New to Ramstein and Germany

For Americans living in Germany there are many unique travel and culture opportunities which come with living overseas. Studying European History and more specifically, the Celts, Romans, Middle Ages and World Wars while living in Germany is worth consideration. History is everywhere and kids will naturally make connections with what they see. Travel guides such as Frommers, Rick Steves and Foders are excellent places to start when researching vacations and day trips.

Castles Galore
The Rhine and Mosel Rivers are a one to two hour drive from the Ramstein area. Castles dating to the medieval period line both sides of the rivers. Most are open and offer tours.



Rhine River Castles


Numerous towns located in the same area as the castles are known for their wine. They are wonderful places to stroll and eat. In many locations, visitors can hike through the vineyards to a castle and be rewarded with an excellent view.

Rhine River Wine Towns

Christmas Markets

Beginning the weekend of Thanks Giving and running until the New Year, each town and village hosts a Christmas Market. Visitors can eat sausages, drink gluhwein, stuff themselves with sweet treats and sometimes burn it off with a few laps on an ice rink, or by walking around and purchasing gifts and decorations.

Pictured below is the market at Homburg located about 30 minutes west of Ramstein. The Heidelberg Market also has an ice rink.



Fasching

Fasching is the name for Carnival in Germany. Each year, the Tuesday before Lent on the Catholic calendar (usually in February or March) there is a huge parade through the village of Ramstein. Fat Tuesday, or Faschings Dienstag as it's referred to in Germany is the last day of fasching. The season beginns on November 11, at 11:11 am.

In the parade it's common to see girls dressed in costumes similar to the ones pictured below. The girls in red, white and green are competitive dancers that perform to march music. Their signature move is jumping into the splits.

In addition to traditional dancing costumes, there are a sort of anything goes costumes. The reason is kids and adults perform what's known as a show dance. Show dances tell stories or are centered on themes and are performed to a medley of popular music.
 

Costumes with hats similar to these designate leaders of fasching organizations. Some are presidents, others financial officers, and others handle lights and music at the shows.

The parade is a time of celebration. Spectators often wear costumes and there tends to be lots of alcohol, cheering and smiling.

Storks

Each spring the storks return to the local area. Maybe they bring babies, but they are fun to watch and love the golf course in Mackenbach (especially in the morning). Nests can also be found in the area. If you drive through the village of Nandietzweiler, be sure to look atop the light pole near the train tracks. Luisenpark in Mannheim is another prime location for stork viewing.

Storks in the Spring

Highhill Education is the personal blog of local homeschooling family and member of UHSG who has spent over five years in the local area. For more information on the local area see Highhill Education's Day Trips from Ramstein and if you're interested in studying European History while living in Germany the History page is a good place to start.