Ålesund, Norway: Dreamy Art Nouveau Town on the Norwegian Sea

July 24, 2023Norway

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Art Nouveau-designed Ålesund, Norway, reinvented and rebuilt its wooden-structured self after a devastating fire swept through the town in 1904. Romantic-looking pastel-painted buildings topped with turrets and towers line the harbor and are sprinkled throughout the city center. Stone and brick structures with decorative tile roofs call out … Read More

Found In Translation: Putting the Pieces Together in Hannover

July 20, 2023Germany

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince Herb and I first met our German son-in-law’s parents about eight years ago. They were visiting California for the first time, and we had driven to Los Angeles to meet … Read More

Oldenburg, Germany: A Town by Any Other Name

July 17, 2023Germany

Mary Oldenburg. Growing up, I didn’t really care much for my last name. It was long, compared with my friends’ names, and sometimes I would get teased about being old. And it had that “u” in the last syllable, which most people assumed was spelled with an “e,” requiring an explanation or a correction that … Read More

Lovely, Lovely Hamburg: Germany’s Jewel on the Elbe River

July 11, 2023Germany

“It was June and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.” ~Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy-Tacy and Tib A few months ago, our son Andrew emailed an article about Hamburg titled “The Cool City that German Tourists Keep for Themselves.” Ever since spending time in Germany’s second largest … Read More

Dear Berlin: We’ve Got to Stop Meeting Like This

July 6, 2023Germany

Berlin and I have had a rather fleeting relationship. I first met Germany’s capital city nine Junes ago on what could arguably be called a “Berlin in a Day” tour. Herb and I had been traveling on a Baltic cruise that stopped for about twelve hours in Germany’s port of Warnemünde. We’d signed on for … Read More