Articles

Berlin for History Buffs

When you’re traveling around Europe, you have a lot of choices in terms of historical sites to see. It seems like, everywhere you look, there is a beautiful ancient cathedral or grand historic parliament. You could overdose on all of the bygone grandeur — almost.

But Berlin is something different. It is a city that oozes history, and I’m not just talking about the divisive era of the German Democratic Republic, although that is of …

How a Broomstick Can Lead to Food and Wine in Germany

As a tourist to Germany it’s not likely that you will find yourself invited into a local’s house. Germans are famously  reserved at first, but if you keep your eye out for a broomstick over a door, consider it your personal invitation to enter into the house.

The broomstick represents a besen, the German word for “broomstick”  and is a type of wining and  dining establishment found only in the wine growing regions of the …

Voluntourism: Giving Back without Breaking the Bank

Sure, we’d all love to quit our jobs, run off to some unpronounceable locale and join the Peace Corps. But what if you can’t quit your job or commit to a 27-month stint away from home? Long-term placements aren’t for everyone, but don’t worry: they’re not the only option.

At the ripe old age of 17, I decided I wanted to backpack across Europe — by myself. After my parents recovered from their initial …

Hopping Through Europe’s Easter Markets

Europe is known for having an extensive and impressive array of Christmas markets, but the seasonal merriment doesn’t have to stop there. In springtime, when flowers, trees and hibernating critters begin to come out of winter hiding, new markets also start to pop up across the continent. Some are devoted mainly to Easter, and all the fuzzy lambs, cheerful bunnies and religious traditions that come with it, while others are more widely in celebration of …

5 Charming Christmas Markets in Germany

Germany has hundreds of Christmas markets – Munich alone has twenty four. Contrary to what many visitors believe, the most charming Christmas markets in Germany are not always the well known ones, but the smaller ones that often have a unique theme. These are often the Christmas markets that are most popular with locals as well.

Esslingen Medieval Christmas Market
Visiting Esslingen’s Medieval Christmas Market feels like stepping into a time machine and coming out …

The Mother of All Parties – the Oktoberfest

I KNEW I’d had too much to drink when everyone in the room began to look attractive — all 5,000 of them.

That tall, blond Germanic look can quiver my heart even when it’s perfectly sober. Yet perhaps sinking a bottle and a half of wine single-handedly was bordering on the excessive. But what’s a girl to do when the waiter refuses to prance around delivering one pathetic glass of wine at a time because …

Train Travel in Central Europe

Ah, to be sitting on a train, the rolling, green European countryside whisking steadily past your window as you sip on a cold beer. Train travel is easily one of the most romantic modes of transportation, offering the chance to see the landscape without the hassle of driving. I am a huge fan of rail travel, as it is easily the most comfortable and environmentally friendly way to get around. Plus, in Europe, trains positively …

Three Charming Villages in South West Germany

Some of the most charming villages in Germany look like they came straight out of a storybook, with their half timber houses, walled cities, and look out towers.  Put on your walking shoes, as they are best explored on foot, and prepare to feel you like you have stepped back in time with these three picturesque villages located the south west state of Baden-Württemberg in Germany:

Maulbronn is most famous for its monastery founded in …

Legends and Rhine River Castles

Stone turrets and towers keep an eye on everything in every direction. Vine covered slopes so steep it’s hard to believe people walk between the rows. Narrow villages line the banks of the winding river. You can almost see the damsels with their flowing gowns curtseying to knights in shining armor. Fairy tales…here we come.

Follow the winding Rhine River…either on your own or enjoying a river cruise. There is not a castle, an island, …