For this week's Travel Tuesday we will visit Germany. As one of the largest countries in Europe with a long history, Germany has great interest for travelers. They can enjoy the scenery from the beaches in the north to the mountains in the south. Architecture lovers can marvel at the old churches or modern movements, such as Bauhaus in Berlin. Classical music lovers can thrill to hear masterworks performed in the same places the masters once lived. Driving aficionados can try their hands at the Autobahn.

There are many things travelers and curious folk can learn about Germany by reading through the country profile in Global Road Warrior. Listed below are 5 more quick facts to get you started.

  • Climate: "Germany has a short Baltic Sea coastline, but the majority of the country lies within the temperate zone of Western Europe. The climate is variable with frequent changes of weather on a daily basis and with the same seasons often producing different weather from year to year. This is a consequence of the country being influenced periodically by either cold continental air masses from the east or the warming effects of the North Atlantic Drift ocean current. Four traditional seasons are recognized."
  • Attitude Toward Time: "The German attitude toward time is summed up in the well-known saying, Pünktlichkeit ist die Höflichkeit der Könige,(Punctuality is the courtesy of kings). Germans have an international reputation for precision and punctuality. This is no stereotype, but a very real description of German culture and expectations. Paying close attention to time is critical when doing business in Germany, where punctuality indicates honesty, respect, and proper planning."
  • Train: "Rail services in the western part of Germany rank among the most advanced in the world. The rail services in the eastern part of Germany are of lower standards, but an effort is underway to improve them. The eastern and western train systems have now been fully merged, although fares in the east still appear cheaper. Train travel in Germany (and Europe) offers an ideal way to mix business and pleasure. It is also a common way for businesspeople to travel between cities. First-class facilities are available for overnight and day trips."
  • Crime: "Germany has a generally low incidence of violent crime. Street crime occurs, including pickpocketing and theft from unattended vehicles. Extremist youth groups, particularly in urban areas and in states of the former East Germany, have harassed or attacked individuals for racial reasons or because they appear foreign. You should maintain a high level of personal security awareness in public places, particularly at night, and monitor local sources of information on crime."
  • National Flower: Cornflower: "Related to the daisy, the cornflower is a small, slender, annual plant with distinctive blue flowers that are highly valued both by gardeners and florists. It has an upright, often branched, stem; lower leaves are long, narrow and split into irregular lobes, while upper leaves are smaller and more symmetrical. The leaves and stem are grayish-green, with fine gray hairs. The flowers grow at the ends of the stems, and are composed of rings of large "ray" florets surrounding a centralized cluster of "disk" florets. The ray florets are bright blue and the disk florets are a deep purplish color."

    Language Learners: German is available through both Mango Languages and Pronunciator.

    Music Lovers: Visit our Freegal music service to explore more music options from German music artists.

    Recipe Corner: For an example German recipe, try Apfelstrudel.

    Juwel aus Kirchwerder, or Martens apple, is one several varieties of apple found in Germany Pastry with apple filling is a very popular dessert or accompaniment to afternoon coffee. Both homemade and commercially produced strudels are common.

    Recipe Serving: Serves 10
    Ingredients:

    1 lb (450 g) flour
    7 oz (200 g) sugar
    1/2 lb (225 g) butter
    3 eggs
    1 pinch salt
    1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
    2 lb (1 kg) apples, peeled, thinly sliced
    1 tbsp (15 ml) vanilla sugar
    Powdered sugar
    Instructions
  • Butter 2 baking sheets.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, and add the sugar and salt.
  • Mix in the butter, then the egg and vanilla to form a smooth dough.
  • Divide the dough in half.
  • Roll each 1/2 out to a thin rectangle.
  • Spread the apples evenly over the dough.
  • Sprinkle with vanilla sugar.
  • Roll up each strudel, and pinch seams and ends together securely.
  • Transfer strudels to prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake for 1 hour, until golden.
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm or at room temperature. Apple strudel can be served plain, but is often accompanied by vanilla-flavored whipped cream or ice cream.
  • Variations
    Up to 2 tbsp (30 ml) sliced almonds, 1/3 cup (80 ml) raisins, and 1 tbsp (15 ml) cinnamon may be sprinkled over the filling before rolling the strudel.