Seligenstadt: SW Germany’s Undiscovered Gem

the small square turret on the second floor corner is decorated with two crests and elaborate acorn and leaf friezes. two faces and torsos are carved into its corners

Now and then, travel writers in Europe stumble across a unique place that has somehow remained undiscovered by the teeming tourist masses. So it was with my random visit to the small, perfectly preserved medieval town of Seligenstadt. Lying only 25 kilometers southeast of Frankfurt am Main, this intriguing town—with a population of only 20,000—packs more sights into a small area than you might ... Read Full Article

Koblenz: Another Jewel in Germany’s Crown

The Munzplatz. Enticing aromas of pastries and coffee waft past my nose

Tucked into the ‘V’ where the arms of the Mosel and Rhine Rivers meet, the small town of Koblenz is yet another undiscovered German gem that packs plenty of touristic punch for its weight. Koblenz offers enough well preserved historic attractions to keep tourists entertained for a day or two of solid sightseeing. And for aficionados of all things medieval and renaissance, the historic part of town ... Read Full Article

Touring the Roman Gold Mines in Wales

We’re overlooking a huge valley opposite where another mining technique, called hushing, was used by the Romans.

Welsh gold. This rare and soft lustrous gold is the most expensive gold in the world. It fetches up to $4500 per ounce, or three times what standard gold sells for in the London market. Pure Welsh gold is worth more than platinum and is considered by many metallurgists to be the world’s most precious metal. So it’s no wonder the Welsh have mythical goblin-like creatures that hide in mines and ... Read Full Article

Heidelberg, Germany: German Romanticism at its Best

Heidelberg

There’s a good reason why 3 million people visit Heidelberg every year. From the moment you set foot in Heidelberg’s Baroque Old Town, you feel like you’ve been transported back into scenes from Grimm’s Fairytales. With these fascinating medieval scenes, its no wonder Heidelberg is one of Germany’s most visited places—remarkable for a town of only 133,000 residents. And many of these visitors are ... Read Full Article

Sampling Traditional English Fare in York

My favorite carvery: The York Roast Co. on Stonegate

The Romans knew it as Eboracum. To the Saxons it was Eoforwick. Then the Vikings named it Jorvik. Today we know it as York. From Roman times onward, Eboracum would become such a well-established political and commercial center that people continued to live here for millennia. Due to the numerous uncovered artifacts (many of which can be seen in the town’s numerous museums), and its plethora of ... Read Full Article

Top 10 Belgian Trappist and Abbey Beers

De Ranke Brewery

We are shameless fans of lists – especially beer lists. They give us something to argue about. For those lucky folks experiencing Trappist beers for the first time, this gives you a starting point. Here is our list of the top 10 Trappist beers. Some are widely available, others are very hard to get. We are not professional tasters--our methodology is simple: Pure, biased, hedonistic opinion ... Read Full Article

The Heavenly Brews of Belgium’s Trappist Monasteries

A glass of refreshing Westvleteren blond

Every year hundreds of thousands of Belgian and European beer lovers from neighboring countries like Germany, the Netherlands, France, and Luxembourg travel for hours to the St. Sixtus Monastery in the tiny Belgian town of Westvleteren in West Flanders. They’re not coming for religious reasons though—they visit to collect two crates of the finest (Trappist) beer in the world, also called ... Read Full Article

The Five Best World War II Museums for Americans to Visit in Normandy

US memorial at Normandy

On June 6, 1944, 150,000 American, Canadian and British troops landed in rough seas along a sixty-mile series of flat sandy beaches on the French coast at Normandy. The liberation of France and Western Europe was underway. They fought their way up sloping white sand dunes, towering cliffs, and through small seaside villages until, after two month’s bitter fighting, they broke out of Normandy. ... Read Full Article

Belgium’s Top Ten Beer Festivals

Kerstbierfestival, Essen - Photo courtesy William Roelens

France has wine shows. Germany has its Oktoberfest. Belgium has beer festivals. Mention that you've frequented Belgian beer fests to a fellow enthusiast and you may get some envy or respect--for good reason. These events typically appeal to the aficionado rather than the casual beer drinker. Every year, thousands of Belgian and foreign beer hounds travel to towns big and small across the ... Read Full Article

Wiesbaden: Spas, Sightseeing and a Stunning Hotel

The Villa Sohnlein is a scale knock-off of the White House in Washington D.C.

It’s amazing how two German spa towns can be so different. I’d been staying in the small town of Baden-Baden, tucked away in the foothills of S.W. Germany’s Black Forest. From there I went straight to Wiesbaden, the capital city of the Federal State of Hesse, expecting to see much the same tourist fare offered by Baden-Baden. However, I soon came to realize that trying to compare these two ... Read Full Article