Posts from the ‘Travel’ Category
It’s easy to underestimate how much “punch” is delivered in a single Glühwein drink at a Christmas market. If I’m not careful and drink Glühwein too quickly and without food to soften the blow, I’ll encounter the very repeatable experience of “mind-body separation”.
What is this magically mysterious Christmas concoction called “Glühwein”?
Glowing wine? Drink more for positive glow!
Traditional Glühwein (“mulled wine”) is a hot drink made with red wine, sugar, sometimes citrus, and spices including cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom. Other types are made with white wine or fruit wine. Versions at the Vancouver Christmas Market include regular with red wine, white wine, cherry, and apple Glühwein. In Germany, there are versions of Glühwein with other kinds of fruit wine. Feuerzangenbowle is another drink similar to Glühwein, with added flaming rum poured over a sugarloaf and whose drippings are mixed with the wine.
In the German city state of Berlin, the consumer protection division stated in a 2009 press release:
Das Erzeugnis Glühwein ist definiert als aromatisiertes Getränk, welches ausschliesslich aus Rotwein oder Weißwein hergestellt und hauptsächlich mit Zimt und/oder Gewürznelken gewürzt wird. Der Mindestalkoholgehalt des Getränkes beträgt 7 % (Vol.)
which roughly translates as: “As a product, Glühwein is defined as a flavoured drink made solely from either red or white wine and spiced mostly with cinnamon and/or cloves. The minimum alcohol content for the beverage is 7% by volume.”
• Glühwein (Rot, Weiss, Rosé) : regular, white, and rose mulled-wine
• Glühwein mit Schuss : mulled wine with a shot of liquor
• Feuerzangenbowle : Glühwein with sugary rum syrup
• Eierpunsch : egg punch, or egg nog
• Kinderpunsch : non-alcoholic punch; literally, “children’s punch”
• Apfelwein : apple wine
• Brombelbeerwein : blackberry wine
• Heidelbeerwein : blueberry wine
• Himbeerwein : raspberry wine
• Kirschwein : cherry wine
• Maracujawein : passion fruit wine
• Pflaumenwein : plum wine
Punch with some punch : method to the madness
While the alcohol content in Glühwein is more often between 8 to 13 percent by volume, common wisdom would mean the hot alcoholic drink makes you drunk much faster than beer or wine, with the high sugar content boosting alcohol absorption through the stomach- and intestinal-lining and hastening the amount of alcohol into the blood system.
I wrote previously about the rhyme-and-routine I carry out every time I’m at a Christmas market. Generally, it’s not different from a typical night of drinking; in the safe company of friends and smart choices to mixing food with drink, visitors do not have to get completely hammered. Besides, in Germany, it’s not generally acceptable to leave a Christmas Market blind drunk.
For the longest time, I’ve had a 2-drink minimum, “coincidentally” matching my self-imposed 2-drink maximum. I’ve not often been tempted to 3. But all that changed in a recent three-hour visit to the Vancouver Christmas Market.
In our merry group of three, we each consumed two Glühwein and one Feuerzangenbowle. To help absorb the initial hit of alcohol, two in the group shared a wood-stove baked flat dough (“flame cake”) with sour cream, onions, and bacon (Flammkuchen mit Crème Fraîche und Speck), while I dug into a hefty portion of Spätzle loaded with cheese, bacon, and grilled onions (Käsespätzle mit Speck und Zwiebeln). By evening’s end, just as our heads were about to lift off, we each had a grilled Bratwurst covered with Sauerkraut and onions, and topped with ketchup and mustard. We delivered a successful evening on a variation of the “tried-and-true” method of mixing strong drink with strong food.
Along with the enthusiastic but sensible consumption of food and drink and in passably sober conversations in German with a number of Europeans working at the market, the German-style Christmas Market here in my own hometown is doing a great job of reminding me what it’s like back “home” in Germany in the month of December.
Henry Lee (@fotoeins) November 30, 2013
I made the first and third photos, respectively, on 22 and 29 November 2013 at the Vancouver Christmas Market. I made the second photo (mug with Glühwein) on 6 December 2012 in Berlin, Germany. This post appears at Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com
I’m always happy to be back in the German university town of Heidelberg, a place where I lived and worked as a research astronomer for 2 years.
Arriving in Heidelberg thanks to my German Rail Pass, how was I to know the Weihnachtsmarkt or Christmas markets had opened just the day before!
Once again, as in times I’ve been here before, I’m happily immersed under bright coloured lights; a mulled wine in hand, standing next to the giant Christmas tree at Marktplatz; swimming in the sea of smiling residents and visitors, young and old; munching on grilled steak, Bratwurst, and Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes) with apple or garlic sauce; nibbling on Marzipan, Stollen, and Spekulatius; and washing all of it down with more mulled wine …
The photos show scenes at a number of markets along the Hauptstrasse (main street). From west to east, Heidelberg’s markets along the Hauptstrasse are at:
- Bismarckplatz (Bismarck Square, B)
- Anatomiegarten (Anatomy Garden, A)
- Universitätsplatz (University Square, U)
- Marktplatz (Market Square, M)
- Kornmarkt (Grain Market, K)
- Karlsplatz (Charles Square, C).
