February 17, 2018

A Little Friday Fun in Freiburg Germany

Welcome to Sunny Freiburg! Freiburg is the sunniest and warmest city in Germany, right?

Well not today!!

It rained. . . make that poured!More Rainy Freiburg Germany

So what to do when the weather isn’t cooperating?  This is what I did!

What would be better than soup on a cold blustery day? Not much. The beer was pretty good too 🙂Beer and Soup in Freiburg Germany

Then there was the famous grilled sausage with onions. I was told I had to have this and I always follow orders!Freiburg Sausage and onions in Freiburg Germany

I topped off the afternoon with a little cake and coffee. Hey I’m in Freiburg so I had to go with the Schwartzwald Kirsche Kuchen, right??!Cake and Coffee in Freiburg Germany

I really didn’t eat my way through Freiburg but those stories will have to wait till later. I’m on my way out to taste a little wine 🙂


What do you do when weather interferes with your travels?

Many thanks to Historic Highlights of Germany for organizing this trip and to the wonderful people with the Freiburg Tourist Office!



I’m Off to Explore Historic Germany!

I’m not indecisive but I have a hard time naming my favorite European travel destination, it just feels wrong to all the other wonderful places I’ve visited.  But if pressed, I would name Germany as my favorite destination in Europe and by that I would actually mean Bavaria.

Even though I’m bewitched with Bavaria, I’ve been feeling the need (and desire) to spread my wings and discover more of  Germany.  Now I’m being given the chance to explore more of the Historic Highlights of Germany!

Beginning Thursday morning, I’ll be spending 12 days criss crossing Germany.  Once again I’ll be using the very efficient German rail system to get me north, south, east and west in this Central European country.  Get ready for a fast paced trip in the land of my fore-fathers!

Freiburg Minster Germany

Freiburg Minster by Joachim Messerschmidt Deutsche Zentrale fur Tourismus

First off will be a wonderful excursion in the heart of a German wine region and the gateway to the Black Forest, Freiburg. Known as the sunniest and warmest city in Germany, Freiburg also boasts a lovely medieval center, inviting cafes and taverns and a varied history that is all wrapped up in a laid back atmosphere!

Mainz Town Hall Germany

Mainz Town Hall by Rainer Kiedrowski Deutsche Zentrale fur Tourismus

After exploring Freiburg, I’ll be whisked by Deutsche Bahn up to Mainz who sits alongside the lovely Rhine river.  I’ve been to Mainz before but there is much more to this city than I previously explored including Chagall blue stained glass windows, a Gutenberg printing press, Roman ruins and wine!

Erfurt Cathedral & St Severus Church Erfurt Germany

Erfurt Cathedral & St Severus Church by Toma Babovic Thuringer Tourismus

Then I’ll be going east to Erfurt where Martin Luther studied and lived.  This city of towers and spires has enough churches to be called “The Rome of Thuringia.”  Erfurt is home to one of the best preserved medieval Old Towns around and Europe’s longest inhabited bridge!

Sanssouci Palace Potsdam Germany

Sanssouci Palace Potsdam by Torsten Kruger Deutsche Zentrale fur Tourismus

Continuing east, my next stop will be Potsdam.  You know how much I love palaces and castles; well Potsdam is home to some of the most beautiful and famous castles and palaces!  Add in the amazing history and I am excited to visit this city!

Old Quarter Rostock Germany

Old Quarter Rostock by Joachim Messerschmidt

Next, I’ll be zipping up north to the Baltic Coast where I’ll spend time exploring Rostock!  Ever since I wrote “Off the Beaten Path in Rostock Germany” I have wanted to see the unique brick architecture and now I’ll get to!  I’ve never been to the northern coast of Germany so one of my goals is putting my tootsies in the Baltic!

