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Features, reports and interviews from around the world

Heidelberg is not the same as Heidelberg Photo: Uwe Rau

Heidelberg is not the same as Heidelberg

(10 August 2015) Yangon, Vilnius, Bogotá, Wellington, Cairo: For a year we have been getting letters from the most fascinating corners of the world. At the end of our series of letters to our “liebe Heimat” we end up in, of all places, Heidelberg. By Uwe Rau

Heidelberg is not the same as Heidelberg Photo: Uwe Rau

Heidelberg is not the same as Heidelberg

(10 August 2015) Yangon, Vilnius, Bogotá, Wellington, Cairo: For a year we have been getting letters from the most fascinating corners of the world. At the end of our series of letters to our “liebe Heimat” we end up in, of all places, Heidelberg. By Uwe Rau

A Touch of Home

(27 July 2015) What is it that makes a place home? Friends, family, the past, the number of years lived there? Our writer Katja Kessing is not sure either. But she can feel it.

The Cathedral and Me Photo: Anna Maria Strauß

The Cathedral and Me

(3 August 2015) Look or shoot? In our age of mobile phone cameras and selfie sticks, it seems that documenting an experience is becoming more important than the experience itself for travellers. Here are some observations from the field in Riga. By Anna Maria Strauß

Canadian Venice Photo: Uwe Rau

Canadian Venice

(13 July 2015) Our summer retreat is only fifteen minutes from Toronto. When you leave the metropolis behind by ship you soon find yourself in a melange of colourful Victorian houses, ancient weeping willows, beaches, dunes and the sound of the waves. What more could you ask for? By Uwe Rau

Please come thirsty! Photo: Bettina Senff

Please come thirsty!

(6 July 2015) Coffee culture is considerably older in Germany than it is in New Zealand. But when it comes to the café culture, German operators can still learn a lot from their colleagues on the other side of the world. By Bettina Senff

Ireland, Who Knew!

(22 June 2015) Late in May I was able to witness an historic event in Ireland: the vote in favour of gay marriage. Patti Smith offered the perfect soundtrack, too. By Anne Klapperstück

Congo unplugged Photo: Gitte Zschoch

Congo unplugged

(15 June 2015) There is a lack of just about everything in Kinshasa with the exceptions of music, artists, the love of dancing and good spirits. With these and hard work, the people keep their vibrant arts scene alive. Sometimes you have to do without a drum set and just use a bottle crate instead. By Gitte Zschoch

Sport Trumps Art Photo: Garrett Ziegler

Sport Trumps Art

(8 June 2015) Since everyone is focusing again on questions of race and ethnicity in America, I begin to look more closely to see where people of different origins and skin colours casually mix in New York. The corner of Malcolm X Boulevard and 125th Street stands out. By Christoph Bartmann

Literally the Lowest Level Photo: Anna Maria Strauß

Literally the Lowest Level

(1 June 2015) Those bemoaning the disappearance of retail shops in Europe’s city centres should come to Riga. It’s blossoming here, though often underground. By Anna Maria Strauß

Driving Along the Nile Photo: Johanna M. Keller

Driving Along the Nile

(25 May 2015) You can read the newspaper, shop or have a pleasant conversation with the driver in the next car: driving in Egypt’s capital city is a laid-back affair. Take a trip through Cairo, the “mother of the traffic jam.” By Johanna M. Keller

Henry Moore’s Legacy Photo: Claude Marchand

Henry Moore’s Legacy

(11 May 2015) Henry Moore was English, but he left his private collection to the Art Gallery in Toronto in an unexpected act of gratitude. By Uwe Rau

Her Majesty’s Pleasure Photo: Stuart Yates

Her Majesty’s Pleasure

(4 May 2015) Writing crime novels is an honourable profession. But I would like to appeal to any young people considering this profession to take this to heart: you do not need to commit murder to write about it. By Bettina Senff

Sledding with Obama Photo: Sebastian Woitsch

Sledding with Obama

(27 April 2015) Nine days, 42 dogs, 30 degrees below. The plan is as simple as it is thrilling: we want to cross the enormous Lake Khövsgöl – on the ice. By Sebastian Woitsch

