Monday, October 13, 2014

Roman Germany

The Romans did make it into Germany a little. Like Hadrian's Wall in England, they built a limes marking the edge of their territory in Germany. The Romans built a fort in Aalen, and some ruins remain. We also went by a villa rustica, this one a Roman winery, in the Palatinate region. They grow grapes there today, too.
rare silver mask at the Roman museum in Aalen
ruins in Aalen
part of the villa rustica
reconstructed tower that was part of the limes

Friday, October 10, 2014

Another Castle

This post is very late. We went to Sigmaringen in the spring.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Olympics Coverage, Germany edition

The Olympics coverage in Germany is pretty good.  The two main channels alternate days of coverage, and they show the Olympics all day.  As much as possible is shown live.  We also have access to Swiss and Austrian channels, which also cover the Olympics all day (not everyone in Germany gets those channels, though).  So, when the Olympics were in England, we saw pretty much everything live.  Russia is only 3 hours ahead, so it works pretty well again; they start coverage around 6:30am, and it ends around 8 or 9pm.  Also, the German TV website has live streaming and videos of entire events.  However, it doesn't have video of all events, and you don't know beforehand which events it will have.  So if two things are happening at the same time, you can't necessarily watch the other one later.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


Today is the second Advent, which Germans observe.  We've indirectly mentioned Advent before, but haven't done a post about it.  The four Sundays before Christmas are the 4 Advents.  They observe them by lighting a candle, sometimes on a wreath on the table.  On the first Advent you light 1 candle, the second you light 2 candles, etc.  Advent calendars are also popular.  You open one door each day, from December 1 to 24.  They either have a Christmas-related picture behind the door or a piece of chocolate.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy Halloween!

In case you don't know, it's Totoro and the cat bus (

Sunday, October 20, 2013


I thought there should be some mention of three excellent things about Germany in the fall: fresh-pressed apple cider at the market, free apples, and neue wein ("noy-a vine"). Apples and apple cider are not specific to Germany, but I look forward them. A stand at the twice-weekly market starts making apple cider in the fall and continues for a few months. There are apple trees planted on public land, which is genius. I mentioned neue wein once before, but didn't explain much (you could also read the wikipedia article I linked to). Wine makers make it when they start harvesting grapes, so it's only available for a short time in the fall. You have to drink it within a few days of making it, because otherwise it will ferment too much. It has less alcohol than wine, so it's more like grape juice, which I like very much. Germans, at least in certain regions, eat it with Zwiebelkuchen (onion tart), which is also seasonal. I personally don't think onions should be a main ingredient, but many people would disagree with me.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Things You Don't See in the US #12

Lederhosen and Dirndl, collectively known as Trachten (traditional costumes).  It's Oktoberfest!  Normal stores sell them this time of year.