New brunch places in Düsseldorf

One of the things I love the most about Düsseldorf is the possibility to enjoy a delicious brunch during the weekend. Almost every restaurant or coffeehouse in the city is ready to offer different kind of brunches to their clients.

If you already follow me on Twitter this post won´t be a surprise for you, since you probably already know that I am a brunch lover and that one of my favorite hobbies is to discover different brunch places around the city.

Some time ago I wrote a post talking about some of the nicest places to have brunch in Düsseldorf

Today I want to show you new coffeehouses and restaurants that I have discovered since then (and which I would love to recommend you).

Ready for a culinary visit through Düsseldorf? Let´s go!

Stadtmitte

Rosie´s

If you like international meals, Rosie´s is your place to be!

In the menu you can find a worldwide variety: American brunch, Monaco breakfast, Spanish brunch… All of them are well prepared, with high quality ingredients, and quite fast served.

Food is not the only positive thing about this restaurant. The crew is always really nice and attentive, in fact, if you want to modify your dish (let´s say you are a Nutella lover and you would rather eat more Nutella than strawberry jam) you won´t have any problem. They are quite open to adapt the ingredients for you.

Food alert: They have gluten free bread, different kinds of milk and vegan dishes.

Address:

Adersstraße 21, 40215 Düsseldorf

Alex

Do you want to go for brunch but you are not sure what to eat? Then come to Alex Düsseldorf.

Every Sunday they offer a buffet with a huge variety of food, such as salmon, german style fries, soups, cold meat and different kind of desserts. They also offer nice coffee and fresh orange juice.

Food alert: They have soja milk

Address:

Kasernenstraße 48, 40213 Düsseldorf

Pempelfort

Sulis

A nice, cozy place where to enjoy tasty classic brunch recipes and delicious cakes.

Sulis is a cozy coffeehouse where you can easily feel at home. They even have a special computer friendly area in case people need to use their laptop while enjoying a nice meal.

Hint: Make a reservation if you plan to go on Sunday, it is always crowded.

Address:

Tußmannstraße 5, 40477 Düsseldorf

Carrot Cake

This is the perfect place to enjoy a vegan meal even if you are not vegan.

During the weekends Carrot Cake offers a nice breakfast, which includes fruits, yogurt and jam. Coffees and teas are prepared with love, as well as their amazing, tasty cakes. If I should choose one, I would go for the brownie… But to be honest, it is really hard to decide, all of them are tasty!

I highly recommend this place! Some friends of mine, which are not vegan, and which had a misconception about vegan meals, went to Carrot Cake and they were highly surprised!

Address:

Moltkerstraße 75, 40479 Düsseldorf

Derendorf

Mangold

American Pancakes, Avocado Brunch, Eggs Benedict, Canadian Breakfast… I mean… Here you can find whatever you want to eat! Just imagine something and order it 😉

It can be really crowded during the weekends, so do not hesitate to make a reservation to avoid problems finding a free table.

Food alert: They do not offer alternatives to regular milk but they are really friendly if you have any allergy or intolerance and you need to order some additional ingredients.

Address:

Glockenstraße 20, 40476 Düsseldorf

Kwadrat

Right now, Kwadrat is the place to be if you want to have a cool brunch.

In the menu you can find traditional breakfasts (croissants with nutella and butter), different kind of scramble eggs and some extras such as yogurt, muesli and toasts.

Food alert: Depending on your food allergies or intolerances I wouldn´t recommend you this place since they don´t offer many alternatives

Address:

Blücherstraße 51, 40477 Düsseldorf

Spoerl Fabrik

During the weekend, at brunch time, you can choose between their variety of breakfasts or the lunch menu. They are quite classical in terms of weekend-breakfast, however, the place is really nice both in winter and summer time (they have a huge terrace).

Many people love this place and I wanted to recommend it to you, although I did not have a good experience (here comes a “Food alert”).

Due to my food intolerances I asked for alternatives (gluten free bread and soja milk), which they didn´t have. Usually it is not a problem for me. What I usually do is to order something and to change some ingredients (more fries instead of eggs for example).

In this case, the waitress told me that they couldn´t not adapt the dishes for me and that I had to order what I saw in the menu.

The moral of this story is: If you have food allergies or intolerances…. Maybe this is not a place for you… 😦

Address:

Tußmannstraße 70, 40477 Düsseldorf

#YourSundayBrunch

I hope you like these recommendations and that you have time to try some of these places. In that case, feel free to share your brunch with me via Twitter or IG.

If you feel like recommending any other place to have brunch in Düsseldorf leave a comment below 😉

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5 Tips for Getting a Job in Germany

Some time ago I got the chance to discover an online platform which helps expats to understand the german labor market and to get in contact with different employers. This platform, called Employland, is a great tool for international professionals who are looking for new challenges. Therefore, I invited Employland to share some advice with you. Are you ready? Let´s go!:

Planning your next career step in Germany? Not a bad idea. Opportunities for skilled workers and professionals from all over the world are only increasing here. The German economy has been growing steadily and there is a high demand for qualified workers, which cannot be satisfied within the German labor force. Long story short, the German labor market needs international professionals!

