Thursday, July 31, 2014

August 2014 - Overview

Holidays (Federal or Bavaria specific)       
August 15 Mariä Himmelfahrt - stores closed
School holidays July 30- September 15

Events (by no means a complete list)

Aug 2-3 Middle Ages Fest
Aug 3 - Open Sunday 1pm-6pm 

Through August 21 - Erlangen goes fit! FREE fitness classes outdoors every Thursday. Near   Röthelheimbad
July 3 - August 8 Schlossstrand Erlangen, Erlangen´s city beach! Open daily.
August 1-3 Altstadtfest 
August 6-28 Summer Night Film Festival
August 7-10 Büchenbach Kirchweih
August 10 Africa Fest 
August 15-17 Tennenlohe Kirchweih
August 21-28 Augustmarkt, Schloßplatz clothes, house hold goods, kitchen stuff and more.
August 23-24 Erlanger Marktplatzfest 


Through August 13 Nürnberg goes fit FREE fitness classes for adults and children. Various days of the week, see link for schedule. 
August 1- 3 Bardentreffen (link in English) Free! Over 200,000 visitors will come see musicians (including Billy Bragg) on 8 stages. 
August 2 Christopher Street Day 
August 6-30 Summer Night Film Festival
August 9 Beauty Day with AfroONatural - hair and beauty products and demonstrations specifically for those of African descent. Entry €10-25
August 15-16 Brückenfestival under the Theodor-Heuss Bridge
August 23 (also 9/27, 10/11, 10/25 and 11/15) GPS Scavenger Hunt. €29,99
August 24 (also 9/28, 10/12, 10/26, 11/15) Krimispiel They create a "crime" you and your friends/family play detective and try to solve it! Tickets €45, children under 10 free. 
August 24 Rocky Horror Picture Show, Katharinenruine


July 25 - August 4- Annafest Forcheim- SUPER fun beer festival in the Forcheim Kellerwald. Wear your Dirndl! Almost half a million visitors come every year. Link in English.
July 31- August 3 Bike and Music Weekend Geiselwind Amusement Park. 15 bands, motorcycles, souped up cars from the USA. 
August 1-17 Bamberg´s Jazz and Blues Festival. Program here. Free. Note: If you are interested in seeing a particular show, pay attention to the location. It is at the Böhmerwiese (between train station and inner city) the first 3 days, and the last 2 weeks are either in the inner city, or outer suburbs. 
August 2- Agnostic Front, Murphys Law and more (hard core bands- in English) Schweinfurt Tickets €21,90
August 3- Shamrock Castle 2014 Bammersdorf/Eggolsheim (Fränkische Schweiz) Celtic festival with bands,  including Kilkenny Knights! Tickets €43
August 14-17 One Race Human Festival Aschaffenburg African and Caribbean festival! Featuring Wyclef Jean. Tickets from €10
August 15-17 Family Fest and Kellerkerwa, Forcheim 
August 15-17 Rock n´Heim, Hockheim Featuring Outkast
August 21-25 Sandkerwa, Bamberg´s answer to Oktoberfest. I personally don´t recommend it with children.
August 23 Pyro Games Erfurt, Messe Dueling fireworks set to music. Tickets start at €14,40 single. Family tickets also available. 
August 28-September 7 Weinparade, Wine Festival, Würzburg

Other things to do? 

Visit the city beach in Würzburg. 

Fuego Latino (Nürnberg)  has many dance classes you can try Salsa, Merengue, Bachata- with daily passes from €3-€8

Nürnberg´s Experience Park is fun for the whole family! See- touch- feel- smell Open until September 19, 2014. 

It´s wine festival time! With so many wineries in the lower Franconian region there´s a festival every weekend. Check out the list (in English) here (in English). The area is about one hour from Nürnberg by train. 

Find a local Beer Keller here! 

Pick your own berries and currants, and even asparagus! click here or here for a few places in the Nürnberg area. Check the individual websites for more information. 

Kerwa (or Kirchweih) season is here! Click here for a list of local festivals. Wondering what a Kerwa is? See our previous post

Missing the beach? Try Summer in the City in Nürnberg to hang out or play in the sand. 

