Schwerin Castle, Germany
Schwerin Castle

Germany has an incredible amount to offer. Medieval castles dot the landscape along rivers like the Rhine, the Main, the Danube. Its fertile terrain yields a multitude of wines like Rieslings, Guwürztraminer and Grüner Veltliner. There is the Baltic coast in the north and the Black Forest of Bavaria in the south, along with the Alps and the Zugspitze, Germany highest mountain. Two thousand-year-old Augsburg, and Ulm with its massive church spire – the tallest in Europe – and charming medieval walled towns like Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Gingerbread, cuckoo clocks, beer and biergartens, sausage and Christmas markets, all great reasons to explore Germany.

Monica in Heidelberg in 1996
Here I am in Heidelberg in 1996

Berlin (April 2023)

If you are a history buff, you cannot do better than Berlin. We spent two weeks in Berlin, just a few blocks from the iconic TV Tower, the tallest structure in Germany. Checkpoint Charlie, once an Allied checkpoint, is now a museum. Germany has been unified since 1990 with Berlin once again its capital. A massive complex of shiny glass federal buildings completed in 2006 testify to the strength of modern Germany and its position of leadership in the EU. It is a symbol of united Germany and undivided Europe. But evidence of its dark past is everywhere. From Prussia, to Weimar Germany and a failed world war which festered into the Third Reich, unchecked Nazi aggression and the evil of the Holocaust, then the epicenter of the Cold War and East-West tension… Germany doesn’t shy away from its history or try to minimize it. Reminders are everywhere.

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