Archive for the ‘Europe 2013’ Category

When Esteban and I first discussed moving to a condominium, my biggest sticking point was the homeowners’ association fee. “We’ll have that monthly expense for the rest of our lives,” I protested. “But with that fee we’ll be buying time,” he replied. Esteban was right. Although we still need to paint the hallway and finish […]

I haven’t felt much like shooting this summer, and I think I just figured out why: I still haven’t finished sorting through the 6,000-plus images I took while traveling with Esteban last December! Well, let’s see what we can do about that backlog, shall we? “Have you been to Colmar?” That was the response I’d […]

During dinner with some friends in Paris last December, the conversation turned to the hordes of tourists who were streaming past the restaurant. “Tourism is distorting Paris,” said Chris, who is both a Parisian and a respected travel writer. “Sure, there are crowds and souvenirs, and the real estate is inflated,” I agreed, “but I […]

Although I’m still sorting through the 6,000-plus images I shot while traveling with Esteban last December, I’ve at least managed to assemble a peek at the beautiful city of Colmar in northeastern France. Colmar is just 30-some miles west of Freiburg, directly across the (current) French-German border. But because the bridge over the Rhine was […]

Yesterday I wrote about the impact one’s choice of lodging can have on a trip — and about the unexpected joys of occasionally staying further afield. Such was the case in the beautiful little city of Freiburg im Breisgau, which lies in the foothills of Germany’s Schwartzwald (Black Forest). You need not be a cartographer […]

One of the least-discussed truths about travel is that your lodging sets the tone for everything — which is why I sometimes pay a bit more to stay in the heart of a city. But, as I learned last December in Freiburg, straying off the beaten path can sometimes yield its own delightfully unexpected rewards. […]

There are a million ways to travel, but for me they all boil down to two fundamental approaches: Stay a few days and glimpse only the highlights — or stay a lifetime and still only glimpse the highlights. In other words, you can never see it all. I tried to keep this in mind as […]

“We’ve made a huge mistake,” I thought as our train sped down the Rhine Valley. The three nights in Bruges already seemed like a distant memory, and we’d barely scratched the surface after two days in Cologne. Yet here we sat, already on our way to Heidelberg. The fuzzy landscape became a visual metaphor. There […]

Although I haven’t been back to Cologne since I last visited at age 16, its cathedral has loomed large in my imagination. I’m pleased to report that I found it just as glorious in real life as I remembered in my mind’s eye. Even if you’re not particularly devout, standing in front of this monument […]

I haven’t been to Cologne since I first visited at age 16. And because my only parting memories were that (a) the cathedral was awe-inspiring and (b) there was a McDonald’s across the street, I didn’t know what to expect. First, the good news: The cathedral and its McDonald’s are just as I remembered. The […]

Yesterday’s post about the Paris Catacombs got a handful of comments (thank you!). But the one I’d like to highlight came from none other than my co-author and collaborator, Des: I watched you take your photographs in the catacombs and I still don’t understand how you manage to take such good pictures in near complete […]

In January of 2013, I had the privilege of meeting my friend and fellow blogger Des. It was such a wonderful experience that Des was among the very first people I contacted when I learned I’d be returning to Paris. Through our correspondence, I discovered that he hadn’t yet visited another of my favorite Paris […]

We were sad to leave Bruges this morning. I have so many little stories to share (like watching the movie In Bruges last night … in Bruges). But because I’m on a bouncy train — and because I don’t have time to construct a cohesive narrative — here’s a loosely structured list of The Top 10 […]

When I visit a new city, I like to learn a bit about its history — so I hope you’ll indulge a brief history of Bruges. No one knows exactly when Bruges was founded, but we do know that there was already a fortified settlement here when Julius Caesar and his troops arrived. Trade between […]

I’ve known for months that on a particular November day Esteban and I would be leaving for Europe, so I was confident of my preparations. I had a packing list; I’d gathered my toiletries; I’d charged my batteries. Yet, on the morning of our departure, I once again found myself doing the “Pack’n’Panic.” Piles of […]

All lathered up


HBlog has been quiet for a while, and with good reason: My husband Esteban and I have been traveling for the past month. I began keeping a diary of sorts in the weeks leading up to our trip. Here’s the second entry — with many more to come. Three weeks from today Esteban and I […]

HBlog has been quiet for a while, and with good reason: My husband Esteban and I have been traveling for the past month. I began keeping a journal of sorts in the weeks leading up to our trip. Here’s the first entry — with many more to come. Exactly four weeks from today — on […]