Wiesbaden Fountain Germany

Wiesbaden Fountain by Torsten Druger Deutsche Zentrale fur Tourismus

The last leg of my trip takes me south to Wiesbaden where I’ll spend my last few days.  As I mentioned in “Wiesbaden- Worth A Second Look?I’ve spent a short amount of time here but now I will get that second look!  So I’m looking forward to wandering this elegant spa town enjoying its architecture, museums, shopping, and Viennese style cafes.  Maybe there will also be more wine in my future 🙂

Keep reading, as I’ll be sharing all my adventures with you all!  Follow along using the #exploregermany hashtag or watch our Facebook page!

By the way, I’m not cheating on you Bavaria, just seeing more of your wonderful country.  I’m sure I’ll be back but for now I’m off to explore different corners.  I hope you understand. .  .


Let me know any “must sees” I shouldn’t miss while in Germany!


Many thanks to Historic Highlights of Germany for organizing this trip and to all the sponsors!


Go Go Travel Gadgets!

Traveling, especially to Europe, requires we take along some “gadgets” that make our trip easier.  For European travel, plug adapters are a must.  Yesterday, power converters were necessary but today they are a definite. . . maybe.   Over the years, I have collected a travel sized dual voltage hair dryer and curling iron that are powerful enough to handle my stubborn curly hair plus all my electronics (laptop, camera battery charger and cell phone) are also dual voltage which makes converters a thing of the past!

Even though I don’t usually buy new gadgets,
I found a couple I’m taking with me when I visit Germany next week.

  1. I’m always looking for ways to pare down the size of hair products I travel with.  A few weeks ago I read a review of Lush New solid cinnamon and clove shampoo that really piqued my interest.  The reviewer loved this stuff, going so far to say “I had one of the best hair days I’ve had in years” so I was eager to give it a try.   My exuberance diminished a bit when rereading the review I realized the reviewer was male but I decided to give it a try anyway.  Wish me luck!Lush Solid Shampoo
  2. Why is it that hotels don’t put enough outlets in them? Now days it seems there is always a rush in my hotel room to see who gets the outlet that’s easy to reach without moving furniture or unplugging lights!  Enter the Belkin Mini Surge Protector.  With this baby, I won’t have to rotate my chargeables because I have enough outlets to plug in my laptop, phone and camera battery at the same time.   And I haven’t even touched the 2 USB charging slots yet!Belkin Surge Protector

There you have it, 2 new gadgets I’m giving a try on this wonderful trip to Germany (more details will be coming next week :))!

When I return I’ll give you an update on how they worked.


What are your favorite gadgets you take with you when traveling?

The Hapburgs: Living Large in Life and Death

For better or worse, the Hapsburg’s left an undeniable mark on the history of Europe.  The historical capital of the dynasty is Vienna Austria and anyone visiting this Imperial city set along the Danube can not escape the Hapsburg Empire.

The Hapsburg’s are Vienna and while touring the many sites of this dynasty you learn about their history and get a glimpse of their opulent lives.  But this grandeur did not end at death!

More Imperial Crypt of Hapsburg Vienna Austria

Ornate crypts including some children

The Imperial Crypt is the resting place of 146 Hapsburg relatives dating back to 1633. The last person interred was Otto von Hapsburg, the son of Charles I, who died in 2011.

Entering the crypt you will notice a hush falling over the place much like in a cemetery.  This somber and respectful quiet is fitting since this is the final resting place of 12 Emperors and 18 Empresses.

Imperial Crypt of Hapsburg Vienna Austria

Crypt that is less ornate

The decoration on the sarcophagi ranges from very simple to extremely ornate. You can definitely tell who was important or at least thought they were! Inside each are wood coffins draped in different color fabric and trim depending on the stature of the person.

Crypt of Maria Theresa Vienna Austria

Crypt of Maria Theresa

On each sarcophagus you may see religious symbols and other symbols of power.  I’m not sure I understand the skulls with royal crowns, though.

Crypt Charles VI Holy Roman Emperor Vienna Austria

Crypt of Charles VI Holy Roman Emperor

Keeping with royal tradition, only the bodies are interred here.  The royal hearts are kept in urns at the Augustinerkirche while entrails are located in the catacombs below St. Stephens Cathedral.

Yes the Hapsburg’s lived large and rest in peace in much the same way.


