• Summer

    a winter wunderland

    the day after christmas, i (and much of central europe) woke up to a magical blanket of snow.  i hadn’t at all expected that it would snow during christmas… last year it was around 10c! this here was the stuff of miracles. after breakfast, we took a snowy winter walk around the lake and some residential areas before hopping on a boat for a lake cruise to st. wolfgang– the biggest village on wolfgangsee (which still isn’t really that big at all). it is also the most heavily toured spot on the lake. all the other merry tourists seemed to have the same idea as it was the first day…

  • Summer

    atop the zwölferhorn

    the zwölferhorn, which means something like “the twelfth peak” in german, is a mountain of 1,522m in height that looms over tiny st. gilgen. the village is, in fact, where you go to take the cable car to the top. when i was first researching the area a few months ago i was thinking no way, no how am i ever getting on that cable car! for some reason, i’ve developed a crippling dislike of heights in the last three years or so (good thing i got some swiss travels out of the way before then….) and was thinking i would have to forgo this trip.and then, right before we left,…

  • Summer

    christmas in st. gilgen, austria

    why did i choose to spend christmas time at austria’s wolfgangsee? well, by the beginning of autumn, we hadn’t heard any talk of visitors so i thought it would be a great idea to experience an alpine christmas somewhere. austria, with its close proximity to southern czech republic fit the bill perfectly, especially the salzkammergut area (lake and alpine region near salzburg), which is closer to us than tirol or the other famous alpine regions of the country. we booked a sweet family-owned hotel and christmas was planned! it only took two and a half hours to get to st. gilgen from budějovice (mostly because our driver flew like a…

  • Summer

    embracing czech holidays in tábor

    december weekends in europe are one of my (new) favorite things. there’s always something going on somewhere that accomplishes my usual goal of doing something festive. so when i heard about a killer one-day-only vanoční trh (christmas market) in tábor, a smaller south bohemian town situated on the rail line between  české budějovice and prague, it was decided. i had no prior reason to go to tábor as i just assumed it was another small bohemian town. it’s actually got an important load of history behind it. the name of the town translates to ‘camp’ and is famous as the medieval hussite stronghold of bohemia, lead by jan žižka. if you…

  • Summer

    brno

    if someone told me earlier “in a week, you’ll travel to brno for the day”, i would’ve wondered whaaaaat would ever compel me to undertake that. but my father (whom i haven’t seen in 3+ years) was on business from singapore, so it would be almost criminal not to meet up after being so close! brno, the second largest city in the czech republic, is almost four hours away by bus which isn’t exactly day trip material. but you know what? brno it is! because sometimes plans change! as my mind surely did as i stepped off the bus and was greeted by the warmest sun on my face i’ve felt…

  • Summer

    berlin valentine

    berlin for berlinale and valentines’ week was a hell of a time. i was a little unsure about returning so soon after my all-too-short weekend getaway last summer somehow rubbed me a little bit in the wrong direction, but the city’s back on my good list now and it seems that valentines’ week was the perfect time to realize that it was just a rough patch we were going through. as i was being smothered by winter monotony here in south bohemia, five days in the hauptstadt was just the thing to refresh my spirits. although i was looking forward to seeing the city in it’s snowy winter glory, the…

  • Summer

    eternal winter city

    why am i always in you in the winter, prague? i barely know what a prague summer is like. maybe it’s because i’m busy going other places in the summer. so, prague is a winter city as i know it. the trees are always bare, people bundled up, and what seems like never-ending christmas markets. spent a fantastic first few days of the new year in this city that i love with my mom, who headed to the airport to go back to the U.S. afterwards. the sight and experience of walking along the charles bridge (especially at night) will always be one of my favorite things, even if i…