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Would you travel half-way around the world to visit a museum? If you've answered "yes" or "maybe," then we like you already, and perhaps you'll enjoy this first-person tale of a trip for exactly that purpose.
Part 1: Checking off the Zeppelin Museum
Part 2: Heading into the Zeppelin HQ and hangar
Part 3: Maybe never leaving?
In April 2011, Retronaut posted a series of vintage color photographs of the infamous Hindenburg airship. In mid 2012, I discovered there was an entire museum dedicated to it. Needing only one good reason to justify any of my travels, it was only a few months later I walked through the doors of the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen, Germany and climbed into the belly of a 1:1 scale model of the LZ 129 "Hindenburg" Zeppelin.
You may remember the Hindenburg from the tragedy of May 6, 1937, the one which forever impressed the phrase "Oh, the humanity" on, well, humanity. For all intents and purposes, that is the day the Zeppelin died, as flames engulfed the airship while docking at NJ's Lakehurst Naval Air Station and squelched any hope of a future for airships as reliable commercial transportation.
For a time, these hydrogen-filled, diesel-powered balloons were, nonetheless, the wave of the future...above the waves. They had novelty and stability on their side; whereas an ocean crossing could be a prescription for one week of mal de mer, a Zeppelin sailed along smoothly at a few thousand feet up, free from the motion of the ocean.
Though many countries simply tolerate it via unwritten rules and an open mind, Munich has officially legalized public nudity by creating six designated "nudist zones" throughout the city. The zones are mostly centered around or near the Isar River, including two in Englischer Park.
Public nudity has been somewhat of a debate in Munich since statewide laws concerning nude sunbathing expired last fall, but showing skin is nothing new for the Germans. Despite all the hype and attention this news has brought, this writer can testify that nudity was more than tolerated last summer in Munich. On a visit in July, after having a drink at the world's largest beer garden, I took a walk through Englischer Park and saw many people bearing skin. It was absolutely common behavior and nothing that anyone seemed to think twice about. As noted, this was before the laws controlling nude sunbathing expired.
In celebration of the most needed happy hour of the week, we're launching a new column called “Monday, Five Thirty” that will take a look at different vices from around the world, specifically boozes and beers unique to a destination. Last week, it was Vana Tallinn in Estonia, and now, we head to Germany for a taste of the little-known Killepitsch.
Unless you are visiting Frankfurt, the German city that doesn’t drink beer, you will definitely be throwing back pints and liters with regularity while in Deutschland. Such is the case in Dusseldorf, famous for its amber-colored Altbier and its rivalry with nearby Kolsch-producing Cologne. But the small city on the Rhine has a syrupy dark side, one that came about during an air raid in World War II.
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With security lines, crowds, and other less than awesome features—an airport isn’t necessarily the best place to welcome the holiday season. Some airports are looking to change this, however, and one in particular has embraced the holiday spirit in grand style. Germany's Frankfurt Airport is the must-visit airport for December, as they've installed a full-on Weihnachtsmarkt, or Christmas Market.
FRA is boasting decorations, trees, lights, and all of the usual holiday trimmings as they do their best to bring a traditional German holiday market atmosphere right to the terminals. The over 300 shops and restaurants at the airport are in the holiday spirit with Christmas specials and other deals and, on Christmas Eve, many of the stores will even stay open later than usual—just in case you need one more thing for that special someone.
We're going to describe this contest in as straightforward and nonjudgmental a way as we can. Then we'll leave it up to you guys to decide whether it's a piece of clever travel advertising or whether it's... something else. There are certainly some arguments in favor of the notion that it's clever travel advertising, most obviously the facts that we're writing about the competition and you're about to read about it. But then on the other side of the argument is... just about everything else.
DDB Stockholm - which has been described among other things as the "world's most interactive agency" - seems to have been contracted by Lufthansa to promote the airline in Sweden. The agency creatives put their collective heads together and came up with a winner-take-all contest for Swedes of both sexes. Whoever gets past the finish line first gets a trip to Germany, an apartment in Berlin, transportation in the form of a bicycle, and - quote unquote - "a new life courtesy of Lufthansa."
To win, all one has to do is legally change their name to Klaus-Heidi, and then to prove it somehow. So if someone uploads a passport with a legal name of Klaus-Heidi on it, they win.
