Host Nation Update, Dec. 7, 2023
Deutsche Bahn workers strike Thursday – Friday: S-Bahn and regional trains affected
The German Train Drivers’ Union (GDL) has announced a nationwide strike at Deutsche Bahn from Thursday, December 7, 2023 (10 p.m.) to Friday, December 8, 2023 (10 p.m.). There may also be restrictions on Thursday from 6 pm and on Friday after 10 pm. This will affect regional and S-Bahn services as well as Deutsche Bahn’s long-distance services.
* U-Bahn, regional trains operated by other companies, as well as buses are not expected to be affected by the strike and will run as usual. *
Which means of transport are affected by the strike?
- S-Bahn trains (S1, S2, S3, S4, S5, S6/S60, S62)
The S-Bahn Stuttgart is working at full speed to be able to offer its passengers any train services at all. The aim is to run the S1 line with the highest demand between Herrenberg and Kirchheim/Teck every hour on Friday, if possible.
- The S-Bahn is already thinning out connections on Thursday evenings from 7 pm. In this way, the S-Bahn prevents journeys from ending en route and passengers no longer reaching their destination. In addition, this is the only way to ensure that there are enough vehicles available at the line end points to be able to run the regular timetable again on Saturday.
- Passengers should not plan any more S-Bahn journeys for Thursday evenings from 9 p.m., nor on Friday after 10 p.m. on the S2 to S6/S60 lines.
- Regional trains and branch lines of Deutsche Bahn.These include the following lines:
RE5 (Friedrichshafen – Stuttgart)
IRE6 (Aulendorf – Tübingen – Stuttgart)
RE14 (Rottweil/Freudenstadt – Stuttgart)
MEX19/90 (Schwäbisch Hall-Hessental – Stuttgart)
IRE200 (Ulm – Wendlingen)
RB64 (Oberlenningen – Kirchheim (T))
RB 11 (Kornwestheim – Stuttgart-Untertürkheim)
RB63 (Herrenberg – Tübingen – Bad Urach)
Long-distance services operated by Deutsche Bahn. This also affects the long-distance line on the Gäubahn (Stuttgart – Singen – Constance).
You can find your connection in the timetable information on vvs.de or in the “VVS Mobil” app. Alternative connections are displayed there. The VVS asks all passengers to inform themselves before starting their journey.
Risk of freezing rain Friday
Anyone getting into their car in parts of Baden-Württemberg on Friday morning should be extremely careful. Incoming rain can freeze on the cold ground and cause black ice on the roads. Drivers must beware of dangerous icy conditions on Baden-Württemberg’s roads on Friday morning. The German Weather Service (DWD) is expecting a level 2 out of 4 risk of black ice, a spokesperson said on Thursday. The reason for this is rain arriving from the Saarland in the morning hours. “The black ice occurs when the rain falls on frozen ground,” explained the spokesperson. This causes the rainwater to freeze on the ground. The entire western half of the country was affected. It is assumed that the areas in northern Baden will be most affected by black ice. However, it is not possible to predict exactly where the black ice will form. “It’s a question of how far the ground has cooled down,” the spokesperson continued. “You should be careful in rush hour traffic tomorrow morning.” The bad weather would move across the whole of Baden-Württemberg to the Bavarian border during the course of the day. The danger of black ice for the eastern part of the state is no longer likely due to rising temperatures. Saturday will be milder with four to eleven degrees.
Otherwise, the weather will initially remain frosty at the weekend, with temperatures rising in the coming days. Meteorologists are also expecting icy conditions and even snowfall in some areas on Thursday with temperatures of minus three to plus five degrees. On Friday, the thermometer is expected to climb from zero degrees on the Danube to seven degrees in Breisgau. On Saturday, it will be milder with four to eleven degrees. In the afternoon, rain clouds will gather in some places. In the Black Forest, squalls may occur towards the evening. Gale-force winds are likely on the Feldberg during the night. Sunday will start just as mildly with daily maximums between 7 degrees in the mountains and 12 degrees near Freiburg. Here, too, there may be strong to gale-force gusts at higher altitudes. (DPA/7 Dec. 2023)
“More Than a Streak” – VfB Stuttgart Dominates BVB in the Style of a Top Team.