Summer in the City Photo: Anne Klapperstück

Summer in the City

(20 April 2015) The trees are blossoming, the sunshine beams, the people are going mad: it’s summer in Dublin. Well, almost. By Anne Klapperstück

There’s No “Place” Like Home Photo: Jacobia Dahm

There’s No “Place” Like Home

(6 April 2015) In the light of recent events, today I would like to write about street types in New York, more precisely about streets, avenues and other designations for asphalted pathways in Manhattan, but in particular about one specific “place.” By Christoph Bartmann

True Latvians Gather Mushrooms Photo: Norbert Strauß

True Latvians Gather Mushrooms

(30 March 2015) Those who live in Latvia learn quickly that being Latvian requires more than having been born inside the national borders. This is sensed not only by the so-called non-citizens from Soviet days. By Anna Maria Strauss

I spy, with my little eye... Photo: Johanna M. Keller

I spy, with my little eye...

(23 March 2015) History, noise and dust: you either love Cairo, or you hate it. If you love this city, then you do one thing particularly often: you look away. By Johanna M. Keller

Species in Danger Photo: Katja Kessing

Species in Danger

(16 March 2015) Colombia is booming. The country, which only a few years ago stood for violence and terror, is bounding from one superlative to the next. The superlatives in matters of environmental policy are, however, negatives. By Katja Kessing

The Mountain Calls Photo: Sebastian Woitsch

The Mountain Calls

(9 March 2015) Today, I am aiming high. I want to climb the Chingeltei Uul with a group of hikers. Twenty below? No sweat! By Sebastian Woitsch

...till the fat lady sings Photo: Michael Cooper

...till the fat lady sings

(2 March 2015) I have to shout it to the world: the Canadian Opera Company is splendid and evolving to become one of the prime addresses for opera. They are being helped along by two men from Germany. By Uwe Rau

The Sea of Ice

(16 February 2015) One of the many survival tactics you must learn in Siberia is to walk safely on snow and ice. By February at the latest, the snow has literally crept into the city in the form of huge towers, walls and mountain ranges. By Stefanie Peter

„This is Ireland!“

(9 February 2015) One of the best books ever written about Dublin is called In Schlucken – zwei – Spechte. Do you understand what that means? Neither do I. But it sounds sort of funny. Just like Dublin in its best moments. By Anne Klapperstück

Mellow State of Emergency

(2 February 2015) Remain calm. Go home. Stay at home. Await further instructions. Last week, New York shifted into disaster mode. I watched the major meteorological event from my heated living room. By Christoph Bartmann

New National Hero

(26 January 2015) Since last summer, Colombia has a new superstar. He’s already mentioned in the same reverential breath as pop goddess Shakira. His name is Rodríguez. James Rodríguez. Ja-mes! By Katja Kessing

With Frosty Regards

(19 January 2015) For five long months, the thermometers in the world’s coldest capital city register sub-zero temperatures. For some of my friends, it sounds horrific, but in reality it’s merely a matter of habit – and a good down coat. By Sebastian Woitsch

Old New World

(12 January 2015) Old is relative. New even more so. Upon my return from a brief holiday in good old England, Toronto seems especially new. No other big city has seen as much construction in recent years. By Uwe Rau

Red Christmas

(8 January 2015) Christmas and snow simply belong together for us Germans. It’s not the same in the southern hemisphere. I remember my first holiday in New Zealand: A white Christmas – what a disappointment! By Bettina Senff

Brandenburger Tor Copyright: pa-picture alliance | A. Ehrlicher, B. Rehmann

The Past Meets the Present

(28 September 2015) The decades-long division of Germany came to an end 25 years ago. Since then the country has changed, Berlin in particular. Has what belongs together truly grown together? In a photography project, the Goethe-Institut remembers a bit of German history. By Ula Brunner

Bronze for New Zealand Photo: Bettina Senff

Bronze for New Zealand

(23 February 2015) On a meadow in the middle of the Botanical Garden in Wellington stands New Zealand’s only Henry Moore sculpture – in my opinion, the city’s most beautiful work of art. By Bettina Senff