Oktoberfest In Dusseldorf

“O’zapft is!”  It is that time of year!

What am I talking about?  Oktoberfest!  And “O’zapft is!”  is traditional opener to the festivities.  This is from the Bavarian dialect and means that the first keg of the season has been tapped.

You have probably heard about the traditional German Oktoberfest at least once, right? Then you might know that Munich is especially famous for this celebration. While the Bavarian festivities remain the largest, other events are cropping up throughout Germany.  And as the jovial mood spreads, I think it only fitting that I share my experience from the inaugural Dusseldorf celebration held just last year.

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I’ve been a huge fan of the Oktoberfest for many years and when I heard that the tradition had arrived in my beautiful hometown, I could not believe it. So what did I do? Of course I put on my best Dirndl and jumped into the festivities to see if the Rhenish people could keep up with the Bavarians. And let me tell you: It was definitely a success! I particularly liked the location that was chosen for the Oktoberfest in Dusseldorf. It takes place at the Rhine Promenade, where I also like to spend most of my spare time.

I started my day with a delicious pretzel, Bavarian veal sausage with sweet mustard and, most importantly, a freshly tapped Mass.  A Mass is a huge glass jug, which contains one liter of beer.  It is common to drink these throughout the Oktoberfest celebrations, beginning with breakfast and continuing throughout the day.  There is even a traditional song that encourages drinkers to clink their Mass with those around them.  It seems the song is played just about every five minutes, so it is important to have a Mass in hand!

Another fun aspect is seeing everyone dressed in traditional clothes.  The men wear leather trousers known as Lederhosen, a plaid shirt and sometimes also those cute hats with feathers on top. The women wear my personal favorite, the Dirndl. The Dirndl consists of a blouse, with a dress consisting of a corset top and full skirt topped with an apron. You can find it in every color and pattern. The Dirndl is a figure hugging dress that seems to make every woman look her best! The women top of the look with braids in every style.

But the Dirndl does more than set the tone of the event- it can also communicate the relationship status of the wearer.  If you wear the apron knot on the left side, it means you are single, on the right it means you are in a relationship.  Knots on the back suggest you are widowed (unless you are working as a waitress!) and in the front the knot means you are married.  Who would have guessed an apron could say so much?!

You are now perfectly prepped for a visit to Dusseldorf’s Oktoberfest.  This year celebrations started on September 19th and goes for about two weeks. So be sure to make your plans today!  Your Breidenbacher Hof Personal Assistant will help you make it the perfect vacation.

 

Oktoberfest In Düsseldorf

„O´zapft is!“ Es ist wieder soweit!

Wovon ich spreche? Vom Oktoberfest!  Und „O´zapft is!“ ist der traditionelle Eröffnungsspruch für die Wiesn.  Gemeint ist der spannenste Moment, nämlich dann, wenn das erste Bierfass angeschlagen wird.

Ihr kennt mit Sicherheit das traditionelle Oktoberfest oder?  Dann wisst ihr auch, dass München der Ursprung dieses Festes ist.  Doch wenn das Münchner Oktoberfest mit seinen zahlreichen Zelten und Fahrgeschäften das wohl größte seiner Art ist, ist München schon lange nicht mehrder einzige Austragungsort für die bayerischen Festlichkeiten.  Und da auch dieser Trend nicht spurlos an Düsseldorf vorbeizieht, erzähle ich Euch gerne von meinen Erlebnissen im letzten Jahr.

rsz_dsc_5497Ich bin schon lange ein großer Fan des Oktoberfestes und konnte es gar nicht glauben, dass es in meiner schönen Heimatstadt auch endlich eins gibt.  Also was habe ich gemacht?  Natürlich das Dirndl angezogen und mal geschaut, ob das rheinische mit dem bayerischen Fest mithalten kann. Ich kann Euch sagen: Das kann es!  Vor allem gefällt mir der Ort, der für unser Oktoberfest ausgewählt wurde.  Es findet an der Rheinpromenade statt, dort wo ich meine Freizeit am liebsten verbringe.

Gestartet habe ich mit einer leckeren Brezel, Weißwurst und süßem Senf – und nicht zu vergessen dazu eine frisch gezapfte Mass.  Schon zum Frühstück wird eine Mass serviert und ist ein wesentlicher Bestandteil des gesamten Festes.  Alle 5 Minuten wird ein bestimmtes traditionelles Lied gespielt, zu dem Ihr mit Euren Sitznachbarn anstoßen und einen Schluck trinken müsst.   Deshalb sollte die eigene Mass auch immer griffbereit sein!