Employland, the internet-platform which brings together international professionals and employers in Germany, shares 5 tips for getting a job in Germany

1. Qualifications in high demand in Germany

Are you a nurse, a train conductor, an engineer, or an IT-professional? Then you’re in luck! These professions are some of the skill shortage professions in Germany. Due to Germany’s changing demographic and expanding economy, there is a high need and great lack of skilled labor in Germany. More than one million open job positions have been recorded recently.

Curious to know what other fields are experiencing a skills shortage in Germany? These professions are listed by the Federal Employment Agency in the so called White list, published twice a year.

An important note: Workers in the hotel and gastronomy industry do not appear on that list, but are always in high demand!

2. German language skills wanted for employment in Germany

In some professions, German proficiency is a must-have, as regulated by law. As a nurse, a doctor or a lawyer, for instance you need to prove you have German language proficiency. The required proficiency level may vary from state to state, but typically the B-Level is required.

Even though German language proficiency may not be mandatory for other professions, it is always a plus to have. The German labor market is still not very flexible when it comes to language.

Companies tend to expect employees to have German skills, but as always there are exceptions to the rule. While professionals having to deal with customers need to be proficient in German, IT-professionals may be able to find jobs not mandating German proficiency more easily.

In Germany, the majority of companies has exclusively German as their business language, but there are also some who have English as their business language and things are changing. The skills shortage and the need for international professionals will probably pressure companies to be more flexible when it comes to German language skills. But for now, it’s a good idea to practice your German.

3. Recognition of foreign qualifications in Germany

Even though it might not be mandatory for your particular profession, it may prove useful to have your foreign qualifications recognized. Whether or not you need to have your qualifications recognized depends on your profession. If you want to practice a regulated profession in Germany, you need to have your qualifications recognized.

Regulated professions include that of teacher, physiotherapist, nurse, and medical doctor, for example. If you want to exercise a profession that is not regulated (such as plumber, accountant, or electrician), you do not have to undergo the recognition procedure.

Exception: If you are third-country national and you want to exercise a non-academic profession in Germany, you need to have your qualifications recognized in order to obtain a residence title and practice this profession in Germany.

EU-/EEA-nationals who plan to work in a non-regulated profession in Germany do not need their qualifications recognized. However, they should still keep the following in mind: Training and education systems differ internationally.

Recruiters in Germany may not be able to assess foreign qualification efficiently. While they know which competencies and knowledge to expect from candidates who hold a Master`s or Bachelor`s Degree, your foreign degree may not tell them anything about the duration and content of your studies or training.

The recognition, which includes a description of your qualifications, helps German employers understand your skill and knowledge level. Thus, through qualification recognition you may raise your chances of getting a job.

4. Finding a job in Germany

How do you find a job in Germany? The Internet is obviously the most efficient way to find a job in Germany from abroad.

Check out job portals online, as well as German newspapers’ job markets online. Companies’ career websites are also a good place to look. You probably know social networks like LinkedIn, where you can create your profile.

Have you heard of our Internet platform? We bring together international professionals and German employers. Create your personal profile on our platform www.employland.de free of charge, so that employers from all over Germany can find and contact you.

5. Job Application in Germany

Make sure you know what companies in Germany expect from a job application.

The procedure and norms for applying for a job vary from country to country. For example, a cover letter is a must-have for a German job application, though it is uncommon in many other countries.

A cover letter is a running text in which you describe your motivation and your competencies. It does not reiterate the information that recruiters find in your CV. Instead, the cover letter is a good means to leave a compelling impression and display your personal skills.

Cover letters should be individual, crafted specifically to each company you contact. Recruiters use the cover letter to learn why you want to work in their company specifically, why you are passionate about that exact position, and why you are the one and only candidate to do the job.

Even though the CV seems to be common everywhere, be aware that the structure varies from country to country. A few examples of CV characteristics are how information is formatted, which information about former positions should be included, how detailed descriptions should be, and if a picture should be included. Be sure to have a good idea of how a CV in Germany typically looks before applying.

We wish you great success for your job search in Germany!

 

*About Employland:
Employland is an Internet platform which brings international professionals and companies in Germany together. Professionals from all over the world create their personal profiles free of charge on https://www.employland.de/en. Employers in Germany are able to view these profiles and contact prospective employees. Job placement is free of charge for professionals. In addition, Employland is also able to look after an employee’s residence and work permit and the recognition of qualifications, if requested.

Also check out the Employland blog which offers lots of information about life and work in Germany in German and English language.

 

La atención médica en Alemania

Una de las aventuras de vivir en el extranjero es caer enfermo, ya que no sólo tienes que explicarle al médico tus síntomas en un idioma que no es el tuyo (si muchas veces es difícil explicar lo que sentimos hasta en nuestra lengua materna imagínate en otro idioma) sino que el sistema sanitario de cada país es un mundo.

Si llevas algún tiempo siguiendo el blog seguro que recuerdas que hace algún tiempo ya te hable de cómo acudir al médico en Alemania. Sin embargo, ¿alguna vez te has planteado que hacer en caso de necesitar ayudar médica en medio de la noche? Después de un par de experiencias creo estar preparada para explicarte como funciona la atención médica en Alemania.

