Souvenir: The fridge magnet as a souvenir of your vacation

Kfridge magnets bought as souvenirs now have the time of their life. Many people are currently sneaking around their fridges like big cats, dividing their time into tolerable intervals with the help of small and large meals.

Instead of planning new trips, they reminisce. A wistful look regularly falls on the magnetic souvenirs on the refrigerator doors, on which the shopping list for the next few days may still hang or a photo from carefree times.

It feels like these magnets can be found in almost every household. In mine too. My personal favorite comes from Thailand, from the small island of Koh Lipe.

The “most famous secret island in Thailand”

The Thai island world has had a permanent place in long-distance tourism for decades. But since tourists are not afraid of anything like them, they like to look for the undiscovered alternatives. Koh Lipe has long been considered the “best-known secret island in Thailand”.

However, these times are long gone. There is still no real street, but there are hotels in all price ranges, in the first row on the beach the family resorts and luxury huts, further back the backpacker dwellings and on the private beaches the boutique hotels.

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Koh Lipe is located on the border to the Tarutao Sea Water National Park, from here you can quickly visit the really uninhabited island paradises. Originally, Malay sea nomads, the Urak Lawoi, settled on Koh Lipe, who stopped here as semi-nomads during the monsoon season.

Before the big tourist boom, there were around 100 families. As the little land on the island is becoming more and more expensive, they are inevitably being pushed out.

A “magnetic memory” of Koh Lipe

Traditional objects that could be offered to tourists as souvenirs are difficult to find on Koh Lipe. That is why it is best to use everyday souvenirs such as fridge magnets.

A classic souvenir, the memory value of which far exceeds its object value. A Russian collector of fridge magnets invented the term “memomagnetist”, freely translated as “magnetic memory”.

The word “magnetism” was originally derived from the Magnesia region in Greece, where the first magnetic stones were found in antiquity. In Greek mythology, on the other hand, it was the Cretan shepherd Magnes who discovered the phenomenon when he got stuck on a magnetic stone with iron-studded shoes and a stick.

World’s largest collection of fridge magnets

Magnetic souvenirs, however, are a modern invention. The first patent for fridge magnets was filed by a certain William Zimmermann from St. Louis, Missouri, in the early 1970s. He patented the idea of ​​small, colorful cardboard magnets that could be used as decoration or for notes.

Also in the United States, the world record holder in the possession of fridge magnets, Louise J. Greenfarb, from Henderson in the state of Nevada, lived. With its over 30,000 magnets, it is in the “Guinness” book of records, in 2017 it had around 45,000 copies, which is no longer in the book.

In 2019, the year of her death, there were said to be 71,000. None twice by the way. Magnets would make them happy, the “Magnet Lady” had told the American broadcaster CBS during her lifetime that her collection was the “photo album of her life”.

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What remains: a life in photos

This life was that of an American housewife in the 1960s and 1970s. This included exchanging discount stamps for magnets, fishing magnetic give-aways out of cornflakes packs or out of the chewing gum machines that were in abundance in front of supermarkets at the time.

As a person who couldn’t throw anything away, Mrs. Greenfarb picked up all these bribes in the food industry. The cornerstone of her collection was born. She also held Tupper parties (for the younger ones among us: private sales parties for plastic storage boxes) and quickly realized that her fridge, which was completely covered with over 500 magnets, attracted much more attention than her Tupper boxes.

Then she decided to create a real collection, which she managed with dedication. Whether their wish to be buried in their fridge, which should be decorated with all their favorite magnets, has not been fulfilled.

If you’ve been inspired by this passion for collecting and you want to travel to Koh Lipe soon: The best and virtually the only place to buy souvenirs is Walking Street in the middle of the island.

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The best thing to do is to stick to the “Magnet Lady’s” price: A fridge magnet should never cost more than five to six dollars. Personally, now, before the first corona diets are advertised in the magazines, I will go to my fridge and check for a snack.

This is what future travel could look like

Trips abroad still seem far away. If the positive trend in infection numbers continues, vacations could become possible again. However, only under strict rules.

Source: WELT / Katharina Kuhnert

This text is from the WELT AM SONNTAG. We would be happy to deliver them to your home on a regular basis.