Was zudem besonders schön anzusehen ist, sind die Trachten.  Die Männer tragen Lederhosen, dazu meist karrierte Hemden und manchmal sogar diese niedlichen Hüte mit Federn.  Die Frauen tragen mein persönliches Lieblingsoutfit, das Dirndl.  Ein Dirndl besteht aus einer Bluse, einem Kleid und zuletzt der Schürze.  Mittlerweile gibt es die Trachten in allen Farben und Mustern, die das Herz begehren.  Ich verspreche Euch, ein Dirndl schmeichelt wirklich jeder Frau!  Meist tragen die Damen auch geflochtenes Haar – einfach schick.

Um der Männerwelt das richtige Signal zu senden, gibt es außerdem ein geheimes Zeichen.  Wenn die Frauen unter Euch den Knoten ihrer Schürze auf der linken Seite tragen, bedeutet dies, dass ihr Single seid.  Tragt ihr den Knoten zur rechten Seite, weiß jeder, dass ihr in einer Beziehung seid.  Ein Knoten am Rücken bedeutet, dass ihr verwitwet (oder die Kellnerin!) und ist der Knoten vorne, seid ihr offenbar verheiratet.  Wer hätte gedacht, dass ein Knoten so viel über eine Person aussagen kann?!

Ich denke, ihr seid nun perfekt vorbereitet, um unser Oktoberfest zu besuchen.  Dieses Jahr hat das rheinische Fest am 19. September begonnen und geht über zwei Wochen.  Also fangt besser jetzt an zu planen!  Euren Persönlichen Assistenten im Breidenbacher Hof unterstützen Euch bei der Erstellung eines perfekten Programms.

 

Get Fit For Summer At Breidenbacher Hof

Summer is always a great time to focus on creating a fitness routine.  After all, instead of sitting bundled up in our homes, everyone is outside enjoying the sun!  If you haven’t found a program yet, don’t worry, there is still time.  Here at Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel, we have established a relationship with Daniel Philipp-Personal Training company that provides personal training services to guests looking to stay fit while on the road.

I have had the pleasure of working out with trainer, Alexander Rauhof, who has definitely helped me keep my summer fitness goals on track.  And today you are in luck!  Alexander has agreed to share some fitness secrets with you.  These will help you address your full-body with specific attention to the core, upper body and lower body.  Let’s do this! Time to get fit for summer!

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rsz_dsc_0270_bearbeitet #Lunge
Lunge forward with your right leg.  Land on your heel, then your forefoot.  Lower your body by flexing your knee and hip on your front leg until the knee of your rear leg is almost in contact with the floor. Then return to the original standing position.  Repeat this exercise with your left leg afterwards.  Do 10 repetitions on each side to reach best training results.

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rsz_dsc_0283_bearbeitet#Shoulder bridge
Lie on your back in neutral spine, with you knees bent and feet on the floor.  Your legs should be hip distance apart and your arms extended along your sides.  Press your arms and feet down on the mat to lengthen your spine, then push your hips up.  You have reached the perfect bridge position when your weight lies on shoulders with your knees, hips and shoulders in line.  Your abs and hamstrings should be engaged.  You are perfectly executing this exercise the moment you feel the tension within your entire body.
Pause at the top of the bridge to challenge yourself.  It gets even more intense lifting one leg off the mat.  Try the same for the other leg and repeat the whole process 10 times on each side.

rsz_dsc_0263_2#Plank
Make sure your hands are directly beneath your shoulders with the rest of your body extended out in a line.  The tops of your feet can either be flat on the floor or you can curl your toes if you prefer.  Your shoulders should be located directly above your hands,  your heels pushing back in plank pose resembling a high push up position.  Hold that position for 50 seconds.

Alexander recommends that you repeat every exercise 10 times a day.  You can expect to start seeing results in just a few weeks.  Remember, the next time you are at the Breidenbacher Hof, our Personal Assistants would love to book you a professional fitness lesson, so you can take your fitness level one step further.

Ixtapa Zihuatanejo Travel Tips

DestinationImage_ZihuantenejoIxtapa_PlayaLaRopa_CreditiStock_YingYang

© iStock / YingYang via Forbes.

While traveling is an adventure, it is always important to have a plan on how to manage certain tasks.  I asked one of the Capella Ixtapa Personal Assistants how they recommend dealing with everyday tasks visitors often must deal with.  Of course, they not only had an answer but a plethora of information on how to eliminate these little stressors!  When staying at Capella Ixtapa your Personal Assistant and the entire team will make sure to help you with any request and information, but I thought these tips may help put your mind at ease before you even set foot in Ixtapa.

Medical Services in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo
At Capella Ixtapa we have medical assistance available 24/7.  In case of emergency when you’re out and about, you can call us and we’ll immediately organize help for you.  There are several hospitals and private clinics that can provide you with necessary treatment.  And if you ever need an ambulance with urgency, dial 065 from any fixed phone or 114 from a cell phone. See the list of Clinics and Hospitals in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo here.

