July 31, 2013

Living in Germany - without air conditioning

Well, we survived the heat this weekend pretty well, and now we're back down into reasonable temperatures. As planned, we hit up the nearby lakes, climbed in the shade, drank lots of water, ate lots of ice cream and sealed up our houses by shutting all our shades/curtains to keep out the heat.

In Germany, we don't have air conditioning. No houses do, and almost no businesses/offices do (a few exceptions are grocery stores). And you know what? We really don't need air conditioning over here. Aside from the fact that temperatures are a lot more mild here than they were in sweltering Lexington during the summer, stuff is actually built to last here and is so much better insulated! Carpenters are very skilled and trained and must abide by a gazillion laws/rules compared to the states.  The materials here are made to last for a very long, long time. Roofs are ceramic tiles, not flimsy crappy shingles that need to be replaced every 10 years. People live in these houses for hundreds of years and they have thick walls that keep out heat in the summer and keep it in during the winter.

The best part about the houses here are the rouladens (window blinds). They are on the outside of the house, and are a thick heavy duty shield basically that rolls down and totally blocks out all light and heat. Makes sleeping so much better! I've only ever seen them in Germany which is surprising since they are so awesome! Wish I could transport a house from over here back to the states when we return one day, but add in a few American amenities I miss so much (like a big functional kitchen and open rooms/living areas).

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