Peter Wägner is dead: he was a cosmopolitan adventurer

AOn August 22nd, 2020 he replied on Facebook to the question: “What are you doing?” with a wink: “I ride in a wheelchair through my kingdom, my apartment – and I feel royal!” A week later he updated his Facebook profile Cover picture, it shows him, sitting in an armchair, with a cat on his lap and an alert look over the typical mustache.

Only now did we find out in the editorial department: On September 12th, Peter Wägner died in Hamburg at the age of 86. He was a veteran of German travel journalism and a veteran of WELT AM SONNTAG, whose travel section he headed from 1976 to 1999.

400 trips, 50 countries, 100 ships and 2,000 days on the move in 50 years as a travel journalist – this is how Wägner sums up his life “between Baiersbronn and Bali, Altötting and Alaska” in his book “Unterwegs und Anderswo”, not forgetting the 1200 parts of the trip of WELT AM SONNTAG, for which he was responsible, edited and produced during this time.

And above all with his own texts, because writing was, besides traveling, Wägner’s great passion. He stayed true to it until the end: his travel book was only published in 2020, shortly before his death he published it himself. With passion, an iron will and a powerful spirit, a humorous, profound tour through his travel journalist life was created.

Peter Wägner wrote with expertise and wit

It tells you about his favorite travel destination Singapore (“Travel journalists despise the glittering city because it allegedly exudes too little Far East romance. Everything is clean, safe, clean. And I just liked that”) and about his irrepressible curiosity (“Ignorance is the mother of adventure” ” was his motto, based on the little comic Viking Hägar).

Peter Wägner always wrote his travel stories with expertise and a witty language, consistently following two guiding principles. First: “As far as tourism is concerned, I have left criticism of the system to my colleagues in the features section. The less they knew about travel, the more devastating their reviews. “

Second: A good travel writer should “bring his experiences to the inclined reader as much as possible that he not only feels encouraged to read but also to travel. Or just feel warned when it has to be. ”True to the old Baedeker’s motto:“ Help the traveler ”.

Driven by curiosity: Peter Wägner (left) has traveled to dozens of countries around the world

Source: Archive Wägner

When asked about independence and strict objectivity, he appealed to higher authorities: refrigerators can be rated with one, two or three stars, but holiday islands cannot. “Because: God made it. Okay, people can get pretty fucked up. But they remain God’s creatures and there is always something lovable to be found somewhere. Even in Venice, which was written dead a thousand times. “

Visited the old homeland in East Germany

For many years after his retirement, Peter Wägner remained connected to WELT AM SONNTAG as a travel columnist, raved about life in a beach chair on the Baltic Sea and gossiped about “the discogrel flutter of lights” at German Christmas markets.

His last texts for the travel pages were created in 2014 and 2015 after the Hamburg native, who was born in Angermünde in 1934, traveled back to his old homeland. In it he recommended castles and mansions in East Germany. Of course, he found something lovable: “While the wedding guests are turtling in the tower room, the private guest who gets lost here (and he should get lost) enjoys a heavenly peace far from any shot.”

But there is also criticism: “Often enough, the houses did not open out of a passion for tourism, but because the rededication as a tourist facility also brought EU subsidies and was the last lifeline between rubble and bank guarantees.”

“We have followed many of your trips”

You couldn’t show Peter Wägner anything right up to the end, you could rely on his judgment. And that was appreciated. Which is why he proudly writes of readers who enthusiastically shouted to him even 20 years after a cruise together: “We made many of their trips – and it was always worth it.”

Wägner closes his book with an outlook on his last, upcoming trip. As the pastor’s son, he knows that the wise Peter is sitting at the gate of paradise and counting points. “For every successful vacation, I think to myself, that a reader enjoyed with my recommendation, I got one point. I’m confident that I can get in there. “

Dear Peter Wägner, we are sure that you will have reached your last travel destination safely.

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

Packshot WamS S1_18_10_20

Source: Welt am Sonntag


Vacation in the GDR: How old travel guides show the country

“Due to its geographical location, our republic is the intersection of major tourist connections in Europe. Travelers often want to get to know this peace state and its people better.” “Every tourist can be assured of being hospitable here, because he is in a country, whose highest political principle is humanism. “

It’s amazing how the GDR advertised itself as a tourist wonderland in travel guides published by state publishers between the 1960s and 1980s. Anyone who reads them and does not know the second German state firsthand could consider it to be cosmopolitan and hospitable, a coveted travel destination in the first league of tourism.


