What To Do in Hanover, Germany

Henriette Viemann , Germany

Even though it might not be be the first or most popular city that comes to your mind when you think of Germany, the city Hanover is definitely worth a visit and has a lot to offer.

In this article I’m going to  tell you why exactly you should plan a visit there and fun things to do during your stay.

First, we are going to start with a little bit of geography and history. Hanover is the located in the northern part of Germany and is the capital city of the German state of Lower Saxony. It has around 530,000 inhabitants, with that it is the thirteenth largest city in the country. The city was founded a long way back, in medieval times on the east bank of the river Leine, which flows right through the city and offers a lot of water sports activities for locals, as well as for tourists. Becoming a rather large town during the 13th century, Hanover received it’s town status  in 1241, mainly due to it’s position at a natural crossroad where a lot of trade took place during that time. Many churches were built in the 14th century, such as the city wall with three gates one can still see remains of them both today. Unfortunately, as an important railroad and production centre, Hanover was a major target for strategic bombing during World War 2, leaving big parts of the city largely destroyed. However, a lot of things were rebuilt and even though big parts were destroyed you can  still see a lot of old and historic buildings in the old town, which is definitely worth taking a walk through.

But what else are interesting activities one can do in the city ?

One of the first things you should do to get a great overview  of  the city is to visit the New Town Hall, located in the middle of the city.  It was opened in 1913, after it had been under construction for nearly 12 years. The building’s dome, where the observation platform is located, is 97.73m high. With it’s arched course following the shape of the dome , the dome’s lift is unique in Europe. From the observation platform you have a great view over the whole city and can see a lot of other famous sights from there.

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Another attraction that one shouldn’t miss while visiting Hanover is the Herrenhausen Gardens.  In total, they consist of four seperate, rather large gardens, called the Great Garden, the Berggarten, the Georgengarten and the Welfengarten. The Great Garden has been one of the most popular and distinguished baroque formal gardens of Europe, ever since it’s opening in 1640, when the castle was built. During the same time , the Berggarten was  transformed from a simple vegetable garden that was used for cooking in the castle, into a large botanical garden with it’s own attractions.  The other two gardens, the Welfengarten and the Georgengarden have been constructed in the style of historic English gardens and are considered popular recreation areas for the residents and inhabitants of Hanover. The history of the gardens spans over several centuries, and they have always been a big attraction in  the city and remain  popular to this day.

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Your bucket list also shouldn’t miss the Maschsee, an artificial lake situated south of the city centre of the city, just like the New Town Hall, which is in walking distance. Being 78 hectares large, it is the largest body of water in Lower Saxony’s capital. Just like the earlier mentioned Herrenhauser Gardens, the lake is a popular and well known recreation area for inhabitants and tourists and also serves as a venue for a big variety of water sports all through the season. Here, you can rent a boat for a pretty good price to just enjoy time on the water or you can go around on good bike paths on a bicycle or on inline skaters. Or you can just take a relaxing walk around the lake, which will probably take you around  40-50 minutes.

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Last, but not least, I want to talk about something that you might not find that special, because a lot of cities have a zoo , but Hanover’s is actually special for many reasons. The Zoo is located right in the city centre, so it is very easy to get there, by public transportation, by bike, or by car.  The zoo was established on 4 May 1865, and comprises an area of 22 hectares. It contains about 3,414 animals in 237 species, which are cared for by more than 400 employees. There are seven differently themed areas or lands, from Canada’s Yukon Bay, populated by seals and polar bears, to the Indian Jungle Palace with its tigers, leopards and sacred grey langur monkeys, and the Australian Outback of kangaroos and emus. While visiting the zoo, you will be able to not only see a lot of interesting and exotic animals, but also do other activities, like going through a labyrinth, jump on a trampoline, or go to a big playground. Either way, you are going to have a great experience at one of the world’s most famous zoos.

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Personally I would say that even though Hanover has way more exciting things to show you, these are my personal favourites, since they are a lot of fun for everyone, regardless of what age you are. Generally speaking, the city of Hanover is definitely worth a visit and has a lot of activities to offer.

 

 

Why Danes are The Happiest People on Earth

Louise Mohr, Denmark

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Again this year the Danish people are dominating the World’s Happiness Report and ranks among the top three happiest of 155 countries surveyed. On the other hand, the U.S. is with a four-spot drop, ranked 18th this year.

