Isemarkt – Market under the Tracks

I am a big fan of street markets and a sucker for nostalgia. When we planned to come up to Hamburg for a weekend from Berlin, Isemarkt popped into my mind immediately. The market part of that urge is understandable. Isemarkt is a long open-air European style market in Hamburg which stretches out between two…

Alexanderplatz TV Tower : Berlin From Above

The TV Tower at Alexanderplatz is one Berlin landmark that you can see from pretty much anywhere in the center of town. Perhaps only the famous green crossing men are more ubiquitous. The tower’s distinctive ball on a stick shape is a symbol for the city as much as the Brandenburger gate is. The Fernsehturm…

German Efficiency is an Illusion

One of the oft mentioned hallmarks of the German culture is its efficiency. After living here for 6 years, I think this is an illusion. The illusion is not malicious or even intended. It is just a misinterpretation. German society is based on planning and setting expectations. This gives an air of efficiency and proper…

Guide to Experiencing a German Christmas Market

European summers are well known for wine festivals and partaking in local parties is one of the joys of travel. Winter (at least up until Christmas) is the time for Christmas Markets. This is especially true in Germany, though they are extending across Europe. For those that have not had the chance, here is a…

German is an exacting Language

Ragging on the German language is hip. Though it has been hip for several hundred years (looking at you Mark Twain). It is not lyrical or even friendly in its tone and can come off very harsh almost rude. Many of the linguistic constructs seem to make little to no sense, especially to English speakers.…

Trips are our kids

Some people don’t seem to understand my desire for travel, especially the extended trips and slowly moving around a place. They see it as a vacation or a short break from “normal life” and don’t quite get when I say that I want the travel to be the “normal life”. I offer the following metaphor…