The other weekend we drove a mere two hours down to the Swiss border and then another hour(ish) to reach Interlaken, our destination. I've lived in southern Germany for almost three years and had yet to drive to Switzerland. Why? Because I figured Austria has plenty of beautiful alps and lakes and is probably less touristy and much cheaper than Switzerland. To be honest, cost was really the bigger hindrance for me. I like a good deal, and the country of Switzerland is not in a business to provide deals to tourists. Switzerland also uses the Swiss Franc, and while generally the exchange rate is 1 to 1, the actual numbers to purchase things are much higher (as in a Starbuck's coffee will cost you 8-10 Swiss Francs, depending on what you order).Read More
I was in Munich a few months ago and before we left had been reading up on the English Garden (englischer garten). Along with being larger than Central Park, the English Garden also has many beer gardens and surfing as well. When I was reading through the information I had to do a double take to make sure I read it correctly. Sure enough, there's a river flowing through the park and a wake has been created which is set up perfectly for a surfer wanting to catch a few waves in the city. I grabbed some photos and video of people lined up to take their turn. If you're in Munich it's a pretty cool sight to see.Read More
July has been a busy month for me. A group of friends went to Vienna for the fourth and bunked up in a hostel with a room big enough to hold a dance party (yes!). Then the next weekend me and the hubs took off for Scotland and the Highlands and then Switzerland. Right after all that I had training for work further north in Germany complete with my car breaking down, or rather completely dying on me, while driving on the Autobahn. THE AUTOBAHN! I'm so glad I get to face so many fears of mine...heh. To round it out I had a 20 page paper to write last weekend for one of my grad classes. I still don't know why I ever thought taking classes during the summer was a good idea. I think I love torturing myself.Read More
Near Verona, Italy is one of Italy's most notoriously stunning lakes; Lake Garda. Seated in the north near the Dolomites and nestled partly in the Alps, the views all around the lake are the type of thing that poet's dream of. We visited for a very short day Bardolino, a small town along the eastern side of the lake and also home to the famous bardolino wines. The next time you go to your local liquor store check out the Italian wine section and you'll see many varieties of this tasty red.Read More
A girlfriend and I had a short two and a half days to spend in Croatia the other weekend. If you don't read any further, I'll sum up by saying Croatia is great and it's beautiful and an inexpensive place to visit. It was cheap (oh so cheap. I love a good deal and found MANY while there!), beautiful, culturally interesting, and had plenty of history to keep even the anti-history person interested (you know who you are).Read More
My parents were here recently and we took a trip to Verona in northern Italy. It's about a 90 minute drive to Venice and close to Lake Garda as well. The drive south from Germany through Austria, and then on to Italy gets more and more scenic the further south you go. The Alps in Austria were all dotted with green pastures and animals on mountainsides, and once crossed over into Italy the scenery changed to castles and vineyards lining the mountains. I didn't realize just how many castles, ruins, and palaces there were in the Italian Alps until we actually drove through the area. There are so many beautiful towns that looked more than inviting. I wish I could explore the whole region further, could easily spend your entire time visiting just this area.Read More
My parents recently hopped on a nice long flight over from Alaska. My mom has celiac, meaning that she cannot have anything with gluten in it (such as wheat, barley, rye). By now most people have heard of gluten intolerance or celiac so I won't go deeply into the details here. So when my mom mentioned she wanted to go to Italy, I began searching restaurants and places we could go that have gluten free dishes. When I began my search my assumption was that Italy isn't exactly the best place for someone with celiac, but from what I discovered I couldn't be more wrong.Read More
Markthalle is a fun place to visit in downtown Stuttgart. It's an international open indoor market filled with spices, meats, cheeses, desserts, truffles, wine, beer, and everything else in between. Each section is labeled by country and offers local specialties from their particular country. One of my favorite things to do in other countries is to visit the grocery stores. If you want to look into the culture particular to that country, just head to the local grocery store. It's a great way to see a completely different side to a country and something that you might not think to do while on vacation.Read More
I went for a nice stroll this afternoon with my dog, as we do every day. Today I thought I'd bring my camera along with me. This spring has been absolutely beautiful, and hopefully summer is just nice.Read More
My parents are heading to Germany in May. Ever since I found out they were coming I've been searching for things to do and places we can visit. It took me months of scouring the web to make a decision on where to go. I'm quite indecisive, so this was very exhausting for me, hah! Anyway, since I put in all this work creating travel itineraries, I thought maybe someone reading this might find them useful. These all have the base point of Stuttgart, but you can cater them to fit any route.
This is what I ultimately decided to do. It's a slower tour and includes traveling around Italy with a base point of Verona.
Day 1: Leave from Stuttgart and drive down to Verona. Travel through the Alps and stop for photos along the way. Explore the town of Verona and visit the Colosseum that's there.Read More
Monaco is a city...ahem, I mean country...that lives up to the hype. When we first got off the train this was immediately apparent with the incredibly clean and modern station. We walked outside after going up the elevators to leave the underground train maze, and found ourselves at a busy street. We decided to go right which led steep down the hill toward the beach. Had we gone left, I think we might've found Monte Carlo quicker, but don't worry we made our way there eventually.Read More
I visited the Provence area with some girlfriends on our trip to Nice. There was a Viator tour that was offered and which also had amazing reviews. About 240 of them to be exact (although that number could be way off by now). It's called the Provence Countryside Small Group Day Trip and everyone talked about how it was the highlight of their trip and one of the best tours they've ever been on. I booked it and am so glad we went on the tour.Read More
My girls trip to Nice last month for Carnival was nothing short of fantastic. We had amazing food, great wine, tried a few Belgium beers, and thoroughly enjoyed the French Riviera lifestyle. I think I can see myself moving there and staying, forever. If you ever go to France you HAVE to go here. It's so beautiful and amazing here!!
Flying into Nice provided great views. I was surprised to learn that Nice is in the foothills of the Alps, and you could see the snow capped mountains nearly from the beach!Read More
Last year I wrote a post about how much I loved Lake Garda, the northern Italian lake I visited with my sister. This lake is amazing, and although I haven't been to Lake Como I would bet they would be fighting for first place in the amazingly beautiful department. This place is gorgeous in nature, and the towns that dot the lake each have their own charm and uniqueness about them.
Also Read: I Have a New Love, Lake GardaRead More
I’ll never forget the moment my husband got the phone call that we were moving to Germany. I think I was jumping around the house in joy. I have always loved traveling. I studied abroad in Italy when I was in college because I love travel and am fascinated by other cultures, and fell in love with the country. So although I knew nothing about Germany or what to expect, I know I love adventure, culture, and exploring the world around me so I was certain we were going to have a great time. My husband was excited too, but I don’t think he realized what a cool experience living in Germany would be until we actually moved here (and after we took care of the less extravagant details of living in another country i.e. setting up utilities, finding a house, etc).Read More