Germany

Cara Neidenbach 5/5 Per. 6

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Climate

The climate in Germany is mostly moderate, with no generally longer periods of cold or hot weather. Northwestern and coastal Germany have warm summers and mild cloudy winters. On the North Sea coast, there is a midwinter temperature about 37 degrees Fahrenheit in the north, and 28 in the south. July is the warmest month, with the coastal region averaging between 60 and 64 degrees. January is the coldest month. At some locations in the south it can be 68 or even higher. The Alpine regions and Central German Uplands have a highland climate. In the fall and winter there can be showers, thunderstorms, and heavy rain, especially in the western coastal parts and the mountainous region.

Culture

Most of Germany, 90% to be exact, is ethnic German. Even so, there are also many Italians, Poles, and Turks, but they don't have German citizenship. The main language is German. Although Roman Catholic and Protestant religion is present in Germany, most Germans have no religious ties. This is especially true in Eastern Germany where the communist government suppressed religion from 1945-1990. Germany has long kept their traditions in literature, music, and the arts. The first European to print books using movable metal parts was German. In the classical period of music, German composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven took a part. Operas of Richard Wagner brought back ancient Germany folktales. German Celebrations include Oktoberfest, Sangerfest, Fastnacht, and the Christian holiday of Christmas. Germans were actually the ones to start the tradition of bringing an evergreen into the house to decorate. There is also a Christmas game played in many families where there is a "Christmas Pickle" hidden, and the first child to find it gets a special treat.
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Münchner Oktoberfest 2012

Tourism

There are many tourist destinations in Germany, as well as many trails and hiking trails. One place you may want to visit is the Alte Pinakothek museum in Munich where there are over 700 paintings from the 14th and 18th century Europe. One of the top castles to visit is Neuschwanstein Castle, which is know for a symbol of idealistic architecture from the romantic period, and history of its owner. Another historic site is the Berlin Wall, where only fragments remain, but tells the history of the wall at 30 different markers along the 14 section trail. The wall was also painted in 1990 by artists from 21 different countries. A fun place to visit is also Europa-Park, the largest theme park in German-speaking countries, and is open in the winter. There are also many trails across the many landforms of Germany such as the Danube Peaks Trail, with many caves and other landforms, and scenic views all around.

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Currently...

The currency in Germany is the euro, which is equal to $1.12 in U.S. dollars. The current government is the Federal Republic of Germany, a federal republic. Their democratic constitution "... emphasizes the protection of individual liberty and division of powers in a federal structure" (globaledge.msu.edu). The government is largely influenced by Roman and German law traditions. Their government also has three branches like ours: The Executive, Judicial, and Legislative. The chief of state is President Joachim Gauck, and the head of government is Chancellor Angela Merkel. She is was also the first woman to be elected, and is in her second term. Germany is a member of NATO, the EU, and has close ties with the U.S. Germany exports industrial machinery, motor vehicles and parts, electrical machinery, pharmaceuticals, precision instruments, plastics, aircraft, oil and mineral fuels, and iron/steel. Most of the exports are made up of motor vehicles and parts, and industrial machinery because of that industry being popular in Germany. Many cars in America were made in Germany such as Volkswagen. The two top trade partners are France and the United States.
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Food

Germany is well known for its food. Aside from pretzels and other tasty pastries, there is a variety of sausage, cheese, wine, and beer. The most popular type of sausage, or wurst, is bratwurst, meaning fried sausage. One tasty treat sold is an Apfelstrudel (apple strudel). It is a delicious pastry filled with apples flavoured with sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and breadcrumbs-- and has been popular since the 18th century. The delecate flakey pastry is made from an elastic dough, which is kneaded and stretched until it's as thin as phyllo pastry. The pastry is wrapped round and round the filling building up layers, and then baked. It's served warm in slices sprinkled with powdered or icing sugar (Expatica). Another well-known dessert is Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte, or Black Forest Cake. This is among the many cakes decorated with fresh fruit. It has rich chocolate cake, cherries, and whipped cream, with cherries and chocolate shavings on top. A lot of wursts, pastries, cheese, and beer is sold at festivals such as Oktoberfest, as well as on the streets.

Laugenbrezel (Traditional German Pretzels)

INGREDIENTS

1½ tbsp. barley malt syrup (available from Shop Organic)
1 (¼-oz.) package active dry yeast
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus more for serving
4 cups flour, plus more for dusting
¼ tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. baking soda
Coarse salt, for sprinkling

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat a baking stone in an oven to 500°. Stir together syrup, yeast, and 1½ cups warm water in a large bowl, and let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add butter, flour, and salt, and stir until dough forms. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Halve dough, and working with one piece at a time, roll dough into a 4' rope, about 1" thick. Transfer rope to the bottom edge of a sheet of parchment paper, and keeping the center of the rope on the paper, pick up both ends, cross one end over the other, about 2" from the ends, and twist; attach each end to the sides of the pretzel. Repeat with remaining dough, and set aside to rest for 20 minutes.