¿Dónde acudo si me pongo enfermo en medio de la noche?

Imagina que estás en casa una noche o un fin de semana cualquiera y comienzas a sentirte mal. Tu primer pensamiento puede ser “voy al médico”, hasta que te das cuenta de que es domingo, son las 23.00 horas y los médicos alemanes están en casa con su familia.

¿Qué hacer? Hay varias opciones:

  1. Llamar al número 116117 – A través de este número podrás ponerte en contacto con una centralita donde te preguntarán por la región y ciudad en la que resides, la krankenkasse a la que perteneces y la calle donde vives. Cuando tengan esos datos te enviarán a un médico de guardia (Notarzt) para que determine que te ocurre y que hacer. Suelen ir equipados con un buen botiquín, de manera que no tengas que salir de casa a comprar medicamentos, y con volantes para derivarte a un médico una vez que empiece la semana.
  2. Acudir al hospital – Esta opción es una buena idea siempre y cuando te encuentres en condiciones de salir de casa. Si por lo que sea no te puedes mover (vómitos, fiebre muy alta…) te recomiendo que llames al médico de urgencia.

¿Hay otros números de emergencia que deba tener en cuenta?

El 112 y el 110 son dos números a tener en cuenta en caso de emergencia. El 112 funciona igual que en España, donde sirve para llamar a una ambulancia y a los bomberos, mientras que el número 110 te pone en contacto con la policía.

¿Dónde acudo si necesito algún tipo de medicamento?

En Alemania, al igual que en otros países, puedes encontrar Apotheken Notdienst, o lo que es lo mismo, farmacias de guardia donde puedes acudir a cualquier hora de la noche. En cada viertel (barrio) debe haber siempre mínimo una farmacia de guardia. Si quieres encontrar la tuya solamente tienes que escribir en Google “Apotheken Notdienst + la zona donde resides” ó visitar esta web: https://www.aponet.de/, donde sólo necesitas poner tu código postal bajo el recuadro “Notdienst” para informarte de la farmacia de guardia más cercana y como llegar a ella.

¿Cubre mi Krankenkasse las urgencias?

Tu seguro médico alemán cubre muchas más cosas de la que imaginas (o por lo menos de las que imaginaba yo).

En caso de urgencia, tanto si acudes al hospital como si el médico viene a tu casa, estás cubierto por tu krankenkasse. En ambos casos no olvides tener tu tarjeta de la seguridad social a mano, ya que la necesitarán para obtener los datos más relevantes como nombre, apellidos y número de la seguridad social.

Aunque cada Krankenkasse es un mundo todas suelen tener coberturas básicas como visitas al médico de cabecera, visitas al dentista o desviación a médicos especialistas (alergólogo, dermatólogo…).

Otra cosa muy interesante del sistema médico alemán es que “recompensan” a las personas que miran por su salud, es decir, si tú eres una persona que practicas deporte regularmente o que visita al dentista al menos una vez al año, hay muchas probabilidades que la Krankenkasse “te lo agradezca” de alguna manera como, por ejemplo, financiándote una parte de tus clases de yoga o de tu afiliación a una asociación de deportiva.

¿Qué tipo de médicos hay en Alemania?

En Alemania hay dos tipos de seguro médico:

  1. Seguro médico público: Este seguro cubre tratamientos médicos básicos. Operaciones de miopía, cambios estéticos o, incluso, la implantación de dientes postizos o de empastes especiales de última generación no son siempre cubiertos por el seguro médico público. En esta web podrás encontrar información sobre las diferentes Krankenkassen y lo que cubre cada una: https://www.check24.de/
  2. Seguro médico privado: Este seguro cubre un poco más que el seguro médico público. Hoy por hoy no conozco a nadie que disponga de este seguro, ya que el sistema sanitario alemán es muy bueno. Sin embargo, es cierto que las personas con un seguro privado tienen ciertas ventajas frente a personas sin el mismo, ya que estos seguros tienen una mayor cobertura y disponen de acceso a un mayor número de médicos.

¿Necesito pedir cita para ir al médico?

Sí, para ir al médico en Alemania es necesario pedir cita con antelación, salvo en casos excepcionales como:

  • El médico pasa consulta sin necesidad de pedir cita.
  • Te encuentras mal y vas al médico según aparecen los primeros síntomas. En este caso te aconsejo ir a primera hora de la mañana (siempre que sea posible) para evitar tener que pasar mucho rato en la sala de espera.
  • Ir a urgencias. Cuando se trata de una urgencia no hay necesidad de pedir cita.

Basándome en mi experiencia puedo decir que la mayoría de médicos son bastantes rápidos a la hora de dar una cita, aunque sea una primera visita, y en caso de acudir sin cita el tiempo de espera no suele ser muy elevado (entre 20-50 minutos). ¿Cómo ha sido tu experiencia?

¿Debo pagar mis consultas al médico? ¿Y las medicinas?

