Happy 828th Birthday Port of Hamburg!

Hamburg is celebrating the 828th birthday of its port on 5th to 7th May 2017 with the world’s biggest port festival.
A varied maritime programme for the whole family will be presented in the  unique setting of the Port of Hamburg: More than 300 ships from all parts of the world, spectacular displays, lots of stages with live music and French savoir-vivre of this year’s partner country France.

The world’s greatest port festival will be celebrated at various parts in and around the port of Hamburg: around Landungsbrücken, in the Speicherstadt warehouse district, the new HafenCity district, at the Fish Market and Oevelgönne Museum Harbour.

Get to know Hamburg from the seaside and celebrate its port birthday! Discover Hamburg, its party face and its maritime history!

Top Ten Fun Facts Cologne

This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series TOP TEN
  1. Expensive – Building Cologne Cathedral today again would cost more than 10 billion Euro
  2. Heavily romantic – many couples put padlocks on the Hohenzollernbrücke as a sign of their eternal love. All padlocks together weigh about 15 tons.
  3. The Airport Köln/Bonn is the one of only few emergency landing spot for NASA space shuttles.
  4. long-lasting – Building Cologne Cathedral took 623 years. Today it is the third largest cathedral in the world.
  5. cheers – Kölsch is the city’s traditional beer: sweeter than usual beer and served in very small glasses, it contains the same percentage of alcohol as other beers.
  6. special feelings – No other city in Germany loves and celebrates itself as much as Cologne does:
    • several songs about the city and their love to the city
    • Kölsch beer
    • the relationship of FC Köln and its fans is unique and very tight (Prinz Poldi)
  7. The Catholic Church has bestowed upon Cologne the title of “holy city”. Only Rome and Constantinople (today Istanbul) possess this title as well.
  8. Underneath the University of Cologne a 215 m long old mine tunnel including an mining lift exists.
  9. Cologne was the first German city to introduce a waste collection system using closed containers.
  10. bad luck – Cologne is the largest and most popular city of North Rhine-Westphalia (the state it is situated in) however it is not the capital. This may be one of several reasons for the ongoing and constant competition between Düsseldorf and Cologne, the two cities who hate each other.

Happy Birthday EU! – 60 years after the Treaties of Rome

60 years ago the foundation for today’s EU was laid when Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Germany signed the Treaties of Rome.

60 years of development, successes, crises and backdrops, but most important of all: 60 years of peace in Europe and 60 years of growing together to one Union.
The EU’s development until today was never easy or without backdrops and problems: France didn’t want Great Britain to join, the Empty Chair Crisis and the non-completion of a European Constitution. However, the EU always found an answer, a solution to the problem and developed further, came back stronger.
The Common European Market was established, inner-EU border-controls abolished and the Euro invented.

And today? Where is Europe heading?
Of course there are problems and crises the EU has to face, maybe more challenging than ever before, or just different?
Migration from Northern Africa, terrorism, and still some outliers of the financial crisis are challenging, however the EU is strong enough to combat these challenges, if it stays together, if we stay together.
Anti-EU movements within some Nation-States, such as political organizations or Brexit as the ultimate are developments within the nations and among the people of Europe. Nevertheless, the reaction to Brexit as well as the recent outcomes of the election in the Netherlands show that the people still believe in the EU, and we should do so! The EU offers a lot: we can travel through the EU as we like, without a passport, for most of the countries we do not even have to change money. Without the EU every of our countries would be alone, would be a minor player (if so at all) at the world scene, between America, China and Russia.

Therefore, we should March For Europe, we should celebrate and we should thank what it brought already and what it offers us.

