Michael Abrams

europe quick trips

Collection at Frankfurt museum spans centuries

The collections at the Archaeology Museum in Frankfurt span many millennia, from prehistory to the Early Middle Ages.

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Rows of equipment lined up at Coleman Barracks to reassure allies

Following the Russian intervention in Ukraine in 2014 the United States has tried to make its allies, especially those in neighboring Russia in eastern Europe, feel less threatened through a program dubbed the European Reassurance Initiative.

Sights, smells and tastes of Chania, Crete, make cares melt away

When you walk down to the end of Chalidon street and burst upon Chania, Crete’s old Venetian port, the first thing you think of is vacation.


Paying tribute to WWI fallen in France

American and French citizens came to Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, in the rolling hills of north-eastern France, to honor servicemembers who gave their lives near here almost a century ago.

More than 4,000 American war dead from WWI rest at France's St. Mihiel American Cemetery

Row upon row they lie in the French soil, under a perfectly manicured green lawn. Each grave is marked, either with a Latin Cross or a Star of David. Most of them lost their lives not far from here, fighting in a long-ago World War I battle known as the St. Mihiel salient offensive.


Friedberg, Germany, the Army home of Elvis, boasts other attractions

Many people have called Friedberg, Germany, home. The Romans once lived here; the Germans still do, of course; and even Americans called it home, including one Elvis Aaron Presley.

Montsec American Monument commemorates major WWI battle

One of the battles fought in World War I was for the St. Mihiel Salient in eastern France. In a bloody fight that lasted four days in August and September of 1918, the U.S. First Army defeated the Germans. The Montsec American Monument commemorates the victory and the Second Army’s operations in the area in November.


Montsec American Monument commemorates major WWI battle

The Montsec American Monument commemorates U.S. soldiers' hard-fought victory in the World War I battle over St. Mihiel Salient in France.


Gelnhausen, Germany, boasts a colorful past

The town was founded by a guy nicknamed Redbeard. True, people already had been living here on the banks of Germany’s Kinzig River, but when Emperor Fredrick Barbarossa had a palace built in the 12th century, it put Gelnhausen on the map.

Museum in Colmar, France, offers a feast for art lovers' eyes

The Musee Unterlinden in Colmar, France, is a small museum that packs a lot of punch for the art lover.

Frankfurt museum houses a trove of historical collections

The Historisches Museum Frankfurt is a quirky little museum on the north bank of the Main River — quirky because of its rather eclectic collection of collections willed to the museum by patrons.

Las Ramblas: Barcelona’s famous pedestrian avenue invites visitors to take a ramble

This avenue, stretching from Placa de Catalunya to the Christopher Columbus monument, is a pedestrian paradise squeezed in between the bustling traffic of the city.

The Brothers Grimm left a fairy-tale mark on Hanau

Hanau is a smallish German city that has long been in the shadow of the bigger, shinier Frankfurt, just downstream on the Main River.


Photographers colonize Cologne during Photokina

It may be Germany’s fourth-largest city, but from now until Sunday this city on the Rhine River will be the center of the photography universe.

Spend a day in Darmstadt, a city rich in history with plenty to see

Let’s take a trip to Gut City. Name not appealing? Well, that’s the literal translation of Darmstadt, but that’s probably not the origin of this central German city’s name. It possibly was named after a medieval nobleman named Darmunde.

Bus tour lets riders get a good view of Frankfurt

I know my way around Frankfurt pretty well. Still, I thought it would be fun to take a bus tour of Germany’s financial capital and fifth-largest city to see what I had missed over the years.


At Frankfurt Musikmesse, visitors make music and listen

The Musikmesse, one of the largest international trade shows for music with 1,100 exhibitors from around the world, opened its doors at the Frankfurt fairgrounds Thursday.

Renovations refresh museum dedicated to WWI battle of Verdun

After a two-year renovation, the Verdun Memorial Museum has reopened with more audio-visual exhibits and an added third floor.


