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Europe: Going with the flow on the Danube and the Rhine

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

New World. Past Wurzburg and its magnificent Residenz Palace, vineyards hike up vertical terraces as the ship inches under low bridges, through locks and past towpath towns to Bamberg.Nearby Nuremberg's name is written in its World War II and the post-war story; an unparalleled opportunity for visitors interested in all-too modern history. This is Bavaria and they brew beer, bake (more) pretzels and serve sausages. The specialities should be on the menu at Regensburg, which boasts Germany's oldest sausage kitchen, where one can find the best wurst. Passau is "the last city in Germany", where three rivers meet, and its baroque style is worth visiting in its own right. Many passers-through, however, will head for nearby Salzburg, home of Mozart, location for The Sound of Music, and the temptations of its chocolatiers. Another option especially for those who want to add another country into their passports is Cesky Krumlov, a tiny World Heritage city with a huge castle across the border in the Czech Republic. Back on the boat, the voyage continues along scenic stretches of the Danube to Linz, then Melk and its famous abbey. For many guests, a highlight is cycling to Durnstein, about 40km, through vineyards and flowers, charming villages and ruined castles. Now, three capital cities in three days each with its unique history and its distinctive present the starched grandeur of Vienna (Austria), quirky impudence of Bratislava (Slovakia), poignant glamour of Budapest (Hungary). To farewell Europe feeling like royalty, travellers can ride the Grand Empress steam train, evoking memories of the beautiful and tragic Elisabeth, 19th century Empress of Austria. Boarding at Budapest Station's royal waiting room, the short journey, in carriages from the early 1900s, treats guests to a traditional game lunch and a tour of the monarch's summer residence, Godollo Palace. Three rivers, six countries, more than 20 centuries of history, art, culture, food and wine, tours and activities: it sounds like a lot to cram into two weeks. But when you go with the relaxed flow of a European river cruise, time seems to go past slowly if not stand still. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/travel/news/article.cfm?c_id=7&objectid=12132000

Focus: Destination Germany - The Statesman

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Berlin Wall, The Ultimate Fairytale Castle (Neuschwanstein), Miniatur Wunderland and the Historic Port of Hamburg, The Rhine Valley, Museum Island in Berlin, Bamberg and the Bürgerstadt, Sea bridge of Sellin, Rügen Island, Königssee (King’s Lake), Sanssouci Park and Palace (Postdam) and Insel Mainau (the Flower Island of Lake Constance).Compiled by Kunal Jain ([email protected])...

Why Germany comes alive with religious bombast on Fronleichnam

Saturday, June 24, 2017

In Cologne, there is a procession involving over 100 ships, while in Bamberg 18 men carry a huge cross through the town.A floral carpet in Hüfingen, Baden-Württemberg. Photo: DPA Generally the fest is celebrated with processions in which believers carry an ornately decorated monstrance with a sacred Eucharist wafer through the streets. The towns of Hüfingen and Mühlenbach are renowned for their carpets made of flowers, which decorate the route of the procession and stretch to 100 metres in length. It is also common for flags to festoon the route of the procession, while processions often visit alters along the way.The political dimension According to Dom Radio, the processions have often had a subversive element. The extrovert and bombastic character was meant to show Protestants how great it is to be a Catholic. Luther, for his part, described the holiday as “the most damaging of all festivals.” In the Nazi era, the festivals were also a form of passive resistance against the secular state rulers. And even today the parades are a way of saying that religion belongs in the public sphere as well as the private, Dom Radio writes.http://www.bing.com/news/apiclick.aspx?ref=FexRss&aid=&tid=0618E6A2D6B140F8A3A78CEA5AF06F10&url=https%3a%2f%2fwww.thelocal.de%2f20170615%2fwhy-germany-comes-alive-with-religious-bombast-on-fronleichnam&c=647116908274741890&mkt=en-us

