• Experience Trier like a local
    Day Trips

    16 Things to do in Trier

    Trier is my all-time favorite city in Germany. It’s beautiful, it’s charming, and it’s friendly. I know a lot of people plan day-trips into this historical city, but once they see the highlights, they don’t often go back. The Porta Nigra, Basilika, Kaiserthermen, Dom, and Roman Ampitheater are definitely worth visiting, and I would recommend anyone who hasn’t been to Trier before to go to these sites. But, I get it, they’re not exactly things that you would want to visit over and over again. Like I said, I love Trier, and I spend at least two weekends out of every month there. So, here is my list of things…

  • villa borg
    Day Trips

    5 Reasons You Should Visit Villa Borg

    When most people think about Germany, I’m guessing they don’t usually think of Romans. Autobahns and beer, sure. But not Romans. And that’s exactly how I was, too, until moving here in 2015. Living so close to Trier, though, and having a husband who is super interested in the Roman history of the area, I’ve been introduced to the vast and rich history of Romans in Germany. Unfortunately, though, I’ve never been much of a museum person, so looking at Roman artifacts behind glass cases or peering down into ruins is not one of my favorite things to do. But, like I said, I have a husband who is super interested in…

  • germany summer
    Life Abroad

    Staying Cool in the German Summer

    Summers in Germany can be rough. I mean, really rough. I used to think it was laughable when my husband would complain about the 85 degree weather in Germany when I was dealing with 110 degree weather in Texas. But don’t let those numbers fool you. I’ve come to learn that 85 degrees in Germany does not feel like 85 degrees in Texas. And when you’re used to having every house, store, and restaurant cooled to a constant 68 degrees, not having anywhere to escape from that heat to can be a nightmare. So, before you start calling for me to turn in my Texas card, here are ten ways…

  • Life Abroad

    Lions and Tigers and Hookers….Oh my!

    Germany is beautiful. I mean, really beautiful. The landscape in the Eifel is like something out of a fairytale. Beautiful forests, bright blooming flowers, powerful rivers snaking their way through hillsides dotted with tiny villages. The colors of everything are more vibrant. The grass is greener, the sky is bluer, the flowers are bolder. And as much as I love Texas, it’s got nothing on the forests here. So, I’m pretty fascinated by them. Our village actually sits on the edge of a forest, and I can see it from our living room window. We also drive through it pretty regularly, and I’m always amazed at how dense and dark…

  • Day Trips

    Spending the Day in Ostend

    The coastal city of Ostend is known for more than just it’s sandy beaches.  It was also home to one of America’s most beloved musical icons. The Beach with the Most Soul  First Impressions Aren’t Always Correct We got there around lunchtime and wanted to head straight for the beach. But first, we had to stop at a bathroom. Man, do I wish I had taken pictures! First off, the men and women shared a bathroom. Weird. Just weird. So, my husband and I walked to the same door. There was a lady standing there directing the traffic flow in and out of the bathrooms. She only spoke Flemish, so we…

  • Castles

    Burg Thurant

    Not Your Average Castle If you’ve never heard of Burg Thurant, I won’t be surprised.  I’d never heard of it myself, nor had my husband for that matter, until we happened to drive past it on our way to Burg Ehrenburg.  In fact, it seems this type of chance encounter is how most people discover the castle.  A quick look through TripAdvisor results in comment after comment of “stumbled upon this gem by accident.”   How to Get to Burg Thurant As you can see on the map, it’s just a short drive south of Koblenz.  And it’s situated right on the line between the Mosel and Hunsrück regions. Regardless…

  • Festivals and Markets,  Life Abroad

    Let’s Talk Sausage

    Back in Texas, about the only time you would catch me eating sausage was when I would float the Guadalupe River in late summer.  We’d drive down to New Braunfels, stop off at the last Wal-Mart before the turn-off, and load up on Bud Light Lime (don’t judge me) and summer sausage.  The first time I mentioned summer sausage to my husband, he said, “What the heck is that?”  And the first time I showed it to him, he said, “That is not real sausage.”  And when I explained to him that we would just cut it and eat it right out of the package on the water, he threw…

  • Best German Saunas in the Eifel
    Life Abroad

    My Top Three Sauna Recommendations

    For Sauna Newbies The internet is littered with horror stories about Americans trying the German saunas for the first time.  They’re overwhelmed.  They’re uncomfortable.  They’re totally lost.  And while we tend to focus on the fact that those first-time experiences were negative – albeit highly entertainingly negative – what gets lost is the fact that many Americans are giving the German saunas a chance. In my previous post How to Sauna Like a German, I talked about the dos and don’ts of sauna going in Germany, as well as tricks to avoid being naked.  But once you’ve got that down, where do you go?  And how do you know which…

  • Mystery Dinner Theater Burg Ehrenburg
    Castles,  Food & Fun

    Burg Ehrenburg

    Medieval Murder Mystery Dinner There are over 20,000 castles in Germany.  20,000.  When most people think of castles, their minds go straight to the big ones, most of which are in Bavaria.  But with 20,000 castles, that means there is so much more to explore than just southern Germany.  In the Eifel alone, there are over 100 castles.  And just next door, along the Mosel, there are over a dozen more.  The nice thing about living where we do is that we are just a short drive from all of them.  And that means we can drive to them on a whim. Which is exactly what we did a few weeks…

  • Winter Hike Mosel Loop in Bremm Germany
    Hiking

    Hiking in Snow is a Great Idea – NOT!

    Hiking Calmont (in Winter) A few weeks ago, my husband and I had a discussion about the topography of the Eifel.  Twice a week, I drive to a city over an hour away where I teach a couple of university courses.  I’ve noticed, especially the past couple of weeks when we had snow, that there are spots along my drive where the weather is much more severe.  So, we got into this topic of the Eifel’s topography and realized that along my route I drive over a pretty decent amount of elevation changes.  My husband, who is very research oriented, got way deeper into the geography of the area and…