In the DFB-Pokal Round of 16, VfB Stuttgart dominated Borussia Dortmund in the manner of a top team and deservedly won 2-0. Coach Sebastian Hoeneß admits that his team has “more than a streak.”
It was the 88th minute in the DFB-Pokal match between VfB Stuttgart and Borussia Dortmund. The Swabians passed the ball around, and the fans loudly celebrated every single pass. BVB was only chasing behind and must have felt humiliated. The scene was symbolic of the entire game, which ultimately ended with a well-deserved 2-0 victory for the hosts. In this Round of 16, VfB performed like a top team, while Dortmund played the role of a brave but tactically limited underdog. Serhou Guirassy (54th minute) and substitute Silas (77th) converted their dominance into goals; a more decisive result could have been achieved. Sebastian Hoeneß: “It is certainly more than a streak.”
VfB coach Sebastian Hoeneß, in a post-match interview with SWR, didn’t want to acknowledge that his team is a top team but admitted, “It is certainly more than a streak. Enough games have been played, and I believe we have a solid foundation to build on.” The statistics favor VfB Stuttgart.
Against Dortmund, his team played purposefully, quickly in thought, and confidently. The match data supports this: 17 shots on goal for VfB Stuttgart, 54% ball possession, an 85% pass accuracy compared to BVB’s 80%, and 71% successful dribbles—Dortmund managed only 46% in this category.
Hoeneß was accordingly highly satisfied but criticized the finishing. “It was similar to the Bremen match (2-0 last weekend, note of the editor); there, too, we left a lot on the table. And that is, of course, dangerous. As long as the game is open, Dortmund is always capable of creating things,” he said. “But the way we played was top-notch.”
However, this was complaining at a high level because, much like the Bundesliga game four weeks ago, VfB was dominant while BVB mostly arrived too late. A live ticker entry during the second half appropriately stated, “What Stuttgart is doing to Dortmund here is the biggest show of power since Stuttgart against Dortmund a month ago.”
Maximilian Mittelstädt: “We need to work on our finishing.” Maximilian Mittelstädt, who again delivered a strong performance, also praised his team’s effort. “We threw everything in, created many chances, and won deservedly,” said the winger, but also pointed out, “We need to work on our finishing.” The 26-year-old was also reserved when asked if VfB is now a top team. But he, too, had to admit, “I think we are currently just very, very good. The way we are playing football right now, you can say that we dominate many opponents.”
First Bayer, then Bayern. The next two games in the Bundesliga, Mittelstädt continued, would determine how good Stuttgart really is. VfB will face Bayer Leverkusen (Sunday, 3:30 PM), followed by a match against FC Bayern (December 17, 7:30 PM). “Then we will see where we stand,” said the left-winger about these challenges.
Coach Hoeneß, however, wants to focus only on Leverkusen for now. It’s certain that his team will enter the top match with confidence. “With such a result behind you, you approach such a game differently,” said Hoeneß. “Leverkusen has not lost this season. We have the huge goal of being the first team to beat Bayer.” By then, the question of whether VfB Stuttgart is a top team would be definitively answered. (SWR Sport Johan Schicklinski, 7 December 2023)
Four Things You Should Know About Mulled Wine.