By Ann-Kristin Gross

Top Ten Fun Facts – Stuttgart

This entry is part 5 of 8 in the series TOP TEN
  • having vineyards since 3 AD, Stuttgart is the only city in Germany with a municipal wine estate, which covers 15.5 hectares
  • City of science – Stuttgart has the highest density of scientific, academic and research organizations in Germany
  • Cradle of the automobile – housing two of the world’s most popular car firms Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, Stuttgart offers to automobile museums (of course Mercedes and Porsche) and the Käfer (second most sold car of the world) was developed here!
  • featuring many vineyards, parks and forests Stuttgart belongs to the greenest cities of Europe. Especially ‘The Green U’ a 8 km long ring made up of parks, offers many recreational areas
  • The Teddybear as we all know it today was invented and born in Stuttgart by Richard Steiff
  • Stuttgart’s Ballett ranks among the world’s best dance institutions and is highly renowned
  • The first TV tower of the world was build in Stuttgart and you can still visit it!
  • City of the Maultäschle – Maultäschle, a typical Swabian dish (and Stuttgart is the capital of the Swabian region) was invented for being allowed eating meat on Good Friday. Normally, you do not eat meat on Good Friday, however the Swabians invented Maultaschen as ‘God is not able to see the meat inside the dough’. So they could eat meat and god did not notice
  • one Europe’s largest christmas markets takes place in Stuttgart every year between the last Thursday of November and 23rd December. Dating back to approximately 1692 and comprising about 280 decorated stalls it attracts around 3 million visitors every year!
  • Keeping up with Munich: Stuttgart has it’s own Oktoberfest – they call it Wasen instead of Wiesn and celebrate it two times a year! A bit smaller than Munich’s Oktoberfest, however it attracts nearly as much visitors as its big brother and is at least as amusing as the Wiesn

Top 10 Fun Facts – Berlin

This entry is part 4 of 8 in the series TOP TEN
  1. Berlin is unique, a city of superlatives and there are far more than 10 facts you should definitely know
  2. Sunny weather and culturally intense: Berlin has more museums than rainy days per year. Berlin offers more than 180 museums covering everything from arts over history and technical stuff to Currywurst and toys, while it rains only on about 106 days a year.
  3. Ever-moving city: Every hour 18 people move from one district to of the city to another one.
  4. Highly international: About 500,000 foreigners live in Berlin, coming from about 185 different nations. But Berlin is not only interesting to foreign nationalities: Many people from all over Germany live in Berlin and so it may not surprise that only 1/4 of all people living in Berlin, are born and raised in Berlin.
  5. Growing city: Every day 435 people move into Berlin while only 327 leave the city.
  6. Green, greener, Berlin: More than 44% of the city’s area is made up by parks, woods, river and other recreational areas. This makes Berlin the greenest city of Germany and high-ranking worldwide.
  7. City of superlatives:
    • KaDeWe is the largest department store of Continental Europe
    • longest beer-garden in the world (2.2 km long)
    • East Side Gallery is largest open-air gallery of the world
    • more than 9 times bigger than Paris
    • more bridges than Venice
  8. Berlin is the only city in the world having 3 opera houses, comprising more than 4000 seats
  9. Ever wanted to get gold directly from an ATM? – At the Gallerie Lafayette in Friedrichstraße this is possible! You can buy gold in 250g portions from the ‘Gold ATM’
  10. Relaxed mentality: Berliners are least worried about the future than everyone else in Germany.

Top 10 Fun Facts – Frankfurt am Main

This entry is part 3 of 8 in the series TOP TEN
  1. International – It is estimated that people of approximately 180 different nationalities live in Frankfurt. This means that almost 1 in every 3 people living here do not hold a German passport.
  2. happy people – Frankfurt is one of the highest ranking cities of Germany and Europe regarding quality of life and life satisfaction.
  3. The world’s largest trade show for books is held in Frankfurt
  4. Frankfurter – the famous sausages originate from here.
  5. Mainhattan – Frankfurt’s nickname because of its significant skyline of skyscrapers, almost similar to Manhattan’s skyline, and the river Main dividing the city into two parts.
  6. Frankfurt and its surrounding area provide for a lot of nature. Additionally, Frankfurt has the largest inner-city forest in Germany.
  7. Culturally important – not only did Johannes Gutenberg the inventor of bookprinting live and work here, Johann Wolfgang Goethe was born and raised in Frankfurt as well.
  8. Frankfurt’s Henninger Tower is the highest beer reservoir in the world.
  9. Large, larger, Fraport – The airport of Frankfurt is not only the most frequented airport of Germany, having the highest travellar and visitor numbers, but it is also one of the largest airport in the world.
  10. After Wolrd War II Frankfurt contended for becoming the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany. However, obviously Frankfurt lost against Bonn.

