• Summer

    august, lately: the first week in berlin

    phewww. what a month! i didn’t have time to write this past month (save for that one post about traveling with your dog – check it out if you missed it!) because from the beginning of august, i was immersed in a berlin-language study-do all the things whirlwind! i left my inbox almost fully unattended until i couldn’t possibly put things off any longer while we were away for most of august in berlin, i working on my studies and alex starting his next writing project on his pretty portable olivetta lettera (above) he dragged all the way from budejovice in this sweet little kollwitzkiez flat that i termed “the treehouse” because of…

  • Summer

    christmas in the bavarian alps

    i hope you had a wonderful christmas and are still enjoying the holiday season! as i mentioned in my last post, we zipped away for five days to enjoy christmas in berchtesgaden, germany which is nestled literally between bavarian alps on every side and has a lovely and historical downtown. i’ve wanted to visit this town for years… really only a couple train rides from our little budejovice. berchtesgaden is only about fifteen kilometers from salzburg (really, just over the austrian border). you can take a regional bus from salzburg to get to berchtesgaden in fifty minutes, which is what we decided to do on the way there – it was…

  • Summer

    of czechs & germans (a short history)

    lovers of european history, i’m calling on you today!  the town i live in may be called czechimpossibletosay české budějovice, but it used to just be known as budějovice or budweis for decades, especially in the 19th century when czechs and germans lived side-by-side and it didn’t really matter who was a czech and who was a german. people here at that time just considered themselves “budweisers”.* although rifts were there at the end of the 19th century, it wasn’t until after the first world war which brought about the end of the austrian-hungarian empire and the creation of the czechoslovak state that the division started rapidly deepening, although from the…

  • Summer

    ten years later, in bamberg

    for the occasion of my mother in law’s visit, a little bit of travel was in order. not only was it her first time in the czech republic, but her first time in europe, so she was really eager to travel west to neighboring germany (a country of her ancestry) to set foot in the vaterland. even though we are really close to austria here, nope! germany it must be. but if you know me, you know that i had no problem with that. i also knew that she isn’t a big fan of major metropolises, and because bavaria is the closest region of germany to us, a specific city…

  • Summer

    berlin christmas market rundown!

    hey. so i know it’s january, folks are knee-deep in resolutions, self-betterment, and photos to prove you went running. but i have some serious intel about the christmas markets in berlin, seeing as i’d been doing this “research” the week of christmas, that needs to be released on the wild internet or the thought will either wither away in my mind or this post will rot in my drafts folder forever. and technically, the twelve days of christmas are still on ‘til the 6th, yo. so pin it, bookmark it, do whatever it is you gotta do if you want to know the low-down on which berlin christmas markets to visit!…

  • Summer

    st. nicholas day & hangin’ in nuremberg

    from what i can recall from my travels around germany in 2007, nuremberg (nürnberg) had the king of christmas markets; topping many a list. not only is the setting gorgeous and the stalls seemingly unending, but they are famous for both their glühwein and their lebkuchen (gingerbread). i knew alex had to see this!  i mean, germany is soooo close… and yet, so far. although it would take about one hour by car (or less) if one drove directly west of budějovice to get to eastern bavaria, the public transport connections usually straight up suck. even after twenty five years since the fall of the iron curtain, the infrastructure and…

  • Summer

    the american old west… in germany

    a week ago, i popped into germany for a day to visit a nice little town called pullman city. the name doesn’t exactly sound very german because it’s actually an american westernstadt theme park, located in south-east bavaria just north of passau. the theme of an old-western american city from the 18th and 19th centuries is very strictly kept to. needless to say, i was really looking forward to this trip. i have been to the bavarian-themed village leavenworth in washington state many times, but this was actually the very opposite: an old american village in bavaria! (mind explosion) and a very popular one at that. if you’ve spent any time in…

  • Summer

    best monday

    about two weeks ago, i had one of the best mondays ever. i can’t say the best monday because one monday in scotland i visited the oban distillery at 10am. and another monday in scotland i went to the isle of eigg for the day, which was one of my all-time favorite days, period. but two mondays ago in berlin… that comes relatively close. finally got out of bed about 10:00 after lazing around reading for a bit. breakfast time. about 11:30, walked to volkspark hasenheide to play mini-golf! one of my absolutely favorite vacation activities: nothing says “i’m on holiday” quite like mini-golf. the weather was nice and sunny, with only…

  • Summer

    mein leipzig

    i spent the first half of my birthday busing to leipzig via prague and dresden. i’m not sure at what point i thought that booking 5:40am bus tickets outta ČB was a good idea, but on the morning of my twenty-eighth birthday, it did not feel like one. (fortunately a pitstop at starbucks helped!) i’d never been to leipzig before but because alex and my mutual favorite band was playing there on my birthday night, so the plans were made for us! i quickly settled into our gorgeous flat in südvorstadt near connewitz, a neighborhood that i immediately took a great liking to. it felt strange to be somewhere so like…

  • Summer

    berlinale

    going to the uber prestigious berlinale (berlin international film festival) has been one of those unattainable dreams of mine since about 2007. i mean, why would i ever be in germany in february? welp, when it’s only seven hours away by bus and alex has the week off for spring break, it seemed like the stars were aligning to make it happen. booking our visit over a month in advance had several advantages: the bus tickets were super cheap, a great hostel near potsdamer platz (festival headquarters) was quite vacant, and i had something to occupy my always-planning mind during long, cold january. berlinale is a generally pass-less festival, with…