Category: Europe

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Do You Know about St. Nicolas Day in Germany? Do You Know the History & Origin of Santa Claus vs. Saint Nicolas?

As a child and even today, my favorite image of Christmas is "Santa Claus".  Who would not love a figure that brings you gifts, right?  Before moving to Germany, I never really gave much thought into the origin of Santa Claus, or why he had so many names (e.g., St. Nick, St. Nicolas, Kris Kringle, ...

See How German I Am Now After Living in Germany

After two years of living in Germany, I wonder to myself how 'German' have I become versus my American culture? The last time I visited home in the States was at Christmas last year, and I could already notice a difference after my first year. So, this got me thinking -- How German Am I ...

Picking the Perfect Day Trip in Ireland: Kissing the Blarney Stone & the Beauty of Cork/Cobh

As long as we live in Germany, I will have my birthday, October 3rd, as a work holiday, since it is German Reunification Day.  This year, the holiday fell on a Friday, meaning we had an extended weekend.  We decided to take a couple of extra vacation days and visit the beautiful country of Ireland.  ...

Picking the Perfect Day Trip in Ireland: Driving Tour of the Ring of Kerry

Day 2 of our Irish Vacation was on my actual birthday on October 3rd. We left our hotel in the beautiful city of Killarney and spent the day driving the "Ring of Kerry" which is a scenic road that loops around the peninsula in the county of Kerry. We saw some beautiful scenery, and watched ...

Picking the Perfect Day Trip in Ireland: Bunratty Castle to the Cliffs of Moher

Today was another long day, but well worth it!!   The weather held off mostly.  We were lucky to have a rain shower at sunrise & sunset, and it gave us beautiful views of a double rainbow both times. The rolling hills of Ireland are truly very beautiful....and green!! We visited another medieval castle Bunratty and ...

Picking the Perfect Day Trip in Ireland: Connemara – Kylemore Abbey – Dublin

On Day 4, we left our hotel in Galway and took a tour through the mysterious Connemara region of Ireland, seeing the largest Fjord in the country and the secluded Kylemore Abbey. In a region of Ireland that was one of the most decimated during the potato famine. After making our way back to Galway ...

See the Differences of Celebrating Birthdays between US & Germany

So, with October 3rd being my birthday, I thought it would interesting to post the differences in traditions associated with birthdays between the US and Germany.  Obviously this post provides general differences, but these can vary depending on the region of each country as well as the origin of the people involved.  In other words, ...

There Is a lot to Love about Worms, Germany – and it is more than the city’s name….

Okay, so for us Americans, we find the name of the town "Worms" to be funny.  The city is not named after a plaque of "worms" but its name has its origin from Latin "Vormatia" meaning "settlement in a watery area" - yeah, I did NOT take Latin!  But, in German, the letter "W" is ...

Picking the Perfect Day Trip from Frankfurt or Stuttgart – the Town of Speyer – One of the oldest cities in Germany

Speyer is located about 20 minutes south of where we live in Ludwigshafen, and was settled about 5000 years ago by early nomadic tribes.  In about 10 BC, Speyer became a settlement as part of the Roman Empire.   As with this part of Germany, the Rhineland-Palatinate area has been settled numerous times between the Romans, ...

How to Properly Watch Germany win the 2014 World Cup

I will honestly admit that I did not grow up a soccer fan.  In the US, soccer is a very popular sport played by kids, as proven by the popularity of the "Soccer Mom".  But, as kids grow up, they seem to stop playing soccer and move on to other interests.  And, the best teams ...