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
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.
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.
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.
A year ago we ventured just a few miles out of the valley to the “Geierlay Hängseilbrücke” at Mörsdorf in the Hunsrück, and wow, what a bridge that is!
Opened just a little over two years ago, at 360 meters in length this is the longest rope (or in this case, cable) suspension bridge in Germany. It sits about 100 metres at its highest point and whilst it is not for the faint hearted, the views from the bridge itself are very impressive.
The bridge is actually part of the network of walking and hiking trails that criss cross the area. It is about a kilometer by foot from the village of Mörsdorf where parking is available (sadly not free, although access to the bridge is) along with a visitor centre and a couple of cafes.
By the way, please excuse my finger blurring the bottom left of the picture!
In response to a growing number of messages I am receiving asking about how to go about finding properties in the area, I can recommend the following web search engines:
Unfortunately, they are in German but it is easy enough to find your way around them using a dictionary, or for those who really cannot be bothered, by running them through an online translator such as the one available on Google Chrome.
I am working on doing a full article which will include common terminology and other bits of advice on finding property. I will publish that as soon as I can.
With that view, I could lie here 24/7 and watch the ever-changing landscape of the valley.
This picture was taken yesterday on the road from Reil towards Bengel and Wittlich. In the distance is Pünderich with Marionburg beyond.
I love how the shadows from the clouds darken the land below creating such a dramatic effect. I don’t know about you, but I find such scenery almost humbling.
One thing that struck me when I first came to Germany was that it is not exactly a safe haven for vegetarians. Pork features in so many dishes including the humble fried potato, and non-meat eaters are not exactly spoiled for choice as menus rarely offer anything which does not comprise a huge slab of animal fried in fat from another. So I had to laugh when I read this article in The Local – given what is illustrated in that, I am now really grateful I am a meat eater!
All of us who choose to live in Germany find one of the most daunting aspects is what to do when medical problems occur. Indeed, one of the most common questions I am asked is how to go about finding an English-speaking doctor, dentist or optician. Whilst I plan on doing a full article on this subject in the near future, I just want to share my experiences gained over the couple of years or so that I have spent here. Continue reading