Maps For Cycling And Walking Along The Mosel

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These are two maps I recently bought which I can recommend. Both are German but that is not a huge deal as they are very clear, the keys are self explanatory, they are truly pocket sized and are made of some kind of glossy paper than is wipe clean and very durable. Continue reading

German State Pensions

I was surfing the web a while ago when I stumbled upon the German Pensions (Deutsche Rentenversicherung) website and was pleased to see it contains some useful downloadable brochures in English and six other languages on State pensions for EU and non-EU citizens.

Of course, for those Brits amongst us everything in that respect is up in the air now, but at least it gives an overview as to how things work at the moment, and we can get an idea of what the rules might be following the worst case Brexit scenario.

The website can be found here and the downloadable brochures here.

Sofa Bed – Free To A Good Home

We still have this little foam flop out sofa bed which is surplus to our requirements. It is not really big enough to accommodate adults, but it is perfect for a kids’ room.

It is in good condition and if anyone wants to come and take it (sorry we cannot deliver), please send me message using the form below. It is located in Zell and the collection date / time will need to be by mutual arrangement as we are not always there. It should fit into most estate cars or maybe even into a larger hatchback.

Do Germans Have A Sense Of Humour?

Do Germans have a sense of humour? This can be the subject of a very long debate, but the BBC Travel website has gone to some lengths in explaining things in a very interesting article titled “Why people think Germans aren’t funny”.

The article gives some very plausible explanations as to why German humour isn’t funny to English speakers and vice versa. Click here to go to the article.

Events In The Mosel Region

Good news for those of us lucky enough to live in the Mosel region or are coming for a holiday – there is always something wine related going on nearby, not to mention concerts, antique and flea markets, even motorboat racing.

Such events are a great way to sample the regional food and wine whilst rubbing shoulders and supporting the local economy so please do try to visit at least one.

A full list of the upcoming festivals and other events can be found here. The website is in German but most of it is easy enough to follow, or there is always good old Google Translate.

Winzerteller – The Perfect Accompaniment To Wine

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People often ask me what typical Mosel dishes are, and it is a very hard question to answer. However, what does seem to pop up regularly on menus in the eateries along the river is the “Winzerteller” which literally translates to “Vintner’s plate”. It’s not unique to the region, as I know such things are popular in other states such as Bavaria (where it is called “Brotzeit”), but it is the perfect accompaniment to the local wine.

As you can see, it is basically just a wooden platter with a selection of meats and /or cheese. The meats usually include cured ham and sliced sausage – often homemade – such as black pudding (“Blutwurst”) and liver sausage “Leberwurst”).

The platter in the picture is from a restaurant in Zell (I will publish the name when I remember it!) and includes cured ham and sausage made from local wild boar (“Wildschwein”). It is one of my favourite meals.

TV Dinners Aldi Style

I recently discovered that the supermarket chain Aldi does a range of chilled as opposed to frozen ready meals (“Fertiggerichte”) which you just bung in the microwave for a few minutes and hey presto, dinner is served.

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I know these thing are nothing new – we Brits were the pioneers of TV dinners – but what sets them apart is that each day a number of different options is offered and the portions are enough even for a larger size bloke like me. For me, they are quick, convenient, filling but above all, usually typically German. Oh, and the price is really good too. The selection changes on a very regular basis. The picture shows gammon (“Kasseler”) and sausages which was very tasty indeed, although I did add the mustard myself! Other typical dishes include kale stew (“Gruenkohl”), roast pork or turkey as well as the more regular dishes such as pasta and Bratwurst.

Tips For Learning A New Language

I have been rather sloppy at maintaining Mosel Musings over the last year and please accept my sincere apologies for that. I will spare you the excuses even though I do have my personal reasons for the absence. I also promised some time ago to give a review of the language courses I did last year and sadly I still have not got around to that, but they will happen as soon as I get more time.

However, a colleague is thinking of moving to another country and today I was chatting to her about my language learning experiences. I gave her several pointers of the things I found most helpful and I thought some of the readers of Mosel Musings might also find them useful if they are learning German or indeed any other language.

So, without further ado, here are my tips for language learning novices: Continue reading

Healthcare In Germany

In Britain, we all complain about the National Health Service (NHS), but having myself lived in several countries that do not have one, I think it is pretty darn good.

Of course, Germany is also highly regarded for its health care, but I must admit I do find it considerably more complicated to navigate than the British system. For example, when you start working in Germany, you must actually choose a provider as the government effectively contracts it out. And if you earn above a certain salary, you can opt to go private and your and your employer’s contributions get fed into that. Things get even more complicated if you are unemployed, self employed or a student.

Therefore, I was pleased to find a page on the “How To Germany” website which gives a good overview of how it is all structured and some of the rules and regulations which govern it all. Click here to go directly to that page.