Program 331: Backroad Scotland; European Politics in Germany; Ghost Dance in Berlin

Release Date: 07-06-2013

On Air Description

We examine today's political scene in Germany, and take a deeper look at the historical ghosts you can stumble on in Berlin, on this week's Travel with Rick Steves.  A political organizer and tour guide from the Rhine region tells us what the average German thinks of their role in the economic bail-out of other countries in the European Union.  And playwright Peter Wortsman explains how his Jewish heritage has drawn him to make Berlin his second home.

And we get tips for meeting the locals in the small towns of Scotland. 

It's all on the next Travel with Rick Steves.


  • Anne Doig, tour guide based in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Thomas Gundlach, tour guide and local political activist based in Bacharach, Germany
  • Playwright Peter Wortsman, author of "Ghost Dance in Berlin" (Travelers Tales)

Related Links

  • Dufftown is a small town in the heart of Scotland's whisky brewing region, northwest of Aberdeen. 
  • Caller Mark visited the Outer Hebrides of Scotland to find Harris tweed.
  • Anne Doig recommends visiting the Scottish island of Iona in the early morning or evening when the crowds thin out, to experience its spiritual atmosphere, and the area around Glencoe in the Highlands.
  • Anne and Rick also discuss the Holy Island of Lindisfarne in Northern England. 
  • The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the European Union.
  • Peter Wortsman's book about Berlin is called "Ghost Dance In Berlin: A Rhapsody in Gray."
  • Archipelago Books has links to works Peter Wortsman has authored, including his new book Ghost Dance in Berlin
  • Eisbein is the German name for pickled ham hocks, or pig knuckles, a traditional delicacy in Berlin.
  • Advance registration is required to visit the dome of the Reichstag Building in Berlin.
  • The stolpersteine are stumbling stones that commemorate past residents of Berlin.


  • "Consider some of the more remote Scottish Islands such as Lewis & Harris, Skye, or the Orkneys.  It is some of the most remote country I've seen in Europe and a great opportunity to get far off the beaten path."  Also discusses the art of crofting when looking for Harris tweed fabric.   (Mark in Albuquerque, New Mexico)
  • Planning to drive to Scotland from London.   "My wife and I will be in Inverness for a week. We will be flying into Heathrow, and have a week to drive there.  What don't miss off-the beaten path places we should visit on the way to Inverness?"  (e-mail from Gerald in Portland, Oregon)
  • Tips for visiting monastic ruins in the UK. "What would be some particularly interesting monasteries I could visit in Northern England or Scotland?"   (David in Knoxville, Tennessee)
  • "The Germans place an enormous emphasis on stemming inflation, often at the expense of stimulating the economy to reduce unemployment.  What prompted this fear of inflation, and why does it persist today at the German central bank and within the German government?"  (e-mail from Joseph in Rockville, Maryland)
  • "From the outside looking in, it seems like the EU must become more integrated in order to avoid things like the fiscal-policy problems in Greece and Spain, or the EU will have to dissolve. What do you see happening and what would the Germans like to see happen?"   (Jason in Austin, Texas)
  • "In 1991 I toured Berlin and enjoyed taking pictures where the Russian soldiers had taken photos while storming Berlin during World War II.  At some places I could still find bullet holes. Is doing this kind of thing still possible?"   (Charles in Naperville, Illinois) 