Explore our area´s many bike paths! (For a Nürnberg map of bike paths, click here) For other cities, start with a google search of your city´s name and Fahrradweg). Maps are available in most book stores for under €5. 

Beer kellers and gardens that closed for the season begin to re-open! Try Forchheim´s famous Kellerwald (click here for map and description in German). It´s little less than 30 minutes train ride from Nberg Hbf and then a bit of a walk. 

Head out to a local soccer game. The season reopened end of February. Tip: For those with children with short attention spans, some clubs offer free admission for the second half.

Visit a pool or sauna- Atlantis is in Herzo, Nürnberg has many to choose from (link in    German), Bamberg has Bambados Can´t decide?  Schwimmbadcheck is an online review site for public pools, link is in English.


Produce availability in Germany is VERY seasonal. Want fresh asparagus right now? Not likely.
Want to know when to expect what (of locally grown produce)? Click here  This also includes information about when to plant what in this area of Germany.

It´s the height of the local produce season......enjoy! 

Things to hoard stock up on now, as they are going away quickly!
Local garlic

Things cropping up (pun intended) ;)

Local eggplant
Local broccoli
Pumpkin (Hokkaido)
Local peppers

What in the world is that?

Photo: Wikipedia

Kohlrabi (same name in English). What to do with it (after peeling the outer layer)? 

Make soup! Or kohlrabi and carrot soup
Make a traditional German side dish

Or, my favorite way, make kohlrabi schnitzel! 
Recipe google translated from with my changes.

Ingredients for 3-4 servings 

1 kohlrabi 
2 eggs 
1 broccoli 
1 shallot (or 1 onion) 
200 ml cooking cream
sliced  almonds 
chicken broth

Peel kohlrabi and slice into 3/4 mm slices. Boil in chicken broth about 5 minutes. 

Dry the slices, dip in flour, egg, breadcrumbs. Repeat for thicker coating. 

Blanch broccoli florets for a few minutes in the leftover and re-boiled broth. 

Fry the "schnitzels" in a pan with oil or butter. Keep them in a warm oven when browned.

Cut the shallot or onion into small pieces and cook with butter in a pot. When they become translucent, add the cream, salt and pepper. After the cream has boiled briefly, add broccoli. 

Serve with mashed or boiled potatoes.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What I Love About Living in.......................Erlangen!

Erlangen is a city of about 100,000 residents and many expats. It is about 20 minutes from Nürnberg.  Siemens is a major employer, and many people live there due to the proximity to the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg. See the Wikipedia on Erlangen here. 

Name: Andi Hernandez
Hometown: Clarkston MI
Age: 30
Family Status: Married with one 3 year old boy
Occupation: Hair stylist and Make-up Artist
What brought you to Germany? My husband’s job
How long have you been here? Almost 5 years
How did you settle on Erlangen? My husband works in Erlangen and we decided not to get a car so we wanted to be close to work and close to town.
How easy is it to meet people? Other expats? Very easy. Although, I haven’t met so many recently but it’s probably because I already have a pretty set group of friends so I’m not putting myself out there as much.
Favorite things about living in Erlangen? Erlangen is so bike friendly. That’s definitely my very favorite thing. There are so many parks and you are so close to everything. You definitely don’t need a car here.
Kid friendly? School information? The FIS (Franconian International School) is here. My son goes to a German Kindergarten and I find that very nice. I love that he’s learning German.
What do you do on the weekend? We go to the park, go on bike rides, hangout as a family.
Weeknight activities? I don’t do too much on weeknights because of school and work the next morning.
Any negatives about the area? Not really. It’s far from my family in the US.
Transportation? Do I need a car? It’s easier to have a car, that’s for sure, but I don’t need one.
Crime? Sometimes bikes are stolen but it’s really a safe place. I never feel uncomfortable walking alone at night.
Doctors? Dentist? Dr Eva Reinhardt near the FIS is great. For pediatrician we use Maas-Doyle in Tennenlohe or go to the Kinderklinik here in Erlangen.
Hairdresser? Favorite spot for a beer? I do my own hair since I’m a hairstylist myself.
Café for a coffee? Café 3 Zeiten in the Arcaden, Café Mengin has a place for kids to play inside, Sax right next door has a good brunch.
Favorite restaurants? Parmegiano near bohlenplatz is my absolute favorite. We also go to Hiro Sakao for sushi often. Tacos Inc. on Fahrstrasse has the best Mexican food I’ve had in Germany, which isn’t saying that much. There is a food court inside of Neuer Markt, where the C&A is, there there is a really good chinese place called Lin and the best falafel at the Turkish Döner place there. Also, very new, is a vegetarian burger place.
Place to watch a game? Home
Day trips? So many. Bamberg and Nürnberg being my favorites and the most easily accessible by train.
Clothing? I mainly buy my clothes in the US but the Arcaden has several stores that in a pinch I can find something.
Taste of home? There’s a BBQ place in Fürth called Our Place that has great ribs and on certain nights is all you can eat.

