Archive for October, 2013

“I Want To Ride My Bicycle”

You like riding bikes and love getting dressed-up for an occasion?

Then this might interest you: the Tweed Run has made it to Berlin and is on its way of establishing a lovely tradition there.

Tweed_runThe Tweed Run originated, as to be expected, in London and is the cumulative result of people enjoying the simple pleasures of an era gone-by. Cyclists all over the world are enjoying a casual ride on their modern or antique bikes, getting dressed in period clothes, Tweed of course the preferred material, and having a proper afternoon tea at the end of it.

Their enthusiasm for their fashionable pastime has led to an increase in clubs organizing events throughout the year and groups meeting on the internet to spread the word.

Tweed around the World

Nowadays the world traveller can spend the whole year following the good weather and having a jolly good ride in some very interesting cities. As the rides are not competitive, there’s plenty of time to admire the parks and architecture during the trips.

Just like being on a tour with us, you get to see the highlights and sights at a leisurely pace and off the beaten tracks.

Author: Petra Alsbach-Stevens

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Wortspiele – idioms and puns

Being bilingual and feeling comfortable in two or more languages can make you aware of some words in each language that just have no or awkward translations. For example ‘to appreciate’: the positive idea expressed by a single elegant word in English gets bogged down by a cumbersome and heavy-handed expression in the German language: “dankbar anerkennen”, “zu schätzen wissen” or “sich einer Sache bewußt sein”.

Origami German StyleEselsohren – donkeys ears

eselsohrenNow, if you happen to be in Germany and someone asks you not to make Eselsohren in a magazine or book, don’t bother explaining you haven’t got a donkey with you! It would surpass the scope of this article to examine the origin of that expression, especially since the English use ‘dog-eared’! But be aware that the speaker likes to keep his/her reading material in immaculate condition!

In a recently published book “Eselsohren” the author Lea Kutz has taken this particular idiom and its dividing nature for book fetishists and abusers, and applied it in a new context: as you turn the pages you are supposed to bend them and turn them into something else: Ein Esel mit Ohren, a donkey with ears!


You’re getting ready for your trip to Germany and even got a phrase book from the library and just can’t get your head around it? Even though all our tour guides are fluent in English and German and will be your walking, talking dictionaries during your tour with us, you might have one or two words you’d like to have explained before getting there. Let us know and we’ll get into the murky depths of the dictionaries and linguistic journals for you.

Author: Petra Alsbach-Stevens

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We Want To Know!

Busy Times

brain-overload-2As we all know the internet content is getting more and more by the day and it gets harder keeping up with the sites that cover your interests. Some of you might browse the net during the ride to work while others prefer sitting in bed on a quiet Saturday or Sunday morning with coffee or tea at hand perusing what’s on offer.

Gear Change

As observant readers you will have noticed a change in our publication schedule for the blog – we used to publish two articles during the working week, now we publish one on Saturdays.

Your Opinion counts!

We’d love to know what YOU prefer.

And to make it just that little bit easier and faster, we’ll make it multiple choice!

This Blog’s for You!

We want to make sure that this part of our business remains relevant to your lifestyle: we don’t want to spam you with too much content but on the same token don’t want to disappear in the news feed and be forgotten.

We’d appreciate your help in making this service user-friendly and geared towards your interests. If you have any ideas on topics you’d like to see covered, drop us a line.

Author: Petra Alsbach-Stevens

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800px-Das_kleine_Museum_Eckkneipe_Grotestraße_10_Hannover_Ecke_Ahlemer_StraßeThe German word ‘Kneipe’ has its origin in the 18th century term for a place where people had to squeeze together for drink and food. ‘Kneipschenke’ denotes the place, and “kneipen” is the verb for squeezing in! So be aware, a lot of Eckkneipen – corner pubs – will be tiny!

The practice of drinking, and drinking heavily, was tolerated, as long as it was conducted within the carefully structured cultural norms and didn’t interfere with a man’s responsibilities for his household. If it got too much for him to work or he started abusing the wife, she could deploy public powers to impose and enforce limits! As the cities and the neighbourhoods have grown since the 18th century, this aspect has unfortunately disappeared. But quite often you will still find the regular patrons of a Kneipe to be protective of its reputation and curb any antisocial behaviour!

Local brews

While some pubs are locked to one brewing company, others can offer the local brews. Most street signs indicate which beers are served, on tap of course. Ask your tour guide while travelling through Germany with us and they will advise you if a pub serves the local brew. So, while you’re here, get down to the Eckkneipe, enjoy a cool draft and get to know some of the locals!Sven Lambert

For our first time visitors who might like to find out more about beer and its history, check out our other blog entries here, here and here!


Author: Petra Alsbach-Stevens

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