First Hard Hike of 2018

Brauneck is a mountain for the heart. I don’t mean your sappy soul; I mean that muscle pumping in your chest that will be in your throat by the time you’ve hiked halfway up this steep mountain. This is our fourth or fifth time here. It’s only 12-15 pop songs away from Munich depending on […]

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An Island in the Baltic Sea by Pamela Hensley

My cousin Martin lives a clay-tiled house on an island in the Baltic Sea. Set back from the road, or what they call a road, a single lane of concrete slabs placed one after the other an axle-width apart, the house is one of four or five on a stretch of land above the shore. […]

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Twenty-Year Anniversary

Das Rathaus in MünchenTwenty years ago today, I landed in Munich with one very awkward old suitcase, three job interviews (the same day with jetlag) and my cocker spaniel, Bodie. It was a beautiful, sunny day–the first day of June 1995. It’s a good thing I moved to Munich in summer; if I’d arrived here […]

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From Lake to Lake to Lake to Lake — Rafting in Mecklenburg

The day before I’m scheduled to go rafting in northern Germany, I have a fever of 102, body aches and a migraine. I had a tick vaccination, which carried with it some pretty hefty added bonuses. I certainly hope the vaccination was worth the side-effects. If I don’t see at least one tick this summer […]

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New Story at Prime Number Magazine

Sweet readers. I know all of you aren’t Russian and Chinese spambots. Over the last few days, you’ve sent me 10,000 hits a day. I hope you’ve had a laugh. Maybe you’ve learned something? I’m not really here to teach you anything (that’s my day job), but I do hope to keep your eyes open, […]

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Do I really have to pronounce everything correctly when abroad?

How do you react when you hear someone mispronounce a place name or a famous person’s name? A few years ago I was hanging around the lobby of the MoMA in NYC waiting for my friends to get their museum fix. As you know, if you’ve kept up with my travels, I hate museums. Actually, […]

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Another Chance for Usedom

Recently, I dissed the Baltic Sea. I called it a ‘make-do’ sort of vacation spot. I pooh-poohed the smoked and pickled fish thing. I did. I haven’t become a fan of smoked and/or pickled fish, but I have warmed up to Usedom. But maybe it was because Usedom warmed up too. We had mostly excellent […]

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City Hopping — Warnemünde

It is said that the little spa towns along the shores of the Baltic Sea have their charms.Well, I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again here: this place is a make-do sort of holiday destination with samey architecture–well maintained villas, small hotels and little huts that sell smoked fish–and an uneasy feeling of […]

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Tiptoe Through the Tulips — A Walk through the Garden Show in Hamburg

I love flowers. Andrew the Whale Whisperer has always told me I take too many pictures of flowers, so why does he ask, “Do you have your camera?” as we’re setting out for the Garden show in Hamburg? Of course I have my camera. It’s cold and almost raining. We have our umbrellas just in […]

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The Best Way to See Berlin

Swans on the Spree–enjoying Berlin from the waterBerlin is a big city. There’s no way around that. Actually, there’s a perfectly wonderful way around it: the Spree. The river that curls peacefully through the city allows you the luxury of seeing the city from a swan’s point of view. Swans don’t waddle down busy streets, […]

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