Vacation promotes the desire for sex – but not only with the partner

travel Relationship killer vacation

More desire for sex – but not only with the partner

Vacationers are generally more relaxed than at home and the willingness to flirt increases. For some couples this can revive the partnership, for others the newly awakened lust becomes a relationship killer.

| Reading time: 3 minutes

Vacation and sex belong together - but not always only for those who actually belong together Vacation and sex belong together - but not always only for those who actually belong together

Vacation and sex belong together – but not always only for those who actually belong together

Quelle: Getty Images/Matthew Micah Wright

BIt is well known that inhibitions and covers tend to fall on vacation. However, a survey by the travel agent Urlaubspiraten gives cause for concern: Many holidaymakers are morally decrepit, and vacations seem to pose a real threat to relationships.

Okay, that 44 percent of those surveyed have sex more often during the holidays than at home, is not particularly surprising, after all, when you are on vacation you are more relaxed, more relaxed or simply more drunk than at home.

But a worrying 28 percent said they flirted more often than usual when traveling in other climes or countries, and more than half of them went well beyond smiling and making beautiful eyes: 55 percent had already had a fuss on vacation, although it was 28 percent resulted in a one-night stand, 14 percent developed far more, because the amorous adventure ended in a (new) relationship.

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Couple in bed laughing hiding under white sheets

Now everyone knows that vacationers are mostly not singles, but couples, regardless of whether they are married, engaged or in a relationship without a marriage certificate. But if the majority of tourists – 55 percent – tend to have a vacation affair, this also applies to the majority of traveling couples. In a nutshell, one could say: A vacation has the potential to kill relationships.

One in five dreams of having sex on a plane

That coincides, albeit with less blatant numbers, with another survey carried out in 2018 by the single exchange Elitepartner. There, eleven percent admitted that they had experienced a lull in sex with their partner on vacation, nine percent admitted that they separated on vacation or shortly afterwards, four percent cheated on the vacation and five percent complained that they had been cheated on, when the partner was traveling alone. We see: Vacation and sex belong together, but unfortunately not automatically for people who actually belong together.

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It was love at first sight only for him: Gundel and Christoph Seidler have been married for more than 50 years

Anyone who now fears that their own spouse or girlfriend could get morally or sexually astray on their next vacation should be particularly suspicious of other travelers: According to the holiday pirate survey, they are the largest group (20 percent) of those tourists get involved with . So it’s better not to make friends with the good-looking couple at the next table, but rather with the overweight pensioners at the hotel pool.

Caution is also advised with chambermaids, waiters and concierges: after all, in eight percent of the cases the respondents had erotic experiences with hotel employees. The all-clear, on the other hand, can be given to pilots and stewardesses: Although one in five (22 percent) dreams of having sex on a plane, only two percent have actually ever been intimate above the clouds.

The woman’s secret flirtation signals

How women stimulate themselves when flirting and why men should be more reserved in their body language. A body language expert reveals the secret signs when making contact.

This article was first published in February 2020.

The text comes from WELT AM SONNTAG. We will be happy to deliver them to your home on a regular basis.

WELT AM SONNTAG from February 16, 2020



How is the ICE doing in an international comparison?

High-speed trains are now running in many countries. They differ significantly in terms of comfort, speed and punctuality. We give an overview from Germany to China. .

England: Photo album of bizarre things from everyday life

Europe Found objects

Everyday life in England looks so bizarre

Our author was traveling in England. There some things that he saw surprised and amused him. His commented photo album paints a slightly different picture than a classic travel guide.

| Reading time: 3 minutes

British staring at puddles

The British are crazy. And that’s what we mean lovingly. In this video from Newcastle, passers-by try to cross a puddle. Under the attentive gaze of countless English Internet users.

Resistant sinks

WITHu The quirky traditions that even 46 years of EU membership have not been able to eradicate include the typical English sinks with separate taps: on the right, ice-cold water comes out of the tap, on the left, you scald your hands under the boiling hot jet. These sanitary relics are still in use in an alarming number of washrooms in restaurants and hotels.

Typical in England: wash basins with separate taps

Typically English: wash basin with separate taps

Source: Sönke Krüger

The discipline of the English

The Englishman shows true civilization and admirable discipline on the escalator – walk left, stand right. Works perfectly in London, nowhere in Germany.

Escalator in England

Source: Sönke Krüger

The Brexit debate strengthens national pride

Since the Brexit vote, a national surge in the English food industry has been observed, with the Union Jack emblazoned on more and more British supermarket packaging.

So also on these sugar bags, on which the flag says: “proudly grown in Britain” – somehow tragic that the national pride now even extends to sugar beet.

