Meadows of the river Elbe

Not far from Lüneburg, at the ferry crossing the Elbe at the small town of Bleckede in Northern Saxony  it is possible to walk for miles on the embankments of the river Elbe. Here the border ran along the Elbe when Germany was split. After the reunification the meadows where turned into nature reserve.  Here are some impressions of a walk we took there last year in early autumn:

What North Germans like to eat: Fischbrötchen

Blogging from A – Z

I don’t know an English word for my favorite snack: Fischbrötchen. In North Germany you will find stalls selling rolls (Brötchen) with  freshly fried, smoked or salted fish at any market, at the beach or in fish shops.

A fresh, crisp roll, a salad leaf, perhaps a bit of tartar sauce or mayonaise, heaps of mild onions, pickles,  and fresh fish – simply delicious and hardly any cholesterol (that matters as you get older, unfortunately). A great alternative to the famous German Bratwurst.

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My favorite Fischbrötchen is Matjesbrötchen, which you can see below. Matjes are the fillet of  herings, which have been salted in barrels over a time. The real Matjes, which you will get in late May/June are of herings that have not yet spawned. They are sort of melting in your mouth. Just imagine: sitting in the sun, inhaling sea air and biting into your Fischbrötchen – bliss!

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Starting over with my blog

I have neglected this blog terribly. Well, not just this blog, but my German ones as well. Somehow, this year has been busy with family things:  a wedding, a christening, a 80th birthday, a confirmation and serious sickness. Many weekends were spent away at home, in Lüneburg and Heide, where most of my family lives. There were some trips with our new camper van, the one my partner built himself out of an old delivery van.

Yes, I have taken many photos, so during the winter I will show you, where we have been and give you some more impressions of North Germany. North Germany includes the three federal states Schleswig – Holstein, where I live, Norther Saxony, where I grew up and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern which used to be in the German Democratic Republic.

When I started this blog I was very optimistic about getting involved in the community life in the small place I am living in today. I wanted to show you the places I visited and share my everyday life with you.

Since having this blog I have not found it so terrible difficult to show you places I visited, but sharing everyday life has been a challenge. Simply, because I am still not rooted in the community here. I am working in Hamburg, commuting, usually being away from home 12 – 13 hours. Coming home there are chores to do: walk the dog, fix dinner, read the mail. And being in a relationship it deserves a bit of attention too.

In the countryside life stops around 08:00 pm. The shutters on the houses around us go down. Sports courses at the local club start long before, the baker, the butcher and the pharmacist close at 06.00 and when I get home, only the supermarkets are open. Weekends are busy with cleaning up, shopping, doing the garden and the only time I meet the neighbors is when I walk the dog. Our friends are either living in Hamburg or further away.

If you want to be part of a community in the country side you have to either be born into the place or join the voluntary fire brigade (still a man’s thing) or the football /sports club or the church. All three don’t appeal to me and not to my partner either.

This is the reason why I haven’t been writing much about everyday life. It is a weak excuse, I know. I will try to better myself, which is one of the reasons I joined this Blogging 101 University.

I still want to show you North Germany. It has always irritated me a bit, that most non-Germans think of South Germany and its traditions when thinking about Germany. I love travelling and catching glimpses into other people’s lives, at the same time I have very strong roots here.

I will still write about everyday life, about things that are typical (North) German. And now and then I will write about things that are on my mind and that I would like to share with others.  Maybe I will even let you catch a glimpse into my work life, and I would very much show you some of Norway, which I have come to like an awful lot.

You know, when sharing these things publicly they become something special for me. I am trying to find aspects that might be new or unusual to others, while they are commonplace to me. Last, not least, blogging in English helps me to keep my knowledge of the language active and meeting many people from around the world. And that, I feel, is a true enrichment.