Snowy Christmas fun in Brunico

Brunico Italy

When in doubt, go to Italy for the weekend. The Dolomites are just a few hours away from Munich by car, so you really have no excuse not to. Last weekend we set out for Brunico (Bruneck in German), a small town in the Puster Valley. Normally the drive should have taken less than three hours, but thanks to the weather it was closer to four. I didn’t mind at all, given the snowy paradise that presented itself upon our arrival. Continue reading

The most wunderbar time of the year

Christmas in Munich

It’s time for my annual I-love-Christmas-in-Germany post. The Christmas markets opened last week, looking much as they do every year. I’ve noticed a couple new stands here and there, but for the most part everything is in its place. Now if we could just have some snow to make them even cuter, I’d be in heaven.

Gluehwein at Der Pschorr

I’ve written several posts about the markets over the years, such as this one about the best Munich Christmas markets for pretty much everything (or you could just view all my posts about Christmas markets). One stop I haven’t talked about yet (but is worth a mention) is the Alpen Wahn, a cozy little stand outside Der Pschorr serving red and white glühwein until 11pm each night (which is later than most of the other markets are open). Look for it at the north end of the Schrannenhalle, just off the Viktualienmarkt.  Continue reading

Creative Austria: cheese and more in Schlierbach

Austrian cheese wheels

Recently I had the opportunity to go on a press trip with Creative Tourism Austria. We spent the first day in the lovely little town of Schlierbach. I am pretty familiar with the Alpy part of Austria, and the Viennese part of Austria, but I think this was my first visit to the gently-hilly part of Upper Austria. We were assured that the landscapes and views are lovely in this part of the world, but alas, heavy fog kept us from enjoying them with our own eyes. No matter, as we found plenty to do indoors at Stift Schlierbach, a monastery full of activities that don’t require the least bit of chastity or charity.  Continue reading

I am Foreigner: Unfortunately Thankfully

Living in a foreign country means always being a little bit out of place and being able to find little amusements and challenges around every corner. Sometimes you feel most at home feeling out of place.

This song captures that dynamic for me, and the video makes me miss Berlin.

I translated the lyrics from the original German into English, trying to maintain the intentionally stilted grammar.  Continue reading

Guest post: back to school with the German Schultüte

A short time ago, children all over Bavaria headed back to school for the fall term. Some of them (specifically, the first graders) were carrying unwieldy cardboard cones that were almost as big as the children themselves. I asked my friend eNVie, who recently made a Schultüte (literally: “school cone”) herself, to explain what these things are all about. Parents in Germany, take note. Here’s what she has to say: Continue reading

FiveFingers Run in Innsbruck

In my recent travels I have been looking for opportunities to go for runs in my FiveFingers “barefoot” shoes. During our trip to Innsbruck I found a great run along the River Inn that runs through the city and provides great views.

View from my Innsbruck FiveFigers run

The course I followed included the 5-Brücken-Runde (5 Bridge Loop), a ~5km route. Continue reading

The only jack-o-lantern on the block

Last night we decided to be true to our American roots and got creative with a pumpkin. When I first moved to Europe in the 90s, Halloween-style pumpkins were nowhere to be found, but this year we were able to pick up one at our local farmers market for only €3 (it was even labeled as a “Halloween-Kürbis”). Continue reading

Dom, dom dom dom… Köln!

Cologne's big Dom

We just returned from a weekend of cavorting with other expat bloggers in Cologne. More about WEBMU is coming up in a future post; right now I want to show you a ridiculous number of photos from our rooftop tour of the cathedral, one of the highlights of the weekend.

inside and high up in the Dom in Cologne

Cologne’s cathedral (Dom in German) is the city’s big recognizable landmark. It is Gothic and old, and definitely worth exploring from as many angles as possible.

hello down there

The tour started with a walk along a narrow balcony that snaked its way around the interior of the church from about half-way up.  Continue reading

Interview: Creative Tourism with Elena

On our recent trip to Innsbruck I had the pleasure of meeting Elena Paschinger of Kreativ Reisen Österreich (Creative Tourism Austria). As an artist and avid traveler, i was excited to learn more about creative tourism. I thought several of my readers would, too, so I asked Elena to answer some questions for us. Continue reading

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