German holidays – could they be for you?
With the days getting longer, the temperatures rising and the lock down hopefully easing in a few weeks, we tentatively start to think about holidays in the hopefully not too distant future! So, are German holidays are good idea? Let’s do a whirlwind tour of some high lights of German and beyond:
Especially the former East around Warnemünde and the Mecklenburger Seenplatte (a vast area of lakes) are very beautiful during the summer – a stunning area of unspoiled nature, not dissimilar to our Lake District. Also, in the North, you will find the Hanseatic towns of Hamburg, Bremen, Lübeck and Rostock – all on a maritime theme and with a long history of trade and shipping.
Heading South past Hanover, Göttingen, Kassel and Cologne and then along the banks of the river Mosel and Rhine, you will encounter huge vineyards, fairy tale castles and Roman history around the city of Trier. If you enjoy riding a bike, the cycle paths along the river Mosel are perfect and the views are breath taking.
The South: Swabia, Bavaria, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein
Stuttgart with its famous Swabian food, the Mercedes Benz and Porsche Museum, the Ritter Sport factory, where you can make your own chocolate, are great for holidays with children. Bavarian beer, food, folk music and its mountains are famous all over the world. Of course, there is also Austria with its gorgeous capital of Vienna and Mozart’s Salzburg. Switzerland provides a variety of different holiday experiences – whether you want to be active (climbing, walking, mountain biking and, of course, skiing in the winter) or you prefer boat trips and lovely strolls along Lake Geneva, Lake Lugano or Lake Lucerne. And then there is, of course, Liechtenstein, a stunningly beautiful and interesting German-speaking micro state situated in the Alps and in the southwest of Central Europe.
What about the language barrier?
People in Germany and German speaking countries start learning English at the age of 7 which means that by the time they leave school, most of them have a good command of the English language, so most people will understand you and are keen to practise their English! However, any holiday is so much more exciting if you manage to speak some words or sentences in the local language. Any person in any country appreciates the effort somebody makes to speak their language – it builds bridges and does not have to be 100% grammatically correct.
If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.Nelson Mandela – former President of South Africa
German and English have many cognates (words which are the same) or near – cognates (words which are very similar). Here are a few phrases to get you started in German:
Hallo – hello
Guten Tag – Hello (any time of the day)
Guten Morgen – Good morning
Guten Abend – Good evening
Mein Name ist… – My name is…
Wo ist …? – Where is…?
Wo ist das Hotel? – Where is the hotel?
Wo ist der Biergarten? – Where is the beergarden?
Wo ist der Supermarkt? – Where is the supermarket?
Wo ist die Bäckerei? – Where is the bakery?
Auf Wiedersehen – Goodbye
In brief, consider German holidays as an option for future vacations. They have lots to offer, are not too far away and starting to learn the language is easier then you think!
Kiek mal wedder in (Schau mal wieder rein – Come and visit again)!