Other helpful hints for newcomers? Try to meet other expats. Sometimes you just need to express yourself in your own language and with people of the same culture who understand what you are going through. It can be hard for people at home to understand the small difficulties that really can add up and ruin your day, and also can be hard for German friends to understand as well.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

What I love about living in.........Weisendorf!

Wiesendorf is a town located about 15 km, or 7 miles from Erlangen. The population of about 6,400 includes many expats from around the world. 
Name: Katrina de Laat (Kat)
Hometown: Everywhere, USA – Army Brat, I grew up all over the world.
Age: 40
Family Status: Married with 3 kids
Occupation: Hausfrau
What brought you to Germany? My husband came over to take a job with adidas
How long have you been here?  6 years (Since 2008)
How did you settle on Weisendorf? We liked that it has everything we need, but is still a small town, and not too far from adidas, or Erlangen, etc.
How easy is it to meet people? Other expats? Much easier now that HENhaus exists!  And there is a larg expat community here in Weisendorf.
Favorite things about living in (name of town/city) area of town/city if large? I love that we’re out in the countryside in just a short walk or bike ride, yet we still have a Rewe, café, ice cream parlor and great community and schools for the kids.
Kid friendly? School information? Weisendorf is very kid friendly.  There are some really nice playgrounds, 3 kindergartens, a primary and middle school, not to mention wonderful community activities and sports programs sponsored by the various town clubs and youth office.  Because it is a small town, and a strong community I feel quite comfortable allowing my daughter the small town freedom of riding her bike to friend’s houses, and she has a sense of independence that is frequently not available in towns back home anymore.  We are also very close to Lindenhof, which is kids farm with a petting zoo, pony rides and other playground and park type activities for kids.
What do you do on the weekend? We’re still very close by car to Erlangen and Nuremberg, so we often go into town.  But we also like to have brunch at the Brothaus, or dinner at the Goldener Engel.  And we love it when the whole family joins up for a bike ride out on the bike paths.
Weeknight activities? With 3 small children, weeknight activities mostly consist of the bedtime routine!  But there is a great new place that does pizza and Indian delivery, which is sometimes a great help.
Transportation? Do I need a car? I would definitely recommend a stay at home spouse to have a car available here.  While there is great bus service to Erlangen and Herzogenaurach, I wouldn’t want to have to rely on that for all of my out of town transportation.
Doctors?  I think that most people that live here see doctors in Herzo or Erlangen, just because that is where the best English speaking practitioners seem to be.
Hairdresser?I have never had my hair done here, but my husband goes to the Friseur across from Rewe, and there is another one near the Brothaus now, as well as some people who work out of their house. 
 Best spot for a beer? It would probably be the Goldner Engel in the summer on their patio.
Café for a coffee?  Brothaus, right in the center of town.
Favorite restaurants? We love Süß which isn’t too far out of town in Büch And Asian Thai Tam is good for Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese in Hessdorf.  We also love the Forsthaus bier garten at the Dechsendorf lake, which isn’t too far.

New in town? Make sure to check the “Amtsblatt” or local weekly paper which comes to your mailbox everyweek.  They announce lots of fun town kids and family activities, as well as advertise local services.