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31

This answer is based on the meaning of "Petri Heil", I have hardly any first hand knowledge of the use of this phrase. For starters it is certainly restricted to countries where the majority religion is christianity, as "Petri" is a reference to the biblical fisherman Petrus (Luke 5.1-11 and John 21.1-14).[1] Then "Heil" is a somewhat outdated German noun ...


29

Yes, they do damage habitats, namely from bark stripping, and disease. This is why the UK class them as a pest. However it is not limited to grey squirrels as red squirrels also strip bark, but they have much smaller numbers proportionally so their damage is proportional. Lack of grey squirrels therefore does not wholly prevent this damage. In addition ...


24

As per Aravona's comment, this is a firebug (Pyrrhocoris apterus). According to Wikipedia, they are not dangerous and nothing to worry about. German version has way more info about this than the English one. Also, they seem to be very common in Europe and parts of Africa and Asia.


23

These are not exactly the seeds, but the hull of the seeds of the horse chestnut. Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aesculus_hippocastanum_fruit.jpg


18

I grew up in Italy, in a fishermen's village on the Adriatic Sea. I never heard this expression, and I am pretty sure I've never heard it anywhere in the Mediterranean. Furthermore, I think that a "HEIL" in the southern European seas is one of the most non-local and foreign-sounding expressions that I can imagine. So please don't even try it :-)


16

Yes, there are special places where you are allowed to sleep outside if you are climbing there. And by "outside" I mean without a tent, because these locations are (more or less) weatherproof by having roofs of rock. They usually have a a lot of sand on the ground which makes them quite comfortable. The local term of such a place is "boofe". They are a bit ...


14

In case you do not mind a regional-based mutation, among Czech fishermen a very similar greeting can be heard: "Petru zdar!" or "Petrův zdar", which has the same meaning as "Petri Heil". However, I suppose the Czech analogue actually comes from German as the Czech language used to be influenced by German in the past.


13

Excellent answers already; one point no-one has covered is that greys will occasionally eat eggs / chicks of small birds. Wikipedia says there is a lack of evidence on the actual impact of that, but it is something that does have a wider effect and that reds very, very rarely do. However, there is, in the UK at least, also a reverse viewpoint. The ...


12

That looks like the spine and pelvis of a raccoon: . Although the raccoon is not native to Germany, they were introduced there in the 1930s and can be found in the wild. The map below shows raccoons killed or found dead 2001-2003. So while it's highly unlikely that you stumbled across the remains of a raccoon, it is possible. See wikipedia for more ...


12

These are markers of the former "Deutsche Bundespost". They show where to find cable trays. Manchmal stehen sie unscheinbar am Wegesrand: Markierungssteine aus Beton mit einem eingegossenen BP. Diese Markierungssteine markieren eine Kabeltrasse der Deutschen Bundespost, der Vorgängerbehörde der heutigen AGs Deutsche Post, Deutsche Telekom und ...


12

I have so far not been hiking close to Berlin. However, I know to areas that might be worth a try: The Spreewald and the Mecklenburger Seenplatte. Also I just learned about the "Märkische Schweiz", a small low mountain range. I have never heard of the 66 lakes trail, so I can´t give you information on that. Note that you can reach the baltic sea in about ...


11

As your travel advisory links state, the ‘rabies-free’ designation ignores bats. This is also mentioned on the CDC list of rabies-free countries which you link to: The countries on this list are those that have not reported recent cases of rabies in land animals and that have adequate disease surveillance for rabies cases as determined by CDC. Countries ...


10

If you see a sign like this, you should either Ignore it, or Contact the local municipality (Gemeinde) to have it removed. As Gistiv stated, Germany is rabies-free since 2008, but it seems that there was no concerted effort to remove these signs when rabies was eradicated. This paywalled newspaper article is, precisely, about a misleading left-over rabies ...


9

According to German law, bivouacking (defined as sleeping outside for one night without a tent) is generally allowed in Germany, but only outside from nature protection areas. Camping is generally forbidden outside of designated campsites. As you mention, large parts of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains are under statutory protection within Saxon Switzerland ...