So why is it that these pastry-loving, LEGO building people are winning the happiness race? And how do they compare to the States?

The Danish welfare state works.

Danes pay some of the highest income tax rates in the world (45% on average), but, in exchange, every Dane gets free health care, free K-college education (the students are paid approx. $900 a month by the government to go to school), highly subsidized child care and generous unemployment benefits.

Some might lift an eyebrow over the high tax-rate, but the Danes don’t look at the tax rate as a burden, but as an investment in our society and quality of life.

If you lose a job in Denmark, it’s not a big deal. Unemployment is built into the system. This is in connection to the “flexibility model”, which, quickly explained, is a system built on freedom for employees. The government programs retrain workers and position them better for the job market. By doing this, we create strong connections and also provide a guaranteed safety net, giving unemployment benefits for up to two years.

The government also has a great retirement system, providing for the elders over 65+ population through a combination of state-founded pension and private employer-funded pension programs. This not only relieves the stress for the elderly, but makes them feel secure about their retirement.

Here’s a video that explains further: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=095ULhvaH5E

The perhaps most important aspect of the Danish culture is “hygge”, which they value as a cultural construct. It refers to high-quality social interactions. It’s used as as a noun, adjective or verb, and events and places can also be “hyggelige” (hygge-like). “Hygge” is most commonly translated as “cozy”, but is more an intentional intimacy, which can happen when you have safe, balanced and harmonious shared experiences.

“Hygge” is the Danish sense of well-being. Although Denmark is a highly individualized country, “hygge” promotes egalitarianism and strengthens the trust between people. It’s fair to say that “hygge” is fully integrated into the Danish culture psyche and culture.

But Denmark is not the only  country that has a concept similar to hygge – the Norwegains have “koselig”, the Swedes “mysig”, the Dutch “gezenlligheid” and the Germans “gemütlichkeit”.

The U.S. also places a high value on individualism, but there’s no real cultural equivalent of “hygge”. Income is generally associated with happiness. Even though the GDP is on the rise and the unemployment has been declining, levels of happiness in the U.S. have been steadily decreasing.

The U.S. income also continues to be an issue. There’s been a marked decrease in interpersonal trust toward institutions like the government as well as the media.

At it’s core, “hygge” is about building trust and intimacy with others. Americans could probably use a little more of that in their lives.

As a Dane in America, i find the the lack of free healthcare the most problematic. The United States reminds to be the only industrialized country in the world that fails to provide universal healthcare for all citizens. The concerns regarding this are significant and continues. Most people here are scared to get sick, and because of the high cost they avoid the doctors. American healthcare is the source of innumerable issues for many, both those withe and without coverage. These issues are not limited to the financial prospect, but has a far-reaching influence on their quality of life, psychological stability, and fundamental happiness for society at large.

After spending 3 months here, i can vouch for the rudimentary differences between America and Denmark. The divergences extend beyond policy, logistics or political agendas. There is a complete different feel to the place, a different tone to the culture on a fundamental level. I truly believe that America could learn something extremely vulnerable form the danish culture, if they had the trust to do so.

Things To Do in Switzerland

Alyssa Knutti, Switzerland

Switzerland is officially the second happiest country on the planet, according to the 2016 World Happiness Report. And while you read this article you’ll soon realize why Switzerland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. There are so many things you can do in this small country from exploring the Swiss Alps to passing the spectacular Rhine Falls or sailing around Lake Geneva.

  1. Go skydiving

An amazing place where you can skydive is Interlaken. Interlaken is close to the capital city and is surrounded by peaks of the alps. It’s one of the most spectacular spots on earth to go skydiving.

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2. Take the Glacier Express

You should definitely ride with the famous Glacier Express through the mountains. Riding the train is pretty spectacular because it has huge panoramic, glass windows. If you want to take the whole ride you have to get in from Zermatt and then you go out at Davos or St. Moritz.

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3. Visit the James Bond Restaurant

The famous James Bond restaurant in Switzerland is located at the top of the Schilthorn, a 2970 meter high mountain in the middle of the country. The restaurant is called Piz Gloria. It is where the 1969 James Bond movie was set. It’s also a revolving restaurant. That means you can eat and the view changes all the time.

