On Saturday, September 16th, 2023 at high noon sharp Munich’s Lord Mayor – once again ceremonially exclaimed: ‘It’s tapped!’ The Oktoberfest, a festival recurring for the 186th 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, Lederhos’n or Lodenjanker) – or for a rare species of couture whose daring cross-over creations are at times hard to swallow for the more conservative.
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!
As is frequently the case, the spirit of a new era is ushered in by initiative of one committed individual. When it comes to the history of German spa-ing, it is said to have been a progressive physician by the name of Samuel Gottlieb Vogel, who had triggered off the lasting success story of sea-side health treatments. The healing effects of a coastal climate and the invigorating properties of salty seawater on skins in desperate need of airing, were promoted by him. And, in order to corroborate his cause, Vogel convinced nobility to act as prominent supporters and forerunners, making Heiligendamm with its tideless shores the premier German spa resort and Friedrich Franz I of Mecklenburg-Schwerin the first-ever guest to use it. That was back in 1793.
Those for whom regular vehicle sharing, be it as drivers or passengers, has always been a welcome option, may be aiming to raise their transport variety to a faster, higher and more sophisticated level. The services of Wingly, a French-German flight sharing start-up, could be an interesting pick. Their website offers private pilots and passengers a common marketplace based on a simple concept: pilots publish their scheduled flights, potential clients choose their destinations and directly place their bookings. At present, connections are offered from and to locations in France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Scenic flights (“Fly Arounds“) and balloon rides are part of the programme as well.
The young boy holding on to the concrete steel bars that reinforced The Wall, was nine years old when the Iron Curtain fell in 1989. The lady next to him became one of the innumerable so-called „Mauerspechte“, „wall peckers“, who secured themselves a morsel of the unholy structure to bring home a grisly souvenir. The „antifascist protective wall“, as the German Democratic Republic had chosen to name it, not only separated West from East Berlin and barbariously split the German nation, but symbolised the rift that divided the entire world in two political camps. Erected in August of 1961, The Wall finally came down after decade-long diplomatic efforts and a peaceful revolution during which not a single shot was fired. Hacked apart piece by piece by citizens and visitors flocking in from all over the globe, The Wall ceased to exist and with it the Cold War.