2. Bring baking soda and 1 cup water to a simmer in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until baking soda dissolves. Brush each pretzel generously with the baking soda solution, sprinkle with coarse salt, and using a sharp paring knife, make a 6" slash, about ¼" deep across the bottom edge of the pretzel. Working one at a time, slide pretzel on parchment paper onto the stone; bake until dark brown, about 15 minutes. Repeat with remaining pretzel. Let cool for about 10 minutes; serve warm with butter. (expatica.com)
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One Week's vacation

Day One


  • The cheapest airfare for a round trip to Berlin, Germany, along with a hotel, would be about $1,635. The Mecure Hotel in Potsdam City would be a luxurious stay, with free WiFi (the most important).
  • There is fine dining in the hotel, and a king sized bed. Buy a pass for all museums in the city for € 19,50
Day 2
  • Holocaust Memorial-information about the underground during World War 1, and the experiences that Jews had during the Holocaust.
  • Then you would go to the Musikinstrumenten, or Musical Instrument Museum, where a supply of instruments from 500 years of history are displayed. After, you may get a treat from a local food vendor.
Day 3


  • Go to Frankfurt where you indulge in the many foods in the shops. You will probably want to go shopping for souvenirs and clothes also.
  • The stay will only be $72 at the Victoria Hotel.
  • While there, you will have to try the Frankfurter, a sausage born in Germany. A dinner at a fine German cuisine.
Day 4
  • Go to the new museum, Experiminta. This is a very cool museum that, "...puts a fun spin on the laws of mechanics, maths and optics. With shadow puppetry, trick mirrors, an artificial tornado and lots of other activities, visitors of all ages will want to get involved" (german.travel). The admission is 9€ for adults and 6€ for students under 30 years old
  • Settle down in the hotel
Day 5


  • Westerwald Trail in between Cologne and Frankfurt, has beautiful landscape, and will be relaxing to walk
  • If the time of year is autumn, the Autumn Dipe Fair in Frankfurt would be a fun time to go on carnival rides, play games, eat, and drink.
  • Take a car back to Berlin
Day 6



  • Walk along the Berlin Wall
  • Go to The Berlin Philharmonic Hall to hear the orchestra, where the lunch concerts are free
Day 7
  • Buy last minute treats in the airport, and fly home.

Recent News

Germany has very odd news these days. They struggle with the NSA as much as the U.S., along with catching criminals and such. There was recently an earthquake in Nepal, where German specialists now rush to help search for people and study the earthquake. On April 29th, an unknown perpetrator bricked up a Hamburg train door. This is a new unseen form of vandalism in Germany. In happier news, a tortoise was saved from the Munich train tracks on Monday, April 28th. It was unharmed, in spite of its dangerous choice of an escape route.
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Citations

Works Cited

expatica.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <http://www.expatica.com/de/about/Top-10-German-foods-with-recipes_106759.html>.

germany. travel. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <http://www.germany.travel/en/index.html>.

globaledge.msu.edu. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2015. <http://globaledge.msu.edu/countries/germany/government>.

McMahon, Jim. "Map: Germany." SIRS Discoverer. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2015. <http://discoverer.prod.sirs.com/discoweb/disco/do/search?stype=basic&keyword1=Map+of+Germany&easy=on&mod=on&chal=on&sort=relevance&dir=&st=P&details=>.

"Mr. Money: the most profitable car companies." telegraph.co.uk. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2015. <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/columnists/mike-rutherford/9236338/Mr-Money-the-most-profitable-car-companies.html>.

the.local.de. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2015. <http://www.thelocal.de/20150429/munich-police-save-tortoise-from-train-tracks>.

travelocity.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2015. <http://www.travelocity.com/packagesearch?subm=1&cmbt=2&langid=1033&dcty=Chicago,%20IL,%20United%20States%20(ORD-O%27Hare%20Intl.)&dnam=Berlin%20(and%20vicinity),%20Germany&Direct=0&ddpt1=05/01/2015&drtn1=05/08/2015&crom=1&infs=0&drid1=179892&tair1=BER&cadu1=1&ckdr1=0&qryt=8&rdct=1&paandi=true#hotelName=&regionFilter=179892&hotelStarRating=0&reorderFiltersTreatment=-1&action=filterPackageSearch&rfrr=&sortOrder=0&startIndex=0&poiId=&subm=1&cmbt=2&langid=1033&dcty=Chicago,%20IL,%20United%20States%20(ORD-O%27Hare%20Intl.)&dnam=Berlin%20(and%20vicinity),%20Germany&Direct=0&ddpt1=05/01/2015&drtn1=05/08/2015&crom=1&infs=0&drid1=179892&tair1=BER&cadu1=1&ckdr1=0&qryt=8&rdct=1&paandi=true&destinationId=179892&ttla=BER&originId=6000479&ftla=ORD&ajaxRequestType=>.

WeatherOnline. "Germany." weatheronline.co.uk. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2015. <http://www.weatheronline.co.uk/reports/climate/Germany.htm>.