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4. Get soaked by the waterfalls

If you want to see one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Switzerland you have to go to Lauterbrunnen and take the one hour hike to Trummelbach. You’ll actually pass about two or three other waterfalls along the way. Trummelbach is the most famous waterfall. It has been formed by the melting snow breaking through cracks in the rocks.

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Top 5 Places to Visit in Portugal

Carlota Pedro Pinto, Portugal

Did you say you needed a vacation?

With the increasing amount of stress in our routines throughout the years, the word getaway is becoming more popular in our society. Everybody is always looking for an opportunity to turn off all the noise and go on a  little vacation.

And that’s when Portugal comes along….

Being one of the best getaway destinations right now, I’m gonna give you an inside scoop of some of the best places to visit while in Portugal!

1.Elevador de Santa Justa (Lisbon) – For one of the best views in Lisbon head to one of the most beautiful monuments right in the city’s heart. Towering above the whole city you can get  a breath taking view at any time of the day.

Risultati immagini per elevador de santa justa

 

2.Ponte de D. Luis I (Porto) – The panoramic views of the outlying city and the mouth of the river are truly memorable. One of the best spots to get to know Porto better.

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3.Ponta da Piedade ( Algarve) – The Ponta da Piedade makes for an amazing half day excursion from Lagos, and hiring a fishing boat to explore the cliffs is a life time experience!

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4. Pasteis de Belem ( Lisbon) – Pastel de Belem is a Portuguese cake, so it’s mandatory to at least have one when you come to the city ! Pasteis de Belem is the name of the world famous bakery that opened in 1833. It’s still open today and there’s always a long line to get in because of it’s amazing reputation, so be sure to get there early!

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5. Sintra – Remarkable cultural landscape this historic town is worth a day of your trip! In this amazing town you will find many monuments and breathtaking sights that will blow your mind away, which is totally worth an amazing tour through the streets of Sintra!

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As a native I’ve been always in love with Lisbon, being my hometown i have a special connection with the city. There’s many places that  I love to visit on my daily basis but walking through the streets of Lisbon will always be my favorite thing to do!!

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The Differences Between My Hometown in Germany And Santa Barbara

Paula Krumme, Germany

I live in a little city in West Germany. The name of the city is Stadtlohn, not far away from the Netherlands. My city has only 20,000 inhabitants, so Santa Barbara is much bigger because Santa Barbara has around 92,000 inhabitants. I will have only been here for 6 weeks in SB, nevertheless, it is a big change for me. Not only the number of people who live there is a big difference, but also the style of the houses. The houses of Santa Barbara have a very special style. They have white walls and red tiled roofs. The houses in my hometown are all different. I cannot say how a typical house in Germany looks, but what I can say is that the houses are often much bigger than in Santa Barbara.

Stadtlohn :

Výsledek obrázku pro stadtlohn

Santa Barbara :

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Added to that to go shopping is a very different thing, too. When I want to go shopping for some clothes in Santa Barbara, I only ride with my bike to State Street and there are a lot of different clothing stores. When I want to go shopping in my hometown, I have to drive around one hour with the car because in Stadtlohn there is only one great clothing store.

Moreover, in Santa Barbara there is literally always something happening in the city. It does not matter what time is it. There are always many people walking around. Also you can do many different activities. For example you can go to the beach, surfing, stand-up paddeling, hiking, bowling or you can go to a disco in the evening. In my hometown, there is never really much going on, because we do not have many activities we can do. The sea is really far away (around 2 hours by car) and, in addition, we haven’t got a lake to swim in. So when it is really hot we must drive to another city or we must go to the public outdoor pool, but this is not very much fun. In addition, we do not have a disco, a cinema or something like this. For activities like these we have to drive to the next city.

But a big advantage of my little city is that everything is reachable by bike. All my friends live only a maximum of 15 minutes away from me. So it is really easy to meet them and I am independent because my parents do not have to drive me and I do not have to wait for a bus. Also I do not have to pay for something. Compared to Santa Barbara, this is a big difference. For most students who live in a hostfamily must ride the bus every morning and sometimes the way is longer than 1 hour. I had a lot of luck in that I have the possibility to ride a bike to school every day here in Santa Barbara. Also my way is not too long. I only need around 15 minutes. But on the first days it was really stressful and complicated to ride the bike because the driving rules are really different to the driving rules in Germany, too. Here in Santa Barbara there are many streets, where all cars drive in the same direction. So you don’t have oncoming traffic. Every second street goes to the left and the other streets go to the right. This is possible because all the streets are parallel. In Germany you always have two-way traffic. So you can drive on every street in every direction, also with the bike.

