Exploring Germany: Family reunion and Baltic respite for hotel executive Usha Brockmann

Ms Usha Brockmann and her husband, a German, visited his family near Dusseldorf and spent some time holidaying at the Baltic Sea. PHOTO: USHA BROCKMAN

Who: Ms Usha Brockmann, in her 40s, a communications director at a hotel

Her trip: Dusseldorf and Baltic Sea, from Sept 19 to Oct 12

Ms Brockmann is a Singaporean with deep roots in Germany, for her husband is German and they lived in the country from 1997 to 2007. Moreover, she is fluent in German as she was working during that decade.

She says: "It came as a pleasant surprise that this travel lane was established for Germany, which made the decision to travel fairly easy except for the 21-day consecutive stay requirement."

But the couple felt making the trip was worthwhile as they had not seen his family, who live close to Dusseldorf, since October 2019.

The journey has been smooth, she says, and pandemic travel is not a challenge. "Our flight and airport processes were efficient, possibly given the low numbers of travellers."

After their Singapore Airlines plane landed in Frankfurt, they drove a rental car to Dusseldorf to spend time with the family. "Having a car to ourselves throughout our stay has definitely made us feel more confident during the trip."

In their third week, they holidayed at the Baltic Sea on the northern coast of Germany. This part of the country is often overlooked, she feels, but has much appeal.

"Blessed with kilometres of scenic coastline, the idyllic charm of seafaring towns provides not only great fresh seafood, but also boating adventures and crisp sea breeze. Cities like Hamburg and Lubeck are within close proximity for a glimpse of city life for those looking to explore that too."

She also recommends the 51 Unesco World Heritage Sites dotted across the country. From cathedrals to parks, and from a Modernist housing estate in Berlin to Ice Age art in six caves in the south, these gems add rich dimensions to any German trip, she reckons.

"And they are guaranteed to leave visitors with memorable moments as well as Instagrammable photos."

Tips to explore safely

• Pandemic travel in Germany need not be a challenge. Its Covid-19 measures are reassuring, Ms Brockmann says, while travellers can avoid large crowds.

• Like in Singapore, continue to wear masks with good filtration; wash and sanitise hands frequently; and maintain social distancing.

• Take along antigen rapid test kits, which are also available at pharmacies and drugstores there, and cost as little as 0.80 euro (S$1.25) each.

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