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In Europe/ Outdoors

Trail Running Around Schmalkalden, Germany and the Lutherweg

Disclosure: I traveled in part as a guest of Thüringen Entdecken. As always, all opinions are my own.

The Thuringer Forest, like any forest, has two stories––one with people and one without people.

Without people, it developed naturally for thousands of years. But the forest has changed over the past 1,000 years since humans started penetrating the forest for its timber and ore.

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In Europe

10 Best Places to Visit in Germany (That Aren’t Painfully Obvious)

Today I’m running through my top 10 places to visit in Germany that aren’t painfully obvious. That means your Berlin, your Munich, your Neuschwanstein-Disney Castle all gone. Why? Because listicles can be irritating enough without someone stating the obvious like, “Berlin is a place in Germany to visit! It’s got history! There was a wall. And now there’s not! (mostly).”

Instead, I’m showing off my favorite spots around the country that I don’t think I would’ve ever found without living and traveling around here for four years.

So, los geht’s, as they say.

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In Europe/ Outdoors

Triberg | Running Through The Black Forest

Black Forest Trail View

The Black Forest is probably the second German region behind Bavaria that most of us have heard about from overseas. We know it’s, well, a forest and that it has something to do with fairytales. The Brothers Grimm, perhaps?

I’m of course talking about the fairytales in their original version––not the cutesy, sanitized versions that found their way to Disney. The German versions wouldn’t give two Scheiße about our modern conceptions of protecting children from violence and gore. The violence and gore were front and center in these stories. And many of these stories were inspired by the region of southwestern Germany we know today as the Black Forest.

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In Europe

Weimar | History and Yiddishkeit Collide

Weimar Street

Disclosure: I traveled in part as a guest of Weimar Tourism. As always, all opinions are my own.

I’ve wanted to visit Weimar for about as long as I’ve known about Weimar––namely its role in early 20th century German history. The long and short of it is, Weimar was the heart of Germany’s post-war (that’s the Great War) democratization efforts. But, we all know what happened to the short-lived Weimar Republic.

Kaput.

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In Europe/ Outdoors

Saxon Switzerland National Park | Hiking and Trail Running

“This might be the most beautiful place I’ve been in Germany,” I told Melanie.

It was just our second day in Saxon Switzerland National Park in southeast Germany on the Czech border (not Switzerland, to most everyone’s surprise). The country had just started to open up again and it felt safe to wear our masks for a two-and-a-half-hour train ride to Bad Schandau on the Elbe River for a short getaway after hunkering down in Berlin for what was starting to feel like a lifetime.

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In Europe

Fürstenberg and the Märkischer Landweg

Fürstenberg Germany

I traveled to Fürstenberg for this story as a guest of Brandenburg Tourism. As always, all opinions are my own.

This is like Suchitoto, I thought to myself in my first stroll around Fürstenberg. The lake town in northern El Salvador is dressed in cobblestones lined with stocky, colorful homes––just like Fürstenberg. There was even a smoky aroma in the air that I’ve come to associate with small town Central American life.

But I was not in Central America. I was a short train ride north of Berlin on the Havel River surrounded by the lakes of the Uckermärkische Nature Park. By boat, as most would’ve traveled until relatively recent history, it’s a two-day journey. I learned this upon my arrival to the Culture Gasthof Alte Reederei where I was staying.

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