The last difference i want to talk about is that in Stadtlohn everybody knows each other. In Santa Barbara you are one in a thousand. On the one hand, in Stadtlohn, there is a strong family environment and it is fun when you go in the city and you can be sure you will see people you know, but on the other hand, they also talk about everybody. So when there is new gossip, everybody knows it directly, for example when somebody posts an ugly picture on Instagram. Compared to Santa Barbara, there are so many different kinds of people and it doesn’t matter what you say, do or wear.

In conclusion, I can say that Santa Barbara and Stadtlohn are completely different. In my point of view Santa Barbara is in every case the better city for a vacation because of all the activities you can do and the good weather, but for living, I prefer Stadtlohn because in Stadtlohn the living standards are higher. When you want a big house in Santa Barbara you need a lot of money. Also you need a lot of money in Stadtlohn, but most of the people can afford this. I think the reason for that is that in Stadtlohn you have better chances to get good jobs.

 

 

Does the Street Art have a place in Galleries ?

Post graffiti, murals, frescoes or Urban Art, the Universe of the Street Art is known under many appelations. But where does it come from ? What were the changes ?

These different kind of appellations have evolved over time and with the artists in this movement. At the beginning the Street Art was known as “Graffiti” which was an act of vandalism during the 1960/1980s decades. 2018-06-24 11.52.31Nowadays, this form of Art which is exhibited in the international galleries, festivals or fairs like the “Urban Art Fair” in Paris, “District13 Art Fair” in Paris [which is coming soon in September 2018], “Beyond The Streets in Los Angeles” a huge showcase of graffiti and street art or the different festival of POW ! WOW ! in Hawaii, Long Beach, Washington and many other countries in the world.

This big change about Street Art in our time period evolved the attitudes and beliefs in this Art movement. Now, this kind of Art is perceived as cool and “in”, Artists don’t really need to hide anymore. Some of them became famous and can live on the income from their Art. Companies, city halls, associations and different kind of institutions call on these artists to beautify their buildings and facades. Artists are not perceived as “delinquent” like in the past when they could be arrested and go to jail for vandalism, but this fact depends as well on many aspects (location where the artists “graff” and if it can be legal or not).

Street Artists now are reconignized and some of them have their exhibits in Galleries because they deserve to be famous and well-known and live off their passion for their art. Their passion became their profession. However, if Street Art tends to be exhibited in galleries and only in galleries the movement will lose its meaning/value. If Artists forget the space that gave them their reputation, their birth as an Artist and they will expose/exhibit in Galleries, the fact that they wanted and desired to make Art accessible to the street, to people who don’t go on or are used to going in galleries will be lost and the debate on this accessibility and about money and business can be questioned.

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In other words, Artists should continue to do murals on the street and for free when they can/want and they have the right, as well if they wish to show and exhibit their Art in Galleries, Fairs, Festivals etc. Both can be combined for the well-being of each Artists.
E.F

Photography, a Breakthrough Technology In Art

Angele Dubos, France.

“Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is.”

 

Photography is one of the most incredible breakthroughs in technology, in society and in art movements. As a mirror to the world, photography explores human emotions. It captures or marks a passage of time. Developed over the past 200 years, it enhances faster than any other visual art, plainly because it’s a blend between technology and art,  science and abstraction, reality and imagination, techniques and inspiration. Generally speaking, photography aims to capture the reality of everyday life, in parallel, it’s a fine art which requires time and attention.

This discipline, which has helped us to understand of our world, is widespread, omnipresent, everywhere: in our smartphones, advertising, social media, streets… Then how did photography become so renowned and appreciated by everyone?

Photography took shape when a Chinese photographer created the Camera Obscura, the first camera.  The main principle occurs when the image is projected through a screen which is a kind of mirror where the image is upside down.

Camera-obscura

Then, a lot of cameras, which I’m not going to list for the reason that it’ll be so long, have risen in popularity in our societies. Cameras have been examined through scientists’ hands and professionals in order to become more effective and obtain higher performance. Some well-known brands are Nikon and Canon.

