Help for people from Ukraine

I collected information for help. If you have something to add, write.

I want to note that this is a tragedy not only for those who have lost their homes or loved ones, although it is the hardest for them, but also for millions of people of both nationalities around the world. You can at least help by not inciting hatred and spreading prejudice. Many do not know anymore if they will ever see their relatives and friends.

Information about helping in different countries, including Germany

Accommodation in Berlin
Haus 2
Oranienburger Str. 285
13437 Berlin

Station „Karl-Bonhoeffer-Nervenklinik“ underground U8 or train S25.

Arrival Center Addresses (see Ankunftzentrum): https://www.bamf.de/DE/Behoerde/Aufbau/Standorte/standorte-node.html

Addresses for refugees in Stuttgart, unfortunately, all together, don’t know which address should come first https://fluechtlinge.stuttgart.de/item/show/609021

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Deutschtest für Zuwanderer (DTZ). Writing letters 5

We continue to study possible subjects of letters for the DTZ exam (B1).

Letters 1, Letters 2, Letters 3, Letters 4, Letters 6
Dialogues Part 1, Part 2
Images description
Everything about the #Orientierungstest (Test Leben in Deutschland) is here.

Communication with the school, courses, Vereine

The topic is quite extensive, but it can also be reduced to a basic set.

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Neuchatel Lake. 1. Estavayer

Lake Neuchâtel is the largest inland Swiss lake, a paradise for watersports and bird lovers. For the former, numerous campsites are provided, for the latter – protected areas along the entire eastern coast, which begin immediately beyond the borders of a few and small settlements.

The lake is divided by several cantons (quite funny, there are even exclaves and enclaves: Vaud, Friborg, Neuchâtel and a bit of Bern). This is very inconvenient when preparing, since the sites of each of them try to talk more about their sights, although they can be quite far away from the lake, and less mention of the sights of other cantons, although they are within easy reach.

Next, I’ll talk about Estavayer-le-Lac (part 1) and the sights around the lake (part 2).

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Pregnancy in Germany. Part 4

Finally we got to the decisive stage of pregnancy. This part is about what things to take with you to hospital, about the stimulation of labor, pain relief and time in the hospital after giving birth.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

If this is your first birth in Germany and you don’t speak German very well yet, be sure to bring someone with you who can translate for you. Some husbands don’t want to be present, but foreign women need it. A woman in labor can forget German from pain. In German maternity hospitals, not in large international cities, women are often treated disrespectfully if they cannot respond perfectly to the German language during childbirth. The head of the maternity hospital in Öhringen told me that I should learn German better, when I did not immediately answer him, because I got out of bed and could only think about the pain in my lower back. I also heard ridicule at women who did not understand German. For some reason, the midwifes think that they are not being heard.

How you should get to the hospital

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Carnival in Germany

Carnival – Faschingsumzug or Fastnachtsumzug – a favorite entertainment not only for children, but also for adults. Carnivals are not held in all German cities, usually larger or tourist ones in western and southwestern Germany.

The largest (most visited) are carnivals in Cologne, Dusseldorf, Mainz.

Read also: about carnival words, about the Swabian-Alemannic carnival in Rottweil and Ulm.

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Garmisch-Partenkirchen. 3. Zugspitze, Alpspitze, Eibsee

From Garmisch you can clearly see the Alpspitze – a very beautiful and expressive peak with a recognizable shape. In contrast, the Zugspitze is often closed by the Kleiner and Großer Waxenstein. But you can also find points (if you climb further and higher in Partenkirchen), from where you can see all the peaks.

This page is about the Alpspitze, the Zugspitze, the Höllentalklamm and the Eibsee lake. Read about other mountains and sights of Garmisch in the first part and the second part.

Alpspitze on the far left, Zugspitze on the right

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Linderhof

Ludwig 2 of Bavaria managed to build several palaces. But only one he brought to perfection – external and internal.

Linderhof is a must-see attraction. It is located in a secluded valley near Oberammergau (about Oberammergau and Ettal at the end of the topic).

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Schwangau. Füssen. Part 2

We continue the story about the surroundings of Neuschwanstein Castle. We will go to Tegelberg, walk along the gorge, visit Füssen and rest on two lakes.

Read about the two castles and the lake Alpsee in the first part.

Schwangau

The area in which the Neuschwanstein castle is located is worth spending a few days there. Schwangau is the best place to stay. The village is located in the very center for tourists – an average of 30 minutes walk to Hohenschwangau, to the Tegelberg cable car, to the Schwansee lake, to the Forggensee lake.

Then we will move through the sights starting from Neuschwanstein Castle counterclockwise.

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German Synonyms. Increase

Increase, raise, rise – there is not one, but several rows of synonyms at once. Let’s take steigen and steigern, erhöhen and erheben, zulegen and zunehmen

First look at steigen, steigern, erhöhen. All of them suppose changing the level.

Rise

The basic meaning of the verb steigen is “to climb”: to move from below upwards, for example uphill, step by step. Be higher – on a mountain, on a step, on a horse, in a train (you also initially need to climb a stairs there). Gradually rise higher and higher – an airplane, a kite, a balloon …

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Gymnasium. First year

Of course, a covid year can hardly be called normal learning, so it is rather difficult to objectively assess grade 5.

My comments concern a boy with normal grades (official tested as above average). That is, we project onto weaker children for the worse. By the end of the post, you will understand why most children need a private tutor.

So far, the diagnosis is as follows:

Deeply outdated education from 19th. century, with a mass of unnecessary information, based on the message “learn by heart” rather than “think”, which they are afraid to reform like a sacred cow, for some reason assuming that the gymnasium gives a good education, and if they touch it, then everything will fall apart.

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Lake Constance. Lindau

The harbor of Lindau just asks for a camera. Especially when a pleasure boat gracefully enters it.

The island and the old town are small. In an hour you can slowly walk around all the streets. When choosing a hotel in Lindau without car, make sure that it is located on or near the island. So that you do not have to get to everything by local buses. The coastal part of the city is not small at all.