The Dandelion Windfall - Canada Free Press

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Guess what: it could turn into a real windfall for you!Dandelion ButterAs you may not know yet, I grew up in the “Land of Happy Cows” (LOHCs), i.e. the western part of southern Bavaria. In spring, the meadows there are a solid yellow with flowering dandelion plants. They are so abundant that the butter and cheese produced from the cows grazing in those fields develop a decidedly yellow color, caused by the chemical known as “beta-carotene.” It’s related to the orange color-producing substance in carrots, hence its name.Believe me, after a long winter of having to live on hay from last year’s harvests, when the season turns to spring and the dandelions are blooming, the cows are really happy then. They take to the solidly dandelion-yellow meadows in force and produce plenty of milk that is the source of the then (once again) yellow butter.For decades, the European Union countries, collectively produced a “butter mountain,” meaning a large excess that could not be consumed there. But this could change soon, when butter turns to rubber (don’t take it literally).But first to Traditional RubberAs you may know, upon injury of the leaves or bark, a variety of plants exude a viscous milky white liquid that tends to polymerize on contact with air into a rubbery blob. Of course, that’s the way much of the world’s natural rubber came into existence and is still an important agricultural product to this day. The plant that has been the source of much of the world’s “latex” that, upon exposure to air, turns into raw rubber, known as kautchuk, or caoutchouc, or India rubber, is the “rubber tree” (Hevea brasiliensis, Euphorbiaceae).Native to South America, the rubber tree was introduced to South and South-East Asia well over one-hundred years ago and that region now produces much of the world’s raw rubber.Now, to Synthetic RubberIn WWII, when the demand for rubber products increased sharply and (Germany’s) access to the natural product became limited, chemists developed the synthetic rubber, then known as Buna rubber. Its basic constituent is the small molecule isoprene that can be polymerized into rubber of excellent properties. In fact, much of today’s car tires and many other rubber products rely on that synthetic material, both for c...https://canadafreepress.com/article/the-dandelion-windfall

A German village goes it alone on climate protection - DW (English)

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The local grocery store in Grafenaschau looks like most other buildings in the tiny Bavarian village. It has a large pitched roof with broad eaves and is half timber, half stone. The style is as typical as lederhosen, wheat beer and white sausage in this particular part of Germany. "It's Alpine but not 'yodel style.' We didn't want it to be really over-the-top Bavarian," jokes Hubert Mangold, as he heartily greets people on his way into the store. He's diplomatically referring to kitschier houses with brightly painted shutters, where everything's just a bit too much. But it's not just the style of the building that reflects the strong sense of custom and regional identity in the southern German state of Bavaria. Most of the products on offer are from nearby and are produced organically using traditional methods. Dressed casually in denim shorts and a plaid shirt, Mangold, who is the local mayor, points out locally sourced "hay-milk," schnapps and liquor from a nearby distillery, regional, in-season fruit and vegetables, and "in demand" traditionally milled f...https://www.dw.com/en/a-german-village-goes-it-alone-on-climate-protection/a-48030126

How Can Nazis Be on the March in Germany? - Truthout

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

We will come to power and then we will do what is necessary so that we can live a free life in the future. We tell the Bosporus that the three big Ms — Mohammed, Muezzin and Minerett — are over.” In Bavaria, the AfD is campaigning for “Islam-free schools.” But Islamophobia isn’t isolated to the AfD. The CSU’s Horst Seehöfer stated in February that “Islam does not belong in Germany.” Meanwhile, Thilo Sarrazin, a well-known leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), is on a book tour for his Hostile Takeover: How Islam Impairs Progress and Threatens Society. Other Islamophobic initiatives range from Chancellor Merkel’s support for banning the burka to local court battles over religious symbols in schools. A Berlin court upheld the decision to remove a public school teacher for wearing her hijab to school. Now, “feminist” groups want to a href="https://www.welt.de/politik/...https://truthout.org/articles/how-can-nazis-be-on-the-march-in-germany/

2 dead, more than a dozen injured after trains collide in Germany - New York Post

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Aichach. He said the driver of the cargo train was uninjured. Authorities are investigating the cause of the crash. In a separate incident in Bavaria, two people were killed Monday when a train hit their car at a crossing near Lake Starnberg. Share this: ...https://nypost.com/2018/05/08/2-dead-more-than-a-dozen-injured-after-trains-collide-in-germany/