Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Germany Observations and Travel Notes

  • Prices - not as bad as we think in the US - remember Sales tax is included in all advertised prices. In restaurants the service / tip is also included (some leave additional change or a few percent). Sales tax is 19%!
  • Toilets - Euro .40 - .50 or 60 70 cents, and they do collect or you don't get in.
  • Water - no water tap in restaurants, they make you buy a bottle at Euro 2 - 4 ($2.80 - $5.50) the waiter tells us when you get home and you did not like the tap water you blame the restaurant so we only sell bottles. One Menu had "The city does not give away coffee we don't give away water".
  • Trams and Trains - you know when the next one is coming, display at the station, also inside it shows where the train is going and next stations upcoming.
  • It looks like there are now more Ice cream cafes than Beer bars.
  • Cup of Coffee 1.5 - 2.5 euros, .5 liter beer 2.5 - 3.5 Euros, Coke 2.2-2.5 small bottle.
  • Lunch or Dinner in nice Restaurant 10-15 Euros (Tip,Tax inc)
  • One day card to use all public transportation Family 7 Euros (Leipzig, Dresden, Berlin)
  • Many cars in the cities but no traffic jams, many bicycles! looks like people like to stay fit and $8 gas helps.
  • MANY German tourists in Leipzig, Bamberg, Wittenberg and Dresden. Very few in Hamburg.
  • Berlin more Beer and Bars than Ice Cream and Coffee Shops, not like other cities.
  • OK to walk around with a bottle of beer after work or evening in city area.
  • Smoking - not inside restaurants but outside  - many smokers!
  • Berlin full of tourists in late April - many languages on the streets.
  • Bikes - many and watch out they are all over you have a chance to get hit by a bike before a car.
  • Wine pured is .2 L a bit more than the average pour in the States - Nice!
  • Hamburg more expensive (10%) than Eastern Germany towns.
  • Dogs in Restaurants, is OK.
  • Switzerland Geneva prices are HIGH. $ 4.90 for a Coffee of the day at Starbucks, $ 7-8 for a Glass of wine .1L (half of what they serve in Germany), a glass of Beer $5 .3L., Dinner $40-50 person with drinks in nice Restaurant, Lunch $15-20 no drinks.
The German Democratic Republic (GDRGermanDeutsche Demokratische Republik [ˈdɔʏtʃə demoˈkʀaːtɪʃə ʀepuˈbliːk]or DDR), informally called East Germany (GermanOst-Deutschland) by West Germany and other countries, was the socialist state established in 1949 in the Soviet zone of occupied Germany and in the East Berlin portion of the Allied-occupied capital city. The German Democratic Republic, which consisted geographically of northeast Germany rather than all of eastern Germany, had an area of 107,771 km2 (41,610 mi2), bordering Czechoslovakia in the south, West Germany (officially: Federal Republic of Germany) in the south and west, the Baltic Sea to the north, and Poland in the east.
In 1989 a non-violent revolution overthrew the Communists. The Soviets refused to intervene, and the country soon reunited with West Germany and is now part of Germany.
At German reunification on October 3, 1990, the Länder (states) of East Germany were integrated as new federal states to theFederal Republic of Germany (FRG). Moreover, the German Democratic Republic was disestablished after the Communistgovernment, of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), lost the general election on March 18, 1990, and thus its parliamentary majority in the Volkskammer (People’s Chamber); subsequently, on August 23, 1990, the Volkskammer re-established the five pre-war states — BrandenburgMecklenburg-VorpommernSaxonySaxony-Anhalt, and Thuringia(disestablished in 1952) — for the reunification of East Germany to West Germany.

The Wende 

In 1989, following widespread public anger over the results of local government elections that spring, many citizens applied for exit visas or left the country illegally. In August 1989 Hungary removed its border restrictions and unsealed its border, and more than 13,000 people left East Germany by crossing the "green" border via Czechoslovakia into Hungary and then on toAustria and West Germany.[17] Many others demonstrated against the ruling party, especially in the city of Leipzig.Kurt Masur, the conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, led local negotiations with the government and held town meetings in the concert hall.[18] The demonstrations eventually led Erich Honecker to resign in October, and he was replaced by a slightly more moderate communist, Egon Krenz.
On November 9, 1989, a few sections of the Berlin Wall were opened, resulting in thousands of East Germans crossing into West Berlin and West Germany for the first time. Krenz resigned a few days later, and the SED abandoned power shortly afterward. Although there were some limited attempts to create a permanent democratic East Germany, these were soon overwhelmed by calls for unification with West Germany.

No comments:

Post a Comment