Sugar in a supermarket in England

Source: Sönke Krüger

Optical illusion in the supermarket

For those who find Brussels sprouts disgusting, the English have developed a splendid alternative – chocolate balls, wrapped in green foil, which perfectly imitates the appearance of the Brussels sprouts. Like real Brussels sprouts, the fake cabbage is delivered in the green network and is regularly sold in specialist shops in the run-up to Christmas.

Chocolate in a supermarket in England

Source: Sönke Krüger

England’s press does not shy away from taboo subjects

It’s always worth rummaging through English magazine shelves. There is something for every taste. Even taboo topics are illuminated in detail in glossy magazines.

Magazines in England

Source: Sönke Krüger

Puppet theater with Theresa May and Boris Johnson

For once, ex-Prime Minister Theresa May and her successor Boris Johnson can be seen in good harmony: as dogs’ dolls. One or the other Brexit opponent is likely to have obtained the material duo for their own use – either to vent political anger or to use them as a voodoo doll, because if Britain’s EU whereabouts cannot be achieved with arguments, then maybe with pinpricks.

England: Ex-Prime Minister Theresa May and her successor Boris Johnson as dog dolls

Source: Sönke Krüger

Hate or love – the spread divides

Marmite, invented in 1902, is made up of decomposed yeast cells and tastes like that too. The biting salty-spicy spread divides the nation, which the manufacturer (advertising slogan: “You love it or hate it!”) Deals with humorously.

One spot, for example, shows a nursing mother who gleefully bites into a toast with marmite, whereupon her baby vomits indignantly. Lovers can now find marmite-flavored nuts in the supermarket.

Marmite in a supermarket in England

Source: Sönke Krüger

Degenerate into royal junk

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, were considered the new popular figures in the after their wedding in 2018 Royal Family. Has your reputation been scratched in the meantime?

Duty free shelf at London Gatwick Airport

Source: Sönke Krüger

A look at the duty-free shelf at London Gatwick Airport reveals this. There the couple stayed to decorate the cookie jar and are being sold for a special price (two cans of 22 pounds). Even the motto “Best of British” is of no use anymore: The shine is lost.

This article was first published in October 2019.

The text comes from WELT AM SONNTAG. We will be happy to deliver them to your home on a regular basis.

WELT AM SONNTAG from October 20, 2019

Source: WamS


Corona and flies: where most germs lurk on the plane

Long-distance travel Window or aisle seat

Where most germs lurk on the plane

According to a survey, most passengers on the plane prefer a window seat. There you can enjoy an unobstructed view of the clouds and you can lean better. But what about virus protection?

| Reading time: 4 minutes

The EU agrees on these hygiene rules

The aviation industry is deep in the Corona crisis. Passengers are feeling insecure, airlines are getting into financial difficulties. Uniform hygiene standards have now been agreed at the aviation summit.

MAn can look out, lean against the wall while sleeping and is not disturbed by fellow travelers who climb over you on the way to the toilet – the advantages of a window seat on the plane are obvious. A survey by the flight search engine Skyscanner confirms this: According to this, 60 percent of all passengers prefer a seat by the window, 39 percent prefer to sit in the aisle, only one percent consciously choose the middle seat.

There is another reason that makes the window seats the most popular on the plane: If you sit there and don’t get up on the way, you have the best chance of not catching germs or viruses from other passengers – because statistically you are in contact with fewer other people on board comes as in the other places. An important seat advantage in times of coronavirus.

Specifically, window seat passengers only have contact with an average of twelve people on a flight, while on the middle seat there are 58, and those who sit in the aisle even get 64. The numbers – regardless of the coronavirus – were found by the Fly Healthy Research Team of 2018 Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. For the study, passengers and crew members on ten flights to the USA lasting three to five hours were examined.

Where most viruses are transmitted on the plane

The study results partly coincide with a study by the World Health Organization, according to which viruses in aircraft are mainly transmitted where people sit close to each other in the same area of ​​an aircraft – the WHO speaks of a risk of infection within two rows of seats.

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Anyone who wanted to go skiing in the next few weeks would have to cancel their vacation

However, the WHO study does not take into account the fact that many people stretch their legs on board, others go to the toilet or rummage in the overhead locker – all of these are further contact and virus transmission options that the American study classifies more realistically.

So what can you do to reduce the risk of infection on the plane? First of all, what you have already learned in kindergarten: Anyone who sneezes or coughs holds a handkerchief to their mouth or sneezes into the crook of their arm. Then you can of course try to reserve a window seat, which in a typical airplane with a central aisle and rows of three seats will only be possible for a third of the guests.

