Stone Gargoyles: such wonderful faces

Gargoyles, original caricature art! You can find these unusual stone portraits in many cities across Europe.   They have always fascinated me .                         What is the stone carver telling the audience?  What is each face telling us?                          As part of my walking tour in London, courtesy of Context Tours, I                           visited a churchContinue reading “Stone Gargoyles: such wonderful faces”

Germany: off the beaten path, a 2 week adventure, summary

April 2015 German Towns off the beaten track that should NOT be missed:   Munster, Koblenz, Oberwesel, Augsburg and more Munster Famous for bikes, great beer, churches and the woman in the tower, not the cheese. A very friendly town with great walks and bike trails as well as a solar boat ride  Enjoy theContinue reading “Germany: off the beaten path, a 2 week adventure, summary”

London Free Light Show in the Shoe Store

Next to the Apple store in Covent Gardens in London is an amazing light show                                                                                        Feels like a rock concert in a shoe store            This is Galleria Melissa, a innovative shoe store.  According to their web site:  founded in 1971 and has since collaborated with the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Vivienne Westwood, Gareth Pugh, theContinue reading “London Free Light Show in the Shoe Store”

Trier Germany, last stop on Off the Beaten Path solo trip

Trier, Germany  A university town that is easy to navigate with  so much to see and do. The ancient Roman gate to the city, the Constantine Basilica and the Roman baths are reminders to the far reaching Roman empire and how much history I have viewed during my 2 weeks in Germany.    Trier sits on theContinue reading “Trier Germany, last stop on Off the Beaten Path solo trip”

Regensburg: a Unesco World Heritage Site seen on a solo trip

Regensburg, off the beaten track in Germany, traveling solo A wonderful city to walk the lanes and avenues, even if the sky is overcast.   Arriving by train in the morning gave me almost an entire day to become oriented to the city.   Day two I would visit many of the locations my guide,Continue reading “Regensburg: a Unesco World Heritage Site seen on a solo trip”

Wiesbaden Germany: off the beaten track solo

Wiesbaden, Germany:   off the beaten track on a 14 day adventure for a solo traveler The old building is reflected in the newer architecture Arriving late in the day and taking a taxi to the boutique hotel Klemm a delightful oasis close to the center of town, I had to wait until the next dayContinue reading “Wiesbaden Germany: off the beaten track solo”

Heidelberg: off the beaten track, Brezeles to Chocolate

Heidelberg:   home of the bretzle, castle, university, chocolate and  more Heidelberg was a surprise.  The city bustles.  I spent only two days in the Old Town of Heidelberg and found so much to see and do. There is endless history surrounding Heidelberg and my wonderful guide Charlotte Frey knew it all. She wove GermanContinue reading “Heidelberg: off the beaten track, Brezeles to Chocolate”

Augsburg, Germany: much to see and do

 A Quick Stop in Augsburg, Germany I only had a half day to explore Augsburg on my Off the Beaten Track tour, but thanks to my wonderful guide Ms. Regina Thieme with Augsburg Tourism, I was able to see a great deal in a few hours. Arriving at the Augsburg train station, a quick stopContinue reading “Augsburg, Germany: much to see and do”

Oberwesel Germany: Home of the Wine Witch

Oberwesel, Germany and the Wine WitchA short stop on my Off the Beaten Track tour in Germany, but one I am so glad I didThe trip from Koblez to Oberwesel went too quickly.  Although I love train travel in Europe, I would trade a train for a boat on a German river anytime! photo from The boat stoppedContinue reading “Oberwesel Germany: Home of the Wine Witch”

Germany: Cake, Castles and Cruises

Cake, Castles and Cruises was my theme for part of my Germany Off the Beaten Track tour Photo from KD web site Having a theme on my trips allows me a personal interest to search for in every town I visit.    How wonderful to find cafes dating back 100+ years in most towns thatContinue reading “Germany: Cake, Castles and Cruises”

Koblenz, Germany Amazing Interactive Exhibiton

Romanticum Exhibit in Koblenz, Germany photo credits below At the end of my city tour of Koblenz I was scheduled for a visit to an  interactive exhibition: Romanticum.  I expected a ‘collection of historic items’ or art but was surprised at what I discovered.     The entire exhibit is interactive from simple information screens toContinue reading “Koblenz, Germany Amazing Interactive Exhibiton”

Koblentz, Germany: exploring solo

Koblenz,  Off the Beaten Track Tour Stop TwoLeaving Munster early on Sunday morning, the train south to Koblenz took less than 3 hours through villages and farmlands not yet showing results of spring planting. The Mosselle and Rhine river meet  Koblenz another UNESCO World Heritage city, may not be as well known as other towns in GermanyContinue reading “Koblentz, Germany: exploring solo”

Billboard messages: Another Great Find In Germany

Germany has a wonderful history in art, architecture, literature, music etc The professional tour guides I worked with in all the cities Off the Beaten Track  that the tourist board arranged for me were amazing.  But my mission disappointed all of them.   My focus was to spend the limited time in each city discoveringContinue reading “Billboard messages: Another Great Find In Germany”