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Technik museum Speyer

Speyer

Technik Museum in Speyer (link), one of two in this region (second – in Sinsheim).

There are more cars and military equipment in Sinsheim. There are planes and a couple of steam locomotives, but the rest of the set is more interesting for those who are fond of cars. Speyer has a more varied exhibition.

Speyer can be:
included in the route along the Castle road (part 1 from Mannheim to Eberbach, part 2 from Zwingenberg to Bad Wimpfen),
along the Rhine routes
visited from Heidelberg.
About Speyer himself – here.

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What is new in 2022 in Germany

Let’s see what awaits us in the new 2022.

There are changes in social, pension and tax calculations that do not depend on the will of the average person – the tax scale changes slightly, the tax-free base increases, the pension scale is moving, and so on, so I will not consider them.

First, about what did not fall into the category. On May 15, a selective census of the population will take place – it was postponed due to pandemic.

Mobility and energy

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Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a city with a medieval look, which is located on several tourist routes at once: Romantic Road, Castle Road and Favorite Valley of the Tauber River.

Old streets that seem to have survived from ancient times, half-timbered houses, fortress walls, the picturesque nature of the Tauber River valley (although the river is too loud a word for this stream) … A significant part of this medieval appearance has been restored from ruins after the bombing, according to old drawings and photographs. But walking here, you completely forget about it.

It is worth visiting Rothenburg during the holidays, especially on Easter and Trinity, when locals, dressed in costumes, try to recreate the life of the city in the Middle Ages and important historical events for the city.

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From Bregenz to Innsbruck. What to visit

Voralberg is a very mountainous region, where even the highways mostly run in tunnels, and there are several toll sections with fees independent of a general Austrian vignette. The main attractions are mountains, entertainment – they are the same. There are many cable cars (I will not list everything), rope parks are relatively common, but other entertainment infrastructure is spreading slowly in this region. It is designed more for hiking and extreme sports (especially rock climbing).

By searching, keep in mind that Austrians usually refer Kletterwald (rope park) as Kletterpark or Hochseilgarten, and Klettergarten are rock areas for training climbers and there are a lot of these areas. The number of attractions increases towards Innsbruck.

Everything important that you can see in the region – with notes and links.

  • 1 – top
  • 2 – very good, although not so well known
  • 3 – good for a short vacation or a layover. Several medium-level interesting places
  • 4 – local or specific, not for everyone

Green marks – I was there (there are links to the posts). Blacks – I wasn’t there. Of course, the notes are subjective

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Bern

Bern

For the capital, Bern is a rather small city, but, like any normal capital, it is filled with people rushing somewhere. The historic center is small, for some reason trams and buses run on it, and this, especially trams, does not paint it at all: the narrow streets are entangled with wires, and tourists all the time strive to get under the wheels.

A couple of hours will be enough to inspect the center, to which, if you wish, you can add a museum or a zoo, a botanical garden, a thermal pool.

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Moselle: Eltz, Cochem and Trier

The Moselle is a very beautiful river. In truth, we liked her more than the Rhine, clogged with transport, muddy, with brown water.

To make the river navigable, it was dammed in the middle of the 20th century, but still there are very few barges here. On one (left) side of the river there is a railway and a road, and there is a road partly on the right. There are also castles on the banks of the Moselle, but the main attraction is the local wines. We were in Cochem and Trier, visited the Eltz castle.

More about cities on the Rhine.
Read about German wines here.

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Secondary school in Berlin – Brandenburg

The rules are different in these federal states, but since a significant number of the Brandenburg population is concentrated around Berlin, we will consider them together. Attending a school in another federal state is possible subject to availability (the rules are hier).

For more transparency the states have different color. The brighter the color, the higher the education

Education scheme in Brandenburg

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Essay description in German. 1. Way

Description of the way (Wegbeschreibung) pops up several times in different grades and at different levels. Not all teachers decide to write this essay, some take it verbally. And in VERA, too, there was a similar task.

Read more about VERA

The training method is very simple: we open a map of the area, a city plan (for example tourist plan from tourist office) and ask to describe the road from and to.

To complicate things, we add additional conditions:
the boy was with gypsum, it was an old woman with a stick (you need a short and safe path without stairs),
it was a cyclist,
it was a tourist (wants a more interesting route),
it was a small kind (you need a safe path without streets crossings) etc.

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How system kills blogging

On my sites you will see a nasty full page ad that requires you to agree to cookies. I know it got you. It got me too. But I have no other choice as the European data protection law is written in such a way that it requires you to actively, not passively, consent to cookies. That is, you must press the button yourself. In doing so, it requires:

– so that absolutely all cookies are registered. And this is statistics, newsletters, services from WordPress like contact forms, advertising statistics and even fonts, etc. etc.

– so that you can refuse both all together, and from each separately

– so you can change your mind

– so that all these services, except for those that completely destroy the site, are disabled until you agree.

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Feasts in Germany. December – January

​​Christmas in Europe is a special time. A Christmas market, trees and decorations, Christmas carols … But all this you find not on Christmas itself, but earlier – on Advent. From December 23 to January 27, Europe is not the best place to visit: just before Christmas, everyone completely empties the store shelves and lies at the bottom: long weekends, no one works, except gas station, Donners and a few restaurants. The interval between Christmas and New Year and after the New Year is the time of sales of old clothing collections. And immediately after January 6, the holidays are completely over: the lights and the trees are removed.

Advent

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Bavaria. Allgäu. What to see

In Allgäu there are such tourist monsters as Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Füssen, but no less interesting for hikers and natur lovers are Oberstdorf mountains and the Zugspitze Arena (around Reutte).

Everything important that you can see in the region – with notes and links.

  • 1 – top
  • 2 – very good, although not so well known
  • 3 – good for a short vacation or a layover. Several medium-level interesting places
  • 4 – local or specific, not for everyone

Green marks – I was there (there are links to the posts). Blacks – I wasn’t there. Of course, the notes are subjective

enlarge

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Innsbruck. Part 1. City

Innsbruck is a boring city in bad weather and pretty cute in good weather. A city occupying the most advantageous position at the crossroads of gorges and roads, where it was simply impossible not to become large and prosperous.

