Category Archives: Holidays & Festivals

New Year’s Aboard the Eastern Comfort Hostel Boat

Boats are cool and hostels are cool, so a hostel boat must be the coolest, right?  After a memorable three-night stay on board the Eastern Comfort Hostel Boat in Berlin, we’re definitely convinced. The timing couldn’t have been better either since our stay coincided with New Year’s Eve.  Every year on December 31st, your typical Continue reading New Year’s Aboard the Eastern Comfort Hostel Boat

Two of the Best Christmas Markets in Berlin

Who doesn’t love German Christmas markets?  Towards the end of November, they start popping up in towns across the country.  It seems no village is too small to host their own festive extravaganza.  In any given year, Berlin alone offers between 50 and 100 Christmas markets, though only a handful of them are sizable.  Each market Continue reading Two of the Best Christmas Markets in Berlin

Christmas Dinner: Deutsche Din-din vs Yankee Yum-yums

A dilemma of monumental proportions hit us a few days before Christmas.  What the heck were we going to do for the holidays?  Unless you count not planning as a plan, we didn’t have a plan.  We didn’t even intend to cook a real dinner until Christmas Eve when we came across a cold case of comically tiny turkeys at the local grocery Continue reading Christmas Dinner: Deutsche Din-din vs Yankee Yum-yums

Chugging Glögg at the Goslar Christmas Market

Bigger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to Europe’s Christmas markets. The smaller villages in Germany offer fewer crowds and a more intimate festival experience. This couldn’t be more true than in the town of Goslar just 75 km southeast of Hannover, Germany.  Founded in the 10th century, the town owes its Continue reading Chugging Glögg at the Goslar Christmas Market

Highlights of the 2016 Goettingen Christmas Market

Somehow the holiday season snuck up on us this year.  It’s probably partly because Thanksgiving – our festive American predecessor to Christmas – comes and goes without fanfare in Germany.  Plus we don’t shop much and aren’t buying Christmas gifts this year, so we  haven’t been down into the Goettingen city center for months Continue reading Highlights of the 2016 Goettingen Christmas Market

Halloween Burg Frankenstein, A Truly *Monster*ous German Festival

Everyone’s heard of Frankenstein, right?  Even those who haven’t read Mary Shelley’s book are familiar with the basic storyline of Victor Frankenstein – an eccentric scientist who creates a lumbering, malformed humanoid patched together with recycled body parts.  At the sight of the abomination he’s created, Frankenstein casts it Continue reading Halloween Burg Frankenstein, A Truly *Monster*ous German Festival

Ludwigsburg, Home of the World’s Largest Pumpkin Festival

In the US, our infatuation with pumpkins at Halloween borders on the religious.  Long gone are the days when carving pumpkins was just for kids!  For us, October typically involves a carriage ride to the nearest farmer’s pumpkin patch, picking the perfect pumpkin for carving, and hosting a rockin’ party to turn our newly acquired Continue reading Ludwigsburg, Home of the World’s Largest Pumpkin Festival

Fireworks And A Close Encounter With The German Polizei

Every year when Kiel Week ends in June, the event wraps with a superb fireworks show.  After a week of intense sailing competitions and friendly rivalries, hundreds of yachts, tall ships, catamarans, speed boats, and the random cruise ship descend on the southern end of Kiel Fjord to enjoy the show.  Even kayakers participate – or at Continue reading Fireworks And A Close Encounter With The German Polizei

Kiel Week: Boats, Boats, And More Boats

I’ve loved boats for as long as I can remember.  When I was a kid, we used to visit my Gramps at his cabin on the Coeur d’Alene Lake most every summer.  Nestled among swaying pine trees with stunning views of the sparkling blue gem of North Idaho, it was a country kid’s ideal summer destination.  As soon as we arrived, my sister and I Continue reading Kiel Week: Boats, Boats, And More Boats

Baltic Sea Camping at Ostsee-Camp Kliff

What’s it like camping in Germany, you ask?  After an inordinate amount of effort on our part, we can now answer that.  We finally camped in Germany in a bona fide, straight-up legit campground (unlike our trip to Spreewald).  Was it everything we’d hoped for?  Yes and no.  We’ve long since realized that camping is very different Continue reading Baltic Sea Camping at Ostsee-Camp Kliff