VIENNA – visited by streetcar

To visit Austria’s capital, for the most part, you don’t need to join an expensive city tour. In fact, almost all of magnificent Vienna can be visited by streetcar.

View from the Museum Leopold in Vienna
Isn’t that a beautiful picture?
God and some very talented architects made it: It’s the view from a window at the Museum Leopold at the Museum’s Quarter.

So hop on, let’s explore a city full of history, stories, and myths.

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Three Days In Prague – For First-Timers & Repeat Visitors

I might be the perfect person to guide you through Prague, granting three days of awe. Why so? Because I’m an unusual kind of local.

Statue John the Baptist on the Charles Bridge in Prague
John the Baptist showing the way to the Malá Strana quarter.

Locals know the best spots. They can communicate with other locals in the native language and, thusly, they might learn things visitors don’t.

On the other hand, locals tend to be oblivious to the beauty of their surroundings. Ignore iconic places. Bored by beauty.

So not being a real local actually works in my favor. I’m still amazed. And for some reason that I’ll explain below even deeply touched.

See? I’ve told you I might be your perfect guide!

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The Island of BORKUM – West of East Frisia

The tour of German islands is coming to an end. I’ve taken you with me from the former easternmost isle in the Baltic across the north sea to the Dutch border – where we’ll spend a couple of carefree summer days on Borkum.

Beach on the Island of Borkum, Germany
Doesn’t this beach with the colorful chairs and cabanas just look like the perfect summer destination?!

The island of Borkum is one of the seven East Frisian Islands off the coast of Eastern Friesland. It is not only the largest, but also the westernmost one. Therefore, it’s geographically actually closer to the Netherlands than to the German mainland.

The island is located between the Westerems strait and the Osterems straits respectively between the North Sea and the Wadden Sea to the south which grants some fascinating and unique features.

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The Island of NEUWERK – where the way is the goal

“So, by which ferry did you get here?” asks the chubby little lady and her accent gives her away as Southern German. “Well, I came here walking”, I beam at her, still thrilled by my hike from the mainland to the island of Neuwerk.

Hike on tideland from Cuxhaven to Neuwerk
To Neuwerk – this way! You cannot blame people if they don’t believe that you came to an island walking.  

The lady looks over the rough sea where the huge waves are rolling towards the shores of Cuxhaven. She frowns and shakes her head and is, obviously, thinking I’m trying to tell her a cock and bull story.

Little does she know: Visiting the island of Neuwerk, the way is the goal; definitely.

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The Island of HELIGOLAND – soft spot with rough edges

A trip to Heligoland is always a good idea. On just one square kilometer, it unites soft sand dunes and rough cliffs. It adds tax-free shopping to natural wonders like frolicking seals and jumping guillemots.

Bird Rock on Heligoland, Germany
The number of gannets on the rocks on Heligoland’s western cliffs will just overwhelm you.

Heligoland is a tiny archipelago that long ago used to be Danish and British. But, actually, it is as German as can be since the poet Von Fallersleben wrote the National Anthem during his stay on the island in 1841.

However, visiting Heligoland today, either on a day trip or for a longer stay, it is almost impossible to imagine that at the end of  WWII, Germany’s supposedly only deepsea island was completely bombed out. For then long years, it was even uninhabitable.

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, today, Heligoland is one of Germany’s most popular island when it comes to a couple of relaxing days in a secluded spot.

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The Island of FÖHR – every village a home

Föhr – every village a home: What’s that all about?

Thatched house on Föhr
I’m not able to figure out Föhr’s strongest suit – there are so many great things to do and see; the traditional architecture is certainly one of the most alluring ones.

Well, let me take you to one of Germany’s most popular holiday islands where almost each of the 16 villages’ name ends with the suffix –um. Since this is the Frisian and Lower German version of heim…which translates to home, you can imagine how cozy and homey this North Frisian island is to its….homies.

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A VAN-TASTIC TRIP to the ISLAND of FEHMARN

Spending a weekend or vacation on the island of Fehmarn in a camper van gives you a totally different perspective of the island’s cool activities and beautiful sceneries.

Surfer in front of the Fehmarnsoundbridge off the Island of Fehmarn
While the strong wind is the cyclist’s enemy, it’s definitely the surfer’s and kiter’s best friend. One of the hotspots is at Fehmarn’s southern strait next to the legendary Fehmarnsundbrücke, the Fehmarnsoundbridge

After I had spent a weekend on this Baltic island in Spring – when it still was a bit nippy – I thought, in Summer, this place must be paradise.

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ISLAND HOPPING in GERMANY

While international tourism to Germany is increasing, visitors rather stick to the clichés like beer and Lederhosen at Munich and a cruise on the river Mosel; or they hang out at the hip capital Berlin – instead of enjoying Island Hopping in Germany.

I guess that’s the reason why many people think Germany is landlocked. They don’t think about long coasts, two seas, and about 80 islands.

Dunes on the Island of Borkum in Germany
I think this is not the first image that comes to mind when talking ’bout travelling Germany.

However, that’s exactly what Germany’s north has to offer – and many fascinating phenomenons like the tideland that comes with it. As a matter of fact, Germany’s shoreline is longer than the Portuguese one.

So what are you waiting for? Join me on my island hopping…in Germany!

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Pickled: Easy Recipes to Store the Mediterranean Sun in Your Pantry

Pickled fruits and herbs from the Mediterranean cuisine are fantastic: Tasty, pretty, and with my recipes so easy to make! It’s also a great gift to your family’n’friends and a creative way to store the Mediterranean Sun in your pantry.

Oil infused with Herbes de Provence, lemon peel, and garlic next to a lavender plant. An Easy Recipe for Pickled Mediterranean Herbs
Oil infused with Herbes de Provence, lemon peel, and garlic. Close your eyes and find yourself in a lavender field at the Plateau de Valensole.

Especially during travel-restricted times, it’s a great way of bringing the flavors of summer into your kitchen cabinets.

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Art Weekend in Milan

An art weekend in Milan? How so?

After all, of all Italian cities, Milan probably deems the least Italian. No jolly groups sipping Aperol Spritz while playing boccia. Instead, executives rushing from their stately apartment houses to offices in glittering business centers. Hardly a narrow cobblestone alley. Rather big cars on broad avenues. Few statues around. No renaissance. No baroque.

Piazza del Duomo - with the iconic cathedral.
Piazza del Duomo – with the iconic cathedral.

Nevertheless, if you are prepared for what to expect, Milan will not disappoint you. Therefore, let me guide you to the city’s most important art venues – and beyond.

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