Browsing Category

Europe

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.

Continue Reading →
0 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.

Continue Reading →
0 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.

Continue Reading →
0 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.

Continue Reading →
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.

Continue Reading →
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 Europe/ Outdoors

Mosel, Germany: Trains and Trails from Burg Eltz to Trier

Moselle River

I’ll admit that I’d been mentally preparing myself to be underwhelmed by Burg Eltz thanks to its Instagram ubiquity. If you follow multiple German Instagram accounts, as I do, you see it rather constantly. There it is, in the fog. There it is from afar, in the fog. There it is, with a woman in a flowing dress standing on the bridge, in the fog.

With that in the back of my mind, I set off hiking from Moselkern, picking up a grassy trail I found on Komoot that eventually led to trail shared between the Traumpfade and the 365-kilometer Moselsteig. It was the first of November with the weather to match; crisp fall air circulating above the orange, brown, red, and yellow leaves covering the trail. And yes, fog. Fortunately, the quick ascent in elevation provided all the warmth I needed.

Continue Reading →

In Europe/ Outdoors

A Sauerland Jaunt: Hiking Two Stages of Germany’s Rothaarsteig

Hiking in Germany Rothaarsteig

Germany is home to lots of Steigs. I should know, I’ve now hiked portions of four or five. The latest addition to my Steig-repertoire is the Rothaarsteig — a 97-mile (156-kilometer) trail running south from Brilon in the Sauerland region. I had hiked in Sauerland before, a loop along the Drei-Türme-Weg out of Hagen, which is more or less the gate into the Sauerland region coming from the west. The hike left me with fond memories of dense forests and actual elevation, a gift not to be forsaken coming from rather flat Düsseldorf. Needless to say, it left me longing for a return to the region and I was pleased to find yet another multi-stage trail in the Rothaarsteig.

With an upcoming empty weekend, I reached out to the folks who manage the trail, asking for a stage with the best connection to public transport but still a challenging hike. They recommended starting from the beginning in Brilon, hiking 20-plus kilometers to Willingen and another 20-plus to Winterberg the following day. Indeed, these were excellent choices in terms of public transport, with both Brilon and Winterberg within two-and-a-half hours of Düsseldorf and just one transfer in Dortmund.

Continue Reading →