For years, we had our sights set on participating in a grape harvest. As the golden months of summer dwindled, and Europe’s grapes grew plumper and riper, we decided to meander to Moldova to meet the newest vintage. It’s said that a whopping 25% of Moldova’s working population is involved in winemaking, and we instantlyContinue reading “Growing Together: Moldova’s Family-Run Et Cetera Winery”
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”
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.
When I unpacked the paper ox ornament last week, it reminded me why I love travel: serendipitous happenings, cultural immersion, and the opportunity to mingle with “citizen diplomats.” With today being the Lunar New Year (called Tết in Vietnamese), it seems fitting to reminisce on a special memory that I made while visiting Hanoi, Vietnam back in 2009.
Whenever I see Bavarians dressed in traditional German attire, I can’t help but recall a playful prank that my former American colleagues routinely played on friends and family who would come to visit them in Germany. The husband and wife would get laced up in their finest Trachten-wear (German traditional dress consisting of men’s LederhosenContinue reading “Dizzied by a Dazzling Array of Dirndls in Bavaria”
We had merely set out on a routine errand to find a hair stylist and pharmacy in Oberammergau, Germany. Instead, we found ourselves pleasantly distracted by something quite out of the ordinary, at least for us: the soothing, foghorn-like sound of Alphorns, playfully known as ‘Ricola horns’.
Balinese markets are a feast for the eyes. In Ubud’s bazaar and food and produce markets, there are stacks of colorful rattan offering boxes, wooden masks with intimidating gazes, small cases comprised of beads in swirling patterns, delicate batik silk scarves, walls of oil-adorned canvases, and overflowing mounds of tropical fruits. The markets are a shopper’sContinue reading “A Stroll Through Balinese Markets”
Under the observant gaze of a bindi-clad woman in a storefront advertisement, men discuss the day’s happenings and observe passersby on a main road in Munnar, India. Munnar is well known for its tea-growing estates, which are some of the highest in the world.