No, las visitas médicas son gratuitas en Alemania, siempre y cuando acudas a médicos recomendados por tu Krankenkasse. En caso de acudir a un médico privado recibirás un recibo días después de tu visita médica con el montante de la misma. Tras realizar el pago deberás enviar el recibo a tu seguro privado (en caso de que tengas uno) y este te devolverá todo o parte del dinero al cabo de unas semanas. No olvides guardar una copia del recibo.

Si tienes alguna sobre la atención médica en Alemania o si quieres compartir tu experiencia no dudes en dejar un comentario debajo del post 😉

¡Feliz Semana!

 

 

 

Christmas in Germany

One more year the season of joy, celebration and forgiveness has arrived to Germany. Since the end of November, most of the streets are decorated with colorful lights as well as with lovely, traditional Christmas markets all around the country. The smell of Glühwein (traditional mulled wine) goes across the cities reminding us that it is time to look back, be grateful and share our time with our loved ones.

Since the beginning of the advent, people in Germany are getting ready to celebrate this period of the year with their families and friends. But, how do Germans celebrate Christmas? Do they have any special tradition? Let’s find it out!

Most relevant days

As well as many other European citizens, including Spaniards, Germans like to celebrate both Heiligenabend (Christmas eve) and Weihnachten (Christmas Day) with their loved ones. In most of the cases, family members get together to decorate the Christmas tree, to cook tasty traditional meals and to attend to midnight mass. Another important German tradition is to place all the Christmas presents under the Christmas tree.

The second day of Christmas, Saint Stephen´s Day, is a public holiday here in Germany. For many people, the 26th of December is a quiet occasion spent with friends or family to recover and to get ready for the winter sales, which start the third day of Christmas. Saint Stephen´s Day is also a good occasion to attend with the family to a special church service on behalf of this saint.

Another important day during Christmas time is New Year´s Eve, known here as Silvester. Unlike in Spain, this is a day to spend with close friends who are mostly invited to enjoy a home-made meal, often in the form of a buffet.

While in Spain we like to spend the last day of the year surrounded by our relatives, here in Germany most of the people prefer to celebrate it by hosting home parties or by attending to any New Year´s Eve Party. Does this mean that we Spaniards do not celebrate the entrance to the new year? Of course we do! However, we still follow the ancient traditions of eating 12 grapes at midnight with our loved ones before attending with our close friends to any new year´s event. A totally different way to celebrate, don´t you think?

Food

In terms of food, Germans know how to celebrate this season sitting around a table full of delicious meals. Depending on the Christmas day they like to eat different kind of products.

A traditional Christmas Eve´s meal consists of carp or salmon accompanied by fried potatoes, sauerkraut, sausage and potato salad.

On Christmas day, Germans do like to start the day enjoying a variety of sweet snacks such as Plätzchen(biscuits covered in sugar), Lebkuchen (gingerbread), Stollen(bread filled with dried fruit and marzipan) and Spekulatius(cookies flavored with cinnamon and other spices). Despite all the edible goodies during the day, they always have some room for a traditional Christmas Dinner. As a main dish, German families usually enjoy a roasted goose, turkey or duck, served with red cabbage and followed by a classic post-goose sweet such a pudding. Could you imagine yourself eating so much on Christmas day? At the beginning I was a bit shocked by this “all day eating” tradition.

In Spain, the 25th of December is the perfect occasion to spend time with the family while enjoying a huge meal consisting of seafood, traditional cold meat such as jamón or chorizo, lamb or hake, fruit andturrón (a confection made of almonds, honey, sugar and egg white and usually shaped into a rectangular tablet). Furthermore, as a country of wine producers, this beverage plays an important role during Christmas celebrations. In Germany, however, people prefer to accompany their meals with Sekt (sparkling wine) or champagne.

To celebrate the last dinner of the year, Germans enjoy preparing authentic homemade traditional recipes such as Sauerkraut, marinated herrings, potato salad, raclette and fondue. Silvester is traditionally full of activities such as playing games like “Bleigießen”, eating Berliner doughnuts, attending to mass, watching the popular English-language sketch “Dinner for one” or drinking Feuerzangenbowle. Midnight is marked by fireworks, toasts with champagne and best wishes and followed by a traditional midnight soup. In contrast to Spain, Silvester is mostly celebrated with friends either attending to public parties or preparing nice homemade meals.

Christmas presents

As in many other countries, Christmas presents in Germany are shared during the night of the 24th of December, so that people can open them either after dinner or the morning after. In many Catholic families they are told that the Christ Child gave the presents, however, in protestant families are told that Father Christmas or Santa Claus brought them.

Although Santa Claus is becoming really popular in Spain, we still like to keep our Christmas traditions. For us, the night of the 5th of January is a magical one, because the Three Wise Men come from a faraway country to make our wishes come true. When the night falls and everybody sleeps, Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar visit every single Spanish dwelling delivering all the desired presents.

Despite the different traditions, both, Germans and Spaniards, we like to organize family gatherings and to spend time with our loved ones, who may are far from us the rest of the year. Ok, it is true that this season is partly about giving and receiving gifts as well as cooking and eating tasty homemade meals. However, the real meaning of Christmas is similar in both cultures. This season is a good opportunity to look back and be grateful for all the things in life that we are fortunate to have.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! See you in 2018!

