Monday, June 21, 2010

Holiday in Germany

I just got back from a 16 days holiday in Germany with my wife and my Sony XR350E camcorder. The first 12 days was with Cosmos Tour under their Highlights of Germany package while the next 4 days were on my own with a second visit to Berlin and Frankfurt on the way home. This is my first experience with Cosmos Tour and it is a good experience. The Cosmos tour itself was quite relax (at least for this one but not sure about the others) and not rushed like other tours arranged locally and you have plenty of free time to do your own visiting in the stops at the major towns and cities. In my later posts I will give a day to day account of the holiday. I hope to add some videos taken with the Sony XR350E that survived the trip intact and it behaved very well during the trip.

Just a quick overview. The Germans are generally friendly and helpful and many offered to help when we looked puzzled over the underground map or ticketing machines. My experience with the German food is that either they are bland or very salty, this is in the common cafes and not in the expensive restaurants. The Germans eat a lot of meat and mainly it is pork. Sausages are everywhere and each area has its own special variety and they are usually tasty but salty. The same goes with beer and it is cheaper than water in eating places so it is a heaven for beer-lovers. (Alas, not me so I have to settle for coke most of the time.) I suppose there is a connection here as beer goes very well with salty food and according to the Germans, the beer cleans the kidney!

Have loose change ready for visiting the rest-rooms as you have to pay for almost all the public toilets and those in rest-stops and even in some eating places though most are free. Public transport is well integrated but can be intimidating at first especially in the big cities; after a while it gets very easy to move around. Single fares are expensive so it is cheaper to get a day or group ticket if available unless you want to walk most of the time. The weather can be very unfriendly, it can be warm and sunny one day and become cold and wet the next day and this is June, supposedly in summer so have your raincoat and umbrella ready.

OK enough for the appetiser. The main course will follow but probably a bit slowly since it is World Cup fever time.

Ronald Kwok

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