WELT AM SONNTAG from April 19, 2020



Virginia: Seven lightning strikes survived – that is a world record

Die Region Virginia

VMany formative events in American history, both good and bad, took place in Virginia. The region was named after the virgin Queen Elizabeth I, who was never married.

In 1607, English adventurers founded Jamestown, the first permanent British settlement in North America. But the New World brought little luck to the settlers, the majority of them died from illnesses, from fighting with the Indians or from hunger – the soil was unsuitable for agriculture.

Finally, settler John Rolfe, who was married to the legendary chief daughter of Pocahontas, managed to grow tobacco with the help of the Indians. The tobacco trade made Virginia later the wealthiest English colony.

But the chapter of slavery in America began with the plantations: in 1619 the first Africans were brought to Virginia as slaves. In the same year, representatives of Virginia’s eleven major settlements came together for the first General Assembly, the first representative government body in America.

Source: WORLD infographic

Now, 400 years later, there are numerous events in Virginia to commemorate the events of 1619. The state is also closely interwoven with the American War of Independence and Civil War. Virginia is a destination for history buffs – but also nature lovers. For example in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the numerous national parks.

The world record

Roy Sullivan, born in 1912, has survived seven lightning strikes. He is described in the “Guinness” book of records as “Virginia’s lightning rod”: Seven times he was proven to have been struck by lightning, once more when he was still a child was.

The ranger in Shenandoah National Park survived every lightning strike, but always with injuries. Sullivan died in 1983 and was found in his bed with a bullet in his head. It is unclear whether he killed himself or was the victim of a crime.

The journey through time

Colonial Williamsburg is more than just an open-air museum. It is an 18th century city that has been restored with a lot of effort. More than 80 original buildings have been preserved, further residential buildings and shops have been historically remodeled.

Colonial Williamsburg (Virginia, USA)

Quelle: Getty Images

Every day, numerous actors bring the city to life. Between horse-drawn carriages and costumes, visitors should feel like they are witnessing the eve of the American War of Independence.

Guests can watch artisans at work, sample 18th-century recipes in taverns, and listen to the speeches of the revolutionaries. More than a million visitors come to the town every year.

The location

“My baby belongs to me, is that clear?” “Dirty Dancing” fans are getting the tissues out now. The line is translated quite freely, in the original it reads: “Nobody puts Baby in a corner”. But film history wrote “Dirty Dancing” either way.

Quelle: picture alliance / Everett Collection

For the shooting, the “Mountain Lake Lodge” in Virginia turned into the holiday resort “Kellerman’s”, where Frances “Baby” Houseman (Jennifer Gray) wants to spend a quiet summer with her family in 1963 – until she teaches dance teacher Johnny (Patrick Swayze) get to know. The love story of the two is so popular today that fans from all over the world make a pilgrimage to the locations.

The lodge offers fan tours and dirty dancing weekends, of course with dance lessons. If you don’t like Mambo, you can take a look at Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” filming location – it was also shot in Virginia.

The tradition

Thanksgiving is the most important family festival in the USA, the common turkey feast is an institution. There are various explanations of how the festival came about. One is that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated in Virginia in 1619 – by the English, who celebrated their safe arrival after crossing the Atlantic and repeated from then on every year.


Source: WORLD infographic

The delicacy

Virginia is the largest producer of farmed oysters on the east coast. Their taste varies by region – salty, buttery, mild or sweet. Gourmets travel several days on the Virginia Oyster Trail from oyster farms to restaurants.


Source: Getty Images / Denise Panyik-Dale

On the way, the oyster route conveniently crosses the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail, where you can sample Virginia wine.

The quote

“I can really say that I would rather have been to Mount Vernon with a friend or two than to be visited at the seat of government by the officers of the states and the representatives of all European powers.”

George Washington, the first president of the United States, wrote this in a letter in 1790. The statesman often longed for his Mount Vernon estate in Virginia, which he had helped to a large extent. At his request, Washington was buried in Mount Vernon after his death, the site is now a museum.

Washington was the first of eight US presidents to come from Virginia, more than any other state. A nickname for Virginia is therefore “Mother of Presidents”. Thomas Jefferson, author of the American Declaration of Independence, also came from here. His Monticello manor is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is open to visitors.

Whimsical, record-breaking, typical: You can find more parts of our regional customer series here.


