Having lived in Germany half my entire life, it occurred to me that I may have been giving Germany a bit of bad press recently. What with train strikes, withering looks and tailgating BMW drivers in all… so easy to comment on eh. I thought today I would blog on the things me and my Humans absolutely love about Germany.
There is a lot of overuse of clichés about German people on their bluntness, sense of humour and stern demeanour, not to mention the food. We have found them to be the most warm and hospitable people we have ever met (bar the Kiwis & Aussies of course, biased there though Heh Heh…) .
Last weekend it was our neighbours 60th Birthday and they invited us over for the party. It was a hoot! Although my Humans unlike me (well I speak Hund-German) don’t speak a lot of the local language, it was still so much fun and very endearing to see three generations of one German family coming together. The food was traditional northern European cuisine and none the worse for that, yum (well from what I got of it from my stingy Humans that its).
From the warmth of Grumpy-Humans work colleagues to the help one gets in the street or on a train when in a foreign land, its heartfelt and genuine. I know just about every Hund on our street, I think I know more Germans than my Humans actually which makes them smile when we are out walking and we pass a perfect stranger walking his/her Hund and they will say “Allo Ralphy”!
It’s hard for me, a mere dog to appreciate I know but my Humans help me… Western culture runs so deep here in Germany. I know more recent events like two world wars in the twentieth century overshadow Germany and it’s palpable even today but this should not get in the way of over two millennia of cultural contributions to the world. So many cultural icons of the Western way of life taken for granted elsewhere stem from this country. For instance the architecture and building styles, folk tales of the Brothers Grimm (Cinderella, Snow White etc), music with composers like Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms. Then you have the scientific contributions from the likes of Einstein, Planck, Heisenberg, Humboldt etc.
And hey, what about dogs eh? The Dachshund is a german badger dog, Of couse we have the obvoius too like the German Shepherd. Us Border Collies are the best though, just saying…
Even the humble Christmas Tree is of German origins!
Hey, the Germans won the Soccer World Cup, you gotta admire them for that right!
Being a dog I’m not a great fan of soccer (I love their balls though) but it was so cool being here in Germany during the Cup Final. I think for the first time since the war the Germans finally felt they could show a more overt view of national pride. There were German flags from every balcony, fireworks, people beaming and cheering in the streets. You just had to feel for them in that moment.
Interesting and Beautiful Places
Me and my Humans feel so lucky we have been able to get out and see great festivals, interesting sights and places of great beauty in Germany. Here are a few favourites:
St Goar and Lorch in the Rhein (Rhine) Valley
Me and Curley-Human above Lorch
Cherry Blossoms In Spring, Frauenstein near Wiesbaden
Such a lovely spot I thought this was! With much jumping and racing around catching me ball with my Humans it was a nice afternoon. We didn’t (weren’t able) to read the signs and later found out this was a cremation site and the signs said no dogs and quiet please… oh dear… sorry guys…. Wondered why the locals were looking at us strangely. Beautiful none the less and well worth a “respectful” visit.
Wiesbaden Christmas Markets
Hundreds of Christmas shops, yummy food stalls and ahhh…. the hot wine (Glühwein as the Germans call it) in the special cups. Not that I got to try that of course. Then there is the Flammkuchen which is a German style pizza which I have tried and love love love… Sorry I have not been able to find a picture of a Flammkuchen yet in my Humans photo archives.
This is the German equivalent of Mardi Gra or Carnival for Christian Shrove Tuesday. Its a great party time. The colorful floats throw sweets to the children, nothing for us dogs mind you. Get this though, they throw out little bottles of vodka to the adults, brilliant on a cold wintery day eh.
Medieval city that has some wonderful buildings and architecture as well as a great cathedral. See my blog on our visit there recently.
Ahhh, so beautiful, a retreat for Germans escaping the everyday stresses of life. A thermal bath & spa town set in the Black Forest. See my recent blog about our trip there.
That will do for today. I’m off to inspect me ball collection.
See ya next time.