Incidental Music

  • Lynne Arriale Trio, "Red is the Rose," Come Together / Motema Music
  • Donald F. Lindsay, parlor pipes, Alannah Fitzgerald, Celtic drum, "The Seagull Jig," The Emerald Isles:  Music Inspired by Ireland and Scotland (collection) / Telarc
  • Ensemble Galilei, "Old Grey Cat," The Emerald Isles (collection) / Telarc
  • Capercaillie, "Kepplehall-25KTS," Beautiful Wasteland / Ryko - Survival Records
  • Keltik Elektrik, "Flower of Scotland," Edinburgh Hogmanay Party Mix / Greentrax Records
  • Keltik Elektrik, with vocalist Jim Malcolm, "Wild Mountain Thyme,"  Celtic Crossroads (collection) / Putumayo
  • * Keltik Elektrik, "Amazing Grace" (included in track "Flower of Scotland"), Edinburgh Hogmanay Party Mix / Greentrax Records
  • GaGaElectriX, "Get Down," On The Beat / (self-released)
  • Daniel Wang, "Berlin Sunrise (die Dammerung)," Berlin Sunrise (2004 vinyl EP - out of print)  /   Ghostly International
  • Etienne de Crecy, "Tempovision," Paris Lounge 2 (collection) / Wagram
  • Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  "Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, IV: Presto ‘Ode to Joy’ (Beethoven),"  Beethoven:  Symphonies 1 - 9 / Rhino
  • Yello, "Fat Cry," Zebra / 4th & Broadway - Island Records
  • * David Fray, with Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, "Keyboard Concerto in G minor, 1 - Allegro (BWV 1058)," J. S. Bach Keyboard Concertos / Virgin Classics
  • Glenn Gould, "Sinfonias, No. 7 in E minor (Fifteen Three-Part Inventions - BWV 787-801)," Glenn Gould - Bach:  Original CBC Broadcasts / CBC Records
  • Louis Armstrong , "Mack the Knife (from 'The Threepenny Opera') (Weill)," Lotte Lenya Sings Kurt Weill:  The American Theatre Songs / Sony Classical
  • Gretl Theimer, "'So lang' nach durch Wien die Donau fliesst' from 'Johann Orth der verschollene Habsburger'," Chronik deutscher Filmmusik - History of German Film Music, vol. 2: Melidie der Liebe (1931-1933) (collection) / Jube
  • Leo Frank, "Wochendend Und Sonnenschein (Happy Days Are Here Again)," Vintage Jazz Vocal & Swing of Germany '20s, '30s, '40s (collection) / Master Classics Records

Dated References

  • The segment A open at 6:30 touches on political issues that will be discussed in segment B.  Rick mentions Germany is a leading economy in Europe, bailing out weaker neighbor countries. 
  • Rick says there is a lot of unemployment in Europe, "even in Germany," at 20:53.  Thomas replies that a lot of people are fearful of losing their bank savings. Rick notes at 21:40 that bailouts of Greece, and larger economies such as Italy, and Spain, could bankrupt the Germans.    
  • At 22:03, Joseph's e-mail asks about inflation in Germany.
  • Rick asks Thomas, at 24:13, why Germany's economy is doing better than Italy and Spain.
  • Caller Jason, at 26:45,  cites Greece, and then Italy and Spain, as troubled economies. 
  • Rick and Thomas note that each German taxpayer has paid "thousands of euros" to bail out the Greeks. 
  • Thomas notes at 31:30 that over 60% of German exports are to other member nations in the European Union, as an example of how EU members benefit one another.
  • Rick notes at 33:25 that the European Union was recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • Thomas says, at 35:30, that youth unemployment is over 30% in some parts of the EU.  Rick adds this is acute "especially in southern Europe" at 36:07.  Thomas adds that neo-Nazi nationalists are gaining ground where the social infrastructure is impacted by cuts in public funding.  At 37:29, Rick says radicalization due to economic distress is also a problem in some parts of the United States.
  • At 43:35, Peter Wortsman says 2010 was the coldest winter in Berlin in three decades.
  • At 49:27, Peter says Berlin does not clear ice from its streets in the winter.
  • Peter describes a neighborhood blockade against neo-Nazis on May 1st in Berlin, starting at 52:22. 

Program Extras

Pgm 331 Extra - Rick and Thomas Gundlach discuss income tax rates, including a proposed German "wealth tax" that might be re-introduced when their government is scheduled to change in the Fall (2013). (runs 2:36)