Open post

Germany – large scale transport strikes

Anyone who is planning on travelling to or from Germany in the next few days may wish to reconsider their plans.

Several transport unions have announced plans to paralyse the country’s transport networks this coming Monday, March 27.


No flights will operate from Munich Airport for two days, Sunday 26/03 and Monday 27/03. Disruption is likely to continue into Tuesday.

Frankfurt Airport will be closed to all regular flights on Monday and it is reasonable to expect sone cancellations starting on Sunday evening.

Stuttgart and Bremen airports have also announced they will be closing all day Monday, with Düsseldorf Airport warning of severe disruption “in the unlikely event” that your flight is actually running.


Deutsche Bahn has announced that there will be no long distance trains running on Monday throughout Germany.

Disruption is expected to begin on Sunday evening and run into Tuesday as trains and crew will be out of position.


Deutsche Bahn is expected to run very few regional trains on Monday and travellers can count themselves very lucky if any services are operating on their intended route.


Unions in seven of Germany’s 16 federal states are involved in strike action, affecting services in Bavaria, Baden Württemberg, Saxony, Lower Saxony, Nordrhein-Westphalia, Rheinland-Palatine and Hesse.


This is the largest scale transport strike action in Germany for some decades and will cause extreme disruption to transport networks.

Travellers should expect to be unable to reach their destinations using flights or trains.

Flixbus services may be an alternative, but are likely to be very heavily in demand. I tried several searches for connections between several major German cities and found that many are already showing “almost full”.

My recommendation is that if you absolutely must travel in Germany on Monday, a rental car is going to be the most reliable option.

In all honesty, however, if you are in a position to postpone or cancel your visit, or to choose an alternative destination, my advise is to do so.

If you have any questions or further information on the upcoming strike action in Germany, please visit the Germany forum.

Open post

Bavaria drops masks on public transport

As of yesterday, the German state of Bavaria has finally dropped the mask mandate on local public transport, after two and a half years.

Along with Spain, Germany has been the most mask manic country in the western world and has continued to enforce the slavish dogma with an iron fist while every one of its neighbours has tacitly admitted the futility and failure of the measure.

Bavaria now joins Saxony-Anhalt in once again allowing freeface travel on buses and local trains.

It must be noted, however, that long distance trains fall under the remit of the federal government, which is still stubbornly dragging its heels and insisting on FFP2 beaks being religiously worn.

Fortunately for libertarian travellers, there is a very simple workaround to this.

All buses, trams and city U-Bahn and S-Bahn services are now freeface.

Trains are split into regional services (coded RB or RE), on which gag rags are no longer required.

Forced muzzling still applies on InterCity, EuroCity and InterCity Express services (coded IC, EC, and ICE).

Just like travelling on a cheap LänderTicket, avoid anything with a “C” in the train number.

With all this in mind, a simple city break in Munich and a trip to the Christmas markets should once again be back on the menu for non-adherents of the mask cult.

It is good to see this positive move in Bavaria. Germany is a country I have been very fond of for many years and I have been dismayed to witness first hand some of the disgraceful behaviour that has taken place there in the last few years.

Hopefully this belated outbreak of sanity will quickly spread to other states and sufficient pressure can be put on the federal regime to finally put an end to the misery.

Open post

Trip review – Lake Constance

Lake Constance, nestled between Germany, Austria and Switzerland, encapsulates the contrast between the rugged landscape of the Alps and the gentle serenity of the lake waters. It is truly area of stunning natural beauty and I consider myself privileged to have lived there for nine years.

However, over the last two years, the region has been subject to some of the most brutal covid restrictions in Europe, leading me to spend much of that time away from home. Those restrictions ended in Switzerland several weeks ago and on June 1, Austria finally let go of one of the last hangovers of the covid panic, the mask mandate for public transport and everyday shopping.

I decided to fly down from my temporary base in Stockholm to see how fully this new found freedom was being embraced. I was pleasantly surprised.

My trip started with a flight to Zürich on Swiss, which no longer forces passengers to wear a mask. The airport in Zürich was also mask free, as was the 80-minute train journey to my home in Bregenz, Austria.

During my visit, I checked out the situation in all three countries bordering the lake, beginning with a walk along the Austrian shoreline, from Bregenz to Lochau.

This section is one of the more picturesque walks in the region and hugs the shoreline for several kilometres.

Lake Constance at Bregenz

The rigours of the last two years seemed a lifetime away.

My next stop was the Swiss lakeside town of Rorschach, an easy 35 minute train journey away. The journey was entirely mask free and there were no formalities required to enter Switzerland.

Rorschach was exactly as I remembered it from the pre-covid days.

I then headed off to visit my former workplace in Lindau, Germany. This is a relaxing one-hour cruise on one of the famous Lake Constance ships, which ply many routes around the lake to ports in all three countries.

Lindau was as charming as ever, with the rigours of the last two years seemingly forgotten.

Technically, the Bavarian mask mandate still applies to the first five minutes or so of the train journey back to Austria, but I observed only around 50% compliance and zero enforcement by the Austrian train crew.

On my last day of the trip, with one of the infamous Lake Constance thunderstorms rolling in, I headed off on the excellent new Swiss InterCity train to spend the day in Zürich before my flight back to Stockholm.

Overall, this was a successful and enjoyable trip. Switzerland has been restriction free for several weeks now and has returned entirely to pre-covid normality. Austria has now returned to every day normality and Germany seems not to be far behind.

However, it remains to be seen how long the new found freedom in this region will last.

Switzerland has generally been the least restricted of the three countries throughout the pandemic, and I am now reasonably confident that they, at least, have finally emerged from the panic and will not slip back into the restrictions.

Austria and Germany, however, have been somewhat stricter throughout and witnessing first hand how fully the restrictions were accepted and even embraced on a societal level was unsettling, to say the least. With that said, there seems, at least currently, little appetite in the general populations for a return to those restrictions. I remain optimistic, at least for the summer months.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend a visit to this stunning region, to which no written account can do full justice. Unfortunately, I did not have time on this short trip to enjoy the many other delightful areas of the lakeside, such as the pretty sailing town of Langenargen, the castle and wine region around Meersburg and the eponymous historical town of Konstanz. Hopefully I can cover those areas later in the summer.

Scroll to top