Best places in Germany

Unlike many people think, Germany is not a grey, serious and rainy country but an interesting place to discover something new every day.

After a couple of years living here I have had the opportunity to visit not only the well-known German metropolis such as Berlin or Hamburg, but also small ancient cities and the countryside. If you are willing to come to visit Germany in an unconventional way (by visiting some “non-so-touristic” places) keep reading this post because this week it is starting the “Best Places in Germany” post series. Are you ready to discover this remarkable country?

Best places in Germany (of the week):

Monschau

The first time I heard about Monschau was in December 2014, when I friend of mine advised me to visit its Christmas market. Since I could not do that (it is worthier to visit it during the week, instead of during the weekends) I decided to give this old town a chance during the summer time.

Located nearby the Belgium border, Monschau preserves an ancient style, which provides this small city with a special charm. The city center is divided in two by the Rur river, consequently, the two parts of the city are connected by ancient bridges.

What to visit in Monschau

  • Christmas market

Although I could not visit it (not yet 😉 ) I can imagine the importance and the magnitude of this market, since one of the most visited places in the city of Monschau it is its Christmas store (open all year)

  • Castle Monschau

Most part of the castle is in ruins nowadays. Reused as a hostel after the IWW it is the perfect location to host summer concerts.

  • Market square

The heart of the city. Here the visitor can find restaurants, ancient buildings with flowerbox adornments and remarkable spots to be amazed with the mountains surrounding the city.

Heidelberg

Heidelberg is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Germany, as well as one of the most important student cities.

Ancient castles, narrow alleys, hilly streets  and beautiful parks and gardens are part of the landscape. Its university is the oldest in Germany and famous for its medical faculty. In Heidelberg, everything is within easy reach either on foot or by bike.

What to visit in Heidelberg

  • Heidelberg Castle

The castle, one of the most important renaissance structures, was started to be constructed in 1210 A.D. and, although, it has been destroyed several times due to different wars it preserves its ancient splendour.

It is worth to visit the main attraction of Heidelberg and it can be seen from each corner of the city.

  • The Altstadt

Down in the Altstadt (the old town) there are plenty of narrow streets and squares full of restaurants, stores and cafes. The main square, Markplatz, is a cute place where to enjoy a good cup of coffee or a Rothhaus Pils, one of the most famous beers of Heidelberg.

  • River Neckar

Having a walk along the River Neckar is always a good idea to avoid the crowds and to re-discover Heidelberg. The view from this side of the river is really cute and, if the weather is good, this area of the city is the best place for a picnic.

  • Alte Brucke

The Alte Brucke (Old Bridge) can be discover after passing through a remarkable medieval gate. The bridge dates from the 18th century and it is the most visited bridge of the city.

Düsseldorf

And last but not least, the beautiful city of Düsseldorf.

The capital of the NRW (North Rhine-Westphalia) Region reflects the development that this area of Germany suffered some years ago.

The old industrial city of Düsseldorf led to a modern, cosmopolitan city, centre of fashion, glamour and international businesses. Known as the german city of fashion, Düsseldorf has the honor to have been ranked as the 6th world´s best city to live in beyond other important cities such as Frankfurt or Berlin.

What to visit in Düsseldorf?

  • Mediahafen

To understand the transformation suffered by this remarkable city it is important to have a walk around its “Mediahafen”. The old port was rebuilt into a modern area full of international business, restaurants and hotels. Frank Gehry, in charge of this transformation, built the most emblematic buildings of this area.

  • Altstadt

The old town is the core of the city. Full of narrow, car-free streets is the best place to discover the ancient Düsseldorf.

  • Königsalle

Ready to have a walk surrounded by the best fashion firms of the world? Just visit the Königsalle.

Special tips:

  1. From the Rheinturm the visitor can enjoy a strinkingly view of the city
  2. Benrath Schloss (the palace of Benrath), located 15 minutes away from the oldtown by subway, has beautiful gardens and tasty home made cakes
  3. Bilk is the best area to enjoy a good meal under the sun
  4. Stadttmite is the place-to-be for sushi and japanese-culture lovers (more than 10.000 Japanese live in Düsseldorf, the largest community in Europe)
  5. An “altbier” tour should be compulsory ;). Do not forget to try the traditional Düsseldorf Beer!

Have you ever been to Germany? Which are your favourite places? Share your thoughts!! 🙂 

The Expat Tag

A couple of days ago I discover the blog “Going American“, written by Sandra, a girl from Zurich who has just moved to Boston.

Among her interesting posts I found out one called “The Expat Tag“, where she threw together a few questions, inspired by an expat tag she saw somewhere around, as a way to keep in touch with other bloggers. I found it a great idea, therefore I thought I might also give it a go.

So, Sandra, following you can find my answers:

1. Where were you born, where did you grow up and where do you currently live?

I was born in Spain and after living in different countries I ended up in Germany

2. What made you leave your home country?

Actually, I left my country due to curiosity. I wanted to see the world, to discover other countries and to meet new people. Some adventure is good from time to time 😉

What type of reactions do you get when you meet new people and tell them where you are from?

