Monthly Archives: July 2011

Street art in Germany

I was out and about this morning in the part of Germany over towards the Dutch border.  You know… near that place that makes every Brit giggle as they pass the Ausfahrt on the Autobahn.

What I found interesting around there, was the wide range of ways local communities choose to “decorate” their streets. For instance, in Nettetal I found weird brick mounds in the street… and trees made from scrap iron….


Not all of the artwork was in particularly convenient places. I bet this outdoor café owner was chuffed when someone decided to build this right in his main seating area!

Further up the road, Grefrath was a bit more traditional about its street-art. There was a cross between a ship’s mast and a maypole with banners on it for all the local clubs and guilds.

The Grefrathers also have a slightly more traditional sense of civic art when it comes to statues. This was on the square.

I’m not sure what it was called, but I think I’ll refer to it as: Naked children wrestling with a lump of putty



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Filed under About Germany, german art, Life in Germany

Attempting to watch the Germany team train

Oh dear oh dear.

This weekend, the German Women’s World Cup team are training a five minute walk away from us here in Meerbusch. The excitement in the town… indeed the whole region is palpable. There are Germany flags on cars, Germany flags on flagpoles, Germany shirts on kids and adults alike… scarcely a beer is downed in our local hostelries without an opinion being expressed about the future of Birgit Prinz in the team or the marital status of the Korean referee’s parents.

Today we wandered down to the training ground.

From what we could tell, every parking space in Meerbusch – possibly in the whole of the Niederrhein – was taken by fans, hoping for a glipse of the women footballers.  Even the team bus had been forced to drive into the ground and park in a zone outside the changing rooms which is normally closed to traffic. I should have rented out my driveway!

Parken verboten - except for the Germany bus, obviously

Getting near to the ground was tricky, due to the sheer number of fans who had turned up. The stand was packed to bursting…

Standing room only... no not even standing room....

It seems that around five times more people had turned up than expected, causing the local police to phone for assistance from the Kriminalpolizei, who had in turn ordered the DFB to lay on marshalls. These turned up in the form of a local security firm, whose key role seemed to be to turn away anyone else who showed up. In a very officious manner.

We managed to plead with one of the security goons, who wasn’t letting us in, to let us take one photo of the team training.

The Germany team in Büderich

“That’s two…” he snarled, as we cunningly flicked the camera shutter a second time.

A photo too far....

… and with that we were virtually frog-marched away.


Filed under About Germany, Life in Germany