On the Saturday before Easter, it’s German tradition to light a huge bonfire – the so-called Osterfeuer, or Easter Fire.
Saunas are a popular winter pasttime in northern Europe. The steam and heat are the perfect antidote to the darkness and the cold, which sap your energy and leave you tense and shivering all the time. Though many of my friends spoke fondly of their sauna experiences, I had somehow never been invited to one, and I was too nervous to go on my own. But when a dear friend from the U.S., Kel, came to visit me in Hamburg in November, it was the perfect opportunity to try.
Despite the fact that I’ve been writing marketing texts on cruise ships for the past eight months, I’d never actually been on a cruise ship. So when the opportunity arose to tour the MSC Magnifica while she was anchored in Hamburg, I took it.
Every evening in summer around dusk, an incredible performance takes place here: the Wasserlichtspiel, or water light show.
On an uneventful, drizzly Friday afternoon, a young man wielding a kitchen knife walked into a Hamburg supermarket and started stabbing people.
He killed one person and, as he fled, injured six others. Bystanders apprehended him in the street and held him until police arrived and made the arrest.
According to an eyewitness, before he struck, he shouted “Allahu Akbar” – the Muslim call to prayer, meaning “God is great” in Arabic. Although police have yet to confirm if the attack was motivated by radical Islam, in the court of public opinion, it was an act of Islamist terror. Continue reading “Barmbek knife attack: when a terrorist attack happens in your neighborhood”