I made the photos above on 22 and 23 November 2012. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.
Along Friedrichstrasse in Berlin Mitte are department stores, shops, and boutiques which cater to more expensive and refined tastes. The central court in Quartier 206 opens the visitor to a sensory experience: geometric lines and patterns mixed into the smooth marble under a glass roof, the sounds of a piano at the base of the central staircase, and the smell of coffee brewing at the bar. I wanted to capture some essence of the building and interior without drilling a large hole in my wallet.
I made these photos on 18 March 2011 with a Canon EOS450D (XSi) camera fitted with a prime 50mm f/1.4 lens; the settings for both photos were 1/60-second, f/2.8, and ISO200. Quartier 206 is located between BVG U-Bahn stations Französische Strasse and Stadtmitte. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.
It happens every time without fail.
My spirit breaks a little more every time I see a memorial, another example of the depths to which our species have plumbed.
Does feeling this way make me weak? Or am I resembling a human being after all?
On 9-10 November 1938, Kristallnacht (“the night of broken glass”) was a well-organized “pogrom”, a series of violent attacks by Nazis against Jews and their property in Germany, Austria, and Czechoslavakia’s Sudetenland. The word “Kristallnacht” is literally “the night of crystal”, referring to broken glass as windows to synagogues, homes, and stores owned by Jews were shattered.
The numbers were appalling: at least 90 dead, 30000 arrested and detained in camps, over 200 synagogues burned, and over 7000 Jewish businesses damaged or destroyed. The outbreak of coordinated actions against Jews marked the beginning of state-sanctioned violence. With Kristallnacht, the state opened the door to undisguised escalation of savagery: a turning point leading to the Holocaust.
Heidelberg’s Old Synagogue
In the university town of Heidelberg, the earliest recorded presence of Jews dates back to the 13th-century. Jews gathered in what is now the Old Town and converted the building they were using into a synagogue in the early 18th-century; the community built a new synagogue at the same site in the late 19th-century.
The synagogue did not escape violence on Kristallnacht and was burned to the ground. Alter Synagogenplatz (Old Synagogue Square) is all that remains today with memorial plaques; the names of people arrested, deported, and killed; the outline of the synagogue’s walls in white marble; the entrance and windows marked in grey granite; and twelve sandstone cubes representing pews and the twelve tribes of Israel.
A memorial at the square is dedicated to the Jewish community who once thrived in Heidelberg’s Old Town. Information at the “Site of the Heidelberg synagogue, 1714-1938″ provided by the City of Heidelberg reads:
Jews have lived in Heidelberg since the 13th century, in spite of having been subject to oppression and persecution time and again. In 1714, the “Blue Lily” house situated on this site was converted to a synagogue. In 1878, the community built a new synagogue in contemporary style.
On the night of 9-10 November 1938, Nazi storm troopers set fire to the synagogue. In 1939, the Jewish community was ordered to pay for the demolition of its ruined synagogue.
On 22 October 1940, the Jews of Baden and the Palatinate were deported to Gurs camp in Southern France. Only few of them survived the Shoah. Between 1941 and 1945, more Jews from the area were deported straight to the death camps.
After the end of the war in April 1945, a Jewish community was re-established in Heidelberg. The present-day synagogue is situated in the Weststadt city district, at 10-12 Häusserstrasse. It was inaugruated in 1994.
During the renovation of this square in 2001, white marble cobbles were used to mark the outline of the synagogue. The memorial stone marks the location of the Ark.
A new Jewish community centre and synagogue were inaugurated in Heidelberg’s Weststadt in 1994. There are now brass “Stolpersteine” or “stumbling stones” with names acknowledging Jews who once lived in Heidelberg.
I made the photos above on 26 November 2006 with a Canon Powershot A510. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.
A number of German historians set up the website, 9nov38.de, to highlight events before, during, and after the pogroms of 9-10 November 1938; the website is in German.
Thanks to Enchanted Seashells for their post.
2013 marked the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, and BBC News posed the question of whether anti-Semitism was on the rise in Europe. Holocaust survivor Margot Friedlander recently returned to her hometown of Berlin, where she has her own “Stolperstein”; she spoke to NPR about remembering Kristallnacht.
In an earlier post, I’ve shown some work on display as street art in Adelaide in South Australia.
Over a period of four days in Melbourne, I wandered through lanes and streets to look for some representative street art in the Victorian state capital, some works which spoke of the people who live there. Would it be the same kind of art and/or messages I’d seen earlier in Adelaide? As always, the set of artists and their respective work hold unique value in each of the cities.
I made the photos above between 27 and 30 August 2012 inclusive. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.