It is one of the few large cities in the immediate vicinity of mountain peaks and ski slopes. It is not surprising that the Olympic Games have been held here twice.

Инсбрук

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Schwangau. 1. Neuschwanstein

Perhaps you do not know what it is called and where it is located. But the view of this castle is almost certainly familiar to you – from puzzles or from the Disney cartoon “Sleeping Beauty”. It was impossible to be in Munich and not to visit Schwangau.

In this part about two castles, Alpsee and Schwangau in the winter. In the part 2 about attraction arond Neuschwanstein.

Neuschwanstein, Schwansee and Füssen in the background

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Joint building ventury (Baugemeinschaft)

The joint building ventury Baugemeinschaft is a popular form of organizing the construction of apartment buildings in Germany.

How can you find it?

You can find it by looking at advertisements on real estate sites – communities drop advertisements among ordinary sale advertisements. You may well declare your interest – even if you are not satisfied and you will not join there, your interest will be recorded and you will be included in the lists that are selected by architectural firms.

It is also recommended to ask at the town hall – they are also interested in this form of building.

Major cities have online offers of societies open to membership – for example, Munich or Hamburg.

Why is it so popular?

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Deutschtest für Zuwanderer. Writing letters – 4

We continue with different types of letters.

Other types of letters – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 5.
Dialogues Part 1, Part 2
Images description
Everything about the #Orientierungstest is here.

Type 4. Private ads, services to colleagues and friends

This type of letter is very diverse, but the structure is the same. You need to know general phrases (questions about price, condition, where is the information from, offer of help) and figure out what you can ask about typical second-hand things (furniture, tools, bicycles, things)

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Christmas cookies in Germany

This post is for those who have just met the German cookie fanaticism and don’t know where to start. You can easily find a couple of hundred cookie-themed recipes on the Internet, here are the most basic ones for beginners.

As soon as the children go to the kindergarten, the kindergarten and school “tribute” begin. For St. Martin, to sell at the Christmas market, to fundraise for the trip, for Basteltag, for the pre-Christmas breakfast in the garden, for the school Christmas breakfast, for Easter …

The easiest way is to get off with muffins, but if you intend to feed a large crowd, it turns out to be expensive (in form mini-muffins is ok). Cakes are welcome for flee markets, but otherwise rather not. Buying something is easier, but expensive (when they ask for fruit, for example). For large events, cookies are most convenient – it’s easy to make, but it’s tedious and long to decorate. However you can involve the whole family in the process.

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German synonyms. Different and other

This is such a classic problematic synonymous series in different languages: the words “different” and “other”. The German version is mainly about verschieden – unterschiedlich – anders.

Let’s start with the forms so there is less confusion.

verschieden, unterschiedlich, ungleich, fremd, andersartig – are adjectives, change endings

unterscheiden – verb

Verschiedenheit, Unterschied, Unterschiedenheit, Unterschiedlichkeit, Anderssein – nouns

ander – pronoun (attributive pronoun or pronoun adjective – as you like), changes the endings

anders – adverb, does not change

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Garmisch-Partenkirchen. 1. City, Wank mountain

Garmisch-Partenkirchen is known primarily for the fact that it is near the Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen unites two settlements, respectively Garmisch and Partenkirchen. In 1936, the Olympic Games were held here, for which, under strong pressure from the authorities, the two villages were united.

Read about Zugspitze and what is nearby in the part 3. In this part about other attractions of Garmisch (city, Wank mountain)
Partnachklamm gorge in winter and summer, other possibilities in part 2.

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Potsdam. Sanssouci park. Part 1

Potsdam, a satellite of of Berlin that smoothly turns into Berlin itself, is associated primarily with the Sanssouci Palace. This is a very green city, with huge expanses of water around, there are not one or two palaces in it, although it is not necessary to visit all of them.

Potsdam can be a good base from which to explore Berlin and the surrounding area. It is cheaper to live here than in Berlin, you can rent a good apartment. But you need to settle either not too far from the station, or have access to highways, that is, do not go deeper into the city center.

Since the reunification of Germany, the complex of gardens and palaces of Brandenburg and Berlin is constantly being restored. For current openings and closings, see the site of the palaces.

Next – Sanssouci New Palace and New Garden.

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Upper Normandy. Seine-Maritime – 2

In this part everything east and north from Rouen to Dieppe and Treport.

Part 1 – west from Rouen and south from Dieppe (Fecamp, Etretat, Seine, etc)

Everything important that you can see in the region – with notes and links.

  • 1 – top
  • 2 – very good, although not so well known
  • 3 – good for a short vacation or a layover. Several medium-level interesting places
  • 4 – local or specific, not for everyone

Green marks – I was there (there are links to the posts). Blacks – I wasn’t there. Of course, the notes are subjective

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Rouen

Rouen is full of half-timbered houses and in general a nice, green city. I cannot remember cities of this size with so many unkilled half-timbered houses. It is all the more surprising that the city had a rather turbulent life (they could have burned or destroyed everything) and a good income (they could have rebuilt everything in stone).

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Pregnancy in Germany. Part 3

We continue the topic of pregnancy and childbirth. In the first part there was infertility and miscarriage, in the second part – mandatory and additional tests, illnesses and inconveniences accompanying pregnancy.

Part 1.
Part 2

In this part, we will see what is written in Mutterpass, we will learn how to get a midwife and why you need one at all, and decide where to give birth.

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Spessart. Castle Mespelbrunn

I don’t know too many German films. But “The Spessart Inn ” and “The Haunted Castle” are familiar even to me.

Spessart are wooded mountains, quite high in places, located between the A3 and Main and further beyond the A3 towards Fulda. Through the Main to the south, the mountains continue, but are already called Odenwald. And Odenwald then goes to the Black Forest. And it turns out such an extended mountainous-wooded strip up to Switzerland.

The name Spessart in its original form meant “woodpecker mountainous forest”.

