Michael Abrams

Make Reims a pit stop on the way home from Normandy

Reims is in the middle of France’s Champagne country. Many of the bubbly’s makers have their headquarters here and vineyards surround the city. But Reims is probably best known for its magnificent Cathedral of Notre-Dame.

Click photo for caption and to enlarge


Berlin memorial to murdered Jewish victims of Nazis an unsettling must-see

On Nov. 9, 1938, the paramilitary Nazi thugs of the Sturmabteilung attacked Jewish synagogues and shops across Germany. It was the first large-scale incident in what would lead to the death of six million Jews throughout Europe. To remember the dead, Germany created the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in central Berlin near the U.S. embassy.

Americans and French mark centennial of massive WWI offensive

With 1.2 million soldiers involved, the World War I Meuse-Argonne offensive was the largest involving U.S. forces. It began on Sept. 26, 1918, and lasted until the guns fell silent with the armistice on Nov. 11 of that year.


Busy afternoon at Spangdahlem Air Base

It was a busy afternoon on the runway at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, on Thursday. And there were plenty of cameras to catch the action.

A nostalgic walk through the old Kaiserslautern High School, empty after more than 65 years

For the first time in more than 65 years, no Raiders will be walking the hallowed hallways of old Kaiserslautern High School.

europe quick trips

Fountain, church, monument among the sites on a stroll through Kaiserslautern

I used to say the only good thing about Kaiserslautern is that it is a stop on the express train to Paris. After a recent visit, I have to admit I might have been a little tough on this German city, nestled in the hills of the Palatinate Forest. There are some interesting things to see while walking through the downtown area of what Americans call K-Town.

Americans and French mark 100th anniversary of WWI offensive

French and Americans gathered at the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery in France on Saturday to mark the centennial of the Oise-Aisne Offensive.

europe travel

Sibiu, Romania: On the vampire trail to Dracula’s castle — and so much more

Sibiu is the place to start a journey through Transylvania, but there’s plenty more to discover wandering through the city.

Berlin Airlift hailed at 70th anniversary event as model of trans-Atlantic cooperation

Diplomats, politicians and military leaders gathered at Frankfurt airport Tuesday to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift – a mission lauded as the greatest peacetime aerial supply mission in history.


Ramstein airmen patch up Berlin Airlift Memorial planes ahead of 70th anniversary

Ten airmen from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, volunteered their Saturday to do some extra repair work. Their mission: spruce up two vintage airplanes at the Berlin Airlift Memorial.

europe quick trips

Berlin Airlift Memorial honors Allied air forces who delivered food, supplies

On June 24, 1948, the Soviets, in one of the opening moves of the Cold War, blockaded all rail, road and water access to West Berlin. Two days later, what is sometimes called the greatest peacetime aerial supply operation in history began — the Berlin Airlift.


Marines mark the centennial of the Battle of Belleau Wood

The Memorial Day ceremony also marked the centennial of the Battle of Belleau Wood, where Marines and Army troops fought a bloody battle against German forces in World War I.

video, gallery

Visiting American WWI sites a century after conflict ended

A century after World War I, you can visit the places where the Americans fought and died. The landscape is still pockmarked with craters from artillery shells. Monuments honor those who fought. And white marble crosses and Stars of David, in well-groomed cemeteries, mark where many of those killed still rest.

video, gallery

Find your groove and your instrument at the Musikmesse in Frankfurt

For those who are interested in music or play an instrument or are looking to buy one, the Musikmesse in Frankfurt is just about the center of the universe.

europe quick trip

Multifaceted artist Basquiat shows he’s for real at Frankfurt exhibit

“Basquiat. Boom for Real,” now showing at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, Germany, is an extensive exhibit of Jean-Michel Basquiat's art, from beginning to end.

video, gallery

New exhibit at Frankfurt's Staedel museum features superstar baroque painter Rubens

The Staedel, Frankfurt, Germany’s preeminent art museum, has a must-see exhibit on Peter Paul Rubens, one of the world’s best known baroque painters.

Celebrants at Mainz women’s carnival warm up chilly morning

Sunny skies but near-freezing temperatures greeted the costumed revelers here Thursday morning for the Weiberfastnacht — or women’s carnival — celebrations.

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.

Europe Travel

Exhibit in Speyer, Germany, tells true tale of Richard the Lionheart of ‘Robin Hood’ fame

Historical Museum of the Palatinate's display covers the details of King Richard I’s life and legend with more than 150 objects borrowed from renowned museums, libraries and even the queen of England.


Despite clouds over the event, cars shine at Frankfurt Motor Show

The Frankfurt Motor Show opens its doors to the public on Saturday and visitors will find a variety of gleaming cars from energy saving, subcompact electric vehicles to hybrid-powered SUVs and gas guzzling sports cars.


On Germany's Weinstrasse, there's more to Bad Duerkheim than delicious wine

Bad Duerkheim is famous for two things, and both have to do with wine — not surprising as the town is surrounded by vineyards on the German Wine Road (Weinstrasse).

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.