Top 10 Fun facts – Munich

This entry is part 1 of 8 in the series TOP TEN
  1. Beer is considered food and not an alcoholic beverage in Bavaria
  2. The Biergartenverordnung allows you to bring and eat your own food in a Bavarian beergarden
  3. Oktoberfest is held in September mainly and ends the first weekend in October
  4. The Bavarian dialect is difficult, even for other Germans: Brötchen (Buns) are called Semmeln and the city’s name ‘München’ becomes ‘Minga’
  5. Munich’s specialty the ‘Weisswürste’ (white sausages) is served with sweet mustard and freshly baked pretzels and ONLY until 12:00 noon
  6. not counting the cities in Alaska, Munich is located more north than any larger city in the US
  7. The city’s name ‘München’ was derived from the old High German ‘Munichen’ and means ‘by the monks the place’
  8. According to legend the architect of the well-known Frauenkirche (Cathedral of Our Lady) tricked the devil into thinking the church having no windows. However, when the devil realised he had been duped he stamped his foot near the entrance. You can view the footprint called the devil’s step even today.
  9. Munich’s English Garden is heavily influenced by Asian architecture, comprising Chinese pagodas, a Japanese teahouse as well as temples
  10. the oldest building in Munich known today is neither a church nor a Bavarian pub or tavern – it’s a toilet of the year 1260

Relocation: to move or not move

If you have ever been offered a great job in another city or country, you know the feeling. On the one hand, there’s the excitement of a new place and a new culture. On the other hand, you feel sad about leaving friends behind. You worry that your family will be unhappy in a new city.
How can you decide if a move is the right thing or not?
First of all you should gather as much information as possible about the new location, city and country. Try to find out the big differences between your home country and your new destination.

Before you make a decision, you should also look at what other job opportunities are available in the new location, if this company is the only company there in your industry and the job doesn’t work out, it may be difficult to find something else.

What is about your family?
Give them a chance to visit the new city to find out what it can offer them. Still, it might be better for everyone if your family stays in your current location while you get used to your new position, gohelpy specialists say. “The initial period in the new job is about making connections, meeting people and working many hours to get up to speed”.
Sometimes, a decision to go out before the rest of your family can be a great one. It gives you time to focus on the transition and pave the way for the rest of them to join you.

New City, new country: Relocation – do it yourself!

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series Relocation

You got a job offer in foreign country? You are not sure to take the job, because it seems you have tons to organize beforehand, in a foreign country? There is no need for worries!! Take the job, don’t worry about relocation in the foreign country. It is a great opportunity for you. You can manage your own relocation with help of an online tool.

But first: What is relocation and what is important?
You need to ask yourself the most important questions of:

  • Where do I want to live and what is my budget?
  • What do I need to do administration-wise?
  • Are my language skills sufficient? – Where can I improve my language skills?
  • How can I build a new social life in the new city? What do I want to do in my leisure time?

As soon as you answered these questions for yourself you need to think of what to start with. Which order is best for the steps you need to take? Thinking about this is important to prevent unforeseen chaos and disappointments; some administrative steps need to be taken in a specific order. The amount of the steps you need to take depends on your profile and your personal circumstances.

Online relocation tools can support you with this. Most effective are online tools which take into account your individual facts. You just need to provide the system with information about your circumstances, status and preferences; the online tool will then provide a step-by-step path with all steps you need to take. One such online tool is Gohelp.y.

Outlook for the next part of the series: Relocation as a worker – what does this mean specifically?

Daylight saving time – summertime

Daylight saving time – summertime

Daylight saving time in Germany is the practice of setting the clock forward by one hour during the warmer part of the year, so that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less.
Daylights saving time starts on the 27th of March this year, with the time changes taking place at 2:00 a.m. In springtime the clocks are moved forward from 2:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m.