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Fighting mold and condensation

Mold (Schimmel)

Fighting mold is an essential part of life in most German homes. The problem is blamed on users. They say tenants do not ventilate, overcool, etc. etc. In reality, of course, builders have crooked hands and save at the expense of residents. Our friends lived in Holland and did not observe this problem there, although Holland is clearly ahead of most German cities in terms of humidity.

It makes sense to complain about the mold to the landlord only immediately after moving, in the first months. If you have been living for more than six months and complaining, you will be accused of misusing the apartment and forced to dry and repair everything. In most cases, in the courts such issues are lost. It is cheaper to be silent, to quietly clean the consequences and take preventive measures, hoping that when you leave your apartment, the issue will not come up.

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Zugspitze Arena. 2. Lakes

Looking at the photos in the first part, you may ask – where are these lakes, there is only a meadow and wooded mountains. Nevertheless, three decent-sized lakes are hidden in the forests, and in the neighboring valley towards Reutte there are two more large lakes, on which there are even pleasure boats. And there are many small mountain lakes and reservoirs, some of which are used to provide snow for trails, and in the summer they are very beautiful landscapes.

Mountain lakes were hidden under clouds, but in the forest ones we even managed to swim.

Weißensee – Mittersee – Blindsee

Three lakes, linked by a 4 km hiking trail, lie at the foot of the Fernpass.

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Saint Martin Feast. Songs

The main children’s autumn holiday is on the way – Sankt Martin. Processions with lanterns are timed to this holiday.

The memory of Saint Martin is celebrated on November 11th. But processions in his honor usually take place after All Saints’ Day, that is, after November 1, and small processions of one kindergarden or urban area can be scheduled for any day of the last week of October.

All about lanterns: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5

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Deutschtest für Zuwanderer. Dialogues – 1

Tasks are taken from reviews of real exams shared in Internet.

I give possible supporting phrases, since sometimes it is difficult to figure out what to talk about there. Please note that these are not ready-made dialogues, but possible pieces of phrases, a set of words. It is not necessary to memorize them as a complete dialogue, but use for your own.

I see three main groups of dialogues:
the first, the most numerous, is the organization of the event,
the second is that one person asks another for advice, discussion of the problem,
and the third is helping someone.

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Technik museum Sinsheim. IMAX cinema

There are two large technik museums in the region: in Speyer and Sinsheim (Link). They have different content, but if there is a lack of time, it is quite possible to choose one.

We like museum in Speyer better: that set of exhibits is more interesting to us. But this does not mean that there is nothing to watch in Sinsheim.

The main differences are as follows. Speyer has more large technik, an entire pavilion is dedicated to space, steam locomotives are better represented, there are two ships and a submarine.
There are a lot of cars in Sinsheim, whole lines of Mercedes from the very first car, a lot of military technik, which Speyer doesn’t have. But in Sinsheim there are no ships and space.
Nevertheless, in Sinsheim, there are several locomotives stuck in the corners. And in Speyer there are some vintage cars.

The most interesting objects in this two topics (about Speyer museum read hier).

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Traunsee. 1. Gmunden

Gmunden is located on the edge of the Salzkammergut. A little further – and already the mountains come to an end, industrial zones begin, highways intersect around Wels. But in Gmunden you still enjoy the mountain scenery.

Gmunden is suitable as a base for exploring the region around Traunsee, Bad Ischl. It’s not near to Hallstatt for day trip, although it is still possible. But for a real exploration of the mountainous part of the Salzkammergut, it is better to find an accomodation closer.

Map of sights Salzkammergut.

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DIY lanterns for Saint Martin feast. 5. Silhouettes

We end our big review with silhouettes: red leaves and black figurines.

Often silhouettes are deko for lanterns-“houses” and cylinders and less often – for lanterns-“drums”.

Read more: part 1 – lighting possibilities, basic materials, part 2 – papier-mache, lampions, papier bags, part 3 – polygons, “cheese package”, part 4 – “houses” and “drums”.
Separat about feast and songs for it.

Leaves

I really like the way the burgundy leaves glow. I tried several times to combine them with lanterns. The problem is that the lantern should look good in daylight and glow well in the dark. One of two things often suffers.

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Сlassification of German wine and wine regions

Since we live in a wine region, we had to explore German wines. And they are not bad at all.

Wine production in Germany is regulated by the wine law. There are clearly fixed regions and types of wines. The EU has its own classification by territory, but it was successfully integrated into the existing one, so that nothing has changed significantly.

In this post about different classifications (classic German classification + EU, taste, VDP), wine regions, popular sorts.

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What is Besen
Autumn in Shwabian Tuscany

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Autumn in Swabian “Tuscany”

Swabian Tuscany, this region was nicknamed for tourist purposes because of the warmer climate (here comes the air from the Rhine) and vineyards. Wine, perhaps, is not so good as along the Rhine, but in the end of October this section of the Castle Road becomes an independent goal.

Posts on #Castle Road. (Burgenstrasse)
Classification of German wines and wine regions.
What is Besen

In a not too rainy and cold autumn, all vineyards become bright, but not all are truly picturesque. For this you need a suitable relief – the most rugged hills possible.

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DIY lanterns for Saint Martin feast. 4. “Drums” and “Houses”

“Drum” – the simplest and fastest form. The choice of motive is limited only by your desires and imagination. “Houses” are cubes or other prisms. Here you have to work more and plan more time, that is, this is an option for older children. For “drums” and cubes, a blank base is sold.

Read more: part 1 – lighting possibilities, basic materials, part 2 – papier-mache, lampions, papier bags, part 3 – polygons, “cheese package”, part 5 – lanterns with silhouettes.
Separat about feast and songs for it.

“Drums”

It can be a sun, a tiger, a hare, a cow, a dinosaur, a fish or an owl … and even a car – whatever your and your child wants and you can picture or copy from the Internet.

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Stuttgart zoo Wilhelma. Animals

I think the previous topic has convincingly proved that Wilhelma is worth a visit for the sake of flowers alone. Now let’s add the animals as well. Map is on the end of the post.

You can read about Stuttgart itself here.