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Regarding photography as an art, this discipline navigates around genres, artists, themes, works and techniques. Sometimes similar to the art of painting, photography has followed mostly the art movement: avant-garde, propaganda, contemporary art,  modernism, pointillism… On one hand, works are really carefully thought through by the artists focusing on lighting, the subject, the background, the meaning. On the other hand, some artist’s photographs are snapshots and have been captured in the right amazing moment.

However, some works are misleading, such as the The Kiss by the Hotel de Ville. Photographed by Robert Doisneau in Paris, this work is one of the most iconic of the 20th century. It reveals the love and romantic aspect that photography may have. Whereas, this photograph was actually all planned, all organized and everything you see was set up, even the extras behind, the cars, and included the blurred background.

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Photography also addresses fashion, photojournalism, war, advertising, death, nature, nudes, paparazzi and even more. That’s why I strongly suggest that you buy and read this book: The short story of Photography, which reviews in an enjoyable and pleasant way, the history of photography from the first movement until today.

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Women’s Soccer

Amelie Plenk, Switzerland

 

FIFA World Cup

The FIFA Women’s World Cup has been in existence since 1991 and takes place every four years. In 2019, the next Women’s World Cup will take place in France. Then the World Cup will be held for the eighth time and 24 teams will compete against each other.

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Marta Vieira da Silva

Marta Vieira da Silva was born on the 19 February 1986. Marta has been a Swedish citizen since 14 March 2017, but she will also retain her Brazilian citizenship. Marta Vieira da Silva, commonly known as Marta, is a Brazilian 

Image result for marta vieira da silvafootballer who plays for the Orlando Pride in the National Women’s Soccer League and the Brazil National Team as a forward. With 15 goals, she holds the record for the most goals in FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments.

 

My experience

I have been playing soccer for four years on a women’s team in a small village. Four years ago, we were still the only girls team in our club and now there are 4 teams – women’s football is becoming more popular! But, of the 265 million football players worldwide, only 10 percent are women. 

 

 

Visit Extraordinary Belgium

By Andreas Top

Belgium is one of the favorite countries of tourists and students. Every year we receive more than 1 billion tourists. I would love to tell you guys something more about the places you must see. We have an abundant culture, from the beers to the French fries,…

Bruges

brugge

The spirit and history emits strongly in this lovely city of canals. Burges has beautiful architecture, particularly on the southern side of the city, for example The Grote Market Square.  If you are interested in visiting musuems, then you should go to the chocolate museum or the Belfort.

Brussels

Brussels

Brussels is the capital city of Belgium and is likely where visitors will begin their sightseeing. As the headquarters of many European institutions, Brussels might also be considered the capital for the European Union. The Grand Place is the city’s center and was established in the 13th century. There are terrace cafes and pubs around this central square, and other sites of interest such as the Gothic style Town Hall. The shopping is fun there, too.

Ghent

ghent

Ghent is a city of history. The impact of its past can be clearly seen when viewing the impressive architecture of churches and the houses of rich traders. The entire center of the city is restored in this style. Ghent is also one of the biggest student cities in our country, with more than 74,000 students.

Antwerp

antwerp

Antwerp is a city with many faces. While it may not be as historically preserved as Bruges or Ghent, it is a very dynamic city, offering a perfect mix of history and present-day modern life. Lovers of great food, great beer, and good times, this city is most well-known for the Diamond District, where more than 70 percent of the world’s diamonds are traded.

Leuven

leuven

Leuven has the oldest Catholic university.  It has 100,000 residents,  35,000 are students. Two long streets have interesting shops and galleries. You must visit the Belfry on St. Peter’s Church and the Grand Beguinage.

 

Carnival of Sion

Baptiste Ostertag, Switzerland

What is it ?

The carnival of Sion is a big celebration which is every year during the first week of February.Carnaval de Sion

A lot a people are going there, most of the time in costume, just to enjoy, watch the parade, party and meet people.

A lots of groups come to Sion, to play music, as you can see in the picture below !!carna_sion24.jpg

Then in the evening, people, specially the young adult, are going under a big pavillion to do party all the night.carna_sion25

Here you meet a lot of people you know, you can dance and drink all the night, even if you’re not 21 (Not like in the USA), and you can enjoy the particular music which is being played by the brass band.

Here is an example :

The most important thing there is to enjoy yourself, and the fact that almost everybody is disguised makes the carnival really fun, because sometimes you can’t recognize people.