Oktoberfest 2018 in Munich: Expect heightened security

  GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — The 2018 Oktoberfest in Munich runs Sept. 22 through Oct. 7 and fest-goers can expect to see stringent security measures again, according to the official website.   The heightened security plans include a secured perimeter, a significant police presence with up to 450 security wardens on…

Brazil in the middle of Germany

For 51 weekends of the year, visitors to the small Franconian city of Coburg find what they might expect: a charming market square, an 800-year-old fortress, and a gigantic historic palace, all surrounded by deep green forest.   But that 52nd weekend, visitors find something very different: the color and…

Pilgrim’s progress: Finding Vonnegut in Dresden

DRESDEN, Germany — If you’ve never read Kurt Vonnegut’s book “Slaughterhouse Five” let me sum it up for you in three words — “So it goes.”   The story loosely reconstructs Vonnegut’s time as a World War II prisoner of war — with an emphasis on the word “loosely.”  …

Put down the video games: How one school is turning kids back to nature

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Let’s face it. Kids today don’t get out much. According to research published in the journal Nature, 88 percent of kids spend time online every day and 69 percent play video games or watch television every day.   What’s more, kids ages 10-16 spend only 12.6 minutes…