Coming to America: From Northern Germany to the “New World”

In the 19th and 20th century, millions of people were coming to America. They left Europe via the North German ports in search of a better life in the “New World”, mostly the USA.

sculpture called Die Auswanderer, emigrants, on emigrants coming to America
This sculpture called Die Auswanderer, emigrants, is standing on the shore of the river Weser. It remembers the seven million passing through the port of Bremerhaven. Actually, this statue by Frank Varga was donated by the German-American Memorial Association.

As a counterpart to the arrival halls in Ellis Island, several museums in German cities remember the adventurous journeys of the emigrants in transit.

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BOOMTOWN BREMERHAVEN. A complete guide.

Last week, I’ve guided you through Bremen, Germany’s smallest Federal State that actually consists of two cities. Besides Bremen there is Bremerhaven, an exclave with an exciting present – and past.

Seute Deern
The Seute Deern (which in Low German means Sweet Girl) was the world’s last cargo sailing ship made entirely of wood.
In March 2020, one of Bremerhaven’s most iconic landmarks had to be scrapped. However, they are planning on building a copy.

After a changeful history, today the city is almost secretly evolving into a Boomtown.

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BREMEN – BIG and small. A complete city guide.

(Updated Mai 2020)

Bremen, located in the northwest, is definitely not Germany’s most famous city. However, visitors who find their way here will certainly be surprised. And even rewarded since the historic old town – partly a UNESCO world heritage site – deems like the capital of a fairyland. And you’ll run into some fabulous creatures and fairy tale figures, indeed.

The Roland in front of the City Hall of Bremen
Mr. Roland in front of the town hall: As long as he stands tall, Bremen remains free and independent.

But there is far more to discover in this Free Hanseatic City.

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LUBECK – a guide to Germany’s most ravishing city

Somehow Lübeck, Germany’s most ravishing city, has always reminded me of Venice. An innocently cute and relatively small city that used to possess such a political influence and economic power – reaching all over Europe and beyond.

Holstentor at Lübeck
There are quite a few lions in Lübeck – honoring Henry the Lion, the Bavarian King who after Munich founded also Lübeck in 1159. In the Backdrop the iconic Holstentor and right next to it the ancient salt warehouses.

Although Lübeck has incredibly beautiful buildings and alleys, seven church towers, three Nobel prize winners and world-famous marzipan, it does not suffer from destructive over-tourism. I don’t want to change that, however, I’d like to show you around one of Germany’s most ravishing cities.

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Comprehensive Guide to HAMBURG, the “Gateway to the World”

(Updated April 2020)

Hamburg, Germany’s second-largest city, prides itself to be the “most beautiful city in the world”. Obviously, this catchphrase is highly exaggerated.

Sailors at the Port of Hamburg, illustrating a Comprehensive Guide to Hamburg
For ages, sailors from all over the world anchored at the Port of Hamburg.

However, there definitely are alluring views that make you yearn for undiscovered shores. Germans call it Fernweh – loosely translated to aching for distance.

I’m sure the maritime charm and traditional openness to the entire world will amaze you.

Hence, this Comprehensive Guide to Hamburg will take you to the city’s most beautiful corners.

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All you need to know before going to GERMANY

German Flag

Whether it’s the legal and formal stuff or the fun and quirky things – everyone should read this compilation before setting foot in Germany.I’m listing relevant figures and important rules and regulations as well as sometimes unpredicted peculiarities and fun facts to know before you go so that no unexpected surprise will impair your experience.

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ISLAND HOPPING in GERMANY

While international tourism to Germany is increasing, visitors rather stick to the clichés like beer and Lederhosen at Munich and a cruise on the river Mosel; or they hang out at the hip capital Berlin – instead of enjoying Island Hopping in Germany.

I guess that might be the reason why many people believe Germany is landlocked and don’t think about long coasts, two seas, and about 80 islands.

Beach on the German island of Borkum - inviting you to do some Island Hopping
I think this is not the first image that comes to mind when talking ’bout travelling Germany.

However, that’s exactly what Germany’s north has to offer – and many fascinating phenomenons like the tideland that comes with it. As a matter of fact, Germany’s shoreline is longer than the Portuguese one.

So what are you waiting for? Join me on my island hopping…in Germany!

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BERLIN guide: get the most for less on bus 100

(Updated April 2020)

Who needs an expensive hop on hop off bus? Follow my guide to Berlin and you’ll get to see most for less by taking the city bus 100.

Guide to Berlin: The Brandenburg Gate is one of the sights passed by bus 100.
Pariser Platz on the Eastern side of the Brandenburger Tor – where the gate used to divide East and West Germany. Today it’s the busiest tourist spot in all Berlin.

In conclusion, all you need is a cheap WelcomeCard that allows you to explore Germany’s capital on your own – and my guide.

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BERLIN – a guide to the Wild Wild East

(Updated December 2019)

A couple of weeks ago, I took you on a smooth ride across Berlin, Germany’s exciting capital, by bus #100. We started at the Alexanderplatz in the east and went westwards all the way to the former main train station Bahnhof Zoologischer Garten.

 

bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Berlin Wild East
At the East Side Gallery, on this picture by street artist and wall painter Birgit Kinder you can see a Trabant – aka Trabi – one of two types of cars that were manufactured in the former GDR and everyone in the west made fun of. The Trabi is crashing through a wall – guess which one – and its license plate reads Nov 9, 89 – the date the gates to the west were open and the wall – and finally the GDR – came down.

In today’s post, let’s discover what you get to see and experience when you turn east at the Alexanderplatz – and walk right into the heart of the ex-capital of the former GDR – the German Democratic Republic.

You’ll see: It’s the Wild Wild East!

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A VAN-TASTIC TRIP to the ISLAND of FEHMARN

Spending a weekend or vacation on the island of Fehmarn in a camper van gives you a totally different perspective of the island’s cool activities and beautiful sceneries.

Surfer and kiters at the Fehmarnsundbrücke during our van-tastic trip to Fehmarn
While the strong wind is the cyclist’s enemy, it’s definitely the surfer’s and kiter’s best friend. One of the hotspots is at Fehmarn’s southern strait next to the legendary Fehmarnsundbrücke, the Fehmarnsoundbridge

After I had spent a weekend on this Baltic island in Spring – when it still was a bit nippy – I thought, in Summer, this place must be paradise.

“Why don’t you just come back in July?”, asks Kim, the representative at Fehmarn Tourismus, a savvy planner and organizer and as cute as a button. “We’d have a camper van at your disposal, this way, you could experience the island from a genuine, more rustic side”.
“Oh….oh….kay, let me get back to you”.

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