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0 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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0 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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In Essays/ Europe/ There Must Be Order

Heimat: There’s No Place Like Home

Hiking In Germany Neckarsteig

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

German is known for its long, confusing string of nouns mashed together like some kind of fusion dish gone wrong. Things start to click as you get on with the language, like a novice palate learning to appreciate the flavors of the aforementioned dish. But upon initial observation, it looks like nonsensical garble. An orgy of vowels and consonants pronounced like Hitler in the middle of one of his spasmodic speeches, his arms flailing about like a Looney Tunes villain.

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In Europe

A Dying Tradition: Beach Fishing from the German Baltic Sea

I traveled to Usedom for this story with Christie Dietz (ASausageHasTwo.com) as a guest of Usedom Tourismus (visitusedom.com). As always, all opinions are my own.

“My name is Uwe Krüger. I’m a sixth-generation Ahlbecker fisherman. From being a little boy to becoming an older man, I’ve experienced everything here on the beach. We opened our fishing hut 28 years ago – it’s called Uwe’s Fischerhütte. It’s a small restaurant where and we catch the fish ourselves.”

Both sides of Uwe’s family come from fishing families, going back generations. It was his grandfather that introduced him to the craft.

“When I was five, I started going out fishing with my grandfather and enjoyed the sea air. I can still remember the smell of the fish we caught as children. Whenever we fish for European smelt or have one in a net, it makes me remember my grandfather and my childhood.”

People like Uwe are a dying breed. The beaches used to be filled with fishermen. But when we joined them in July at four in the morning, they were the only ones preparing to head out to sea. Continue Reading →

In Africa/ Trailblazers

Trailblazers Q&A: Sophia Musoki Shines A Spotlight On Ugandan Food

Sophia Musoki A Kitchen In Uganda

Trailblazers, checks in with creatives from around the world to share their story. On this edition, we welcome Sophia Musoki of A Kitchen In Uganda.

Sophia Musoki, A Kitchen In Uganda

Sophia Musoki is a Ugandan though currently living in the Caribbean. She’s enjoyed working with her hands for as long as she can remember, crafting things and sewing clothes. In 2012, she started blogging, focusing on Ugandan food from 2014 onwards at A Kitchen In Uganda. Her work has since been featured on CNN and she was a finalist in SAVEUR Magazine’s 2018 Blog Awards. Continue Reading →