I just listened to Rick Steve's latest podcast show, and he raved about the "Gemütlichkeit" of Bavaria, saying that there is no "Gemütlichkeit" in Northern Germany. As a Northern German, I couldn't resist writing a reply here, well knowing that he probably won't see it. :-)
Yes, it is so sad. We Northern Germans rush through life, working all day, with no sense of humor like the Rhinelanders (Karneval? What's that?), no time for dolce far niente like the Italians or savoir vivre like the French. There are a few puny attempts at an Oktoberfest in Northern Germany, but really, that just makes it all the more pathetic.
That way, we have built an impressive image of ourselves which will effectively prevent our being run over by tourists.
Now... hush... come closer, we'll keep this a secret, and Rick doesn't need to know it... The southern Germans and the Rhinelanders flood the North Sea and the Baltic Sea shores and islands at vacation time, I wonder why? We have a tea ceremony in the Northwest that will easily outdo all British tea tradtitions and has actually been accepted as a UNESCO Intangible World Heritage tradition... And can any Hofbräuhaus kind of "Gemütlichkeit" compare to this?
But we'll keep this little secret to ourselves, and no one needs to know about it!