9

The relevant law is the Gesetz zur Erhaltung des Waldes und zur Förderung der Forstwirtschaft. In § 14 Betreten des Waldes (entering the forest) it says (bolded by me): (1) Das Betreten des Waldes zum Zwecke der Erholung ist gestattet. Das Radfahren, das Fahren mit Krankenfahrstühlen und das Reiten im Walde ist nur auf Straßen und Wegen gestattet. Die ...


9

I grew up in a fishing community on islands north of Scotland, and never once heard this. The folks up there used English and Norse greetings, but not a German one, so I would imagine it is German-specific. So Universal? No.


8

I have to be honest with you here: I don't think you will be successful in observing any wild Lynx. That is unless you are willing to commit a lot of time and quite potentially a fair bit of money into specialised equipment. Lynx are just extremely shy animals. They will hear you a mile off and will avoid you if possible. They also have very keen smell, so ...


7

While I've never been to these cabins, I've been climbing and hiking in this area. In the map below I've outlined two route suggestions in purple, which you can vary as you please (and as you go). There's a rather dense network of trails, all marked trails are easy to follow. You'd start on the western side at point "1" at a public parking lot. You follow ...


7

At first of all how old is this picture? Because many sources say that Germany is rabies-free since 2008. (second Source) But I'm not a 100% sure if there has to be a case of rabis to put up those signs. Humans: In principle those signs have no impact on your every day life, even as a outdoor-enthusiast. You should, like always, avoid contact with wild ...


6

What you mean is called "Orientierungslauf" or in short "OL" in Germany. There are some events, but it is best you get in touch with some organizers over there perhaps using this list of upcoming orienteering marches. In my experience the events of this kind which are not highly popular are mostly not (yet) present on the internet. It's "popular" around ...


6

It is/was a popular pastime for environmentalists to chain themselves to the rails, and worse, to throw hooks onto the catenary. Trains catch these hooks and rip the catenary down. For this reason, the Train Police (Bahnpolizei) is sometimes on the lookout, and if they can't find real terrorists, harass normal people. I'd avoid railway lines when atomic ...


6

The first one could be a German cockroach (Blattella germanica). The seconds one though… not sure if it is a cockroach? Perhaps you could catch sharper photos with a bit more lighting?


6

This looks like a Pedostrangalia revestita (i totally ripped this from the site below. I have no idea if this is correct, I am still looking for the English and German terms (in German it is a kind of Bockkäfer)) http://cerambyx.uochb.cz/pedostrangalia_revestita.php I am by no means an expert, but those look alike. The wing-covers have similar shapes, red ...


5

If the police catches you walking on the rail, the fine will be small. But there are some other risks: A high voltage power line above you. Walking on a rail is a popular method for suicide. If someone sees you they may call an ambulance, the police and stop all trains on that track. If the railway company has to compensate hundreds of passengers for being ...


5

If you are allowed to drive there, and the land is not privately owned, you are allowed to sleep there, although different state have their own law. Everyone may enter public forests and you may sleep there too, as long as you don't leave any trash or harm the environment. Sleeping under a tarp is okay, but you may not use a tent with ground sheet. - some ...


5

There have been discussions that because of night geocaching activities the forest laws in some Länder (I know it from Hessen) should get night restrictions. There is a general right to walk in the forest, also outside trails and including privately owned forest. This can be restricted for certain reasons (e.g. young forest areas, areas with ongoing ...


5

First: it is very difficult to exactly determine the species of a skeleton, much more so a partial one (at least if you can not do DNA analysis). I have worked on archaeological digs where we consulted experts for this, and even they were clueless in many cases when it came down to identifying the origin of small sets of bones. An educated guess: From the ...


5

Any authority in Germany is required by law to direct you to the correct office to deal with your question (Amtshilfe). A good starting point would be the receptionist at the local council (this could be a Gemeindeverwaltung, Samtgemeindeverwaltung or Kreisverwaltung depending on where you are). Public land may be owned by them, the Country or the Federation....


5

Even if the existence of rabies in that area is real, there is really very little you would do differently. I live in a area (New England, North America) where rabies is present. In your words, the entire continent is a Gefährdeter Bezirk. You are always conscious that any wild animal could possibly be infected. The vast majority of the time, it means ...


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