Usually people tend to tell me something in spanish; “hola”, “sangría” or “paella” are the most common words people say.

Another usual thing is to ask me about the weather; “do you miss the sun?”. They get really surprised when I explain them that the sun does not always shine in Spain.

3. What was the easiest/hardest part in adjusting to your new country?

Thanks to all the people I have met since I arrived here I got a fast and easy integration. I attended to german parties, I lived and met german people, I worked with germans… All this non-international atmosphere helped me to learn and to get used to its culture and traditions.

However, it took me a while to get used to german food. People here use tons of sauce when cooking, and, at the beginning, I found it really hard  since I am used to the mediterranean diet.

4. Images, words or sounds that sum up the expat experience you’ve had so far.

expat tag
Discover an amazing country

 

Expat Friends´ Trips
Expat Friends´ Trips

 

New flavors
New flavors

5. Your favorite food or drink item in your new country?

I love their cakes. I think germans really know how to prepare good cakes and to serve them good a huge cup of warm tea or coffee.

Regarding the german drinks, I must confess that I really like the Altbier (the traditional Düsseldorf beer). My favourite one is brewed in the Schumacher Brauerei.

What’s the one thing you said “yes” to in your new city that you wouldn’t say “yes” to, back home?

I think this is a tough question. Actually I am not sure about the asnwer. I think I have always tried to be myself regardless of where I live, however, I know I have exeperience an inner change since I live here but, sadly, I can´t give a particular example…

6. Are there any cultural norms/phrases in your new country which you cannot stand?

I know I shouldn´t say this but… Waiting for the traffic light signal to turn green. I have already get used to it, but my first months here were a chaos. I wanted to cross the street and keep walking all the time.

Nowadays the opposite happens to me. Everytime I come back to Spain I am the only person who waits for the signal to turn green… Upsss…

7. What do you enjoy most doing in your new country?

I enjoy discovering it.

Germany is a country full of contrasts. Each region has different food, cakes, beers and even a different way to talk German! I found it really enriching as an expat.


8. Do you think you will ever move home for good?

I don´t know… I do not like to think about it. If one day I feel I have to move again I will do it. If I never get that feeling I will stay here.

The best plan is to have no plan 😉

#expattag

Christmas in Germany – The importance of the Glühwein

Mulled wine Glühwein

Christmas time is not complete in Germany without drinking a glass of Glühwein, the traditional warm spiced mulled wine every merrymaker enjoy as they walk along the charming Christmas markets. But, what does exactly “Glühwein” means? And, more important, which are the ingredients?

Glühwein

“Glühwein” means “glowing wine” and, apparently, its name comes from the hot irons that were formerly used for mulling (these hot irons are not longer used).

Although the most common glühwein is made with red wine, some marketers also serve “Weißer Glühwein”, which is made with white wine.

The recipe

Glühwein is usually made with wine, which is heated up and spiced with Glühweingewürze (cinnamon, cloves, star anise, sugar and orange juice or lemon). Sometimes people add a shot of liquor. That kind of drink is known as Glühwein mit Schuss.

Another variant of Glühwein is the “Feuerzangenbowle” (Fire Tongue Bowl). The recipe is the same as for the “regular” Glühwein, but for this drink a rum-soaked sugarloaf is set on fire and drip into the Glühwein.

A bit of history

The historic origins of Glühwein date back to when wine started going bad, but germans did not want to throw it, so they added some spices to drink it again.

The oldest documented Glühwein dates from 1420 and it is attributed to a German nobleman (Count John IV of Katzelnbogen), the first grower of Riesling grapes of the world.

Where you can find it?

Mulled wine GlühweinAs I previously mentioned, christmas time in Germany is not complete without drinking a glass of Glühwein at the christmas markets.

Glühwein is usually served in a limited edition ceramic mug. Inscribed on it you can find the name of the German city where you are, the current year and a christmas draw.

A glass of Glühwein costs around 3€ + Pfand (a small additional fee). If you want to keep the cute little mug as a souvenir of your visit to a particular Christmas market, you will lose the fee, if not they will give it back to you as soon as you return the mug.

How should you drink the Glühwein?

To be honest the purpose of drinking Glühwein is to warm people from the inside out, so I highly recommend you to drink it really warm. Once the Glühwein is cold it lose some of its charm and it can´t accomplish its main purpose. 😉

Furthermore, it is really common to drink a Glühwein while enjoying some traditional german specialities such as “Lebkuchen” (gingerbread), “Reibekuchen” (potato pancakes) or “Bratwurst” (sausage).

You still have time enough to enjoy this magic drink because the christmas markets are opened until the 23th of December, and they never run out of Glühwein ;).

If you are willing to visit any christmas in the NRW (Northe Rhine Westphalia) region in Germany click here to find more information about them.

Now it is your turn. Have you ever tried Glühwein? Which one do you preffer, red or white? Could you recommend a nice christmas market in Germany?

