You may have noticed that Jeff and I haven't been on any trips in the last few weeks. Jeff got wrapped up in all this Libyan planning and then when things kicked off, command and control issues of Odyssey Dawn. Well that whole thing has been handed off to NATO so we'll be back on the road soon. Of course, all that greatly hampered our schnitzel and beer plan. (Because of the Libyan operations we did miss one trip to Munich for their Starkbier, Strong beer, festival.) However, I am traveling this week, to Ft. Myers, FL to see Megan. In the mean time we do have some interesting aspects about life here in Germany.
If you've never lived in Germany, and even if you vacationed here, you may not be familar with a wonderful device called a Rolanden. It's an exterior window cover that's controlled from the inside of the house that easily lowers the Rolander down over the window. You can lower the Rolanden part way to shade the sun, all the way down leaving open small gaps to allow in some ambient light or close it completely for a total black out. This video shows how it works from inside the house.
Pretty cool isn't it! Here's what it looks like from outside the house. First is the same kitchen window and then our little 1' x 1' pantry window.
Very efficient the way the Rolanden is built right into the wall of the house. You'll see on some older homes where the Rolanden wasn't an orignal part of the house that they've added a box like Rolanden container over the window. It works the same but it's just not as streamline on the house. You noticed that our Rolandens are strictly a manual operation. You can purchase electric Rolandens too.
We really like Rolandens and have wondered why you don't see them in the U.S. The explanation we've heard is that they do not comply with most fire codes. In an actual fire, with the Rolanden down, there's a good chance the nylon strap used to lower and raise the Rolanden could burn through or melt and make it difficult or impossible to raise the Rolanden and then escape through that window. German homes are made mostly of cinder blocks and various types of brick so house fires aren't as common here as wood framed buildings in the U.S. If that is the issue, too bad, because Rolandens help drown out street noise and, of course, help keep your sleeping space as dark as you want for as long as you want. Plus, they're fun to raise and lower.