Each year, the celebrations to commemorate the Reunification of Germany move to a different federal state, and this year the honour was Munich's. Twenty-three years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and twenty-two after the formal merging of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and Democratic Republic of Germany (West Germany), the country has gotten in the habit of putting aside its differences and celebrating one of the most important political events of the twentieth century.
Because this year, Horst Seehofer is the president of the Bundesrat, which is one of the houses of the German parliament, the capital of his federal state, Bavaria, is the host of the party. The event moves to Stuttgart in 2013, and as nice a town as they have, it is hard to believe Munich's show could be outdone. There were tents and culinary specialties from each of the sixteen Bundesländer (federal states), and the Bavarians really outdid themselves with multiple tents for the local administration, as well as one stand for wine from the Franken region in northern Bavaria, and beer from all over the region. There was even a huge bottle of beer brewed in Upper Frankonia's Kulmbach, which some consider the best in all of Germany.
The city that hosts the world's largest Volksfest over on the Wies'n could have made excuses that Reunification Day (Tag den Deutschen Einheit) was a distraction from Munich's most famous attraction, but instead the planners were able to manage a once in a lifetime event in the midst of the also hosting the Oktoberfest. Not a small feat if you think about it.
While walking from tent to tent along Ludwig Straße tasting delicious dishes from each corner of Germany, we at The Munich Eye realised there is a lot of this country we do not yet know about. Sure, many of us have made the trek to the Black Forest or gone to see the old city of Heidelberg, but how many of you have been to the Harz? Have you looked out at the Baltic Sea while standing on the beach in Rügen? The national park down in Berchtesgaden is one of the most beautiful places on the planet and is only a few hours away. Passau is a city the Bavarians know, but is regularly overlooked by most tourists and longtime resident alike.
The staff at The Munich Eye has decided to introduce the sixteen different federal states in a feature that is going to run over the next few weeks. Some of our readers have lived in Germany for many years, and know specific regions of the country quite well. Others have recently arrived and have no idea the difference between Saxony and Lower Saxony.
Whether you have lived here your whole life or this is a stop on your journey, we hope we can find something you have never seen before. Although that is a daunting task, we believe this place has a wealth of adventure that can sometimes be too easily overlooked. Come along with us as we introduce you to the country you call home.