Romantic Rhine Travel: On and Off the Beaten Path

Rhine Valley

Through sunny days and fog, famous towns and little known ‘burgs, wine cellars and village vintner festivals, this was our time on the segment of the Rhine River known as the Romantic Rhine in Germany.

Half-timbered homes sit as the foot of cobbled streets. Vineyard paths wind into the hills. And foggy moments as castles disappear and re-emerge on hilltops hint at history.

If you have a fear of missing out on the must-see bits of the region, but long for a taste of the lesser-seen local experience, then this article and guide to the Upper Middle Rhine is for you.

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Aachen and Cologne, Germany: 24-Hour City Guides

Cologne Cathedral

Upon a recent visit to the German Rhineland cities of Aachen and Cologne and the surrounding area, we realized there’s a lot to experience and unpack — that is, to comprehend the full picture of what we’d seen and how astonishingly complex history can be.

From Roman beginnings, to medieval ascendency to industrial superiority, Germany’s Rhineland seems to have known it all. It has been influenced by French culture, impacted by the Prussians, and even spiced by a dash of Eastern European industrial migrants. It knows a blend of influences, cultural imprints and scores continually settled and resettled through events like World War I and II. Pull out a map and note that by cause and effect, the region borders Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg — in addition to France — and you begin to get a sense of the near randomness of the borders we draw.

How to come to this understanding? Visit the towns of Aachen and Cologne on a city break or weekend getaway. Take a couple of day trips and immerse yourself in the history, eat heartily and take more than a few photos along the along the way.

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What Makes A Real Irish Pub?

I set my watch 15 minutes fast. That way, when I die I’ll sneak into heaven before the devil figures out I’m dead.

words of wisdom from the local dispensary, a spry gentleman one Guinness down in Westport, County Mayo

In almost every country we’ve visited around the world, with perhaps the exception of Bangladesh and Iran, we seem to stumble across an Irish pub. The problem with many of them: there’s usually something dubious, something un-Irish about them.

Possibly the food. Maybe the owners. Definitely the accent.

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72 hours in Edinburgh: Stone, Ale and Spirit

In celebration of Robert Burns Day in Scotland, we share our favorite pints, places, and provisions from the fair city of Edinburgh. Now, what did we miss?

What’s the essence of Edinburgh? I probably need to return to answer that in earnest. But if you visit Edinburgh for 72 hours (and ideally more), here are a handful of things you could see, eat, drink and otherwise experience to help you answer that question for yourself.

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An Ode to Haggis

This is a story about making peace with a squishy edible ball of sheep innards, and a song I rewrote to help me through the process.

I have a confession to make. I was afraid of haggis, almost deathly so. You could say I harbored an irrational fear of the stuff. Yes, haggis.

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