Number of Traffic Jams on German Autobahns in the Summer of 2019

The German ADAC (German Roadside Assistance) counted 594 traffic jams of 10km/6.2m in length (and more) on the twelve weekends during summer school break in 2019. German schools, in general, have six weeks of summer break, but due to the varied starting dates for each German state, the total number comes to 12 weekends.

This year’s number is up by 16% from the previous year with 510 traffic jams. The summer of 2017 saw 791 traffic jams on the Autobahn.

Most traffic jams occur on Fridays, which is taking the lead at 48%.

This summer (18 August), the longest traffic jam happened on the A4 route Görlitz – Chemnitz stretching over 28km/17.4 m in length.

This Friday, I’m expecting some visitors coming in by rental car from Munich. They’ve been advised to leave Munich early to make their 16:30 appointment for a tour around here. It’s best to avoid using the Autobahn on Fridays, if possible.

Germans’ Love for White Asparagus

When I was a kid, I hated white asparagus. My mom only made salad from it, and the asparagus she had back in those days was very stringy (or a woody texture, not to be confused with a nutty flavour). I remember seeing the adults sucking the juice of out the asparagus, and then disposing of the rest. That was not to my liking.

Nowadays, we serve it steamed, on toasted bread, with a slice of smoked salmon, topped then by a few sticks of asparagus, and then Sauce Hollandaise. Sprinkle a bit of dill on it, if you like.A good white wine will be a perfect companion. I am German, and I love it. But it took me about 35 years to find out how wonderful this is when served this way.

You can read more about this ‘Spargel Love’ at https://frankfurt-expat.com/2018/04/23/spargelzeit-why-do-germans-love-white-asparagus/


A Winter Day in Oberursel

In late January, I had the chance to visit the old part of town in snowy weather. My walk took me from the market square through the Strackgasse, and then back to the U-Bahn station.

Oberursel Market Square

At the market square, next to the restaurant Marktweib, you find one of the 40+ fountains of Oberursel.

This must be one of the most photographed views of Oberursel.

Oberursel and St. Ursula Church

The Strackgasse, leading from the market square back into the Vorstadt (commercial area), was rather quiet on that Wednesday morning around 10 o’clock.

Strackgasse in Oberursel

The half-timbered houses (German: das Fachwerkhaus) are maintained in very good condition.

Strackgasse in Oberursel

When we first arrived in Oberursel in 1995, we were meant to stay for two years… 24 years later, we are happy to stay longer.

Happy New Year Greeting from Germany

We do not say Happy New Year! before the actual new year has started. Instead, we say:
– Einen guten Beschluss! (Happy ‘Closure’)
– Einen guten Rutsch! (Happy ‘Sliding’)
Right after midnight, we say ‘Prost Neujahr!’ (Cheers to the New Year!)
The following days, we wish ‘Alles Gute im neuen Jahr!’ (Happy New Year!)

In case, you’re wondering about all these chimney sweeps you see on display in German supermarkets. These inexpensive trinkets we buy as a thank-you present for our neighbors, colleagues, friends, and family. This one contains most of the good-luck charms: chimney sweep, four-leave clover, ladybug, and toadstool (this one is missing a piglet).

Flooding in Germany

Hochwasser June 2013 – some areas in Germany are experiencing the worst flooding ever. Many homes had to get evacuated, farmers fear for their livelihood, and rebuilding will be a heavy toll on the country.

Just yesterday, we had a sunny day in between. After weeks and weeks of rain, I had the chance to air out the bedding. At the same time, I let our daughter’s bears enjoy a bit of the sunshine too.

bears in the sun

This only lasted for a day. We are back to heavy rains, a monstrous thunder storm had just rolled through Hesse (otherwise, unaffected by the flooding) and in some places in Germany, water levels are still rising.  One dam just burst near Madgeburg where the Sahle river and Elbe river meet.

Rain, rain, everywhere.

rainy grass

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