Aquarium

The Wilhelma aquarium is better than some stand alone aquariums. The only thing it doesn’t have is a large pool with big sharks and rays. And so everything is in place in excellent quality: fish of the northern seas, fish of the tropical seas, electric eel, small sharks. Seehorses of two kinds and jellyfish. Assorted crayfish and crabs. Mangrove fish with eyes on top. Several big crocodiles, turtles, lizards, pythons and poisonous snakes, poisonous frogs.

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Stuttgart zoo Wilhelma. Flowers

The zoo-botanical garden, unique in Germany, was built in Stuttgart in the middle of the 19th century for King William (Wilhelm) 1 of Württemberg. Therefore the name Wilhelma. About 9000 thousand animals are represented. Greenhouses are open to the public: among the most important are collections of orchids, magnolias (March), camellias (winter).

About Stuttgart.

It would seem that over the years we have studied Wilhelma inside and out. And nevertheless, each visit brings at least small, but discoveries.

Wilhelma is a large park. It will take 3 hours to examine it at a fast pace. As it turned out, it also takes time to talk about it, so the topic was divided into botanical and zoological parts.

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Zugspitze Arena

The Zugspitze Arena is a ski region that embraces the Austrian slope of the Zugspitze and the surrounding mountains.

In winter, the region is extremely popular with the Germans, as it is nearby, and prices are lower. The owner of the apartment said that traffic jams after snowfalls in the season can be up to 7 hours. After all, there is only one road – Fernpass. And there are not even tricky side streets that only the locals know about. It stays also in the summer, although not so catastrophically, but from Friday to Sunday surely.

If you manage to book a hotel / apartment place here, you will find out that it is very pleasant to rest here also in the summer: there will be enough attractions for a week, and if you capture Garmisch, Füssen or cross Fernpass, then for two weeks.

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4th grade. Gymnasium or Realschule?

High-school choice

Which high school to go to is not as obvious now as it used to be. Secondary education in Germany has changed significantly over the past 15 years.

I have so far examined the structure of education in half of the federal states (see the topics “Schools after the Grundschule”) and will continue to do so.

The main conclusion: the idea “if you want to go to a university, you need to fight to get into a gymnasium” in most Bundeslands no longer works. The strictest vertical is preserved in Bavaria and Saxony.

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Holiday at the state expense. Corona-Auszeit

The state believes that during the pandemic, families tensed the most – and this is true. Many were unable to rest last year, and some unhappy families did not go anywhere this year either. To reduce the psychological and financial burden, the government proposes to pay for 90% of the vacation costs for families with limited income.

Who can claim compensation?

Families with limited income and families with disabled people (with more than 50% grad).

The “limited” income is very high and depends on the age and number of children. Thus, a family with three children and an income of less than 114 thousand gross is entitled to a holiday payment. You can count here.

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DIY Lanterns for Saint Martin feast. 3. Polygons, “cheese package”

Next possible forms and techniques – polygons and cylinders (“cheese package”).

Read more: part 1 – lighting possibilities, basic materials, part 2 – papier-mache, lampions, papier bags, part 4 – “houses” and “drums”, part 5 – lanterns with silhouettes.
Separat about feast and songs for it.

Technique 4. Lanterns-polygons

These lanterns do not require any special additional decorations, except for coloring. As their original form already attracts attention in itself. You can find templates for a variety of shapes. I liked the pentagon lantern.

It is done quickly (1 hour), it looks very good. Ideal for the little childrens as it is small. For this lantern, you need thick paper (e.g. watercolor paper) – that’s all.

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Castle Road. 3. From Sinsheim to Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Neckarbischofsheim and Heimsheim, which are on the route between Castle Gutenberg and Sinsheim, can be skipped as they are of local importance.

#Castle Road.
Part 1 (with map for whole route) Along Neckar from Mannheim to Eberbach.
Part 2 Along Neckar from Zwingenberg to Bad Wimpfen.

Sinsheim

Sinsheim is interesting primarily not for its city, but for the technics museum and the thermal pool.

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Diy Lanterns for Saint Martin feast. 2. Papier-mache, lampion, bags

In the first part, we looked at the possible lighting options and basic materials for lanterns. Now let’s see what typical forms and what techniques are used. I must say, that the imagination is inexhaustible and every year new variants for lanterns appear. I tried to collect most of the ones already invented.

In this part about papier-mache, lampions and paper bags.
part 3 – polygons, “cheese package”, part 4 – “houses” and “drums”, part 5 – lanterns with silhouettes.
Separat about feast and songs for it.

Technique 1. Papier-mâché

You will need: a balloon, paper, flour paste and a lot of patience and time.

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Castle Road. 2. From Zwingenberg to Bad Wimpfen

In the first post about Castle Road, we traveled from Mannheim to Eberbach.

From Neckarsteinach to Zwingenberg it is the most beautiful part of Neckar for cyclists. From Zwingenberg there is no separate cycling path upstream to the Neckargerach and also from Hasmersheim to Gundelsheim. The map is in the first post.

Part 1 From Mannheim to Eberbach.

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All about Lanterns for Saint Martin Feast. 1. Materials

This thread is all about lanterns for Saint Martin Feast. Let’s start with lighting and materials, then discuss the basic shapes of lanterns and some techniques.

Please note that most lanterns require not only lighting, but also a stick to carry it on. And there are more problems with a stick than with a candle.

Materials with links demonstrating what is meant are highlighted in hell blue. Links are affiliated that have nothing to do with advertising.

To fix the lighting, use a glue gun, scotch tape, plasticine.
A wire or Chenilledraht are suitable for hanging the lantern on the stick.

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Castle Road (Burgenstrasse). Part 1. Mannheim – Eberbach

If you are looking for real toirist Germany, then you schould forget about big cities. Tourist routes help with it. And Castle Road is one of the best. We explore german part of the route and start from Mannheim.

At the beginning Castle Road runs along the Neckar. This part is one of the best bike routes I’ve come across. There are few ups and downs, the picturesque Neckar gorge, the road mostly goes separately from cars, and, among other things, there are also enough sights.

