, Prussia (now part of Poland) in 1912, she was only one of three women awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class, and was a contemporary of none other than Wernher von Braun. She was also the mistress of the Luftwaffe's Commander-in-Chief, Robert Ritter von Greim. But, hey, who am I to judge?

Anyway, Ms. Reitsch's most remarkable feat was being the first woman to fly a helicopter in the world. That's right, that honor and distinction belongs to a German—even if she did renounce her German citizenship after the war.

While her lover, von Greim, committed suicide as the Nazis lost the war—Hanna never actually belonged to any Nazi organizations despite her intimate connections. She lived to the ripe old age of 67, after setting over three dozen flight altitude records in her lifetime.

With an accomplishment like that, who could ever call a woman the Weaker Sex? Not me, and German or not, none of us would be where we are if weren't for women like Hanna and all those who came before her.


Next G-ZINE's Preview

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

  • A Colorful Carnival of Cultures
  • Loneliness Pain & Glory
  • German-French Fair With Flair


Published by Marcus Hochstadt

Ortsstr. 52
76891 Rumbach, Germany

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