Recently I was editing some images from our last trip to Berlin, and started thinking about why I love Germany, and what they do well. So many good things come to mind, not even including the really obvious items, like a strong economy and social safety net, tons of windmills and solar power, and the fact that the European country has now abandoned nuclear power.
Since it is not possible to include everything that is wonderful about Germany, here is a list of just six random things that I love about Deutschland (plus one additional item that is not so great):
#1 Die Ampelmännchen — The beloved crosswalk figures from the eastern part of the country are fantastic. They are one of the few remnants of the former communist German Democratic Republic that survived reunification. The first time that I ever saw the stout silhouette warning pedestrians to not cross the Straße, I immediately fell in love with the stylish hat and defiant pose of the luminescent Ampelmännchen.
#2 Bicycles — Bikes are everywhere in Germany, as are thousands of kilometers of well designed bicycle lanes and separated pathways, shared public bikes, train cars designated for easy bicycle transport, and lots of bike-related infrastructure. Much of the national mail is even delivered by pedal power.
#3 Coffee — Germany does a very good job making all manner of strong delicious coffee with lots of fluffy frothy foam. A large steaming bowl of Milchkaffee is what I always love most. They also tend to be quite adept with most baked goods, sweet pastries and enormous ice cream sundaes.