I’m sharing these photo’s as part of Travel Photo Thursday.
For more great pictures, check out Budget Travelers Sandbox.

Maybe I’ll see you there!

Germany, Bavaria, Munich – Need I Say More?

If you’ve read many of the post here, you know how much I adore Germany and especially Bavaria!

I have shared with you how much I enjoy small Bavarian villages (like Mittenwald), Kind Ludwig’s Bavarian castles, beer and my joy at visiting Bamberg with all its breweries. Yes, I’ve probably bored you by going over the top in Bavaria, Bavaria How do I love Thee and if pushed to pick a favorite it would be Bavaria.

Munich Skyline Bavaria Germany

Munich Skyline by BAYERN TOURISMUS Marketing GmbH

In looking back, I realized I’ve never told you about one of my favorite cities in Bavaria – Munich. What is it about Bavaria’s capital city that makes it so wonderful and why should you visit?

Here are 11 reasons to visit Munich!

  1. Galleries full of European art, Bavarian sculptures and can be found in the many Pinakotheken (Picture Galleries) that call Munich home. The oldest is the Alte Pinakotheke and the newest is the Moderne Pinakotheke with the Neue Pinakotheke in the middle. Together these galleries hold so much of interest they will keep any art lover busy for days!
  2. Nymphenburg Palace was built in 1664 to celebrate the birth of a son to Ferdinand and Maria. The summer palace is gorgeous and famous for its Gallery of Beauties, the carriages and sleigh that belonged to Bavarian rulers and wonderful palace gardens.

    Nymphenburg Palace Munich Bavaria Germany

    Nymphenburg Palace Munich by www.schloesser.bayern.de - Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung

  3. The Olympic Stadium was built for the 1972 Olympic games that were held in Munich and include the pool where Mark Spitz won his 7 gold medals! The grounds were built on a former airfield that was transposed into a state of the art Olympic venue including a large hill made of rubble from WWII.
  4. The Residenz is the former residence of Bavarian Kings and the Wittelsbach Dynasty until 1918. Today you will be amazed at the Renaissance building with Rococo interiors. On display are the jewels and crowns of the Wittelsbach along with many silver and porcelain artifacts.
  5. The center and heart of Munich is the Marienplatz. This mostly pedestrian only area was created by Henry the Lion and is a fantastic place to sit and enjoy a beer and bratwurst! It is also home to the world famous Glockenspiel sitting on top of the Neo-Gothic Neues Rathaus. Kids and adults of all ages will be charmed by the lovely chimes and dancing figurines retelling Bavarian stories.
  6. Churches have been the center of communities for eons and Munich has its fair share. The best known symbol of Munich is the Frauenkirche. Built in 1468, it is the largest Gothic basilica in Southern Germany and home to the tomb of Ludwig IV of Bavaria. For the grandest views over the city climb the tower of Munich’s oldest church, Peterskirche. The Baroque jewel, Asamkirche, houses a very ornamental grotto and wonderful ceiling frescoes while the largest Renaissance church in Munich, Michaelskirche, houses the crypt of Maximilian I and Ludwig II.

    Munich City Centre Bavaria Germany

    Munich`s city centre by BAYERN TOURISMUS Marketing GmbH

  7. Beer Halls and Beer Gardens are a staple in Munich and probably the first thing people think of when thinking of Munich. The passion for beer is definitely alive in Munich and there are many options for enjoying your favorite brew and singing along to Bavarian songs. But if you’re in Munich during the summer or warmer weather do not miss the Beer Gardens! This is where Munichers go after a busy day at the office and a great place to feel like a local.
  8. The Viktualienmarkt has been supplying fresh foods to residence since 1807 and is one of my favorite places to wander! This wonderful food market has over 140 stalls full of fresh fruit and produce, handmade jellies, bread, pastry, meats and more. Yes, there is even a beer garden!
  9. If you’d like something a little more relaxing maybe some time in one of Munich’s many Gardens & Parks is needed. Munich is home to palace gardens of Hofgarten and Nymphenburg palace as well as a wonderful Botanical garden. The largest and most popular garden, Englischer Garten, is the place to stroll, ride bikes, rent a paddle boat or even surf!