 

Good Food Festival

El pasado fin de semana tuvo lugar en Düsseldorf el Good Food Festival, ese festival de comida del que ya te hablé hace algún tiempo y que tiene lugar en el centro cultural Boui Boui Bilk.

¿Te acuerdas de todos los alimentos que descubrimos el año pasado en el  Good Food Festival 2015?. ¡Este año hay más novedades todavía! ¿Quieres saber más? No te pierdas este resumen con lo más interesante del Good Food Festival 2016:

1. Muchos productores locales

Este año decidí acudir pronto (hacia las 13.00, la hora de apertura de puertas) y fue una decisión acertada! El lugar no estaba lleno, lo que me permitió pasear entre los puestos, detenerme a hablar con los distintos productores y poder comprobar de primera mano la calidad de sus productos.

2. Fusión de sabores

  • Para empezar decidí probar una Frittata vegana y sin glúten (hecha con calabaza, cebolla y manzana) mientras que una amiga mía optó por una hamburguesa vegana con ketchup casero.

Good Food Festival

 

  • Después no puede resistirme a unas Süßkartoffeln (patatas dulces) con salsa de castaña y calabaza.

Good Food Festival

  • De postre tomé el mejor helado vegano que jamás he probado!

I am Love es una heladería situada en Bochum y Essen. El chico que me atendió fue muy agradable y me explicó atentamente con que ingredientes estaban hechos los helados. Si alguna vez tienes la oportunidad de ir prueba el helado de avellana  😉

Good Food Festival

3. Nuevos conceptos gastronómicos

Good Food Festival

Según lo vi supe que este concepto iba a suponer un antes y un después en la gastronomía.

Las “DOC´s Essenzesencias van a revolucionar el concepto tradicional de cocktail. Con una sola gota puedes dotar a tu bebida con un intenso nuevo sabor.

Después de una charla con el productor tuve la oportunidad de añadir una esencia a un cocktail que él mismo preparó. No sólo el sabor de la bebida, sino también su olor cambiaron de manera radical tras añadirle la esencia.

El producto me pareció tan original que decidí comprar unas muestras para llevarme a casa. Me pregunto que pasará si añado una gota de estas esencias a los alimentos mientras cocino… 😉

Good Food Festival

4. Productos tradicionales

Después de hablar con los productores y probar los diferentes productos disponibles me decidí a comprar salsas caseras y macarons (esa galleta tradicional que tan bien preparan nuestros vecinos franceses).

  • Las salsas están elaboradas con ingredientes naturales producidas en una granja cercana a Düsseldorf. Tienen tienda online: issbaldfertig

Good Food Festival

  • Los macarons son sin gluten y los crea una pâtisserie francesa que muy pronto va a abrir sus puertas en el barrio de Flinger (Düsseldorf).

Good Food Festival

5. Siempre nos quedarán los clásicos

A parte de todo los productos que os he mencionado antes, en el festival también se podían encontrar hamburguesas, hot-dogs, salchichas, gofres y queso griego, entre otros.

Good Food Festival

Y tú, ¿has ido alguna vez a un Good Food Festival? ¿Qué tipo de comida has probado? ¿Encontraste algún producto o alimento nuevo? ¡Comparte tu experiencia!

Para más información sobre el festival y los productores haz click aquí: Good Food Festival.         Si te has quedado con las ganas de más comida no te pierdas los próximos Street Food Festival. 

 

 

Good Food Festival

This weekend takes place the Good Food Festival in Boui Boui Bilk (Düsseldorf).

As I already talked to you about the festival (check here for more information about what kind of food you could find last year at the  Good Food Festival 2015 ) let me get straight to the point.

What did I like the most at the Food Festival 2016:

1. There are many local producers

This year I decided to go earlier (at 13.00, the moment the doors are opened) and it was a wise decision! The place was not too crowded so I had time enough to check all the different stands and to talk with the local producers.

2. New flavours are ready to be discovered!

  • To start I opted for a veggie and gluten free Frittata (made with pumpkin, onion and apple) while a friend of mine tried a veggie burger with home made ketchup sauce.

Good Food Festival

 

  • Then I could not resist to try some Süßkartoffeln (Sweet potatoes) with chutney and pumpkin sauce.

Good Food Festival

  • As a dessert I tried the best vegan ice cream I have ever tried!

I am Love is an ice-cream bar located in Bochum and Essen. The merchant was really nice and provided me with information about the ingredients of the ice-creams (made with soy). Hazelnut flavour highly recommended 😉

Good Food Festival

3. There where special things that will redefine the way we understand cuisine

The moment I saw them I wanted to know more about this revolutionary concept.

 

Good Food Festival

The “DOC´s Essenz” essences are gonna shake up the traditional concept of cocktails. Just with a drop you can provide a drink with an intense new taste.

After a talk with the manufacturer I had the opportunity to add one essence to a home made cocktail. Not only the flavour but also the odor of the cocktail improved drastically after adding the chosen essence.

The product was so original that I  just bought some samples to bring home. I wonder what will happen when I add one of them to a roast… 😉

Good Food Festival

4. You can find some traditional products

After talking with some producers and tasting different kind of products. I decided to buy some home made sauces and some french macarons.