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Coronavirus in Germany

Otherwise, do not touch anyone on board – if we had the opportunity, we could also get rid of the impolite bumping into the narrow aisle, that would not only be a step forward from a medical point of view, but also a civilizational gain for everyone. You should also refrain from going to the toilet – this reduces the contact with fellow passengers and you don’t even expose yourself to the bacteria and viruses that naturally lurk in the on-board toilet.

How Naomi Campbell protects herself from germs

However, there is another place on the plane that is much more contaminated with germs than the toilet and that every passenger has right in front of their noses: the folding table.

According to the travel planning portal Travelmath, which commissioned a corresponding study in 2018, the bacterial load of an airplane folding table (regardless of whether it is a window seat or not) is around eight times higher than the toilet flush button because the table surface is cleaned much less frequently and less thoroughly. So if you want to be on the safe side, don’t even use the folding table or have a disinfectant with you to sterilize the shelf.

Supermodel Naomi Campbell apparently got wind of the study – at least she confessed in a Youtube clip in 2019 that she puts on disposable gloves before every flight and wipes the table, armrests, remote control and wall paneling with wet wipes.

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“I clean everything I touch, on every plane I get on.” She always wears a face mask on board and she always has her own blanket with her to cover the seat, which she regularly uses after landing Hotel wash.

However, the risk of having too close contact with fellow passengers is manageable with her, because she does not travel in the narrow wood class, but prefers first or business armchairs.

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The bar in the Emirates A380 is not only open to first class but also business class guests

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Trouble in business class at Lufthansa

Trouble on the long haul

Can I cancel my trip due to the coronavirus?

Have you already booked your vacation to Tenerife or Milan and want to cancel now? Is the spread of the coronavirus considered force majeure, or is there a right to special termination rights? The lawyer Michael Habeck answers the most important questions.

Source: WELT / Matthias Ludwig

This article was first published in March 2019.

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


Poland: From Gdynia to Hirschberg – five tips for city trips

Polen is practically on the doorstep – and has a number of special cities to offer that are unfairly overshadowed by Warsaw or Krakow. We offer five suggestions for a short trip to the neighboring country.

Szczecin: tradition and new beginnings

A pinch of Hamburg, a touch of Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg from the nineties: this is how locals describe the new spirit of the old Hanseatic city of Stettin, which is now called Szczecin and is the capital of the up-and-coming West Pomeranian Voivodeship. In fact, the former German, now Polish Baltic Sea port city is different from visitor magnets such as Gdansk and Breslau, whose historical centers were also destroyed during the war, but were then quickly and completely refurbished according to the old model.

Szczecin, on the other hand, located close to the border, still shows breaks in the cityscape.


Flights in Corona times: Only a few airlines leave the middle seat free

Europe Flying in Corona times

Only a few airlines leave the middle seat free

Even in times of Corona, it is often quite tight on board aircraft. Some airlines now offer to book a free middle seat next to your own seat for a surcharge. But not everyone thinks this is necessary.

| Reading time: 3 minutes

“We don’t even have half a meter between us”

Holidays abroad are in principle possible again, including air travel, but many are afraid to get on a holiday plane. WELT reporter Lea Freist flew to Barcelona and reports how things are going on board.

FAir passengers who value greater distance from fellow travelers can now book a free middle seat directly next to their own seat with some airlines for an additional charge. The Turkish holiday airline Corendon Airlines, which serves eight German airports, is now offering this “double seat” service on all routes from 39.99 euros, reports the tourism magazine “fvw”.

At the Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings, a free middle seat can now be booked after the actual booking, but currently only via the call center from 18 euros per person and route. According to “fvw”, over 4,000 such spacer seats have already been sold, although the new product has not yet been advertised. An online booking option is under development.

Ferienflieger Condor has vacant middle seats from 39.99 euros on short and medium-haul flights, bookable as part of online check-in or on site at the airport. However, the prerequisite is the availability of free seats, which is why this option is only activated 24 hours before departure. If you book in Business Class with Condor, you automatically only sit by the window or aisle, so the middle seat in the row of three remains free.

Lufthansa does not think it necessary to distance itself because of Corona

Delta is the pioneer when it comes to vacant center seats: the US airline has been blocking all center seats on all aircraft at no extra charge since April and at least until September 30, in order to reduce the total number of passengers and to guarantee a distance from the direct seat neighbors.

Many airlines worry that someone will sit in the middle seat next to you

The worry that someone will sit in the middle seat next to you is not unjustified for many airlines

Quelle: Getty Images/Andriy Onufriyenko

CEO Ed Bastian has already discussed an extension beyond September, but without specifying a specific time frame. Delta’s American competitors United and American, however, do not block their center seats.

