Fun facts about Germany
While Germans are known for serious achievements and respecting rules, the country definitely has a lighter side, as these fun facts about Germany show
1. When children enter school, they receive a cone of gifts called the Schultüte. Containing toys or sweets, the cone is a symbol of entering "serious" life - and a way to ease the stress of being in a strange environment.
2. Angela Merkel is a superstar politician in Germany. She's so famous that toy-maker Mattel created a limited edition Barbie doll in her likeness.
3. Every New Year's Eve, Germans gather round their TVs to watch "Dinner For One", an obscure British comedy that is rarely seen in its home country but is cult viewing in Germany.
4. Despite its name, Munich's massive beer festival Oktoberfest actually starts in September and is over by the first few days of October.
5. The city of Reutlingen is home to the world's narrowest street. At just 31cm wide, Spreuerhofstrasse is not well suited to 4x4s and trucks.
6. People often associate canals with Amsterdam or Venice, but Berlin outdoes both of them. No city in the world has more canals than the German capital, which hosts 120 miles of waterways. Great for sailing excursions!
7. Berlin also hosts a museum dedicated solely to Currywurst (curry sausages). That's no surprise, as Berlin natives eat 70 million of them every year.
8. Sweet maker Haribo runs a scheme which lets local children exchange acorns they have collected for delicious gummy sweets. The acorns are sent to nature reserves for animals to feast upon.
9. Germans famously love cars, and they love to set them free to show what they can do. As a result, there are no speed limits on around 65% of the Autobahn network.