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.

Maria’s Beer Balcony in Germany

My friend, Bea, and I share the longest friendship, which goes back to the early 1970s. We both lived in the same Franconian village, and have been friends since junior high. For many years, we only communicated via handwritten letters across the Atlantic.

With the advent of the internet, we started communicating more often again. In the past, we used to have only one day together, before she had to return to the USA. This time, we had three whole days to spend together. We both refreshed our Franconian dialect in no time.

Bea from McAllen, Texas

Old-Timer Tractor Show in Büdesheim, Hesse

This past Sunday, I had the craving for a grilled Bratwurst with a Radler (beer/lemonade mix). To get one in Germany on a Sunday, you just go to any kind of outdoor fest. This one was in Büdesheim in Hesse, about 19km out of Frankfurt, and it was an Old-Timer Tractor Show.

I was in for a nice surprise, because it was actually very interesting.

This IHC 353 from 1970 is actually for sale. This looks a lot like the second tractor my dad had on the farm.

My dad’s first tractor was a green Fendt like this one from 1956.

This year’s make is 1960 (just like me). It looked so perfect sitting there in the sun. I know I should not compare, but I think I need to pimp my wheels, and put some flowers in my hair.

Starting early – the tractor business, that is.

It was well worth a visit. We spent more time looking at the tractors than with our sausage and Radler.

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 Visit to Mainberg Castle in Northern Bavaria, Germany

One of my stateside readers, whose ancestors lived and worked at the Mainberg Castle from 1822 -1842, was able to visit there for the first time last summer.

Quoted: “… we made arrangements to visit the castle, when our river cruise ship was docked at Würzburg. We only had less than 90 minutes at the castle, but had a nice tour by the caretaker…”

He then gave me permission to share the link to his Google photo album (amazing photos!) taken at Mainberg Castle: https://tiny.cc/xzdm5y

In general, if you are also interested in learning more about castles and palaces in Germany, then this might be your guide (e-book in English).

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