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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

During this ceremony, the eight bells of the town cathedral are rung and a canon is fired, a ritual that is repeated three times. 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

Bavaria election: German conservatives lose their fizz - BBC News

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Every autumn, lederhosen-clad drinkers crowd into vast tents festooned with dried hop flowers, to celebrate Bavaria's most intoxicating export. Waitresses bearing fistfuls of beer glasses squeeze between packed wooden benches. It's hard to make much out above the brass band music but, listen closely this year, and the talk is of politics. Just like Oktoberfest, Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative sister party is woven into the checked fabric of Bavarian culture. The Christian Social Union (CSU) has ruled Germany's richest state since 1957, sharing power just once in a coalition with the free-market FDP. And since then, every Bavarian prime minister has risen from its ranks. But now, swift as a reveller draining his tankard, support has ebbed away. The CSU is bracing itself for humiliating losses in today's Bavarian state election. The party is on course to lose the absolute majority its leaders once took for granted. This is likely to be an historic election which will define Bavaria's very identity, encapsulated in the word "Heimat" (homeland). "In this...https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45835795

Travel: Germany's answer to Vancouver and Whistler is worth the trip - BCBusiness

Saturday, December 8, 2018

But B.C.s favourite winter wonderland lacks the old-timey charm of Berchtesgaden. And while some aspects of the Bavarian retreats history are undoubtedly regrettable (thanks to historical museum Dokumentation Obersalzberg and its 170,000 visitors in 2017, the village doesnt shy away from its past), others have aged well. A trip across a lake named K.nigssee, for example, yields the Church of St. Bartholom., built in the 12th century, plus a family-run food stand specializing in smoked trout on a bun. (Just dont ask for WiFi.) The right to fish in the lake is passed down from generation to generation, with only one person holding the right to catch at any given time. Not a bad business model. Speaking of which, two other notable commercial endeavours in the region that have stood the test of time are lederhosen clothier Engelbert Aigner and the Grassl distillery, which specializes in schnapps. The former is another family business, though instead of monopolizing Germanys waterways, it makes artisanal lederhosen. This isnt the stuff you can find in every tourist shop in Germany for $200 a pop, either. Its the real, custom, hand-stitched item that will put you on a year-long waitlist. Apparently, the leather is a good choice in the mercurial Bavarian climate and isnt only worn during Oktoberfest. (Though if you dont sport a pair in Germany then, youre not even a tourist; youre like an alien or something.) The latter is Germanys oldest distillery, open since 1692. Grassl doesnt use any aromas or perfumes for its schnapps, either; theyre all-natural, to the point that many of the shops specialty products are still made up in the mountain ranges and barrel-aged for three years. Berchtesgaden has also cornered the market on a certain Olympic sport with a massive luge/bobsled track that German athletes flock to in all seasons. It seems like a perfect little paradise, but as with all such places, our time here is too short. Keep Munich weirdAfter another bus ride through the mountains, we arrive in the capital of the state of Bavaria. Spotless Munich is one of the richest areas of Europe, but there are some eccentricities amid the beautiful buildings that shape the city centre. Perhaps chief among them is the Rathaus-Glockenspiel, basically a huge merry-go round, atta...https://www.bcbusiness.ca/Travel-Germanys-answer-to-Vancouver-and-Whistler-is-worth-the-trip

Germany’s new Green divide - POLITICO.eu

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Germanys Social Democrats would do well to look at the neighborhood of Haidhausen in central Munich. For centuries, the area was known as the poorhouse of the Bavarian capital; after post-war reconstruction, it became a dilapidated workers quarter, described as a district of broken glass for its rundown condition. About half of all apartments had no bathroom and no hot water, the magazine Der Spiegel wrote in 1980. Even fewer had access to central heating. Over the past few decades, however, the neighborhood has flourished thanks in no small part to a large-scale redevelopment plan initiated by the SPD-led city government in the early 1970s. Gentrification has taken hold. Residents are younger and rents are higher than the Munich average. Trendy cafes, expensive bicycles and organic shops cluster around the districts picturesque squares. Given Haidhausens history, its no surprise that the Social Democrats were the dominant party in this area for decades at least until recently. In Bavarias state election in October, the SPD suffered a colossal defeat in the Munich-Mitte constituency to which Haidhausen belongs, its vote share shrinking by t...https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-green-party-haidhausen-munich-elections-social-democrats-spd-is-the-new-red/

Bavaria election: German conservatives lose their fizz

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Every autumn, lederhosen-clad drinkers crowd into vast tents festooned with dried hop flowers, to celebrate Bavaria's most intoxicating export. Waitresses bearing fistfuls of beer glasses squeeze between packed wooden benches. It's hard to make much out above the brass band music but, listen closely this year, and the talk is of politics. Just like Oktoberfest, Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative sister party is woven into the checked fabric of Bavarian culture. The Christian Social Union (CSU) has ruled Germany's richest state since 1957, sharing power just once in a coalition with the free-market FDP. And since then, every Bavarian prime minister has risen from its ranks. But now, swift as a reveller draining his tankard, support has ebbed away. The CSU is bracing itself for humiliating losses in today's Bavarian state election. The party is on course to lose the absolute majority its leaders once took for granted. This is likely to be an historic election which will define Bavaria's very identity, encapsulated in the word "Heimat" (homeland). "In this...https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45835795