    Englischer garten Munich Bavaria Germany

    Englischer garten by LuxTonnerre

  10. Don’t even get me started on the Food! I can’t get enough wurst, frites, schnitzel, spatzle, pork knuckles, sauerkraut . . .
  11. Munich has many Museums to enjoy but the grand daddy of them all is the Deutsches Museum, the oldest and largest science and technology museum in the world. Sitting on an island in the Isar river is a huge museum that has amongst its displays an Enigma machine built during WWII and the first automobile. There are displays dedicated to transportation, aviation, mining, energy, physics . . .
  12. If this isn’t enough then go for the people. They are open, gregarious, smiling and the real heart of this wonderful Bavarian capital! 

    What’s your favorite thing to do in Munich?

Photographic Europe: More of my Favorites!

Last week I shared with you some of my favorite travel photographs in Capturing the Colors of Europe.

This week I’m sharing 3 photos that didn’t make the cut.

Wandering around Salzburg last summer not only did I run into my favorite fast food but also this lovely corridor full of many colorful flowers!  Salzburg has so many worthwhile sites to see but I wholeheartedly recommend you spend time just wandering.  The results will be worth it!Lovely Corridor Salzburg Austria

A few years ago I was lucky enough to spend time along the Moselle river in Germany before ending up in the lovely Roman city of Trier.  Even though I only spent a short time along this beautiful river, it left a impression on me and is one of the many areas in Germany I would love to explore more thoroughly!  Besides the wine found along the Moselle, this area is full of charming villages like Traben-Trarbach that are mesmerizing.Traben Trarbach Moselle River Germany

Montreux Switzerland sits on the banks of Lake Geneva and is full of the charm and views you come to expect in this scenic country.  It is also a great city to use as a base. There are many sites within easy reach including Lausanne, wineries and scenic Gruyeres!  One thing I enjoy so much about Europe is it’s abundance of gardens and flowers.  This lovely garden in Montreux is no exception.Montreux Garden Switzerland

These photo’s are shared as part of Travel Photo Thursday.
For more great pictures, check out Budget Travelers Sandbox.

Maybe I’ll see you there!

Capturing the Colors of Europe

I enjoy both color and looking at wonderful photographs so when I first heard about TravelSupermarket’s Capture the Colour competition I was excited to see all the beautiful photographs that would be submitted.  Then Vi at Short Travel Tips suggested I enter and I thought “Yeah sure”!  A little later I got the official invite from the good folks at EasyHiker and EurotravelogueNow I couldn’t ignore my friends so I decide to give it a try!

So here are some of my favorites shots and entry into the Capture the Colour competition. . . Enjoy!



Mittenwald Germany is known for it’s beautiful painted facades.  The paintings have all kinds of colors in them -red, green, yellow and white – but not much blue.  I finally found one that had blue in it and it’s on one of my favorite streets!Mittenwald Bavaria Germany


While visiting the Hofburg in Innsbruck I found a real resemblance to my own personal home so I had to share my favorite golden chandelier!Chandelier in Hofburg Innsbruck Austria


Do you have pictures you just love but don’t really know why?  Well, this is one of those for me.  While wandering Vienna Austria I ran into this lovely statue who’s motto is “By Virtue & Example”.  That is one of the definitions of white, isn’t it?

Virtue and Example Statue Vienna AustriaRed

In Paris, one of my favorite spots is Montmartre. Red seems to be the color of Montmartre from the Moulin Rouge to the easels of the artists!

Painters in Montmartre Paris France


From the dramatic Alps to these beautiful rolling hills, Switzerland is one beautiful country! Plain and simply, I love this picture.  Taken as I was walking up the hill to Gruyeres Switzerland, this photo can make me feel calm on the craziest of days! Green Hills of Gruyeres Switzerland


There you have it, my entry into the Capture the Colour contest!  Here are five more nominees whose photo’s I’d love to see!

Quirky Travel Guy

On the Go Europe

Used York City

Tips for FamilyTrips

More Kids than Suitcases