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Harvest – from farmers and “free of charge”

Bio and local products are in great demand, although it is not always easy to find them. In this post – where you can find farmers products and can you eat for free apples and Co on the way.

Farmers. Where to look?

Weekly market

At the weekly market in the city center. Local farmers’ caravans come to the market, but not only they. There is also a cheese shop, meat and fish shop, sometimes local artists or artisans.

Not all of them sell local products. The price is different, and at the same farmer, but in different cities it is also different. For example, the market in our retirement-decent suburban town is more expensive than in the neighboring large city.

Shop on the farm or by the road

In the shop of the farm itself. Some of these farms can be found using Google (“Hofladen”), but not all. It is very rare for farmers to acquire their own websites. Such clever ones are found mostly closer to large cities. Some farmers unite and set up one shop somewhere closer to a more or less busy road.

Farm’s shop have the signs in the pictures of apples, strawberries with hands.

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Stuttgart

Apart from Wilhelma, Stuttgart does not have many top sights or architecture. The city was badly damaged during the Second World War.

But if you happen to be here for a couple of days, you will not regret it. Stuttgart is a pretty city with a lot of parks and high hills all around. Children, and many adults alike, will be delighted with Wilhelma. Adults – with plenty of shops concentrated in the center and the Mercedes-Benz Museum. Without tiring yourself too much, you can explore the small center and relax in the thermal pool in the evening.

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Election 2021. Part 2. Questions and answers

In the first part, we dealt with parties, their nicknames and possible coalitions, and also looked at what websites can help with the choice. Now let’s move on to the questions and answers of the parties.

Once again, I note that the websites will help you understand what questions is discussed, but do not trust them too much. One simple example: the question “Family reunification of migrants has been limited since 2015, is this correct” gives two answers – yes and no. However, “no” actually implies two completely opposite answers: “no, we must not let them in at all”, and “no, we must take everyone”. Thus, by answering “no”, you matched both the left guys and AfD. And there are many such inaccuracies – different wording of the questions will give different answers to the same party, “no” can be like a refusal and “no” like another proposal.

It turned out very clearly – you can see how strongly the greens developed the red theme and how strongly the red ones developed into the green. If you are going to vote for the Greens, please note that you vote as Linke in many cases. In my opinion, this is a combination of the incompatible: after all, following the green theme in the proposed from Greens and Reds form, they kill their social program (jobs, family cars …). Where does the money come from? The ÖDP in this sense are more understandable and consistent – back to the ground, digging potatoes and consuming fewer. Only for some reason no one wants and does not vote for them.

Nearby I wrote about possible coalitions, if obvious. For decoding of coalitions’ nicknames, see the first part.

I looked at the parties in parliament and a couple of the most visible small ones, because studying all parties that gain less than a percent is a waste of time. Die Partei also is not mentioned: this is for those who want to laugh (“we will make the speed limit 136 km/h, this is as much as 6 km more than the SPD …”). Since I looked at different sites, there were different numbers of answers to different questions. Abbreviation FW not typical – Freie Wähler

Economic block

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Erlebniszoo Hannover

The Zoo in Hanover is not just a zoo. This is something special. In this zoo, you can easily spend the whole day and leave with regret.

The best modern zoos fulfill two main goals:

to teach people to love nature, to give them knowledge about animals,
and to preserve (and, if possible, help increase the number) endangered species.

Hanover Zoo has set itself another goal: to present animals as close to a person as possible, to make him experience strong emotions when communicating with them – and then he will wish to protect them. The zoo itself, of course, also wins, it has become an extremely successful enterprise.

I hope they will be able to find the right balance between the desire to earn money and the benefits for animals and people’s education in the future.

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Election 2021. Part 1. Participants

Let’s see what worries the public and parties in the elections in 2021. The program questions themselves in the second part, in the first we will consider the participants, coalitions and sites that help to choose a party.

This year the situation is very unstable, analysts assume a wide variety of coalitions. Some old personages suddenly turn pale and do not master the election campaign, others suddenly gain weight.

Unfortunately, I did not notice completely new interesting faces, and this is the main problem – the more these guys turn bronze (like monuments) in politics, the farther they are from people. As an example, it is enough to recall the CDU, which put at the head of the list in the local elections in Baden-Württemberg the extremely unpopular with people, including the supporters of the party itself, Ms.Eisenmann.

Since the political news is only slightly inferior to news from football fields in its Aesopic language, I will point out the “encryption” of names of parties and coalitions.

Parties

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Health insurance. 2. GKV – everything that I will (not) be paid from A to L

95 percent of insurance services are defined by law, so all Krankenkassen are the same. These will be all services related to deteriorating health – visits to doctors, necessary surgeries and examinations.

There is no complete list of paid services.

For example, the right to free treatment services for unnecessary interventions is limited – if you get sick as a result of a tattoo or an operation to improve your appearance.

The Krankenkasse can pay voluntarily for a specific service, or it can offer a choice of several additional services that are paid from the general account – Gesundheitskonto (for example, 200 euros per year for glasses, additional examinations during pregnancy and other services).

About individual percentage and how payments are formed read here.

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Health insurance. 3. GKV – everything that I (not) will be paid from. M-Y

We continue the list of medical services that will (or will not) be paid for by Krankenkasse (KK).

Part 1. GKV. How payments are formed
Part 2. GKV. Everything that I (not) will be paid from – A-L

Massage

10 percent of the cost of therapy multiplied by the number of visits, plus € 10 per recipe.

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Liechtenstein gorge

The Liechtensteinklamm can be visited if you are staying somewhere in the Werfen area (in Bischofshofen, Altenmarkt in Pongau, St. Johann in Pongau).
Visiting from Salzburg is also possible. From Zell am See it is possible by distance, but it does not make a deep sense, since there are many attractions of its own (also a good gorge in Kaprun).

In 2017, there was a landslide in the gorge, after which it was closed for a long time for path repairs. Now the gorge is open again. The photographs, therefore, will partially not coincide – everything is clearly rebuilt there, although the gorge, of course, remained the same.

