When these shapely legs are swung high during the rehearsal for the Swan Lake performance, they are not made of flesh and blood. Nor, in fact, are any of the lissome corporal parts belonging to the remarkable cast acting on the miniature stage of the Lindau Marionette Opera (House): they are puppets on strings choreographed and directed with an expertise and finesse that leaves any audience open-mouthed with bafflement. And that doesn’t just account for the ballet troupe bobbing their tutus in tune with Tchaikovsky’s legendary Swan Lake ballet: there are works by Mozart, Verdi, Rossini, Strauss, Bizet and Humperdinck on the programme as well. But, how is it accomplished to elicit credible emotions from actors sculpted from wood? Carving features to augment the illusion of changing mien is the craftsmanship their creators are excelling at!Reading time: about 3 minutes
Germany’s Blockbuster: Neuschwanstein Castle
When the King is a Queen
As is endorsed, Schloss Neuschwanstein, Germany’s prime tourist attraction perched on a steep rugged rock deep in Bavaria, served as a role model for what was to become the epitome of a castle eligible for the classical Disney story. Its silhouette was even chosen for the logo of the Walt Disney Studios. The elaborate palace is a real estate shrouded in ever-lasting mystery and thus an ideal venue for the incarcerated, bewitched or poisoned princess desperately waiting to be rescued.Reading time: about 3 minutes
Berlin-Neukölln: From problem child to clubbable prodigy?
It is presumed to be the most colourful, multinational and omnicultural of Berlin’s districts: Neukölln, whose reputation – up to the not too distant past – could be considered controversial at best. Predominantly low-income (German) residents alongside a high rate of immigrants touching the 40 per cent mark have been benefitting from affordable rents and trying to make ends meet remote from posh Berlin areas. Different beliefs; traditions; habits; tongues; skins or dress codes hailing from alien ethnic backgrounds not seldom ignited the precarious potential for social conflicts. Better-off Berliners and visitors to the city alike preferred to stay at a safe distance for a reason. Yet, by avoiding the confrontation with an often bleak reality, they simultaneously missed out on “glamour” of a quality only thriving in microcosms such as Neukölln.Reading time: about 3 minutes
Oktoberfest Munich: O’zapft is’!
On Saturday, September 17th, 2022 at high noon sharp Munich’s Lord Mayor – once again ceremonially exclaimed: ‘It’s tapped!’ The Oktoberfest, a festival recurring for the 185th time, has been exerting its magnetism on the crowds since 1810. It means huge fun for regular folks, works as an illustrious place-to-be-seen for celebrities of all shapes and sizes and could even enhance or jog a career of one trade or another. And it serves as a welcome runway for the presentation of suitably traditional garb (such as Dirndl, Lederhosn or Lodenjanker) – or for a rare species of couture whose daring cross-over creations are at times hard to swallow for the more conservative.Reading time: about 6 minutes
Hamburg: The world’s largest model train exhibition
If a long-hatched childhood dream is ever to come true, entrepreneurial reason mostly isn’t the proper leverage to make it happen. Frederik Braun and his twin brother Gerrit still bravely ventured out on a project not only demanding a vast amount of courage, enthusiasm, utmost technical aptitude, congenial logistics and never-ending perseverance – but also a mighty portion of disregard towards the shaky economical outlook and the financial risks lurking virtually everywhere. A browse through a model railway shop in Switzerland’s capital Zurich back in 2000, triggered the idea for what was to become the largest and most successful exhibition of model railways worldwide.Reading time: about 3 minutes