Düsseldorf and Köln are the Rhineland’s rival cities. Neither town has a good word to say about the other. At Karneval time the Kölner greet each other with the words “Alaaf!” while the Düsseldorfer shout “Helau!” During the rest of the year, the Kölner listen to the rock band “BAP” while the Düsseldorfer bop to “Die Tote Hosen”. And of course the Kölner drink Kölsch (literally “from Köln”) while the Düsseldorfer quaff Alt (literally “Old”).
So the new advertising campaign from the Kölsch brewery “Früh” (literally “early”) is bound to cause some raised hackles to the north.
The ad shows an empty Kölsch glass, and the words “Bevor es Alt wird” – literally “Before it becomes Alt” (a nice play on words – the capital A indicates that it is referring to the Düsseldorf beer, rather than meaning “before it gets old” – which would be “Bevor es alt wird”).
Düsseldorf is, however, striking back. Their riposte has been a picture of a Früh Kölsch with the phrase: Früh übt sich, was ein Alt werden will. Literally “Früh must practise to become an Alt” but also a play on an old saying: “Früh übt sich, wer ein Meister werden will” – He who would become a master must start practising early.
This ad is the result of a grassroots initiative to promote Düsseldorf Alt and protect it from the attacks of the Kölsch breweries. There is currently a competition running on their site where people can vote for the best anti-Kölsch ads.
There is bad news for Düsseldorf though – apparently sales of Kölsch are actually rising in the northern city. Unthinkable! Quick everyone… down to the pub!
Roll up ladies and gentlemen… for one day only a preview of Summer in Germany! 22°C and brilliant sunshine! Tomorrow will be back to chilly and rainy, so enjoy it now!
On a lovely day like today, the best place to be is down by the river. In Meerbusch we’re lucky – we are right next to the Rhine. Later on the banks will be packed with people having picnics and barbecues… but first thing in the morning it’s deserted, apart from the odd dog walker.
Here are some views from the fashionable side of the Rhine…
Still a little hazy first thing as the sun comes up
Looking downstream towards the new bridge
The barges are out early
Sheep grazing with the new bridge in the background
One of the many tributories which flow into the Rhine
January has seen one of Germany’s most notorious serial killers back in action after a relatively long gap in activity. On January 13th a tanker carrying sulphuric acid overturned on the Rhine with the loss of two crew members.
The incident happened at the infamous Loreley rocks… a previous scene of similar events in history. As the alleged legend has it, a sinister Rhine maiden sits on the rocks and lures sailors to their doom with her magical singing.
19th century police photofit of the killer
I’m not sure what kind of profile the police are working with to catch this killer, but as an amateur sleuth, I can provide the following information.
Age: Around 210 years old, but definitely looks younger than that.
Distinguishing features: Exceptional singing voice
Current alias: Laura Ley
Clothing: None, not even in January
Last seen: On the harbour wall, looking a little grey…
Police are looking for a 210 year-old female streaker with long hair
If you see this woman at a river near you, turn up your iPod and sail on by. Do not, repeat do not approach this suspect. She is a dangerous psychotic killer.