VirtualTourist meeting in Bonn
In June 2012 we had a pleasant little VirtualTourist meeting at the Brauhaus Bönnsch in Bonn.
The people in the first photo are, from left to right: ettiewyn (Mirjam), CatherineReichardt (Cathy), Cathy’s son, TomInGermany (Tom R), brendareed (Brenda) and me.
Second photo: The same people in the same order, except that Cathy’s daughter Alexandra is also visible. Cathy’s husband Markus is not visible, because he (being a non-VT-member) is the one who took all the group photos with everybody’s cameras.
Third photo: Mirjam.
Fourth photo: Tom and Brenda.
Fifth photo: Cathy and her daughter Alexandra, who is a VT member under the name Xandra1234.
The book cabin
I don’t know if it is something normal for Germany but this is the first time I have seen such thing – a glass cabin full with books. It was unlocked and people have the chance to take a book, read it and then turn it back. Just like a public library but without having a member card. And it was standing there, untouched of the vandals, something that it is impossible in my country.
Location: at Poppelsdorfer Allee, closer to the University than to the Castle.
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Beneath the Kennedy Bridge, on the Bonn side, you will find Et Bröckemännchen. In plain German, that's the Brückemännchen and it is a peculiar sight. The Rhine had no crossing here between Roman days and the arrival of the Prussians. The latter started to build a bridge here in the 19th century but only the city of Bonn paid for it, not the town of Beuel on the opposite bank. Thus, the Bonn citizens created this little man, showing his bum to the Beuel people and still today, the two sides poke fun at each other for living "on the wrong side of the Rhine" and such.
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Books for free
I was walking from Bonn University to Poppelsdorfer palace. Most of the way goes trough a very pleasant pedestrian zone. So, I was passing trough it when I saw next to the alley under a tree a cupboard full of books. People were stopping by from time to time and browsing trough them.
Since I found the sight of a cupboard full of books standing in the open air a bit peculiar, I took a picture and asked Win later in the evening what was that. He told me that the cupboard is full of second hand books and that people can browse trough them and take what they like for free.
I kind of liked the idea because I always felt reluctant to throw away old books. It looks like a good way to get rid of your old books and helping someone else save some money at the same time :)
- Arts and Culture
When I was walking around the Münsterplatz and the streets nearby I saw street musicians 2 or 3 times. Probably because it is supposed to be one of the most touristy places in the city it seems to be a favorite place for them to play.
So, if you are into people watching it is a good opportunity. All of them were good musicians and it was a pleasure to stop by and listen for a while. It seems that local people do that as well, so usually in front of the musicians you will find a small group enjoying the performance.
Needless to say, it would be polite if you provide a small financial aid for them :)))
This something I did not expect to see in Bonn. Homeless guys playing some music surrounded by his bags and accompanied by his dog. It is even more striking when on the background you see the trendy shopping windows...
This was a sight that would not be surprised to see in Sofia since we still have to catch up with our economical development. But after all it seems that some things are the same everywhere no matter how well developed is the country.
This picture might give some food for thought for the people from Eastern Europe who believe that everything is perfect in Western Europe and leave their job, families and friends hoping for a better future. Of course, the might find it but it is not necessarily a must as we can see.
OK, I know it sounds like preaching, so I will shut up :)
Non-German speakers face problems while communicating in Germany. The situation gets worst if you've lost your way and no body seems to understand you. In such case try to talk with youngsters as the young boys & girls (students) speak very good enlish, and contrary to their elders they feel no hesitation in doing so.
One thing you should know...
When you leave the train station, quite possibly you'll encounter a crosswalk across an empty street. No cars in either direction. The sign says 'HALT'. Scores of people are waiting patiently for the light to change, even though no cars are to be seen for miles in either direction. What do you do?
Most Americans I know would cross anyway. There aren't any cars -- why wait? Ah, but this is Germany and that which is not expressly permitted is forbidden. VERBOTEN! More importantly, there are signs which show a silhouetted man and child waiting at the crosswalk and read something like 'Do it for the children.' I'm not making this up. Some guy started to cross and an old woman immediately started berating him. 'Die Kinderen! Die Kinderen!,' she screamed. ('Die' means 'the', not 'die', so it's 'the children', not 'Die, Children!'). Moral of the story: don't jaywalk in Germany.
It's actually pretty funny -- the tendency to jaywalk is based entirely on generation. It's true! I saw it in Cologne: Senior citizens will absolutely not budge -- they stand perfectly erect as they wait for the light to change. Middle-aged baby boomers fidget a little as they wait. Generation Xers nervously look at each other, seeming to think Should I cross? There's no one coming... But then there's the children to think about... Are you going to cross? I'll cross if you cross... The kids of course just go ahead and run. Why wait?
And thus Germany joins the chaos of the rest of the world. Alles ist nicht in Ordnung!
The house of Beethoven
The house where composer Ludwig van Beethoven was born in 1770 and which now houses the Beethoven Museum
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