Tag Archives: Travel

On vacation in Southern Bavaria, part 3

12Sta072No report of visiting Bavaria is complete without mentioning the food.  It’s just that delicious! When I speak of Bavarian food, what I really mean is Southern German and Austrian food, because reciped have been traded in these regions for centuries, local cuisines have enriched each other and the result is a variety of cooking that is similar in all these areas.

I want to begin with the beer, because no proper Bavarian would dream of sitting down for a full meal without a beer. There are several sorts, most important Pils, Helles (similar to but not the same as lager), and Weißbier. For those who try to avoid alcohol, there is alcohol-reduced beer and alcohol-free beer these days. I prefer the latter; when we went to Oktoberfest last weekend and I ordered some there, my husband was quite shocked it was actually available! Continue reading

On vacation in Southern Bavaria, part 2

12Sta249The best part of my recent trip was a visit to Rose Island or Roseninsel, as it’s called in German, in the Starnberger See. There is only the one small islet in the whole of the rather big lake, and it’s a truly magical place.

The first people settled there in the Stone Age, and from one point at the shore, you can see the remains of their stilt houses in the water (when it’s clear enough). I was fortunate enough to be able to see them, but taking a good picture didn’t work!

King Maximilian II of Bavaria bought the island from a local fisherman, and used it as a summer retreat for himself and his family. Continue reading

On vacation in Southern Bavaria, part 1

12Sta116My husband and I spent this year’s summer vacation in the south of Bavaria, on the shores of the Starnberger See. It came as a bit of a surprise, as we had other holiday plans at first, but wasn’t it a marvellous place! I fell in love with the area immediately, and am now plotting how to acquire a retirement home there in the future … Just kidding. The housing prices there are about the highest in the whole of Germany. Continue reading


2011.10.09-15.00.14My husband and I don’t own a car, and never have. We come from big cities, where public transport is very good, and now live in a small town, where you can reach everywhere you want (well, almost), by bike. So there never was the need. Occasionally we would rent a car, and if you don’t have all those extra costs for the car’s maintenance and gas, you become generous with calling a taxi. Continue reading

Amazing art in Copenhagen

DSCN0788This past summer, my husband and I went, for the first time, to Copenhagen. The Danes were, to a person, lovely, full of smiles, and blessed with a witty sense of style and humor. (Is there something in the water in Denmark?)  On our last afternoon, we went to the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. This is an amazing museum built around the personal collection of Carl Jacobsen (1842–1914), the son of the founder of the Carlsberg Breweries. Continue reading

the joys of travel photography

fountains of Peterhof are one of Russia's most famous tourist attractions

fountains of Peterhof are one of Russia's most famous tourist attractions

I love to travel and have been lucky enough to do so. In the past three years, my husband and I have been to Berlin, Vienna, Prague, Rome, Venice, Saint Petersburg, Copenhagen and Amsterdam. Our family has traveled to Africa, Europe, Central America, Canada and throughout the United States. One of our favorite things to do is to take pictures of all that we see. And we take a lot of pictures! On our most recent trip we took over 1500 shots. Continue reading

Going to the Mall


A few weekends ago, my husband and I spent a gorgeous Sunday on the National Mall in Washington, DC. I’ve been all over the United States and the National Mall is, for me, the very best of America. The Mall houses the Smithsonian museums, the National Gallery of Art (the only museum not part of the Smithsonian), the Capitol, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Reflecting Pool and many other memorials and gardens. It’s visited by 24 million people a year and hosts rallies, presidential inaugurations, festivals, parades and performances. Over the course of my life, I’ve probably spent a full month of days visiting the mall and I am always excited to go back. Why do I love it so much? Well, for many reasons, but here are the most salient.

For starters, all the museums are free. Free! In America, this is increasingly not the norm. And who knows what those whacky kids in Washington will do next? But for now, every single museum and monument is free to enter. I love that all that the Mall and its museums have to offer is available to everyone equally. Rich or poor—anyone can walk into the Museum of Natural History and see the fabled Hope Diamond or the fabulous new Ocean Hall. Art that previously graced the walls of America’s most wealthy now hangs in the National Gallery of Art for all to admire. The wealth of treasures housed in the Smithsonian museums—currently there are eleven with a twelfth slated to be begun in 2012—is nothing short of astonishing and it’s proffered to anyone and everyone to see.

Continue reading

The perfect coat

regenFor my trip to England later this month, I find myself in need of a coat. I got a lovely weatherproof, knee-length quilted coat which I wear on my bike all winter, but alas this will probably, hopefully be far too warm for late April in Cornwall. So now I am looking for a knee-length weatherproof coat that is thinner without being downright flimsy, perfect for spring and autumn, and those really rainy, cold summer days. Continue reading

English gardens, updated

Trebah Gardens

Trebah Gardens

As I wrote in a recent post, I am planning to go on a tour in England this summer. Following your very kind recommendations, I finally booked a tour that will take my mother and me to Bath, Glastonbury & Wells, Devon, Cornwall, Stonehenge, and Salisbury on the way back. I am looking forward to it very much! (An added bonus: I will be in England at the time of Prince William’s wedding!) Continue reading