The Kern Winery from Kernen in Remstal supplies mulled wine to Christmas markets in Stuttgart and the surrounding region. We asked the boss to explain what makes a good mulled wine – and how to avoid a headache. Advent season is mulled wine time: When the weather turns cold and the holidays approach, many people enjoy a cup of the warm, spicy specialty. Even the ancient Romans appreciated their Conditum Paradoxum. However, the mulled wine we know today, served at Christmas markets, primarily dates back to the 19th century and has since become an integral part of the pre-Christmas season. We visited the Kern Winery in Kernen to see how they produce mulled wine there – and learned four things about mulled wine that everyone should know. Every year, the Kern Winery produces around 1.5 million liters of wine, in addition to approximately 400,000 liters of mulled wine. This festively spiced hot beverage thus constitutes a considerable part of their revenue. Kern not only supplies many vendors at Christmas markets in Stuttgart, Esslingen, Waiblingen, and Ludwigsburg but also caters to events throughout Germany, such as the “Christmas Gardens.” It’s clear that they think on a large scale: “Nobody here is standing with a ladle and a spice bag,” says Managing Director Christoph Kern, laughing. Mulled wine begins its beverage life as a regular wine. The Kern Winery owns almost 180 hectares of its own vineyards in Remstal and Stuttgart. This wine is initially produced like a regular wine; what truly makes it a Christmas delight are the spices. Kern uses mazerates for this – a kind of alcoholic infusion of typical mulled wine spices like cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom. Kern emphasizes that these are natural components. “It is also the best choice when we want to produce a product with a consistent taste and quality.” Why can mulled wine cause a headache? Equally well-known but much less beloved than mulled wine itself is the headache it can cause the next day. Christoph Kern explains: “The dose makes the poison. People often underestimate how much sugar and alcohol mulled wine contains.” Sometimes, mulled wine can be made based on cheap base wines – relying on the belief that the lower quality can be masked by sugar and spices. However, such a cheap wine may contain so-called fuel oils, which can cause a particularly severe hangover. Additionally, warm alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream faster than cold. Another common issue is too little water. “Especially when you’re out in the cold at the Christmas market, many people forget to drink enough water. My advice would be to drink plenty of water, especially after coming home, to avoid a headache,” says Kern. Otherwise, there are still alternatives: Non-alcoholic mulled wine or good old hot chocolate also taste great.
What makes good mulled wine? The quality of mulled wine naturally depends on the quality of its base wine. It’s worth reconsidering before opting for seemingly cheaper versions – the keyword here is fuel oils. It’s better to dig a little deeper into your pocket and treat yourself to a wine with a solid foundation. “For mulled wine, we produce a special base wine that has a slightly lower alcohol content,” explains Christoph Kern. The goal is around ten percent volume in the finished drink. The base wine for Kern’s mulled wine consists of the grape varieties Portugieser, Dornfelder, Schwarzriesling for red, and Kerner, Rivaner, and Silvaner for white mulled wine. According to Christoph Kern, dry grape varieties are better suited than sweet or semi-sweet ones – the sweetness comes from the added sugar and spices.
Can you make mulled wine yourself? Spice sets are also available in stores, allowing anyone to make mulled wine at home. “The most important thing here is, of course, the wine itself,” says Kern. “The higher quality the wine, the better the mulled wine will be.” Ideally, a regional, drier wine with an alcohol content between eleven and twelve percent is particularly suitable. “Regarding sugar content, I would recommend staying between 60 and 80 grams per liter of wine,” says Kern. For him, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom are essential in mulled wine. “If you want to add oranges, be cautious with the peels. They can release many bitter substances – it’s best to remove them a bit earlier or take them out beforehand.” The temperature during preparation is also important: “Alcohol evaporates at 67 degrees, so you shouldn’t heat the wine too much.” ( Stuttgarter Nachrichten StN Phllip Weingand 07 December 2023)
Santa Claus is coming to the zoo.
Santa Claus will visit the zoological and botanical garden on Sunday, December 10, and distribute gifts to the children. It has become a beautiful tradition that he comes to Wilhelma on the second Sunday of Advent. In his magnificent bishop’s attire, Saint Nicholas of Myra will hand out mandarins to children and also be available for photos. From 10:30 am to 12 pm and from 1 pm to 2:30 pm, Santa Claus will be wandering through the park between the main entrance and the Moorish Villa. The bishop once distributed golden apples Here, Santa Claus represents a historical figure, namely the holy bishop Nicholas of Myra. He lived in the fourth century in the area of present-day Turkey. Tradition portrays him as a generous man who distributed his inherited wealth among the needy. Today’s Santa Claus customs, including legends that he gave away golden apples, are based on these stories. As a busy gift-bringer, whose death is commemorated on December 6 in many countries, Santa Claus cannot be everywhere at once. That’s why he comes to Wilhelma on December 10. This way, everyone who doesn’t have time during the week has the opportunity to meet Santa Claus in the zoological and botanical garden. (StN Iris Frey 7 December)