Is Colmar Europe’s Most Beautiful City?
Hitchhiking, toy museums, Christmas markets, and the Statue of Liberty. We kept ourselves fairly busy in this attractive, architecturally-lavish French town. Just 20 kilometers from the German border, Colmar is the third largest city in Alsace, a region of France well known for its wine, and formerly seized by Germany on two occasions in 1871 and 1940 resulting in a beautiful pairing of French and German architectural styles. Arguably one of the most beautiful cities we’ve visited, Colmar is more than just another pretty face in the crowd of quaint European cities. Its museums, shops, markets, and squares give it a creative and intelligent personality to flaunt as well.
Celebrating the Holiday Spirit in Basel, Switzerland
Located right at the intersections of France, Germany, and Switzerland, Basel is a fairly easy visit on European travels. Plus, it’s not as expensive as its other costly Swiss counterparts like Zürich and Geneva. However, seeing this third most populated city in Switzerland in the summertime is a much more appealing thought as far as I’m concerned. As we walked along the Rhine River, I shivered from the cold breeze while trying to imagine the city in warmer weather. Our tour guide was telling us how people really take advantage of the water in the summer, relaxing along the banks and dipping into the Rhine. Looking at the river now in the cold month of December there was hardly any activity, but it provided a calm and beautiful view of the city, waiting until the weather warms up to be used as more than a backdrop once again.
5 Things You Didn’t Know About York, England
While planning my trip to Northern England, I asked an English friend what places would be worth a visit. York was one of his top recommendations so I naturally decided to make a stop. After spending 3 underwhelming days in Newcastle, I was happy to find that York had all the charm and numerous sites that Newcastle was severely lacking.
But admittedly, I really didn’t even know the city existed beforehand. I suppose the name New York City (and state for that matter) had to originate from somewhere, but I hadn’t ever given it a thought. And being that the US was settled largely by the English, it would make sense that an “Old York” exists somewhere in England. Though after some research, I found out that New York City wasn’t necessarily named after the city of York, per se. It was originally a Dutch colony named New Amsterdam, then later became English and was named New York after the Duke of York, who was the brother of King Charles II – not specifically the city itself.
7 Reasons Why You Should Visit Ireland
Last summer during our 3 month tour of Europe, we avoided traveling around Ireland and the UK because we felt it just wasn’t “foreign” enough. There’s something to be said about exploring a place when you’re lost in the language and can’t read all that surrounds you as you explore a city. But now having toured much of Europe, I found a good reason to visit Ireland and was pleasantly surprised by the trip. With so much culture and history it can be difficult to decide where in Europe to visit first. So if you’ve avoided Ireland in place of European classics like France or Italy, it might be time to reconsider this country made famous by whisky, Guinness and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
A Day Trip to Bratislava Slovakia
We recently spent a week in Vienna enjoying the Viennese culture and gay pride events. After spending enough time in the city, I wanted to venture out for a day trip to see another part of the country. I spoke with our couchsurfing host and didn’t get very good vibes for worthwhile Austrian trips just outside Vienna, so I decided to cross the border to the east.
A Venture Into Vienna
Last year during our round the world trip we went through Austria on our way to Germany but never took the time to make any stops in the country, though we would have liked to. However, last month we finally had the opportunity to check out Vienna. Not surprisingly, the culture was in sharp contrast to Spanish life and having been living in Madrid the past three months, we were not fond of Vienna to start. As we walked in the city one warm evening all we could think was, “Where are all the people?” We were so used to seeing Spanish life spilling into the streets and filling up the plazas on just about every day of the week – especially in the summer. However, after a couple days of adjustment we started getting the hang of Viennese life.
How A Trip Around The World Threatened Our Relationship
Taking a trip around the world should be a romantic experience for any couple in love, shouldn’t it? Well we can’t speak for other couples, but it was no romantic getaway for us, at least some of the time – ok, many times. In fact, it was quite the opposite. We’d never fought so much in the seven years we’ve been together. It’s safe to say that by the end of our trip around the world our relationship was strained and apparently not aging well, so much so that if it had a face it’d look like Michael Douglas.
Gay Backpackers: Out of the Closet or In?
I started writing this post on gay backpacking last year before we began our trip around the world. However, I decided it would be best to post it after our year abroad to share our actual experiences.
Being gay backpackers, Auston and I had talked a little bit before we started traveling about what our plan would be as to whether or not we’d come out to people we meet while traveling. The general consensus was that we’d just have to feel out every situation. So from the beginning, we told everyone that we were friends from college which is how we actually met anyway. We also didn’t wear our wedding rings while abroad just to avoid any unexpected questions.
Touring Mendoza’s Many Vineyards
From the large and lively city of Buenos Aires we headed next to the small and calm city of Mendoza, Argentina in search for the promising vineyards it’s well known for. We had hoped to visit some vineyards all over the world while we traveled, especially while were in Italy, Spain and Portugal. However, we never made the time for such activities so our visit to the vineyards in Mendoza was long overdue.