Students hit right notes at DODEA music fest

Even the most talented musician can’t get every note right all of the time. That was one of the lessons learned this week at the DODEA-Europe Honors Music Festival.

Through May 16: Keukenhof gardens rolls out the flower carpet

Spring is just around the corner, which means it’s almost tulip time in Holland. Next Thursday, Keukenhof opens for the 67th time, and about a million flower lovers will descend on the famed gardens on the outskirts of Lisse.


Women take charge — and cut ties — as Germany's carnival season enters its final week

Weiberfastnacht is a day when the women are in charge and can cut off men’s ties without fear of retribution. Despite this, men were also out in abundance, albeit without neckwear.

Wilhelm-Hack-Museum in Ludwigshafen, Germany, hosts works by several big names

In addition to a state theater and a philharmonic orchestra, the other bright spot on Ludwigshafen’s culture scene is the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum.

Museum in Bastogne, Belgium, walks visitors through WWII history

The Bastogne War Museum, opened in the spring of 2014, gives the visitor a personal experience of the Battle of the Bulge, as exhibits trace the history of World War II and what led to it.

Frankfurt museum displays work of modern choreographer

Although not even 25 years old, the Museum fuer Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany’s modern art museum, is an influential institution that is respected worldwide.

Piotrkowska Street in Lodz, Poland: 'P Street' could be for picturesque

Called “P Street” by Americans at nearby Lask Air Base, Piotrkowska Street in Lodz, Poland, is the city’s main shopping avenue, art district and party zone all in one.


'Visiting' masters' works help wrap up Frankfurt museum's anniversary

The Staedel, Frankfurt, Germany’s esteemed art museum, wraps up its 200th anniversary celebrations with an exhibit of masterworks borrowed from some of the world’s most prestigious art museums.

Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, is full of rugged charm and brimming with history

A visit to Georgia and its capital Tbilisi reveals that over the centuries it has been on the crossroads of east and west.


USAFE jazz band makes K-Town swing

There was finger-snapping, foot-stomping and a lot of clapping as the sound of jazz filled the air in Kaiserslautern, Germany, on Friday for the city’s annual Swinging Lautern festival.

Seligenstadt, Germany, boasts many blessings

It may be cliche, but if you are looking for a quaint, picturesque town with layers of history dating to the first century, Seligenstadt has a lot to offer.

Minden, Germany, offers all the components of a pleasant place to visit

On a recent assignment I spent a couple of nights in Minden, a northern German town on the Weser River.

I Trulli in Ramstein does Italian deliciously

Are you stationed in Germany but yearning for a Trulli satisfying Italian meal? Try I Trulli, located on the edge of Ramstein's town center.


Patriot missiles cross pontoon bridge in no-notice exercise

In an exercise dubbed “Minden Shock” soldiers of the U.S. Army’s 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery Regiment had little time to plan and carry out the mission.

Kreuzberg: The Bohemian heart of Berlin

Today, with the hip districts in the former East Berlin going upscale fashionable, the west’s Kreuzberg district is again the Bohemian, radical heart of Berlin — as it was before the fall of the Wall.

Berlin: The Reichstag dome is a clear favorite among tourists

It is one of Berlin’s most popular tourist attractions. Some come to see democracy in action, but most come to wander up through the lofty glass and metal dome that crowns it.

In WWII, the bridge at Remagen allowed U.S. troops to cross the Rhine

Despite the Nazi's attempt to destroy the Ludendorff bridge on the west bank of the Rhine River in Remagen, Germany, the 9th Armored Division captured it on March 7, 1945, enabling thousands of troops to pour over to the eastern side of the Rhine.

WWII in Europe ended with surrender signed at site of museum

The German-Russian Museum is housed in the historic building in Berlin-Karlshorst where, shortly after midnight May 9, 1945, the Nazis signed the surrender document ending World War II in Europe.