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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Dear Stammtisch Friends,

After a felt ten year absence, summer has eventually reached the North East again. I am sure you are all getting plenty of use out of your BBQs and have those beers chilled for the weekend.

Before you’re all heading off on holiday, here are a few suggestions that you may be interested in:

Every year, the German children’s group travels for a weekend to the castle in Featherstone (near Haltwhistle). This year the trip is from 27 to 29 September and our Stammtisch member Silvie Fish would like to invite other Germans (with or without children) to come along. Of course, non-German speaking partners are also very welcome.

Departure is on Friday evening and the return journey on Sunday afternoon. It is also possible to stay for one night only or simply come for a visit during the day. The plan is to cook, eat, drink and go for walks and for the kids there are also stories, crafts, treasure hunts etc. There are smaller rooms (usually for families with smaller children) and large rooms to sleep in. It’s all about the ambience rather than luxury. And this year the teenagers also get their own area to hang out in. Cost including food is £50 (simply half for one night), as long as we have a minimum of 25 people per night (which shouldn’t be a problem. Payment is in advance either by cheque or transfer and if you’re interested simply email Silvie by 1 September (indicating number of people/nights) – Tynemouth Classic Volkswagen Rally.

Discover Deutschland was a recent newsletter we received from DFDS and the cost for a ferry trip by car plus 2 people to Amsterdam was advertised as from £70/one way. While travelling around Europe, you may get a chance to see at a festival the French jazz/chanson singer ZAZ, who has been very successful in Germany over the past three years.
We haven’t got another Stammtisch date yet, but I can invite you to our next InterNations event, which will take place at Bar Livello, down at Dean Street, Newcastle Quayside on Tuesday, 30 July from 6pm onwards. Simply join InterNations for free and join our group for chilled drinks.
I wish you a very enjoyable & relaxing holiday season & look forward to seeing you all soon.

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If you still want to join us for our Christmas Stammtisch on Monday, 12 December at the Mansion House, make sure you pay this week and state your preference of the two main courses – either goose with apple red cabbage, potato dumplings/spaetzle or roast loin of pork stuffed with prunes. Cost per person for the 3-course dinner is £20 – simply call the Mansion House on 0191 281 0863.

Other Christmas events taking place in the region are for example:

4 November – 31 December: Christmas at Alnwick Garden

19 November – 2 January: Christmas at Beamish Museum

Saturday, 3 December: Tynemouth Christmas Festival from 12noon till 7pm.

7 to 11 December: Newcastle Christmas Market

7 to 10 December: Winter Festival: Gatehead’s Saltwell Park will turn into Enchanted Parks.

Sunday, 10 December: Advents Celebration from 5pm in the Martin Luther Church in Clarence Street/Copland Terrace in Newcastle.

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As summer approaches, you might fancy a holiday on the continent and in particular Germany. Here are a few tips about travelling, activities and events that you might find useful:

The German Tourism Office released the introductory video Erlebnisland Deutschland to give you a flavour of Germany. And ‘Mit Volldampf durchs Land’ is a two-part programme by SWR, where you go on a journey across Germany by steam trains.

A little bit faster – on normal regional trains – you can explore Germany on a budget as long as you have a bit of time on your hand. Deutsche Bahn is offering a deal for one day trips: for €42 you can travel on all regional trains in 2nd class (RB, IRE, RE and S-Bahn) and take along four other people, who only pay €6/each. The ticket is valid Mondays to Fridays from 9am onwards and on bank holidays from midnight onwards. Click here for further info about the ‘Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket).

And if you’re heading to Berlin and want to save the cents, there is a free service to find a room – here’s a link to ‘Kostenlose Zimmervermittlung Berlin’.

Berlin will, of course, be one of the host cities for the forthcoming Women’s Football World Championships, which takes place in Germany from 26 June to 7 July. The German team will again defend the title, which it holds since 2003 and the English will also aim high, being the European vice-champion. With women’s football continuously increasing in popularity, this year’s event is to break various spectator records. With one month to go, the total number of match tickets now on general sale has increased to 900,000, with 70% already sold.

But if football isn’t your thing, you might want to head to one of the many music festivals that will take place this summer:

Afrika Festival in Würzburg: 2 – 5 June

Rock im Park Zeppelinfeld in Nuremberg/Rock am Ring Nürburgring in Eiffel: 3 to 5 June

Bachfest in Leipzig: 10 – 19 June

Summerjam in Cologne: 1 – 3 July

Jazz Open in Stuttgart: 1 – 10 July

Samba Festival in Coburg: 8 – 10 July

Bardentreffen in Nuremberg: 29 to 31 July

For a full list of forthcoming music festivals, click here.

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On Friday, 25 March 2011 there will also be an Organ Recital at the German speaking Martin Luther Church in Newcastle (Clarence Street/Copland Terrace – close to the Biscuit Factory). This is a rare opportunity to listen to this Rowntree & Brennan organ of 1976 as the church is only used for worships twice a month and meet up with German speaking people at the same time. The evening will start at 6.30pm and Moira Flanagain will play Buxtehude, Bach, Elgar, Grainger, Brahms and others. Admission fee is £5, which includes interval drinks.

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Grisinagott!

Now that autumn has well and truly arrived, we can celebrate the Oktoberfest! This year it’s a pretty significant date, as the Wies’n celebrates its 200th anniversary.

For those of you who can’t make it to Munich – one of the North East’s pubs has embraced our Bavarian festivities and maybe you want to join us on Thursday, 14 October from 6pm onwards at the Brandling Villa in Gosforth. Please let me know who wants to come so that we can reserve a table. On their beer menu you can find many local beers, but also Erdinger Dunkel, Köstritzer Schwarzbier and Schneider Weisse. The food bar will offer typical Oktoberfest dishes such as Hendl (grilled chicken), Schweinebraten (roast pork), Brezel (Pretzels), Knödel (potato dumplings), Bratwurst and Currywurst. For further information on the Brandling Villa, its Oktoberfest (14 – 16 October), directions and the menu, click here.

