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

Through The Oberland: Cycling Central Switzerland

The Alps

There is simply no better way to explore a new country than by bike, especially when that country is Switzerland. Luckily, with some help from My Switzerland and SwissTrails, we were able to spend three-days cycling along the Lakes Route that stretches from French Montreux on Lake Geneva to Bad Horn in the northeastern border of the country. The alpine nation has always held a special place ... 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

My Favorite Foods of Europe

Yummy Stroopwafels

To travel is to taste the world. And Europe presents a particularly eclectic hotchpotch of flavours. From the strange to the sublime, I’ve sampled various dishes and foodstuffs throughout my jaunts across the continent and here (in no particular order) are some of my personal favourites: Gran Canaria Though the Atlantic archipelago presents a popular European mix of English, German and Italian ... Read Full Article

Angoulême: Springboard to Southwest France

The Charente River

As one of four administrative regions that comprise the department of Poitou-Charentes, Angoulême is the capital of the Charente. Nearby Cognac, also in the Charente, is better known internationally but with its burgeoning hip comics industry Angoulême is giving Cognac a grand-cru run for its money. There’s plenty to see and do in Angoulême (see “Angoulême’s Fabulous Flights of Fancy” on ... 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

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