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May Day: Germany

Streamers on a birch tree for May Day in Germany In the usually quiet German countryside, when mowing the lawn too early in the morning is severely frowned upon and silence is platinum, there is a sweet tradition on May 1st of each year that will wake you from your dreams with techno blasts from […]

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St. Nikolausbahn — i.e. Gillrath Christmas Train

UPDATE:  Tickets are already sold out or nearly gone for half the rides this year.  Check the dates and times online.  You can get your tickets at the Gillrath or Schwierwaldenrath stations or at several other locations listed on the Nikolausfahrt information page on the train website. This annual train ride is very special and […]

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German Christmas Markets: Aachen and Cologne (Koln)

German Christmas Markets: Aachen and Cologne (Koln)

Germany is known for it’s beautiful Christmas markets (Weihnachtsmarkts), but even beyond those borders, you can find some amazing markets enjoyable not only for shoppers, but for anyone wanting to absorb the ambiance and may be try something delicious to eat as well. I’ll give you some information on the Aachen and Cologne (Koln) markets […]

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Karneval in Gillrath, Germany

We stayed in a small German village for Karneval in an old house on the main road.  Gillrath was celebrating with its first parade in 30 years. The street was lined on both sides with locals of all ages almost entirely in costume.  Even onlookers dress up here, so we dressed up as well.  I […]

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Gillrath — ALAAF!!! A small village carnival parade in Germany.

Photos: 1) The first tractor “float” of the parade followed by group of Robin Hoods 2) A group of kids behind the Hansel and Gretel float. If you enlarge it, you’ll see the one boy is smoking and the other is drinking beer. Not illegal and quite typical.   Today the party came to our […]

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Krapfen – Carnival sweets!

Today I went into Schleypen for a coffee and saw they had treats there I’ve never seen before. In fact, there are several sweet treats that are popping up in bakeries that are completely new. It’s Carnival. Just like we’d eat elephant ears at a State Fair, they’ve got their own versions of fat laden, […]

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GK Local: Eier Liqueur

In chocolates and cakes, with whipped cream and coffee, and even in ice cream and chocolate truffels, egg liquor is a very popular flavoring here both in Germany and the Netherlands. In German it’s “eier liquor” and in Dutch it’s “advocaat.” Either way, it’s a bright orange-yellow, potent, yet sweet, runny egg yolk liqueur that […]

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Alaaf! A German Carnival Party

Carnival season is here. It starts officially, I think, on Rosenmontag (Rose Monday) which is this next Monday, the 19th. That’s the day that the big parades happen in Cologne, Maastricht, and other cities in this region. This is the region of Germany where Carnival is celebrated the most. Costume shops abound though most are […]

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