December 8, 2022

Introduction by Chris Elliott…

Here in Northern Cyprus there are a number of NGOs like RBL, ATA, BRS and TFR who offer help and advice to their members as well arranging various types of social gatherings and we received news from Ralph Kratzer of TFR about their recent members’ trip to Germany which we are sharing here.

“Dear members of TFR!

Our regular followers on our Facebook-group “TFR – The Foreign Residents in the TRNC” will already have seen the pictures and notes regarding our recent trip to Germany… here comes a short summary from my Facebook posts…

22nd August 2022

TFR members have arrived in Germany, tired after a 3:30 a.m. flight from Ercan to Frankfurt via Istanbul… but still in good mood… here in Steinau an der Straße after visiting the Brothers Grimm museum…

23rd August 2022

Day two for the TFR group in Germany... after a good night´s rest we learned some interesting things today… starting with the border museum in Phillipsthal (former post WW 2 border between West and East Germany which lasted until 1989) with all the cruelties and inhumanity of it, we went on to the Wartburg, one of the most important German history sites and the place where Martin Luther translated the bible into German language and laid the foundation for Protestantism until we got to the Eisenach car museum (at least the men went there, the women went shopping instead)… a very interesting day, even for me as a German…

24th August 2022

TFR Germany trip, day 3… yesterday, after our tour bus had broken down the day before and couldn´t be repaired in time, we had to re-arrange the day a bit… so, after the opportunity of shopping in the PUMA Sportswear factory outlet in Kirchheim, we all took public transportation to Bad Hersfeld, where we could walk around in the wonderful scenery… early evening we had dinner in a typical Hessian inn, the “Klosterschänke Johannesberg” with tasty food, good beer and fruit wine, which I haven´t had for a long long time… the highlight of the day certainly was the musical “GOETHE!” in the Stiftsruine (Abbey ruins) Bad Hersfeld – said to be the biggest church ruin in whole Germany…

25th August 2022

Day 4 of the TFR Germany trip… after our regular trip bus still not could be mended we got another coach and went to the historical town of Alsfeld… got a really talented and funny tour guide… after that we went to one of the oldest “Schnaps” distilleries of Germany in Schlitz… having finished the organised tour through the facilities we were invited to the “taste room” having samples without limits… can you imagine the result? Tonight there will be an authentic Hessian folklore night in the hotel… wonder how many people will turn up?

26th August 2022

TFR trip to Germany… day 4 evening and day 5… as I posted yesterday, I was wondering how many members of our group would turn up for the Hessian folklore evening after our tasting in the “Schnaps” distillery… all of them did!… it was a nice event, both for us “Cypriots” and for the dancers who maybe plan for the future to visit us in TRNC…

Today we headed for the airport where our paths parted… most of the group went back to Cyprus, others went to UK and Sarah and I go down to Bavaria to visit my family for the first time after 6 years… (the pictures above show the folklore dancers and us at the “Andechs Monastery Brewery” in Bavaria)

In conclusion here comes a very nice Facebook post by our member and participant in the trip from Joan Smith…


“A great big thank you to Horst Gutowski, of TFR, for arranging the trip to Germany last week. It was an area we’ve not visited before, but it was beautiful, full of old half-timbered houses, rolling hills and farmland. Very picturesque.

He also arranged a variety of visits and events, from border museums, to wonderful castles, like Wartburg, to schnapps distilleries, like Schlitz. The local dancers who performed just for us on the last night were just wonderful, and very funny too.

We had a great time, even bringing back some of our favourite German treats, bratwurst and curry ketchup. Thanks too to Ralph for his translations, and to the rest of the group who were such good company.”



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