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136 West Main Street | Welland Ontario Canada L3C 5A2
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Shopping in Thuringia
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When people have nothing else to do, they like to go shopping. Holidays are an other reason. They want to buy souvenirs or things which they cannot get at home or which are less pricey.
Sometimes I have the feeling that my wife Elizabeth is born to shop. Every free minute she does this together with her mom. This saves me lots of money and I can work undisturbed on my small business which I opened after retirement. I purchase things when I need them or if I want something special.
Please keep this in mind when you browse through this web site. A person like me is not the greatest choice to write about shopping and shopping tips. I was only deeply interested in it when we were looking for things which we wanted to import or to export. Shopping is a necessity for me but not a pleasure.
Elizabeth can spend hours window shopping or even going into shops and talking to people, when I wait impatiently to move on. Fortunately, in Europe and especially in Thuringia shopping could be combined with sightseeing and it was not boring for me like in a big shopping mall.
She could select the souvenirs for our friends and I looked at things in which I was interested.
Former East Germany and especially Saxony was well known for linen products and lace
The quality and the design were excellent but many companies could not compete against the Chinese competition. If you are lucky you can still find unique items, which do not add too much weight to your luggage.
Artist dolls and hand puppets are other items which may be unique gifts to bring back.
Just remember how famous German artist dolls were in the nineties! All doll magazines showed them and brought articles about the different artists.
Waltershausen in Thuringia was a place very famous for the dolls which were made there.
What about a card created by a lovely artist?
We purchased some in Quebec City when we stayed there and they always give us a reminder to return to this lovely Canadian province.
We are selling now on-line replicas from Springerle cookie molds which are made in Thuringia. One of our customers just wrote us an e-mail that they made their own Christmas cards by adding imprints made of paper maché.
Something for cat lovers
Elizabeth is a cat lover. Every body gives her something with cats on it. Her favorite is a cup which was purchased in the USA with "Everything tastes better with cat hair in it". It came from my son.
She has napkins with cats, door mats with cats, cards with cats, t-shirts with cats, pajamas wit cats (and one with dogs!). She could open a small museum!
Maybe you are also a cat lover or you need a gift for one. Just look around - you certainly will find something.
We stopped here twice
Shoes are a necessity. Europe still produces excellent footwear but you also can get cheap imports.
Check for deals. Remember the displayed prices include all taxes. You pay what you see and sometimes even less. Elizabeth got a nice discount when we got her "beauty stuff"! She told me it was much cheaper than at home in Canada.
Check for the actual regulations to get the paid taxes back when you leave the country. Ask your travel agent or use the Internet. I do not want to show outdated information in our web site.
Shopping in an assigned pedestrian zone can be fun even for a person like me.
In most cities the downtown areas are an attraction. Not only for shoppers. People are living here and it is unbelievable how much renovation has already be done in the "new" states of Germany.
The downtown from Welland where we live cannot compete. The city councils had spent thousands of dollars for the advice of consultants and is ignorant to suggestions what other cities outside of Canada are doing.
They increased parking fees and we did not have 2 hours free parking. They ignored my proposal to use a parking disk in assigned zones. I was told that people do not want to walk etc, etc.
A powerful voice in all that has the General manager of the local mall! When a new restaurant opens the local paper praises Welland as boom town, when it closes a few month later they do not rename it into doom town.
Now, finally we have a major who could convince the city council that changes are mandatory and things are now changing to the better.
German towns have the same financial problems as we have here and also mistakes have been made by over spending or going overboard with certain things. But a friendly environment for small business is essential and will pay off.
If you are a major or a member of a town council keep your eyes open and contact people over there. Maybe you plan even a business trip to Europe to bring some ideas back and avoid mistakes already done in Europe. Nobody should stop learning or be ashamed of doing so! I am always glad when I realize what I do not know, but should know.
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