Florida: Why you need an umbrella in the “Sunshine State”

ZWei women swim their laps in the pool. They wear floppy hats to protect their hairstyle. Not before the chlorine water, but before the downpour. The tiled path to the beach is already flooded, there are no gullies anywhere.

The pool attendant has placed himself under the parasol, from which it pours down in streams. He wipes the pools of water with the white bath sheets. A few meters further on, shallow lakes and streams have formed on Clearwater Beach, where seagulls bathe. Joggers run barefoot through the puddles.

25 degree shower

The raindrops are pleasantly lukewarm like a 25-degree shower, here in the subtropical part of Florida. After a few minutes the sun breaks through the clouds and everything steams at 95 percent humidity like in a sauna.

Anyone who travels to Florida needs sunglasses – and an umbrella. Because rain is no exception in “Sunshine State”, as Florida calls and markets itself. It is the rule. At some point it rains every day, so you don’t need a weather forecast, say the locals.

Between June and September, i.e. in summer, daily cloudbursts are quite normal, but it can always shine briefly and vigorously in the rest of the year. “We call it the ‘liquid sunshine’,” says George Cretekos, 58, Mayor of Clearwater. He needs to know, he was born here in the Tampa Bay region of western central Florida. He is currently campaigning for a second term at a rainy charity gala.

Water-loving: Out and about with the dog on the Stand Up Paddle in Tampa

Source: Oliver Rösler / Lufthansa

Sunny nickname

Warm rain in the Sunshine State doesn’t bother him, cold does. Frost is only known here if you take ice-cold beer bottles out of the cooler. But many tourists obviously take the sunny nickname too literally and are annoyed when the sun is not shining. There is no guarantee of sun.

Vacationers should rather do the same as the locals, who appreciate the liquid sunshine as a change, advises the Mayor of Clearwater. And it’s not like a Florida vacation falls into the water when it rains. You can be happy here in any weather.

Florida is the warmest state in the United States, according to the National Climatic Data Center. In summer, however, it is also the country with the most rainfalls – and the fifth rainiest in winter.

Meteorologist Morton D. Winsberg of Florida State University states: “Since Florida is widely regarded as a sunshine state, many think that its climate is also particularly suitable for solar energy. Unfortunately, that is not the case. The many cloud periods make this technology commercially unworkable. “

Like a 25-degree shower: when it shivers, the rain is lukewarm

Like a 25-degree shower: when it shivers, the rain is lukewarm

Credit: Getty Images / Moment RM

Longest sunshine duration

The cities and resorts on Central Florida’s west coast still advertise with an average of 361 sunny days a year – how is that possible? A sunny day is also counted as such if it rains from time to time. The Guinness Book of Records lists the city of St. Petersburg (called St. Pete) as the longest sunshine location on consecutive days – 768 days from February 1967 to March 17, 1969 when the sun appeared.

The local newspaper “Evening Independent” was even issued free of charge whenever the sun had not shone at all on one day. In 76 years, from 1910 until the newspaper was discontinued in 1986, this was only the case 295 times, i.e. less than four times a year.

T-shirts and flip-flops

On the west coast of the Gulf of Mexico around Tampa Bay with the three cities of Tampa, St. Pete and Clearwater, the average annual temperature is a pleasant 23 degrees Celsius. In summer at 30 to 32 degrees, in winter at 19 to 22 degrees. T-shirts, shorts and flip-flops can be worn all year round.

In summer, early morning is the best time to visit the beaches. The day usually starts with blue sky and sunshine. The first thick cumulus clouds only appear at lunchtime, which are dense water clouds that wave over the Gulf of Mexico like domes or even cauliflower florets.

In the late afternoon, dramatic storm clouds pile up on the western horizon, moving east over Tampa Bay. After a few minutes of downpour, the sun often flashes again.

Typical for the west coast of Central Florida: in the late afternoon, storm clouds sometimes pile up on the western horizon in summer

Typical for the west coast of Central Florida: in the late afternoon, storm clouds sometimes pile up on the western horizon in summer

Source: Oliver Rösler / Lufthansa

White powder sand

Because the region on the coastal strip and on the upstream dune islands has some of the best, award-winning sandy beaches in Florida, it is worth getting to know a new one every day. They all have white powder sand. The water temperature is pleasantly lukewarm, all year round by 24 degrees. Because the beaches drop gently, they are well suited for families with children. Even a short rain shower hardly disturbs the bathing day.