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Tips about Water in Mexico
The running water at Capella Ixtapa is purified and safe to drink.  Most restaurants in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo have purified water (but we recommend that you double check with your waiter), but we advise caution when eating on the street.  According to the saying “better safe than sorry,” we suggest that you drink bottled water when strolling around town and pay attention how your street food or drinks are prepared.  If the water for the dish needs to be boiled, you have nothing to worry about.

Electricity in Mexico
Mexico’s electricity system is the same as that of the USA and Canada with 120 V.  Any devices that you use at home you will be able to use in Mexico with no problem.

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Photo via: ixtapa-zihuatanejo.triangulodelsol.travel

Money & Currency Exchange Tips in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo
The official currency used in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo is the Mexican Peso ($), but most businesses and service providers will probably accept American Dollars as well (check the exchange rate with the provider before you decide to pay in your currency).  VISA and Master Card are the most widely accepted credit cards.  American Express is also accepted, but sometimes with added fixed fee.  To ensure a more favorable exchange rate and to ease getting change back from a vendor, we recommend exchanging your money into pesos.  Banks are open on weekdays, closed on national holidays and a few are open on Saturdays.  Hours are (normally) from 9:00am to 4:00pm.  You will need a photo ID to complete transactions. In many cases, a driver’s license is not accepted; you will need to show your passport. ATMs are very common in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo and are the easiest source for cash.

Tips about tipping in Mexico
Tipping guidelines for Mexico are nearly the same as  tipping guidelines used in the United States or Canada, with some exceptions.  In restaurants the tips range between 10% – 15%, depending on your satisfaction of the service received.  If you feel that the waiter did an exceptional job in welcoming you and creating an amazing experience, you can leave 20% or a tip of your preference.  See more tipping & etiquette tips on Trip Advisor here.

Swimming in the Pacific Ocean
Ixtapa Zihuatanejo has many beautiful beaches (see some of my favorite beaches in Ixtapa here, and Zihuatanejo here).  Travelers should understand that hotel managers, lifeguards and other interested parties operate a flag warning system for the beaches.  Red flags mean you should not enter the water, not even to wade.  This could be because of a strong undertow or that a school of stinging jellyfish is making its way through Ixtapa.

Language
People working in the hotel industry normally speak English, and the majority of locals speak enough English so your every day communications should not be a problem.  If you master some basic words in Spanish like Thank you (gracias), Please (por favor), Where is it? (donde está?), locals will appreciate your trying.  In fact, most of people will help you learn some more words as well!

Tips on Rental Cars in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo
To rent a car, you must have a valid drivers license, be 18 years or older and leave a deposit with a credit card.  Your Capella Ixtapa Personal Assistant will be happy to arrange a car rental for you if you desire, but can also arrange alternate services to drive you.  Try to limit driving to daylight hours as some of the highways have free-roaming livestock; keep your eyes on the road and drive defensively.  There are Pemex gas stations all throughout the area.  Mexico has a government-funded highway patrol, the Ángeles Verdes or “Green Angels”; these are green trucks that patrol the major highways twice a day and provide emergency service.  The service is free, but you will be charged if supplies are needed.

Tips About Public Transportation & Taxis in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo
Taxis are available 24 hours a day.  They are located at all major hotels, downtown and at the airport.  Negotiate the fare before accepting the ride and keep in mind that the cost is per cab, not per person.  To call a taxi, call your Personal Assistant.  There are also public buses that run between towns.  We recommend renting a car or a taxi, or hiring a driver to explore the downtown, marina, remote beaches and enjoying other experiences in the area.

Ixtapa Zihuatanejo Time Zone
Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is in the Central Time Zone and observes daylight savings time.

US Consular Agency (an extension of the Embassy in Mexico City)
The closest US Consular Agency to Ixtapa Zihuatanejo is located in Acapulco.  Phone: +52(744)481-0100, Phone/Fax:(52)(744)484-0300, E-Mail: ConAgencyAcapulco@state.gov.

For more information on Ixtapa Zihuatanejo travel tips, please send us an email to pa.ixtapa@capellahotels.com, or call us at: USA Toll Free: 1 (877) 296-8889, Canada Toll Free:1 (855) 842-3399, Mexico Toll Free: 01-800-838-6501, Mexico: +52 755 5551100

Have more questions?  Please leave them in the comments below!

Top 5 Things To Eat At Rheinkirmes

Dusseldorf’s biggest summer event is without question the Rheinkirmes. For the 115th time, the Rhine meadows will be transformed into an unique amusement park. A huge summer festival completed with traditional beer tents, spectacular modern rides, live bands, rustic food, candy stands and about four million visitors of all ages enjoying it. It is amazing!
The 9-day fair ties together traditions, culinary experiences and modern entertainment.  There is so much to do and see, it is easy to feel overwhelmed.  One of my favorite parts is the food!  So I thought it would be fun to share my top 5 things to eat at Rheinkirmes with you.