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Coast of Germany. Lower Saxony and Hamburg. What to visit

The North Sea in this part is called Wattenmeer. This is such a sea-swamp – the ebb tide goes far, leaving a minimum amount of water and the ability to walk on the sand for kilometers. The watt is visible on the map – gray shading.

Adjacent map of Schleswig-Holstein

Everything important that you can see in the region – with notes and links.

  • 1 – top
  • 2 – very good, although not so well known
  • 3 – good for a short vacation or a layover. Several medium-level interesting places
  • 4 – local or specific, not for everyone

Green marks – I was there. Blacks – I wasn’t there. Of course, the grades are subjective.

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Primary school. Office supplies and all for school – 3

In the first part there were satchels, pencil cases and how to deal with theft, in the second there were pencils, rulers, erasers, sharpeners and pens. Now let’s move on to notebooks, numerous types of folders, materials for art and some furniture.

Lineature

With the beginning of school life, parents enter the world of Lineature.

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Insurance for travel abroad

For trips abroad, Haftpflichtversicherung (liability insurance) and Krankenversicherung are the most relevant, as well as travel cancellation and travel interruption insurance. Those who rent a car on vacation are strongly advised to have the so-called Mallorca-Police liability insurance for rented cars. In addition, they offer other options: baggage insurance, accident insurance, which is more likely not needed.

Medical insurance abroad

While the standard Haftpflichtversicherung policy for damages to third persons works well for short trips in the European Union, health insurance is very limited, especially public health insurance.

Therefore, an additional policy is considered reasonable and highly recommended.

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Harz. 5. Thale, children program

Thale is a town in the middle between Blankenburg and Quedlinburg, but closer to the mountains. It is located at the point where the Bode River leaves the narrow gorge to head for Quedlinburg.

More about Quedlinburg.

You need to come to Thale not for city historical walks, but for outdoor recreation and sports entertainment. Depending on your plans, this could be a half day trip or a full day trip.

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“Hanging” Valley in Senneville

Nearby hamlet, north of Fecamp, Senneville-sur-Fecamp. I knew that there was access to the sea, but where exactly was not clear. There are no signposts. I pointed my finger at a promising dead end on the navigator.

List of villages with “hanging” valleys can be found on the map of attractions.

The descent went along a narrow road along a small valley with several houses. The Norman spotted cows gazed at us with suspicion. Every minute we expected a dead end with the need to go upstairs in reverse. But suddenly there was a parking lot, and then there was another one and at the end of the staircase to the sea.

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Upper Normandy. Seine-Maritime – 1

Upper Normandy is a picturesque Alabaster coast with chalk cliffs. The castles here and there are in most cases not the most outstanding and more like the estates of not too rich nobles. Nice villages with old houses. Calvados and Camembert. Gardens planted by talented gardeners. The beaches are pebbly, in some places at low tide you can find sand, which becomes more in the north.

Everything important that you can see in the region – with notes and links.

  • 1 – top
  • 2 – very good, although not so well known
  • 3 – good for a short vacation or a layover. Several medium-level interesting places
  • 4 – local or specific, not for everyone

Green marks – I was there (there are links to the posts). Blacks – I wasn’t there. Of course, the notes are subjective

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Harz. 4. Quedlinburg

Quedlinburg has escaped the destruction of great wars and devastating fires. Its 1200 half-timbered houses from different eras await your cameras and your admiration.

The city is considered by many to be the most romantic of the Harz cities.

We liked Wernigerode better, but only because that that year Quedlinburg was the most renovated of the Harz cities. Now, of course, you can see it in all its glory.

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Idioms in German. 5. Stupidity, madness. Part 1

The dignity of a person never collects so many idioms, full of artistic images, as swearing. Opportunity to unburden himself, especially expressively stigmatizing the mental abilities of the opponent, is dear to everyone.

And native speakers of German have made a big contribution to this topic. During the collection of the material, I thought that I would drown under the number of expressions. Frequency is often difficult to determine. I didn’t take outdated ones. Found in texts and included in the popular lists are in bold.

Stupidity can be lack of intelligence, insanity, misunderstanding and error. Let’s start with the first and second, since the border between them is not very clear.

Stupidity and madness

There are several typical groups:

  • something is missing in your head
  • and vice versa, there is something extra
  • something happened to the head, it was under the impact (hit by a dusty bag)
  • descriptive idioms: the subject is unable to do something (count to three)
  • ironic expression from the opposite (well, you are smart!)

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Panoramic road Großglockner

The Großglockner panoramic road is the most famous of such roads. It is really beautiful, but this means also a large number of not only cars, but also motorcycles, and what is especially unpleasant, bicycles.

The northern slope has more serpentine turns and more moving units. There are many popular tourist villages from the north and everyone returns there for the night. A southern descent with fewer turns, but sometimes with a steeper incline.

Grossglockner

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Venice. 1. Orientation, museums

Venice is a dream city, a carnival city … A dying city, a tourist feast during the plague … Venice is beautiful and unusual, but it is so difficult to see it for real if you have only a few hours of time.

Therefore, my advice is – be sure to come for a full day, better with an overnight stay and better without the burden in the form of small children, suitcases, group.
Ideally alone, this is a city of loneliness among the crowd.

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Lido Adriano. Resorts near Ravenna

Between Venice and Rimini is the Po delta. The Po is a rather big river, and its delta is vast and intricate. The main stream runs near Ferrara, but rivers / canals are often found near Ravenna. The vast (for a flat area, built up and plowed up) pine forests between the resorts and lagoons are called the Po delta park (at first I wondered – where is Po and where is Ravenna).

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Lake Lugano. 3. Morcote, Caslano

The first part is about all the funiculars and cable cars around the lake. In the second – sights closer to Lugano. Now we will go to the other end of the lake – to Morcote and Caslano.

Morcote

Morcote is arguing with Gandria for the right to be called the most beautiful town (village?) on the lake. And it really looks very picturesque from the water. It is more difficult to assess it from the shore, because if you are already in the town, you see only narrow streets.

