Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Lazy Sunday - German Style

One of the things that I miss the most about America and that I will never get used to in Germany is that everything - I mean, everything - is closed on Sundays.  This really limits what we, and everyone else in the country, can do on Sundays.  Because nothing is open (other than some bakeries, ice cream shops and a few restaurants), people are pretty much forced to stay home and spend the day with their family.  

The law here actually enforces that retail establishments be closed on Sundays based on a clause in the German constitution that Sunday should be a day of rest and "spiritual elevation." As recently as 2009 this has been contested and, if you're interested, here is a link to an article about it: 

I find it really hard to not have the option of going to the grocery store on Sundays.  Every day of the week I make a quick trip to the store to buy what I need for that night's dinner, and this daily shopping habit has made me nearly incapable of planning both Saturday and Sunday's meal on the same day.  I often budget into our weekly shopping expenses 8 Euro's for Buddy's Snackhouse on Sunday nights because I know I'll forget to buy food for Sunday dinner.   

So, what do we do on Sundays?  One of three things:
  1. Literally, nothing.  We stay in our pajamas as late as possible (sometimes all day), fight over who has to get dressed to take Oscar out and play Angry Birds on the computer while Dylan incessantly requests that we read One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish to him over and over again.
  2. Take Dylan and Oscar to the park.  Normally a trip to the park is in our daily itinerary, like going to the grocery store, but on Sundays the park is so completely overloaded with people (because there is nothing else to do) that I prefer to stay away from it.  
  3. Walk around town and window shop and/or get ice cream. 
This past Sunday, however, we had access to the van so we decided to go into Dusseldorf and walk along the Rhein River. Bryan had been to Dusseldorf on his own while Dylan and I were in America (see Bryan's re-cap here) and had really enjoyed it, so we thought at the very least we'll find a park and some ice cream and get to see a new place.  

Dusseldorf was delightful on a Sunday afternoon.  Not only were bakeries open, but there were multiple Starbucks and nearly every restaurant that we saw was open and full of people.  It seemed like everyone in the entire city was out and about, enjoying a leisurely stroll by the river or through Dusseldorf's impressive shopping and dining area. It was a nice change from our usual Sunday routine around Borken.

River walk in Dusseldorf - so many people it's easy to forget it was a Sunday!

Also, so many long sleeves and jackets it's easy to forget it was late July!

Bryan with a sleepy Dylan at the end of the boardwalk.

The people give the illusion that stores are open. 

Another great walking area in Dusseldorf on a Sunday

Even the street performers were out.  No "day of rest" for them.

1 comment:

Mom said...

If there are that many people walking the streets on a day when nothing is open, one can only imagine what a normal day of open shops would look like.