The eastern Netherlands trip

This week we are traveling to… The Netherlands!


Nijmegen

This dutch city is really different to the others in the country due to two important facts:

  • The city without channels: When people think about the Netherlands, they tend to imagine cities full of tulips and channels. Although there are no channels across the city, Nijmegen is located close to the Waal river (a tributary river of our beloved Rhein).
  • There are slopes: Yes, the visitor can go up- and downhill. Furthermore, the visitor can go to the top of the old tower to have a nice view from the whole city.

The old town maintain its charm, although the allied shelled it during the IIWW (it is said they did it accidentally). A good example of its charm is the Grote Markt, where it is easy to find a lot of people having a walk around. I recommend you to get lost in its narrow streets, to enjoy how the fishermen work and to try regional food (highly recommended if you like to eat fish).

Venlo

It is different from other cities I have already visited in the Netherlands. Its old buildings are mixed with new structures providing this place with an special atmosphere.

If you like shopping Venlo is the place to be. The old town is full of stores. Lots of well known brands have their own place here, that is the reason why it is  so common to see germans crossing the border just to go shopping to this town and to its famous outlet (located outside the city). A paradise for shopalcoholics!

I hope you enjoyed the trip!! 

#lifeisanamazingtrip

Advent Zeit in Deutschland

 

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Advent just arrived!!! This time of the year means Christmas markets, Glühwein and christmas deco all around the city. But… What exactly means the word “Advent”?? Why is it so important?? Here, in the NRW region, this time of the year is really special due to the catholic ideology that prevail in the area. But let´s explain what do we need to celebrate advent in a proper way.

Advent

 

Advent is the period of the year were christians prepare themselves to christmas time, usually it coincides with the four sundays previous to christmas. This is a reflexion and prayer time, as well as a time of spiritual preparation for Christ arrival.

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Advent Wreath

 

The most known pre-Christmas ornament. Although the Advent Wreath is more than a simple decoration. Its circular form symbolizes the uninterrupted cycle of the yearly seasons, however, christians relate also this circle with the infinite love of God. It is believed that this symbol was already used in the Middle Ages, although the Catholic religion adopted it as its own symbol.

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Advent candles

 

The four candles are usually placed in the advent wreath. Each candle represents an Advent week, and they are lighted every advent´s sunday. Catholic church considers those candles should have a purple color, however, you can find all kind of colours in the christmas  markets, mostly red and white ones. In some cultures people make a wish once they light up the candle. Usually this wish is to  improve some personal virtue or defect during the four advent weeks.

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Adventskalender

 

And here I introduce you the most tasty advent´s tradition: The Adventskalender. The calendar is formed by small “windows” which can be opened. Inside them you can find chocolate. The kind of chocolate depends on the brand. Last year I had a Lindt calendar which was really tasty! This calendar is use by children to start the countdown before christmas time arrives 🙂

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Happy Advent Time!!! 

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Vente pa´ Alemania Pepe!

Quien me iba a decir  a mi que al final me animaría a vivir en Alemania!! Así que he cambiado el vino, el foie, el canard y el mar por las Wurst, la cerveza y el Rhein.

 

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He llegado en la época más animada del año: Karneval!!!. Tres días de fiesta que a los alemanes (y a nosotros) nos cundieron mucho; desfiles, cabalgatas, Altbier, alemanes de todas las edades disfrazados, gente en la calle a cualquier hora del día…

Además, los hombres tienen por costumbre ir el jueves de Carnaval a la oficina con corbata para que las chicas que están allí se la corten.

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Y hablando de cosas típicas… Que mejor que empezar la integración que yendo  a una Hausbrauerei, o lo que es lo mismo, a inflarse a comida y cerveza alemana.  Eso sí, no cualquier cerveza. Aquí nuestra mejor amiga se llama “Altbier” y está muy bien pasarse por el Uerige para tomar una a cualquier hora del día.

Eso si, que no se te olvide poner el posavasos encima de tu vaso cuando ya no quieras que te traigan más!! ;).

 

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Y para terminar os dejo con esta foto del Jardín japonés donde queda claro que eso de que en Alemania sólo llueve y el cielo es gris no es del todo cierto.

 

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“Wenn einer in die Altstadt geht um Altibier dort zu testen sagt falls er was von Bier verfteht “Uerig” das schmeckt am besten!“