• Summer,  Travel

    Travel on the Mind + More Sweden (Stockholm & Uppsala)

    funny how trips work. day of return from trip: BOY I’M SO GLAD TO BE HOME! NOW I CAN DO ALL MY “HOME” THINGS AND BE COMFY AND COOK MEALS! I’VE MISSED YOU, BED! day after return: oh, it’s kinda nice to sit and read and have a cup of tea, isn’t it. but hm, i wonder what is the best way to get to south-eastern germany from here. two days after return: OH LIFE IS SO DULL, the weather’s such crap, when is the next trip?! okay, the last one might have been slightly exaggerated (only slightly though) but there’s no doubt that already the gears up there are…

  • Berlin,  Summer,  Travel

    A Surprise Berlin

    when i returned from sweden, i had no intention of planning any more international trips this summer. but SURPRISE! i ended up planning an impromptu berlin weekend: summer’s last gasp. and it was a fabulous weekend to be in my lieblingsstadt: gorgeous weather and plenty going on.  i’d only been in berlin for the summer once (2008) for a few days and fell in love with the buzz and energy i never quite fully felt when living there in the fall and winter months. winter in berlin can honestly feel like the darkest coldest place you can imagine that can make you want to hole-up in your flat drinking A&P…

  • Summer,  Travel,  TravelTips

    Stockholm

    definitely enjoyed my time in stockholm. when people ask me how was it, it’s really hard to describe it in a concise and telling way besides saying it was “great”. it was big, easy to get around, very maritime, very clean, very nordic… it was like going home, except things were generally in swedish and really expensive. really, it felt like i was going “home” when i was there. sometimes i would forget that i had to go back to czech republic, as if i was going to just stay forever. my favorite things i did in stockholm…. wandering around gamla stan on the first evening– a warm and balmy…

  • Summer,  Thoughts,  Travel

    Grinda Island

    hello! i have returned from sweden yesterday. deciding not to post or really spend that much time online was a conscious decision so i could spend all of my time in the moment. and i am so happy i did! sweden felt very familiar to me– it was friendly, welcoming… and even their word for “hello” is “hej” so it sounds like everyone is greeting you like a friend: “hey!” instead of the formal “dobry den” (good day) that i’m used to here. first i wanted to share about one of my absolute favorite parts of the last eleven days… i stayed in a cozy cabin on a little island called…

  • Austria,  Summer,  Travel,  TravelTips

    Camping in Hallstatt

    spent an amazing three nights camping in the salzkammergut lake district of austria on the hallstätter see (lake hallstatt). hallstatt is a tiny village crammed on the edge of a mountain right on the huge beautiful blue and green lake, with crystal clear glacier water. i wanted a decompress-relax holiday and i got it! walking back to the campground there was a lot of this! pretty as a postcard what says holiday like ice cream cones? in mein neues hut! the bone chapel– over 1200 skulls, half of them lovingly painted with pictures to represent characteristics of how the person was in life. started due to the small size of…

  • Czech Republic,  Karlovy Vary,  Summer,  Travel

    Vary Good Times

    hello friends. i’ve just been to karlovy vary for one of my most anticipated trips of this summer– the karlovy vary international film festival! i am a film festival addict. from the very first summer i lived in seattle (2005) i have been involved with SIFF; first as a patron, then volunteered, and finally interned for three years in guest relations.  i count down the days until the film festival catalog comes out every year, and then spend hours poring over the films and making a detailed color-coded google calendar. this year was the most special because: i’m not working!!! no job to go to, just as many films as i…

  • Czech Republic,  South Bohemia,  Summer,  TravelTips

    The Five-Petaled Rose Festival in Český Krumlov

    one of the biggest festivals of the year in this region, held in little ĉesky krumlov. it’s a city-wide renaissance fair with many stages and areas of interest for acts like juggling, snake-charming, renaissance songs, sword fighting, falconry… and a band that claims the genre “castle rock” (awesome). many festival goers wander around in traditional medieval dress– especially since free admission with a costume as an incentive. what is not to love about wandering around a cobblestoney old town drinking a mojito? as well as this, we ate at the ever lovely vegetarian joint laibon, snacked on ice cream cones, watched the canoers wipe out at rougher points in the river…

  • Czech Republic,  Life Abroad,  Travel

    Leaving Home, Living in Europe

    when i left seattle last july–almost a year ago–i didn’t have a goodbye party… something i sometimes kick myself for. although that’s what most people do when they go away for a long time, it didn’t seem real to me then. i told everyone where i was going and when but i didn’t feel like the occasion warranted a full-out goodbye party. sometimes i downplayed my departure.  that seemed too definite at the time. when i packed my clothes in anacortes last august, i didn’t quite understand what i was packing for. even though it was august, i forced myself to pack a warm winter hat and a sweater or…

  • Austria,  Life Abroad,  Spring

    Linz-erdays

    took a weekend jaunt to linz, austria… just over two hours south of us by train and even faster by car. it’s the third largest city in austria and twice the population of budejovice. it doesn’t have the tourist draw of vienna, salzburg, or innsbruck but it was a medium-sized city in austria that was relatively close to get to. that’s mainly why i wanted to go, even though i found out later that linz does have a rich history but it’s just not quite talked about or as exciting as the other cities. who can compete with ‘the sound of music’, anyway? it’s also where people in budejovice go…

  • Life Abroad,  Travel,  TravelTips,  Vagabond Days

    travel bests & worsts

    hey er’body! this weekend has been all about SERIOUS relaxing in preparation upcoming weekend jaunt to linz, austria.  park days saturday, sunday, and even today before the nice weather goes away. also, finishing the wire’s last season (incredible: one of the best TV shows of the 21st century thus far for sure). today my class was canceled so i had a nice sit…. seeing how’s i’ve spent over nine months “on the road” and have lived almost entirely on things that i brought with me when i packed all my belongings up last july. it sure is daunting to pack for over a year, and i’m surprised it went so…