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Ostalgie: What is freedom, anyway?

This Sunday marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. I’m brought back to my first visit to Berlin, a divided city then. Crossing from West to East Berlin, we had to exchange 25 Mark (about 20 USD) into 25 Ostmark (East Mark). We could not bring East German currency out of the […]

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Europe by Train

When I was a teenager, InterRail (Eurail for Europeans) was for 14 – 18 year-olds. Flying was expensive then; budget airlines didn’t exist (really, young’uns!), and InterRail was the cheapest way to get to southern Europe, sleeping on the floor all the way. Well, things have changed. And to prove that, the good folks at […]

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Autumn in Munich

Last year, the girls and I spent a spring day in Munich, mostly enjoying the lively Marienplatz, and hanging about Viktualienmarkt, the wonderful farmers’ market in the city centre. This time, it’s autumn in Munich, which means one thing: Oktoberfest. Or in our case, pre-Oktoberfest. We’re about a week early, which means we have a […]

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Hamburg by Instagram

Many European port cities have changed in later years. Formerly seedy districts have undergone urban renewal, sometimes veritable metamorphoses. Architects have been given seemingly free reign, often with spectacular results, such as in Rotterdam. I'm strangely intrigued by this building A photo posted by Sophie's World (@sophieredisch) on Sep 9, 2014 at 2:25pm PDT Der […]

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Silent Sunday: The magnificent Berlinerdom (Berlin Cathedral)

The magnificent Berlinerdom, the Supreme Parish and Cathedral Church, better known as Berlin Cathedral, on Museum Island.

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Aachen Cathedral and Charlemagne’s BMI

In Aachen Cathedral lies the body of Pater Europae. And who might he be, this Father of Europe, you ask? When I was an exchange student in the USA, someone once mentioned Charlemagne, a famous emperor of Europe. ‘What?’ I thought at the time. A European emperor I had never heard of? Well, turns out […]

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World at a Glance: Appearances can be deceptive in Regensburg

One day, many years ago, aimlessly wandering about the beautiful German city of Regensburg, I stumbled over this odd sculpture. From the front, it looks like a pious priest, praying for the geese, perhaps – or preaching to them. Ah, but don’t be deceived by that friendly first impression. Walk around the statue. Have a […]

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