As the clock edged toward nine thirty in the morning, the stream of villagers dressed in traditional German folk costume passing by our window in Oberammergau, Germany grew. Ladies in elaborate Dirndls and men in Lederhosen pedaled by on their bikes. Some navigated their bikes’ handlebars with one hand, with elaborate wildflower bouquets in theContinue reading “Celebrating Mariä Himmelfahrt Day in Oberammergau, Germany”
Today, we commemorated the 69th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy. In the village of Arromanches, we met a witty British veteran in his nineties with a love of Louis Armstrong and the foxtrot. He was an extraordinary conversationalist. On this day designated to pay tribute to him, he took time to ask questionsContinue reading “Honoring the “Greatest Generation” at D-Day Commemorations in Normandy”
This spring, we’ve had the fortune of observing Easter celebrations not once, but twice. In Croatia, where Catholicism predominates, we celebrated Easter in late March. This past weekend, we also got to participate in Orthodox Easter festivities in North Macedonia. Given its spiritual ties and the fact that it once had more than 365 churches,Continue reading “Orthodox Easter Greetings from Ohrid, North Macedonia”
A choir of church bells tolled just before midnight to usher in Easter’s arrival here in Trogir, Croatia. The fervor with which the bells rang was reminiscent of what we heard the night that the Catholic church chose a new pope.
In parts of Germany three weeks before Easter, it’s customary to celebrate spring’s return with a summer procession, or Sommertagszug. Believed to have pagan origins, the fest celebrates spring’s return and winter’s banishing. Children take to the streets with sticks adorned with colorful, ruffled ribbons, topped with pretzels and eggs. In Heidelberg, they walk alongContinue reading “Germany’s Sommertagszug Tradition: Greeting Spring & Bidding Farewell to Winter”
Today is International Women’s Day, a commemorative day that’s celebrated in different ways throughout the world. In some countries, the focus is on women’s accomplishments, whereas in others, it is a day to merely show gratitude towards women.
“The love we give away is the only love we keep.” Elbert Hubbard On a salmon-pink back alleyway in Marrakech, Morocco, I discovered a tribute to love’s enduring and universal nature. Its medium was white chalk; the hand that drew it undoubtedly belonged to a child; its canvas was a rugged wall. That spring, asContinue reading “A Love Lesson from a Moroccan Wall”
For the ten years I called Heidelberg, Germany home, I was lucky to have a bird’s-eye view when Fasching festivities took the university town by storm, as I’m sure they did today.