  • The sauces are made with natural ingredients produced in a farm closed to Düsseldorf. Check more information here: issbaldfertig

Good Food Festival

  • The macarons are gluten free and manufactured in a french Pâtisserie which is coming soon to Flinger (Düsseldorf).

Good Food Festival

5. The classics will always remain

A part from all the food that I previously mentioned you can also find some classics like burgers, hot-dogs, german sausages, waffles and greek cheese.

Good Food Festival

And you, have you ever been to a Good Food Festival? Which kind of food have you tried? Did you discover something new? Share your experience!

If you want more information about the manufacturers and the workshops check this website: Good Food Festival. Do not miss the chance to learn more and to try all kind of food this weekend!

 

 

7 señales que demuestran que te has vuelto aleman

Llevas un tiempo en Alemania? La cerveza y las salchichas forman ya parte de tu dieta? Incluyes la col en tus recetas? Eres de los que piensa que el carnaval es la mejor época del año y que los mercados de navidad son un must que nadie debe perderse? Si has respondido sí, puede que estés empezando a adaptarte muy bien a la cultura alemana. Sin embargo, aquí va la prueba definitiva:

Las 7 señales que demuestran que te has vuelto alemán

 

1. Cuando te mudas te llevas hasta el último tornillo

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Sí, en Alemania es normal dejar la casa literalmente vacía. Los alemanes se lo llevan todo cuando se mudan a otro piso: lavadora, frigorífico, cocina… hasta las bombillas!!

Y si los viejos muebles no encajan en el nuevo piso… Nada mejor que sacarlos a la calle para que otros puedan cogerlos y reutilizarlos 🙂 Reciclaje  a la antigua usanza!

2. Al ver un rayo de sol sales corriendo a la calle

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No importa verano o invierno, los alemanes no pueden resistirse al sol. Es ver un rayo de sol y salir a por él. Cada vez que el sol brilla las calles se llenan de gente. No importa que haga -20 grados que mientras haya sol nadie se queda en casa.

3. No invitas a nadie a nada

Zusammen oder getrennt? La pregunta del siglo. Si vienes del sur de Europa es muy probable que respondas „Zusammen (junto)“. Es algo instintivo, invitar a los amigos a una comida ó un café es lo más normal en ciertos países europeos. Incluso invitar a tu pareja!

Sin embargo, un buen alemán siempre va a responder “getrennt (separado)”. Aquí se divide todo, hasta la cuenta del café! Así que si quieres invitar a algún amigo, te deseamos suerte convenciéndole de que sólo lo haces por el afecto que le tienes.

4. Te quitas los zapatos al entrar en un piso

Es una regla no escrita. Al entrar en un piso hay que dejar los zapatos en la entrada y caminar descalzo. Así que no te sorprendas si te piden que te los quites cuando te inviten a alguna casa a cenar o de fiesta.

Bien pensado es una idea práctica, así en invierno la nieve y la lluvia no se esparcen por la casa. Sin embargo, nos gustaría compartir un secreto: Los alemanes no suelen tener moquetas ni alfombras 😉

5. Te gusta pasar un día en IKEA

He aquí el hobby por excelencia. No importa que día de la semana sea, IKEA siempre está lleno de alemanes deseosos de nuevos muebles. Será que los que se llevaron de su anterior piso no entra en el nuevo?? No sabemos muy bien la razón de esta afición alemana, pero aunque parezca increíble IKEA es un punto de encuentro muy habitual.

Os sorprenderíais si os digo que uno de los mayors IKEA del mundo esta en Alemania? Concretamente en Düsseldorf.

http://www.rp-online.de/nrw/staedte/duesseldorf/duesseldorfer-ikea-ist-jetzt-der-groesste-der-welt-aid-1.1144216

6. Te colocas frente a la puerta del tranvía una parada antes

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Los Alemanes tienen prisa por salir del transporte público, o eso parece, ya que se preparan
para ello en la parada anterior. Aquí nadie espera a que el transporte pare, para
cuando ese momento llega están todos haciendo cola frente a la puerta y salen del mismo a una velocidad que ni Usain Bolt.

Pequeño paréntesis en favor de los alemanes (y caída de un mito para todos los extranjeros): el transporte público alemán no es puntual. Será por eso que tienen tanta prisa?

7. En temporada estival tu mayor ilusión es organizar barbacoas

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Seamos sinceros, ¿a quién no le gusta organizar una buena barbacoa con los amigos de vez en cuando?

En Alemania no existe la expresión “de vez en cuando” (o si existe no la conocen), cuando llega el verano y el buen tiempo se organizan barbacoas casi todos los días! Tampoco es algo muy complejo, con comprar
cervezas y algo de comer ya está todo hecho. Les gustará tanto por la poca complejidad que supone organizar una ó por los rayos de sol de los que os hemos hablado en el punto 2?

Nosotros aún no cumplimos todos los requisitos (aunque poco nos falta la verdad…) y tú, te has adaptado al 100%? Ya te has vuelto alemán?