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Gradara

Gradara is a hilltop castle with a small town within the fortress walls. It attracts not only with its medieval walls, but also with the romantic story of Francesca and Paolo that could have happened here (there are other competitors who claim to be the scene). Thanks to the authors – there is a tragic love story for every Italian city.

In short, it was like this. She was married for dynastic reasons and did not like her husband. But she liked his brother, who had the same literary taste. Finding a couple at the crime scene (obviously, reading literary masterpieces together), the husband stabbed both of them. This simple story received an advertisement from Dante – for him it was quite hot gossip, a hundred years had not passed. And therefore it was repeatedly mentioned in works of art.

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Cuxhaven. 3. Sahlenburg

Sahlenburg is a tourist village, a bit away from Cuxhaven in the direction of Bremerhaven. It did not extend along the sea, but perpendicular to it. Even in the high season it is easier to find accommodation here, there is also a large camping. This area is “pure nature”: clean beach, pine forest, moorland. As well as its outdoor pool, several riding stables and a rope park.

From here it is only about 10 km to the island of Neuwerk (on foot or by carriage).

See the map in the first post about Cuxhaven.

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Primary school. Office supplies and all for school – 2

The first part is about satchel, pencil cases, sports bags and theft of the school supplies. Let’s go further down the list.
Navigation through primary school topics is here.

Now about pencils, pens, rulers, erasers and so on.

Important: pencils, pens, sharpeners, erasers, and rulers should be purchased also for “home-use”. That means you schould buy all things in double amount. If your child takes a pencil case out of his satchel to do his homework, then he is on the right way to forget everything at home one beautiful day.

Affiliate links to Amazon for better visualization. About where to buy office supplies is more profitable – see in the first part.

Pencils

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Dozza

Dozza is another village on the list of the most beautiful in Italy. We stopped here on our way to Bologna.

The difference between Dozza and other similar villages with a fortress is that the walls of the city are painted by modern artists every two years. The tradition began in the middle of the 20th century.

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Friuli-Venezia Giulia. What to visit

Map is useful for those who rest in Bibione, Grado and Trieste.

Bibione is a kind of a resort for those who prefer not to get off the beach. The sights are quite far away, only exit to the highway costs up to half an hour’s drive. This is especially difficult on a hot day. Nevertheless, there are plenty of attractions for a couple of weeks of holiday.

There are public transport option from Bibione here.

Bibione. Part 1 – transport, roads, beaches. Part 2 – map of the city, housing, shops, entertainment in the city.

For those who decide to thoroughly explore Friuli Venezia Giulia, there is the FVG Card discount card (read more on the website: http://www.turismofvg.it/Special-offers/FVG-Card).

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Pregnancy in Germany. 2. Testing and monitoring

Further with the topic pregnancy. In the first part we said about problems before. Now – about monitoring and tests and about typical problems with health.

We will take the classic version: a gynecologist is monitoring the pregnancy. In theory, you can get a midwife before giving birth (see about midwives in the next part), but now this is rather unrealistic.

There is also a non-standard option. The midwife works for the gynecologist and takes his patients alternately with him.

At the first visit, the Mutterpass is started (the old one continues) and a list of paid tests that can be done during pregnancy is given.

Mandatory part in monitoring

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Fecamp

Feсamp is one of the largest cities on the coast. The next to the south is Le Havre, to the north is Dieppe.

All cities, towns and villages are arranged according to the same principle: high gypsum banks (Alabaster Coast) are cut by a river of greater or lesser strength, a large or small gorge is formed and also an exit to the water, houses grow around this exit. If the river is larger and there are several of them, the exit is wider, and the city is larger. It stretches along its ravines and turns out to be much longer in length than in width.

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Arqua Petrarca

Arqua Petrarca

Arqua Petrarca is one of the “most picturesque villages in Italy”. Perhaps you have already met this name. This is done in different countries, introducing the title of the most picturesque, most floral, etc. villages and towns. In order to distract tourists from the well-trodden places towards no less interesting, but small and remaining in the shade. It is assumed that these villages are distinguished by their identity, historical appearance, preservation of local traditions and local products.

Villages that meet the requirements of the organizers are presented on the website www.borghitalia.it. I would not say that they are all stunning. But if you want to see something relatively unspoiled, to turn off the wide path, then this site will help a lot. A similar project, which concerns not villages, but already small towns, which has not yet been promoted as much, is called the “orange flag” – www.bestsmalltownsitaly.com.

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Lower Normandy. Calvados and Orne. What to visit

Calvados deserves a closer look: cider, cheese, calvados, picturesque old towns and trendy resorts nearby – all within daytime road trips. And the beaches are wonderful everywhere. The whole line of beaches is also connected with the history of D Day, for the places of which I give a separate map.

Perhaps few will get to Orne, it is too far from the sea, but it makes sense to study the map of Orne too – maybe you will want to stop there for a couple of days on the way.

Everything important that you can see in the region – with notes and links.

  • 1 – top
  • 2 – very good, although not so well known
  • 3 – good for a short vacation or a layover. Several medium-level interesting places
  • 4 – local or specific, not for everyone

Green marks – I was there (there are links to the posts). Blacks – I wasn’t there. Of course, the notes are subjective

Calvados

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Primary school. Office supplies and all for school

Over the five years of purchasing school lists I gathered some tips.

General warning: teachers do not always know well what they want and how much their wishes are reflected on store shelves. Therefore, do not panic, be creative with the lists and do not be afraid to send your child to school with materials that do not quite match. The first class has everything stricter than others, but you have the opportunity to clarify at the first meeting, which takes place before the beginning of the year or immediately after the beginning of the year. The rest have at least a week to clarify, and even more.

A few words about the theft of the school supply

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Around Venice. Brenta Villas

Famous villas are located around Padua, and the picturesque Euganean Hills stretch to the south. From Padua, you can easily get by train to the walled cities: Montagnana, Cittadella, Castelfranco; to Vicenza, Bassano del Grappa, Treviso, not to mention Venice.

But here we will only talk about the immediate vicinity – more about Villa Pisani and short about other villas.

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