The Dutch city that was the summer capital of Europe

Nijmegen. This small but vibrant city, located in the eastern part of the Netherlands close to the German border, has a couple of uncommon claims to fame.

It is the oldest city in the Netherlands and is more than 2,000 years old.

It was carpet bombed during World War II, meaning relatively few buildings more than 50 years old still remain.

And it is the self-described “summer capital of Europe.”

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Nijmegen is located at the bend of the river Waal. As with most Dutch cities, cycling is a popular mode of transportation.

Continue reading “The Dutch city that was the summer capital of Europe”

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The little town of Lüneburg: Hamburg’s best day trip

Just 20km south of Hamburg’s bustling downtown and industrial river ports lies the little town of Lüneburg, a city frozen in time.

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The Lüneburg harbor.

It’s easy to forget the city of Hamburg is much older than the second world war, because outside of a few restored churches, not many buildings from the pre-war era remain. Lüneburg, on the other hand, escaped the brunt of the bombs in both wars, and periods of affluence followed by poverty in the city’s history lead to beautiful houses being constructed, then preserved, as there was no money to tear them down and build anew. The result is like a step back into the middle ages. Continue reading “The little town of Lüneburg: Hamburg’s best day trip”

Story of my summer

I got into a bit of a blogging slump this summer, so here’s a catch-all post of some of the highlights I’ve neglected to write about: Hamburg Pride, a Germany reunion with my dear friend Edwin, a brief weekend in Berlin, and a visit to Brighton, U.K.

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Trying to make the most of the short-lived sunny weather – paddle boating on the Alster with friends. (See below.)

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Copenhagen, as it’s meant to be seen

Last weekend I saw Copenhagen as it’s meant to be seen: from a bicycle.

Sadly, this is not the bicycle I was on. But I wish it were.
Sadly, this is not the bicycle I was on. But I wish it were.

An excursion to the German embassy to apply for a residence permit turned into a weekend-long trip to Denmark’s capital city. Instead of my usual diary-style narrative, I’m going to write you a “listicle” (list + article) around a topic: Copenhagen on a budget. Continue reading “Copenhagen, as it’s meant to be seen”

Barcelona y Cadaqués

My first impression of Spain was the warmth. At the end of February it wasn’t hot, just a comfortable 15-16 degrees C (60 F).

I got to go outside with bare arms, got to lay on a beach all day, and got to use F-stop 22 on my camera. No complaints here.
I got to go outside with bare arms, got to lay on a beach all day, and got to use F-stop 22 on my camera. No complaints here.

My second impression was the mopeds. They darted through traffic like a person with a deathwish. They drove on the lines between lanes when traffic was slow, dodging cars and narrowly avoiding rearview mirrors and swerving bumpers.

Mopeds in Spain are like bicycles in Denmark - they're everywhere (though they don't obey the traffic laws half as well as Danish cyclists). I'm told this is true of Italy as well.
Mopeds in Spain are like bicycles in Denmark – they’re everywhere (though they don’t obey the traffic laws half as well as Danish cyclists). I’m told this is true of Italy as well.

My third impression was the palm trees. I’d seen palm trees before in California and Florida, but somehow it didn’t occur to me that they’d grow in Spain as well.

Palm trees were street trees, and cacti instead of shrubs.
Palm trees were street trees, and cacti instead of shrubs.

Continue reading “Barcelona y Cadaqués”