All posts filed under: Europe

Berlin Sign,

Berlin 2015 – A Year of Top-Class Sports and Exciting Art

BERLIN, Dec. 19, 2014 /CNW/ – 2015 will be a year for sport and culture in Berlin. The city will host many international sporting events, with the highlight being the UEFA Champions League football final at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium. Culture lovers will be treated to quality exhibitions exploring different periods of cultural history from the Renaissance to the 20th century. Berlin, the City of Sport Football fans can look forward to major football finals being held in Berlin. The best European football clubs will face off for the UEFA Champions League title on 6 June at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium. Ladies first, however, when the women play for the same title at Berlin’s Jahn-Sportpark. Also on 30 May, Tempelhof Field will be hosting one of the electric car races for championship points in the FIA International Formula E series.

Iconic Neuschwanstein Castle – An Inspiration For Fairy-Tales and Children’s Dreams

Touring one of the world’s most infamous castles Walt Disney built his empire around a beautiful castle, that castle was inspired by the magnificent Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany. Neuschwanstein Castle and the surrounding village of Schwangau are spectacular and quaint all at the same time. The splendour and grandeur of the castle paired with the rustic feel of the country-side with the distant sound of cow bells echoing through the valley – this truly is a place where fairy-tales are born. Neuschwanstein Castle (pronounced: Noysh-vine-stine) is one of the most popular of all the palaces and castles in Europe, seeing more than 1.4 million visitors annually, with up to 6,000 per day in the summer, so depending on when you visit and try to book a tour, your wish may or may not be granted – so plan ahead!

Karlsruhe Zoo – Is It A Park With A Zoo Or A Zoo With A Park?

After driving around in circles for what seemed hours (but was only a few minutes), we found a parking garage and parked. Phew! Glad that was over..We’d been following our friend through the modern and very clean city of Karlsruhe – trying not to lose him, while at the same time making sure we were not running red lights or breaking the law! (Karlsruhe is located 50km south of Heidelberg) For a city this large it was strange to see plenty of parked cars by the side of the road but few people actually walking about. Street after street of parked cars, but there was no inclination that there could possibly be a park – let alone a zoo in this neighbourhood. Once we’d parked the car, we came out of the underground garage into a large open plaza surrounded by buildings. On the far side were a few trees and off we went towards them – still wondering how they’ve managed to hide a zoo in the middle of the city. We got to …

Dress for the Fest – Oktoberfest!

A few months back, Gail and I were telling her BFF about our trip to Germany and our Oktoberfest experience when she said: “Let’s get dressed in the German outfits and go to Oktoberfest in Kitchener this year!” Having gone to Oktoberfest in Stuttgart, it was seeming kind of odd that we’d travelled some 5,000+ kilometres to Germany, but had never bothered to drive an hour up the highway to visit Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario for Oktoberfest – especially since it’s said to be Canada’s best Bavarian Festival! Gail & I looked at each other…and thought, hmmm not a bad idea, but we’re not German – wouldn’t we be insulting them if we bought authentic Bavarian outfits and went to Oktoberfest as frauds? What to do!? … Google it (of course)! After a bit of quick research we found that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with dressing up as Bavarians – quite the opposite in fact! Information we found indicated that lots of people get in the spirit and “fake it ‘til they make it” at Oktoberfest – …

Oktoberfest Comes Alive At Night – Wunderbar!

Stuttgart, Germany – Last year we sampled Oktoberfest during the day [here] and it was a family-friendly atmosphere with beer, dancing on the benches  and singing thrown in for good measure, but what about at night when the adults come out to play? We made a special trip to Stuttgart in the evening to sample the bright lights and the full beer halls in all their glory and I can honestly tell you….. it ain’t nothin’ like the daytime!!! We arrived just in time to have some dinner – around 5:30pm and the halls were filled already. Which one do you choose? We tried a couple during the day, but settled on spending our entire evening in the Dinkelacker beer hall. You have to book months in advance to get in the front section by the band, but we were quite happy to go the back of the hall to watch as the party unfolded before us. The tables seat 30-40 people, but sitting isn’t what you’re there for – standing on the long benches …

Beer, Dirndl, Germany, Mercedes-Benz Museum, Oktoberfest, Stuttgart, Volksfest,

Oktoberfest Isn’t Just For Beer Drinkers – Stuttgart, Germany

If you are ever in the Stuttgart area of Germany around the end of September/beginning of October, you owe it to yourself to visit the second-largest Oktoberfest in the world – the Volksfest (September 28 – October 14). If you think Oktoberfest is just for beer drinkers, you’re wrong, there’s something for everyone! There are craft displays, lots of food vendors, huge beer tents and midway rides like you’ve never seen before! They are so elaborate it’s hard to imagine they aren’t permanent structures. Entire families – Germans of all ages (including teenagers!) – get into the Oktoberfest spirit by coming out in traditional garb, it’s truly a sight to see. Entry is free for everyone and parking is very reasonable at just €5 for the day and night (if you can last that long!). We arrived at opening (11am) and spent all day, but were simply too exhausted to stay around to enjoy what we understand to be the very “spirited” evening atmosphere – but for us, that’s a good excuse to go back …