Tradition / Brauchtum - Kirmes Skyline

Tradition / Brauchtum – Kirmes Skyline

#1 Battered Fried Fish
If you like fried fish you will love the German Backfisch. You have the option between the fish on a roll or with fries as a side dish. Don’t forget the remoulade – it pairs perfectly.  This is a must eat at the fair!

#2 German Sausage
No trip to the Rheinkirmes is complete without some sausage.  Bratwurst is served on a roll along with a traditional side of sauerkraut.  Of course you can’t forget the mustard!  It is available in a wide range from spicy and coarse to sweet or hot, and everything in between.

#3 German Potato Pancakes
There is nothing like eating a freshly made Kartoffelpuffer (aka German potato pancake) with apple sauce.  It’s the perfect mix between sweet and hearty.  Don’t forget to order #4 along with it!

#4 Alt beer
Dusseldorf is the center of one of the most interesting beer regions of Germany. So, you don’t want to miss the Alt beer of Düsseldorf. We have three tradional breweres at the fun fair Füchschen, Uerige and Schuhmacher.  Every local has a favorite, so be sure to try them all and choose your own allegiance!

#5 Roasted almonds
You better buy two, because they just taste that delicious. The perfect mix between crunchy and sweet and you can just snack them while strolling through the attractions.

 

I Look forward to hearing your feedback about my top 5. By the way, food isn’t the only treat to discover!  A Rhine river cruise during the fireworks is my absolute favorite and a definite must-see. Next time you are staying at the Breidenbacher Hof, just ask your Personal Assistants and they will take care of all arrangements.

Die 5 kulinarischen Highlights der Rheinkirmes

Düsseldorfs größtes Sommerfest ist die Rheinkirmes. Zum 115. mal, wird das Rheinufer von Düsseldorf in einen einzigartigen Freizeitpark verwandelt. Ein riesiges Sommerfest mit traditionellen Bierzelten, spektakulären Fahrattraktionen, live Bands, herzhaften Leckereien, Süßigkeiten und über vier Millionen Besucher aller Altersgruppen. Es ist großartig!
Die 9-Tage andauernde Kirmes vereint Traditionen und kulinarische Köstlichkeiten mit Unterhaltung. Da es so viel zu entdecken gibt, fühlt man sich leicht überwältigt. Das beste an der Kirmes ist das Essen! Daher teile ich heute mit Euch meine 5 kulinarischen Highlights der Rheinkirmes.

 

Tradition / Brauchtum - Kirmes Skyline

Tradition / Brauchtum – Kirmes Skyline

# 1 Backfisch
Falls Ihr frittierten Fisch mögt, werdet Ihr den Backfisch lieben. Als Beilage könnt Ihr zwischen einem Backfisch im Brötchen oder frischen Pommes Frites entscheiden. Ihr müsst unbedingt die Remoularde probieren – Sie passt perfekt. Ihr solltest Euch dieses Gericht nicht entgehen lassen!
#2 Bratwurst
Ein Ausflug zur Kirmes ohne Bratwurst, ist kein richtiger Kirmesausflug.
Die Bratwurst wird in einem knusprigen Brötchen serviert, mit Sauerkraut als traditioneller Beilage. Den Senf nicht vergessen! Dieser ist erhältlich in den verschiedensten Geschmacksrichtungen von würzig und grob bis hin zu süß und scharf ist für jeden Geschmack etwas dabei.
#3 Kartoffelpuffer
Es gibt nichts Besseres als einen frisch zubereiteten Kartoffelpuffer mit Apfelmus. Er ist der perfekte Mix zwischen süß und herzhaft und schmeckt am besten mit der #4!
#4
Düsseldorf liegt im Zentrum einer der interessantesten Bierregionen in Deutschland. Also führt kein Weg an einem Düsseldorfer Altbier vorbei. Es sind drei klassische Brauereien auf der Kirmes vertreten Füchschen, Uerige und Schuhmacher. Jeder Düsseldorfer hat seinen persönlichen Favoriten, Ihr solltet alles probieren um auch Euren Favoriten auswählen zu können!

#5 Gebratene Mandeln
Ihr solltet Euch direkt zwei Packungen kaufen, denn diese Mandeln schmecken köstlich. Der perfekte Mix zwischen knusprig und süß, Ihr könnt sie snacken während Ihr die Fahrattraktionen erlebt.

Ich freue mich schon über Eurer Feedback bezüglich meiner Top 5. Außerdem, gibt es nicht nur Essen zu entdecken! Eine Rheinschifffahrt während des Feuerwerks ist meine absolute Krönung und ein definitives Muss. Wenn Ihr das nächste Mal zu Gast im Breidenbacher Hof seid, fragt unsere Persönlichen Assistenten und sie werden sich um alle Gegebenheiten kümmern.