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0 In Europe

Hermannsdenkmal and Brauerei Strate in Detmold

Hermannshoehen Trail Fog

I traveled to Detmold for this story as a guest of Nordrhein-Westfalen Tourismus (www.nrw-tourism.com). As always, all opinions are my own.)

“Normally you can see it from here,” our host explained. “But with this fog…”

Our small group of writers followed her along the paved path, unable to see much more than fifty yards ahead. There was some freshly quenched green grass on either side of the path, but that’s about it. Otherwise, there was the feeling of walking into the abyss. Such a setting could’ve been used for an apocalyptic film, but in reality, we were just making our way to the popular monument.

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0 In Europe

How To Visit Auschwitz On Your Own

Visit Auschwitz train tracks
Photo by Filippo Bonadiman on Unsplash

I visited Auschwitz in March of 2019 and was surprised to see just how many people had made the trip. Later I did a little research and found that over two million tourists visited in 2018, a record for the memorial and museum. I was fortunate to find out early on that visiting Auschwitz takes a bit of planning if you’re doing it without a travel service and don’t want to stress out about the details at the last minute.

In the end, I’m glad I traveled on my own and did the necessary research in advance. I’m hardly the first (nor will I be the last) to travel solo from Krakow to Auschwitz. To spare you some of the headaches, I’ve detailed how to plan your own visit to Auschwitz.

But first, a bit of history.

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0 In Europe/ There Must Be Order

Reserved

Inside Hamburg German Train Station

The following is a chapter from an upcoming memoir on moving to and living in Germany. Read more here.

Germans take their reservations seriously. You’re a fool if you go out at night, expecting to just waltz in and grab a table at anything above a decent restaurant. Anyone who does so on a Friday or Saturday night is escorted out and sent immediately to solitary confinement at an asylum to think about what they did.

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In Europe

Hermanns Highway: A Weekend Getaway to Bielefeld and Teutoburger Wald

Hermannshoehen Hiking Trail in Winter

A monstrous, dirty white telecommunications tower poked through the naked winter forest. It looked like a space ship, the kind you might find in cheesy sci-fi films from the 70s, had been stabbed by a pike. (An ominous warning to future spaceships, perhaps?) We crunched our way up the frosted, leaf-covered trail to have a closer look. A sign promised that the tower — the Fernmeldeturm Hünenburg — was open, but it looked as quiet as a Sunday morning in a German village.

I was hiking the sixth stage of Hermannshöhen — a 226-kilometer trail through Teutoburger Wald (Forest) in northwestern Germany. My wife and dog, Moses, came along for the weekend excursion, yearning for an opportunity to stretch our legs for the first time in the new year and to breathe the kind of fresh air only the woods can provide. With the bigger-than-you-think city of Bielefeld serving as our base, we bundled up and headed out to take our first glimpse of January sunshine.

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In Europe

18 Things to Do in Düsseldorf From a Local

This list of 18 things to do in Düsseldorf was compiled to give travelers like yourself an easy, digestible overview of what unique and popular sights you can find across the city I’ve been fortunate enough to call home. To go more in-depth on traveling in Germany, check out my list of things to do in Germany and the off the beaten path guide. If you’re interested in something more literary, you can read a few chapters from my upcoming book on moving to and living in Germany. Have more questions about traveling to Germany? Contact me to set up a consultation.

Now, let’s get on with these 18 things to do in Düsseldorf.

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In Europe

12 Things To Do In Berlin You Might Not Have Thought Of

You don’t need me to tell you to visit Checkpoint Charlie, Brandenburg Gate, or to pay your respects at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (but apparently it does need to be said not to take selfies there). But Berlin being the international cosmopolitan European capital that it is, there are thousands of things to do in Berlin beyond the typical tourist wishlist.

So instead, I’m sharing with you the things to do in Berlin that I’ve both personally enjoyed and that, perhaps, you haven’t thought of or knew about. It makes for a shorter list, but hopefully a more digestible one. And speaking of digesting, I’m mostly looking at eating and drinking. Viel Spaß.

Tip: Leaving Berlin? Read 33 things to do in Germany, my off the beaten path travel guide, how to ride the German train system, and language tips. For something more literary, check out a chapter from my upcoming memoir on moving to and living in Germany.

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In Essays/ Europe/ There Must Be Order

The Fancy Marriage Certificate

The following is a chapter from an upcoming memoir on moving to and living in Germany. Read more here.

Melanie and I arrived early for our appointment with the German consulate in downtown Chicago. If we couldn’t meet German language expectations, we would at least hit the punctuality stereotype. We even had time to circle the block and grab a bagel before heading in. I know the German officials couldn’t see that, but I suppose I hoped for some karmic points.

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In Europe

33 Things To Do In Germany: Travel Tips From A German Transplant

This list of 33 things to do in Germany was compiled to give travelers like yourself an easy, digestible overview of what unique and popular sights you can find across the country complete with the occasional clip from my time as host of The Germany Travel Show (click here for more on that). To go more in-depth, follow the links below, watch the videos, and check out the off the beaten path guide. If you’re interested in something more literary, you can read a few chapters from my upcoming book on moving to and living in Germany. Have more questions about traveling to Germany? Contact me to set up a consultation.

Now, let’s get on with these 33 things to do in Germany.

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