Brezels: Germany off the Beaten Track

Brezels…….the snack food of Germany In Heidelberg as a guest of Heidelberg Marketing,  I had the pleasure of spending a day with expat Charlotte Frey.  As we toured the old town to discover solo friendly activities and restaurants she shared many unique, historic facts about Heidelberg.  Brezels are sold everywhere Pretzels are a staple onContinue reading “Brezels: Germany off the Beaten Track”

War Brides: The Queen Mary Transports WW II Brides

War Brides and Soldiers Transported via  Cunard Queen Mary during WWII Cunard is Celebrating 175 years of service Crossing the Atlantic on the Queen Mary is a wonderful alternative to 10 hours in a plane and on some crossings, can be well priced even for a solo passenger. On a crossing last fall I steeled myself toContinue reading “War Brides: The Queen Mary Transports WW II Brides”

Munster, “the bike capital” has a special addition

Münster, Germany A bike capital where bikes may outnumber residents! Martje Salje, also known as the tower keeper in Munster, click the link to learn about that story, was given a special bike this year from her mother.      This bike was designed by local Munster artist Stephan Quitmann, who according to Martje  isContinue reading “Munster, “the bike capital” has a special addition”

Woman In the Tower, Münster, Germany: not Rapunzel

Münster, Germany continues the tradition of the Tower Keeper The Keeper in the tower, is now a WOMAN This is not the story of Rapunzel from the Brothers Grimm, this is a tradition over the centuries that is still revered and practiced.   I had the opportunity to meet the only woman tower keeper (employed by theContinue reading “Woman In the Tower, Münster, Germany: not Rapunzel”

What I learned about Solo Travel in Istanbul

Solo Travel Surprises after 25 years I accepted an offer to participate in tours offered by Walks of Turkey when they launched their new tour company this year. I have traveled solo for years but nothing prepared me for the challenges of Istanbul. I read the entire Lonely Planet book on Istanbul, had a mapContinue reading “What I learned about Solo Travel in Istanbul”

Stumble Stones: Germany Off the Beaten Path

Stumble Stones  On the cobbled stone streets in Europe, you often look down so you don’t trip on uneven stones.  This precaution has an added benefit that you may also spot stumble stones in quiet locations in towns you are visiting.   Stolpersteine, the German word for stumbling stones, are in many cities in Europe.  I had neverContinue reading “Stumble Stones: Germany Off the Beaten Path”

Istanbul Food Tour with Walks of Turkey

Explore The Food Market in Istanbul  with Walks of Turkey  On my second day in Istanbul I joined the Food walking tour that would take me across the  water to Kadikoy, a part of Istanbul that I would not have visited on my own.   Our guide met us at the convenient location of Starbucks, next toContinue reading “Istanbul Food Tour with Walks of Turkey”

Istanbul: Walks of Turkey shows you the mystery, the splendor, the sites

Istanbul, Turkey with Walks of Turkey Is there any other country that evokes such mystery, history and assault to your  senses in color, sounds, smells and tastes? Day ONE:  Mosques and More When Walks of Turkey was launched earlier this year I KNEW this way the way I could travel solo and be confident IContinue reading “Istanbul: Walks of Turkey shows you the mystery, the splendor, the sites”

Learn about yourself on a solo trip

So much to remember from the non stop events over the past 9 weeks.   First thing I do when I return to the USA is obtain a new passport.For the second time a customs official has questioned if I was the same person on the passport! This week he broke out laughing!I reminded him inContinue reading “Learn about yourself on a solo trip”

Off the Beaten Track in Germany

Munster:   Famous for Beer, Bikes, Churches NOT Cheese There is so much to see on this whirlwind tour of Western Germany’s towns that may not be on the list of top tourist locations.      My visit started in Dusseldorf with a side trip to Cologne.  I wanted to test my solo skills of navigating theContinue reading “Off the Beaten Track in Germany”

Off the Beaten Path in Germany

Going outside your comfort zone is difficult for many of us.As a solo traveler I have challenges every day I am on the road exploring and experiencing new places.My Italian blog, Home to Italy rewards me with several months each year in a country that has many secrets to share with this Italian American.  In April I will returnContinue reading “Off the Beaten Path in Germany”

German Trains: So many rules!

The German Train System:   will I need a PHD to understand all this? After I received the following instructions on HOW to use the train in German, I thought this may help other solo travelers. Is this your first time on German trains? If yes, here are some useful instructions: Duesseldorf train station isContinue reading “German Trains: So many rules!”

River Cruise with solo cabins

New ship with SOLO cabins for a River Cruise! Could this be the year for a SOLO River Cruise??? LA Times article shared with me by John Lang Travel Cruises On this river cruise ship, solo travelers get their own rooms MS Birdsong Tom Harper River Journeys The MS Birdsong is an 88-cabin river cruiseContinue reading “River Cruise with solo cabins”