Larger European airlines such as Lufthansa or Ryanair also do not offer such a service, either with or without a surcharge. Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary described a vacant center seat across from the British newspaper “The Sun” as an “idiotic idea that does nothing”.

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A flight attendant demonstrates the safety measures to protect against infection with Corona

Lufthansa’s position can be read on their website under the motto #WeCare: “Even in these special times, we attach great importance to the fact that you feel comfortable on your flight.” For Germany, the fact that some passengers would feel more comfortable with an empty seat next to them is a fact largest airline, however, not an issue.

The Lufthansa website goes on to say: “Our fresh air supply enables a complete exchange of air within about three minutes. The resulting excellent air quality, in combination with a mouth and nose cover, offers so much protection that a minimum distance to the person sitting next to you does not have to be maintained. ”

However, Lufthansa does not explain why the subsidiary airline Eurowings still markets vacant center seats.

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An advantage in Corona times: The Emirates airline offers first-class passengers closed cabins on the plane

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In order to protect against corona, the stewardess wears protective clothing on the plane

What now applies to travelers returning from risk areas

There are two options for everyone returning from Corona risk regions: Either they can be tested in the holiday destination at their own expense – or after their return to Germany. This can be done free of charge for the first three days, after which there is a risk of a fine.

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

Source: Welt am Sonntag


Vacation and Corona: What do the providers of vacation travel say

travel Travel company

Vacation and Corona – What do the organizers say?

The travel industry was caught by the virus like no other. We asked three medium-sized providers to give us a look behind the scenes.

| Reading time: 3 minutes

At a distance.  The corona virus poses challenges for the travel industry At a distance.  The corona virus poses challenges for the travel industry

At a distance. The corona virus poses challenges for the travel industry

Quelle: picture alliance

FFor long-distance travel specialist Geoplan, Managing Director Tobias Büttner replies, press spokeswoman Eva Machill-Linnenberg for Viking Travel (hiking and active holidays), for study travel market leader Studiosus press spokesman Frano Ilic.

WORLD: How many guests did you have from mid-March to today – and how many do you usually have?

Geoplan: We brought our last guest back home on March 27, and since then we haven’t had a single customer on the road. We usually have at least 2000 guests between mid-March and mid-July.

Vikings: Around 1000 guests traveled, usually 26,000 are traveling with us during this period.

a student; Since mid-March, we have had to cancel around 30,000 customers bit by bit – and have paid back all down payments.

WORLD: When did your first vacationers travel after the corona shutdown – and where did they go?

Geoplan: Out of necessity, our long-distance travel specialists have developed trips to Germany. Our next guests will travel to Dresden and Saxon Switzerland in a few days.

Vikings: At the end of May, the first individual holidaymakers hiked or cycled with us in Germany.

a student; We started on July 8th – with a city trip to Vienna.

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Distance?  People in Zurich tend to think little of this on hot summer weekends; there is a party atmosphere on the banks of the Limmat

WORLD: When do you start long-distance travel?

Geoplan: We start in September. Asia is at the top of the list: Thailand, Bali, Vietnam, Japan, Korea.

Vikings: In the long-distance area, Morocco will be considered from mid-September, Costa Rica from late October and Thailand at the end of the year.

a student; We hope that Japan, Vietnam and Cuba will start again this year.

WORLD: When will tourism return to Corona?

Geoplan: In 2021, we will reach 50 to 75 percent of the level of 2019 in international tourism. In 2022, things will certainly go off again and global tourism flows will grow larger than ever.

Vikings: We expect to only reach the 2019 level again in five years.

a student; Coping with this unique crisis will require a lot of perseverance and patience this year, but also in 2021.

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Those who travel to the Maldives do not need to have a corona test

WORLD: Which travel countries will recover the fastest?

Geoplan: At the moment we expect Asian countries to have an advantage – they have a lot of experience in dealing with such crises through Sars and other events.

Vikings: a) Destinations that can be reached safely and without flights or with short flights. b) Countries that have low infection rates and good health standards.

a student; As long as there is no vaccine: countries in which the infection process is permanently under control.

This text is from WELT AM SONNTAG. We would be happy to deliver them to your home regularly.



Long-distance travel despite Corona: These countries allow holidaymakers to enter

FFor most of the states – almost the whole world except parts of Europe – the Corona travel warning issued by the Federal Foreign Office applies at least until August 31. But the warning is not a travel ban, so German holidaymakers are allowed to travel overseas if they can find flights and consider the virus threat to be justifiable. Meanwhile, the first long-distance travel destinations have opened their borders to German tourists, especially the Caribbean.