A childhood spent moving around in my father´s footsteps meant I decided staying in one place sounded a very good idea, but a lifetime living and working in different European countries, much of it as a journalist in different mediums and mother of two well traveled and very "European" sons, proves this particular train of thought seems to have become lost somewhere in the mists of time.
A few introspective words on the trials and tribulations of always changing homes, and having to make new friends, were published in a local newspaper after being submitted by my mother when I was six, and one way or another the scribbling away at any opportunity never really stopped.
Even in the relatively small land mass of Europe the differences in culture and tradition between the various European countries are fascinating, but after finding myself in Germany it was to discover a country of sixteen states that were until comparatively recently (1871) independent monarchies, principalities or dukedoms, and where all have retained many of their original, and different, traditions, history, food etc.
A truly unified country, nevertheless with distinct characteristics from its former nation states still in evidence.
Present day Germany remains an unknown quantity for many, and even within Europe where it is a central player in many organizations not only the European Union, images and beliefs of the country and its people remain which are often influenced more by the past than the present.
There are few countries able to offer as much, culturally, historically and in natural beauty. Nevertheless for those without some type of German ancestry, or a spell spent in the country on military service, it seems Germany is not somewhere that pops into the mind when vacations are being planned.
German culture began long before Germany became a nation-state, and covered an entire German-speaking world. It was shaped by major intellectual and popular currents in Europe, religious and secular, and today´s German cultural heritage in everything from language, intellectual tradition and influence to customs remains widespread throughout the German-speaking world of Germany and its neighbors.
From Modern Life, History and Architecture to Travel, Traditions and Regional Recipes, you will find "a taste" of it here.........and I hope you enjoy it.
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My Thanks, Francine.
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