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

Five Movies to Watch before your Next European Vacation

Beautiful Austria

If you’re planning your next holiday in Europe but don’t know how you’ll get through the time before you leave, it’s a good idea to get settled on the couch with a travel-based film. Make some popcorn, put your comfy pants on, and indulge in a weekend movie marathon — only those shot in Europe though, of course! There have been dozens of great films set in European countries over the years, so it ... Read Full Article

Angoulême’s Fabulous Flights of Fancy

Angouleme City

One of the reasons I travel is to discover and learn. When I first visited Europe, I didn’t know what a rampart was. But as I travelled from one old French town to another I saw how towns, questing for invincibility, had fortified themselves with surrounding walls. They were standard issue in Europe of yore. As barbarous behavior diminished and towns grew, they eventually burst those walls leaving ... 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

Berlin’s Kreuzberg and Kreuzkölln: a Good Food, Drink & Coffee Guide

Fruhstuck at Fuchsbau

Cafes, bars and restaurants continue to sprout out of Berlin’s gentrifying neighbourhoods like spargel in the summertime. Kreuzkölln, the apex of gritty Kreuzberg and Neukölln, and its surrounds, remain a lure for Berlin’s flock of international émigrés, students and creatives. It’s no secret that the borough offers some of the best and cheapest options in the city for great food, drink and ... Read Full Article

Back in Time to Villeneuve les Avignon

Sur la pont du Avignon

Peppered with gorgeous towns, lush vineyards and sweeping rural scenes, Provence remains one of France’s most sought after getaways. While soaking it all up through the window of a romantic TGV train remains an alluring option, we decided to hit the road and satiate our wanderlust in a hired black Volvo. While it wasn’t quite a DeLorean, it took us through Provence, and six centuries back in time ... Read Full Article

Marvellous Montpellier – The Romantic, Wandering Gourmand’s Guide to a Medieval French Gem

Place de Comedie

Though you’re spoiled for choice in the European summertime, it doesn’t get much better than 10 days on the shimmering French Riviera—cue glorious sun, sumptuous food and wine, and cool, crisp dips in the azure waters of the Mediterranean. The only dilemma is where to go next. After filling our tanned bellies in Nice for 4 nights, we decided to venture west across the Cote D’Azur on a TGV, ... Read Full Article

The Loire’s Castles and Gardens

Chateau Villandry

Touring in the Loire Valley means you don't have to travel far to see the grand chateaus and pretty villages that dot the landscape. John and I stayed in one place, Chenonceaux, and found a multitude of treasures on short day trips along and over the rivers that wind through this green, broad valley. The farthest we drove was to Fontevraud Abbey. Fontevraud was high on my list because I'm ... Read Full Article