Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Restaurants in Germany

In general, restaurants which have added take-out and/or delivery to their services, have been able to hold on in this latest lock-down. Restaurants, pubs, etc. have been closed since mid-November 2020.

Government support for this industry in need is coming at a slow pace, I’ve heard.

One restaurant (which also is a guesthouse and brewery) in the small town of Breitengüßbach in Upper Franconia (north of Bamberg), has to close its doors. The remarkable thing though is that it has been in the same family for 380 years and will be missed by its town’s 4.600 residents.

The interior has already been auctioned off. As of October, the estate will be turned into a day care facility for senior citizens. The restaurant owner, Thomas Hümmer, said he will have to find himself a new job.

You can read more about this here in German: https://www.infranken.de/lk/bamberg/breitenguessbach-brauerei-gasthof-schliesst-nach-380-jahren-wegen-corona-art-5200765?fbclid=IwAR3bJg9AZ7nJI7gJrNrS7A5dDNXeB-kiTsIYp3LDjy9tykiBPdzyKmgeSes

Knowing How to Enjoy Life in spite of New COVID restrictions in Germany, April 2021

Today, further restrictions have begun for schools, doing sports, and the placement of a curfew from 10pm – 5am. None of them affect me. Even if they did, it is quite easy for me to adjust my life style accordingly. That’s what I learned from living in foreign countries for almost ten years.

Since the COVID situation is not getting any better, I have opted for ‘Outdoor Isolation’, which means we have picnics (restaurants are still closed for indoor and outdoor dining) as often as we can. This way, we are isolated from others, but not from sight. It is nice to see ordinary people passing by without a mask.

Today, we went to the Maasgrund Pond in Oberursel, where we have not been since our kids were in primary/elementary school.

Maasgrund Pond in Oberursel

What’s this swimming in the water..? This is a nutria (or: coypu), a native from Louisiana, USA.

It fetched something in the water to eat it on the bank.

After our picnic of British Tea sandwiches, fruit, cheese, crackers, and white wine (not for the driver), we took a stroll around the pond.

We can see St. Ursula Church in the background. It was a beautiful sunny late afternoon.

A new initiative to save the bees is taking place in Oberursel. The yellow vending machine sells bee food for 50 cents. On the left, there is a container collecting the empty capsules for recycling.

Oberursel has many half-timbered houses, but this one is a half-timbered villa.

COVID situation in Germany in April 2021

This is where I usually write about my travels. The last trip to take place was in February 2020, just before the first lockdown began in mid-March.

We have been in lockdown mode for quite some time. With 16 German states, and each carrying its own set of regulations, it gets rather confusing at times. You might have heard Germans can fly to the Spanish island of Mallorca, but can’t rent a vacation home on the German shore.

In Germany, we can’t travel yet, because hotels, B&Bs, and the likes are closed to the public. We can’t eat in restaurants yet, but we can get deliveries.

We can’t get vaccinated yet, because there isn’t enough vaccine to go around. Priority groups go first, and just this past weekend, my husband was able to register for his vaccination (now all teachers get their turn). Of course, this was only the registration. Who knows how long it will take to actually get notified for an appointment.

We have adjusted, of course. We have also discovered new likes, such as going on picnics. This is in regulation with the keep-distance rule, and we can be outdoors.

With more time on my hands, I printed out a slew of British Tea Time sandwich recipes. White wine, which I usually do not care for, does find its purpose at picnic time.

My idea of Outdoor Isolation works really well. It takes one minute on foot to get to the park. Passersby smiled, and a bit of wine made my own smile even bigger. I plan on having picnics from now on whenever I can.

Picnic Time and Outdoor Isolation in Germany

The Flying Train of Wuppertal, Germany

Yesterday, 2 March, the Suspension Train (a.k.a. the Flying Train) celebrated its 120-year anniversary.

These historical postcards are part of my personal collection.

This platform is in front of the Barmen Rathaus (city hall), with Barmen being one of Wuppertal’s 10 urban districts.

Barmen Wuppertal Schwebebahn

This one is postmarked 25 Feb 1903. The Schwebebahn had been running for two years by then.

Schwebebahn Wuppertal

The Flying Train on its route, Barmen- Rittershausen.

Flying Train Station

On its way to Ritterhausen, the Schwebebahn goes under the Neue Sonnborner Brücke (New Sonnborn Bridge)

Sonnborn Bridge and Flying Train

Youtuber Denis Shiryaev digitally reworked the black-and-white film from 1902, and added color. I especially like the sound effects, which really brings it to life.

Heathrow Airport London Long Immigration Line

Having left the quiet Frankfurt Airport, our son encountered the opposite situation at Heathrow Airport, where the immigration queue was manned by only two people. This left people waiting in line without food or water for up to seven hours. It took our son six hours in the queue. We will have a chat with him this evening and we will surely hear some more details as well.

More about this here from the BBC News Business with the headline: “Heathrow Airport seven-hour queues ‘inhumane’, say passengers”

This was the immigration queue at Heathrow Airport on 28 Feb 2021 around 9pm.

Thomas had to be at the Frankfurt Airport by 2pm, no snacks are being served on flights, and yes, one can go without food or water until midnight. That is when he got back to his flat in London.

Some of the hold-up was caused by passengers not fully prepared for entry with the new regulations. One of them being having booked the two COVID-19 tests beforehand, and showing proof of it.

His two COVID-19 tests for entering the U.K. came to a total of £ 210 after some comparison shopping. Some test centers charge as much as £250 per test. All this, among other required entry forms, was done well before his flight.

His airport taxi reservation, which is usually around £40, tacked on another £5 for each additional 15 minutes. I’m sure he will let us know what his total bill came to.

He also had to miss his TESCO food delivery as none of his flatmates were home.

He made it back to London. That’s all that matters for right now.

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