The Hilton in Gateshead, who hosted last year’s Oktoberfest, have a typical menu again up until 7 October. There you can get dishes such as Kartoffelsuppe (potato soup), Aufschnittsplatte (selection of meats/chees), Matjesfilet Hausfrauenart (herring with apples and cream), Schweineschnitzel mit Kartoffelsalat (pork cutlet and potatoe salad), Hähnchen “Cordon Bleu” mit Bratkartoffeln und roten Zwiebeln (chicken cordon bleu with roast potatoes and onions) sowie Bratwurst und Sauerkraut (grilled sausage and sauerkraut). And if you still have space for desert, there’s a choice of Zwetschenkuchen (plum cake), Apfeltorte (apple gateau) and Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (blackforest gateau).

And if that has not satisfied your appetite, you can always head north to Glasgow, where the WEST Brewery and Bar run an Oktoberfest all through the month. They are even brewing their very own OktoberWEST and have the WEST Oompah Band playing live every Friday from 7.30pm onwards – www.westbeer.com.

Being a typical Munich event, I thought maybe you want to brush up on your language skills? The Oktoberfest site provides you with a lot of information about the event, the history and also the language: http://www.oktoberfest.de/de/navitem/Gaudi/. The online dictionary can also be downloaded as an app and you might also check out the Stern video about the best apps for the Wies’n.

If you want to work on your pronunciation, you might want also to listen to a real Bavarian band – the Spider Murphy Gang, who in the 80s were super successful. Another great programme promoting the Bavarian language was the 10-part series Monaco Franze, which played in Munich. If you can remember this fab programme and are feeling nostalgic, there are quite a few clips on YouTube and there’s even a very entertaining fan page on Facebook. Here’s one where Monaco Franze shows you how to drive a civil servant around the bend – click here.

Civil servants and food leads to another story that recently made the news in Germany – and hopefully both the Hilton and the Brandling Villa take note as it’s all about Schnitzels. A restaurant owner got into trouble with the tax man as he sold disproportionately large Schnitzels to his very hungry guests in Saxony. To read the full story on Reuters, click here.

However, some civil servants do have a sense of humour and Swiss Bundesrat Merz showed this when delivering a speech on a new EU law re a specific Swiss meat and ‘slightly’ lost his composure in the process. His ‘speech’ has now become a YouTube hit – click here.

Anyway, I hope you’re all in good spirits and we see many of you at our October meeting on 14th at the Brandling Villa.

Tschüß

Manuela

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End Polio Now

Stammtisch member David Biermann and his wife Susan have helped create a CD to raise fund to ‘End Polio Now’. It comprises of 12 pop, folk and classical tracks and has raised to date of £2,000. The proceeds of one CD pay for five vaccinations in the remaining countries with Polio: India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. David will have copies of the CD at the BBQ Stammtisch on 26 July at the Mansion House in Jesmond, Newcastle. The cost per CD is £5.

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Samba & Railways

The small Franconian town of Coburg has just hosted the world’s largest Samba Festival outside of Brazil. Around 200,000 visitors attended the yearly celebration with Samba groups from all over the world.  Participants included Rio’s reigning Carnival Queen who probably wondered in temperatures of mid 30˚C if she was on the wrong continent. Stern Online has some images of the celebration – click here.

With increasing flight costs and the odd volcano outburst, train travel – in particular on high speed trains – will maybe become more of an alternative for business and leisure travellers. State owned Deutsche Bahn has ambitious growth plans, also in the UK. It already has various operations here such as Chiltern Railways, Wrexham and Shropshire Railways, London Overground, DB Schenker, the Tyne & Wear Metro and possibly soon also bus and train operator Arriva.

The new €4 billion New Heart of Europe project will establish a high speed rail link between Stuttgart and Ulm and complete the high speed route between Budapest and Paris. This includes moving rail infrastructure and the main train station underground and redeveloping the then newly available land in the centre of Stuttgart.

Over the next four years, Deutsche Bahn plans to invest a total of €41 billion in infrastructure and new trains. Click here for full article.

If you enjoy travelling by rail and are looking for a good source of information, The Man in Seat Sixty-One is probably your best bet. Mark Smith has worked in railways throughout his career, initially for British Rail, two major UK train companies and the Dept for Transport. His passion for European and international rail travel means that other travellers can now draw from his experiences and even rail travel agents refer their passengers to his award winning blog.

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Are your planning some trips to Germany over the summer? Here are some ideas of various festivals you might enjoy:

  • Coburg hosts the largest Samba Festival outside of Brazil from 9 – 11 July
  • The free Bardentreffen takes place for 35th time in Nuremberg from 30 July to 1 August
  • The Leipziger Jazz Tage are this year from 24 September up to 3 October
  • And opera fans might head to Bayreuth from the 25 July – 28 August

A list of free festivals is available at www.festivalfieber.de/kostenlose-festivals

You might also have heard of the Oberammergau Passion Play, which was played for the first time in 1634. It only takes place every ten years, so if you’re interested – 2010 is a year to go.

And last, but not least, the Oktoberfest celebrates this year 200 years. To mark the occasion, we should really organise quite some event here too – if anybody has ideas, please share them with us!

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The Suedwestdeutscher Kammerchor Tuebingen will play at Durham Cathedral on Friday, 4 June at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £15 and the proceeds will go to the Percy Hedley Foundation, which supports disabled children and adults throughout the North East.

For tickets, contact Sheila Coltman on 0191 238 1321 or email s.coltman@percyhedley.org.uk

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