And with wet sand it is better to build sand castles anyway. One of the most popular party and family beaches is Clearwater Beach. There are plenty of bars and restaurants as well as the legendary Pier 60. Free sunset parties with live music, fire-eaters and handicrafts also take place here every evening, provided the weather is good.

Fifth best beach in the world

For coastal tours, the bus line called Jolley Trolley (five-day ticket) is worthwhile. The yellow and red bus starts in Clearwater Beach and also stops on the beaches of Indian Rocks Beach, Madeira Beach, Treasure Island – and on the popular St. Pete Beach. It was voted the fifth best beach in the world by the TripAdvisor rating platform.

Because it is located on one of the narrowest parts of the peninsula, the sun rises here in the morning and sets in the evening again, in the east in Tampa Bay, in the west in the Gulf of Mexico.

If you are looking for lonely beaches, go north to Honeymoon Island. From there, continue by ferry for $ 14 to Caladesi Island. It has been under nature protection since 1967 and the stay is limited to four hours. For this you have the island overgrown with mangroves with white sandy beaches and a five kilometer hiking trail almost to yourself.

It is particularly interesting for shellfish seekers, and with a bit of luck you will even find washed-up round sand dollars – especially if it has been storming a day before. These are white, palm-sized sea urchin shells with five geometric patterns that are arranged like petals.

Source: Infographic The World

“Dalí Wish Tree”

The museums in the region are prepared to ensure that visitors like to come when it rains. There are therefore “umbrella bags” for the dripping wet umbrellas at the entrances. The Dalí Museum in St. Pete is particularly recommended. With 2140 works, the futuristic building houses the largest exhibition of Salvador Dalí’s works outside of Europe.

It’s worth asking about the art connoisseur Sigrid, 63, an emigrant from Berlin. It gives visitors the opportunity to put on their sunglasses again, and of course in the museum. Only then does the surrealist Dalí painting “Gala Look at the Sea” turn out from a distance of 20 meters when you look through your glasses as a portrait of Abraham Lincoln. The “Dalí Wish Tree” grows down in the garden, where visitors can hang small, colorful pieces of paper on the branches and make a wish – maybe a little more sun (

“Busch Gardens”

In the “Busch Gardens” north of Tampa, the weather doesn’t matter for visitors anyway. It is a mixture of a huge amusement park and an ambitious game reserve. The big advantage in rainy weather is that the waiting times for the most adventurous roller coaster rides are significantly shorter. The latest attraction is Falcon’s Fury, a drop tower. Here visitors fall vertically downwards from a height of 102 meters at a speed of 90 kilometers per hour.

Alternatively, visitors can watch rhinos on an off-road vehicle safari and feed giraffes with lettuce, accompanied by the shrill screams from the drop tower ( Afterwards, a visit to “Plaza International”, the largest shopping center in the area, with 200 shops and 15 restaurants, is of course covered and air-conditioned.

And if the traditional sundowner at Clearwater Beach’s Pier 60 falls into the water due to the rain, there are countless bars as a great alternative. We recommend the beers from smaller breweries – such as “Barking Squirrel Lager” or “Big Storm Wavemaker Amber Ale”. The “Mahuffer’s” in Indian Shores between St. Pete Beach and Clearwater Beach is open until two in the morning.

The almost 40-year-old bar is decorated with bikes, boat parts and junk. Thousands of bras and signed business cards hang from the ceilings. While it’s raining outside, the jukebox plays “It’s raining again” from Supertramp.

Tips and information

Getting there: Lufthansa ( flies several times a week from Frankfurt to Tampa, the only non-stop connection from Germany. British Airways flies to Tampa with a change in London (

Accommodation: “Sheraton Sand Key Resort”, on the beach in Clearwater Beach, double from 169 euros,; “The Vinoy Renaissance”, St. Pete, double from 196 euros,; “Le Méridien Boutique Hotel”, Tampa, double room from 121 euros,

Information desk: Tampa,; St. Pete,

Participation in the trip was supported by Lufthansa, Visit Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg / Clearwater. You can find our standards of transparency and journalistic independence at