Football Madness

Germans, like the Brits, are well known for their enthusiasm for football. However, this Borussia Dortmund supporter in Zell Kaimt takes his team loyalty to a whole new level.


I am not sure what the neighbours think of it, but tourists love it!

Filing German Taxes

Moving to a new country is always daunting. Dealing with taxation must sit at the top of the “Oh My God” list for most expats, especially given that German taxation is complex even for the natives. Rightly or wrongly, I relied on my employer to get it right although my payslips always used to mystify me given that they were a full A4 sheet of seemingly endless deductions.

However, for me, things became complicated after I bought an investment property in Berlin and a small business. All this meant doing income tax and VAT returns electronically in German. To attempt to do it myself would have been a recipe for disaster, so I got professional help.
Continue reading “Filing German Taxes”

Useful Addresses

You may or may not have noticed it, but I have a page titled “Useful Addresses” on this blog. I am developing this page to create a kind of businesses directory of companies and organisations in the area able to help those who speak little or no German.

It would really help me if people could let me know of any businesses that they are aware of in the area with a good knowledge of English. They can be anything – car mechanics, butcher shops, florists, plumbers, hairdressers, etc. I am not so interested in bars as most people manage to order drinks okay. Also, larger supermarkets are usually self-explanatory and don’t present a problem for non-German speakers.

If you have any suggestions, please do let me know using the form below. Please note that I have deliberately not asked for any of your personal information (name, email, etc.) due to the new data protection laws.

By the way, the format of the Useful Addresses page is only temporary. In time, I plan on making it much more user-friendly, and maybe searchable if WordPress allows me.

Mosel Flood Levels

If you ever wondered how deep the Mosel gets during winter, the pic above says it all.

I am 6’2″ (189 cm) tall so had I been standing at that same point in Cochem in 1993 I’d have been in serious trouble! And for any of you that have been to Cochem, you will know that the normal level of the river is significantly below the street level..

Trading German Beer for English Tea & Bacon

I suspect many of you who drive to Germany for holidays or whatever are guilty of this. My best mate and his three sons came to visit from England and they brought over several month’s supply Tetley tea bags, English bacon and Cheddar cheese.

As you can see, rather than taking the truck back empty they took advantage of the cheap booze here. No Riesling made it onto the truck – we polished the whole lot off at the weekend…

Trainspotting in the Mosel

Here is a video I found on YouTube of some classic trains spotted a while back in Neef.

Unfortunately I’m not sure if this is a regular occurrence, but they would be an impressive sight chugging along by the river.

Canoeing and Kayaking on the Mosel

If you fancy seeing the river from a different angle, why not try canoeing or kayaking?

Recently we packed my son and his cousin off on a “tour” run by Mosel Kanu Tours. With stations at Ernst and at Ediger-Eller, they offer several options for getting you afloat. You can either rent a vessel and make your own arrangements to get it back to the starting point. Or, you can opt to do a “tour” which includes transporting you and all your kit back at a pre-determined time. It’s not a tour in the real sense though, and you are not accompanied by an instructor or tour guide – you make your own way downstream and at your own pace so you can make up your own itinerary as you go along.

The company provides buoyancy aids and floating waterproof containers to store your keys, phone, sun cream, etc. Liability insurance is also included in the price. A choice of boats is available – kayaks, Canadian canoes and those stand up board things that seem to be the rage now. The kayaks can accommodate one or two paddlers and the canoes three and four.

For more information on Mosel Kanu Tours, click here. Oh, they also do bicycle hire, and you can combine that with boating for the ultimate experience.

The Hochmoselübergang

The Hochmoselübergang (also known as the Hochmoselbrücke) is really taking shape now. You will have seen it if you have driven along the river between Trarben Trarbach and Bernkastel Kues, otherwise you may have read about it on the news.

The project has been one of the most controversial civil engineering projects in Germany to date. Some see it as a gigantic eyesore. Others believe it will have a detrimental impact on the environment. Many argue that alternative, more environmentally friendly and less damaging routes were available. Continue reading “The Hochmoselübergang”

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