Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Friday, July 25, 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

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Japan Day in Düsseldorf

Düsseldorf has a relatively large Japanese population, and they have an annual Japan Day festival. We though it would be a lot of traditional arts and food and such, but it was much more Japanese pop culture-oriented. There were a lot of people in anime and other costumes. I think there was a competition. Almost everyone there was in their 20s or younger. A lot of people were wearing "free hugs" signs, and at one point, there was a very long line of such people, and you move down the line hugging everyone in it. There were also food stands, but just serving food, not with grocery items other than some packaged snacks. The whole thing was outside along the Rhine river. They also had various martial arts demonstrations and musical groups throughout the day and a fireworks show at night. The next day we went to a Japanese ramen place for lunch.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Ulmer Munster

My brothers visited for a week, so we finally went up the Ulmer Munster tower. It's all open, so it's pretty terrifying.
view of the back
up among the gargoyles
the uppermost part of the tower, from the inside

Sunday, March 30, 2014

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.