LINDERHOF PALACE – Bavaria’s Miniature Versailles

There are three things you learn about King Ludwig II of Bavaria on the Bavarian Alps Royal Castles tour: 1-he died under suspicious circumstances; 2-he was either crazy, eccentric or gay; 3-he was really into the French court, peacocks and country life. The one thing you learn about Ludwig when you actually get to Linderhof,…

BAVARIAN ALPS or How Travel Dreams Are Made

I’m not a mountains person, but as soon as I saw the idyllic, bucolic landscape of the Bavarian Alps from the window of my tour bus, it was love at first sight. All I could think was “I can’t believe God has made something so beautiful.” Give me a minute, I think I might have…

BEING BAVARIAN IN MUNICH

The first thing that struck me in Munich, the capital of Bavaria, was how insanely crowded it was. The second – that the locals were wearing Tyrolean hats, unironically. We all know what a traditional/stereotypical German get-up looks like, right? Lederhosen and all? And I’m going to guess that most of us associate it with…

TRAVEL READS – August 2015

Every day I come across awesome reads from fellow expats, travel bloggers, news magazines and other great sources and think, “so-and-so would love that!”  Sometimes I might forward the articles privately, but most of the time they disappear into the abyss of my memory and the Internet.  Well, no more! In this new feature, which is a…

Chasing Rabbits & New York Nostalgia in FRANKFURT

Frankfurt was exactly what I thought it would be — except I didn’t expect it to remind me of New York so much. Taken as two wholes, the cities aren’t particularly similar visually, they aren’t comparable in terms of size or population (NYC has x5 of one and x11 of the other), and Frankfurt is noticeably…

TWO SIDES OF MAINZ

What have you heard about Mainz? Chances are – not much. I doubt Mainz has ever made anyone’s list of must-visit German cities. It probably would have been overlooked entirely were it not a gateway to the Rhine Valley and birthplace of the printing press and the Gutenberg Bible – oh yeah, no big deal,…

RHINE VALLEY: 4 PIT STOPS (But None at a Castle)

While a boat cruise is unmatched when it comes to taking in the beautiful curves of the Rhine River Gorge, the main advantage of touring the Rhine Valley by car is that it gives you a chance to explore the area in much greater detail. And there is so much to explore! There are 25…

Travel Dreams Come True: TWO DAYS IN THE RHINE VALLEY

My college boyfriend had three crushes: Asian girls with giant racks, me (not Asian, no giant anything to speak of) – and Germany. I could never understand that third one: for me, Germany was not country to be visited. It wasn’t even a place — but a concept. Growing up in the USSR, I was…

TREASURE-HUNTING IN ROTHENBURG

One of the best ways to spend a day in Rothenburg is shopping. I don’t even like shopping, yet Rothenburg is just so charming, welcoming and relaxed, that it imbues with joy even one of the most stressful and tedious [for me] activities. Tiny Rothenburg is a GREAT shopping destination. But you won’t find Prada or…