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Kicking yourself for not pulling the trigger on a trip to Oktoberfest this year? And the year before and the one before that? You're not alone. But you know what will ensure you don't procrastinate again next year? Free tickets!
Sam Adams is currently running rounds of its National Stein Hoisting Competition, in which contestants have to hold a 1-liter stein of beer straight out in front of them for as long as possible without bending their arm or, worse, spilling the beer. The two hoisters who hold it up the longest (one male and one female) will each win a trip for two to next year’s Oktoberfest in Munich.
Sounds like a fun event, win or lose, sure to spark some energy in the bar. Keep in mind this is a national competition, though, so you’ll compete at your local event, but your time is compared against fellow beer lovers across the country. You can check out the current leaderboard here. So far, the best time for men is 13 minutes, 27 seconds and 9 minutes, 26 seconds for women.
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Don Henley discovered that we've all been poisoned by fairy tales, but does he know who is to blame for it? We do...the Germans!
It was two academics from Deutschland, Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm, collectively known as the "Brothers Grimm," who are responsible for sending us all down the rabbit hole on a foolish mission to fulfill our unrealistic expectations of life.
The two brothers began aggregating and modifying folk tales from different mythologies in the early 1800s. In total, they published over 200 stories in a series of books, including the now well-known classic tales of Cinderella, The Frog Prince, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin, and Snow White. You may recognize a few of those titles!
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Prost! The 180th Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany has already begun, but you're not too late to get in on the fun. Running from September 21st through October 6th, the celebration of beer and the autumn harvest returns with its 14 Big Tents, an amusement park, and all the sausages under heat lamps you can handle.
Naturally the focus is again on beer, but we're here to say that, yes, we've been to Oktoberfest before and, yes, there's more than just heading for the hops. It's definitely too late to make a table reservation in a major beer tent, but drinking other beverages can still yield you a seat.
Here's four other liquids to guzzle during Oktoberfest 2013:
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We've said it before and we'll say it again: Oktoberfest season is one of the best seasons! There are so many reasons, least among them all the special beers and the crispness of fall in the air. On the travel end, it means Lufthansa flight crew dressed in traditional Bavarian costumes.
2013 is the eighth consecutive year for the team of 14 known as the Lufthansa "Trachten Crew," but you'll only find them passing out pretzels and greeting you with a hearty "Grüß Gott" on specific flights into and out of Munich.
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Yay! It's that time of the year when we get to talk about Oktoberfest. The barrels will be tapped and the pretzels baked starting tomorrow, Saturday, September 21. Just as last year, we're going to lay some wisdom on ya as seasoned female revelers at Munich's massive party. Heed these, our six things for female travelers to know about Oktoberfest:
1. Beer is not the only authentic drink! In fact, we'd argue there are three other beverages it's "authentic" to drink at Oktoberfest, all of which work out well for those who don't particularly enjoy chugging beer: champagne, schnapps and Radler. Look beyond the ginormous beer tents to the Weinzelt tent, a smaller tent that specializes in Nymphenburger Sektsekt being German champagne. Even smaller and dotted around the Theresienwiese are schnapps booths, where a few Euro goes a long way (towards getting drunkers).
In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve got a little bit of a thing for airplanes. Even those that are no longer flying up in the sky are pretty darn awesome, and that’s especially the case for those which once cruised at supersonic speeds. Of course we know a bunch of spots to find Concorde, but if we’re not mistaken, there’s only one spot to check out Concorde and her supersonic sibling.
The Tupolev Tu-144 and Concorde both did the super fast thing in decades past, but now they’re taking life a little slower—as in not moving at all—on static display at an aviation museum. You'll find the pair at the Auto and Technik Museum in Sinsheim, Germany, also home to a variety of other historical transportation exhibits.
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Last December we did a post about Berlin's Brandenburg Airport, headlined "Berlin's giant new airport will open (maybe possibly hopefully)." In that post we outlined the history of woes that the airport has suffered, going back to the October 2011 date when its doors were originally supposed to open. Then, last July we gave you another update, expressing our hope that "someday, somehow" the airport would debut.
Fast forward to yesterday, when Germany's English-language The Local published details of a report describingand this is not a typomore than 66,000 problems still requiring attention. The story began with the line, "Berlin's new international airport took another step towards never being finished on Tuesday..." and then kind of went downhill from there. Oof.