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Visitors to Bad Duerkheim?s Wurstmarkt festival sing along with a traditional German oompah band.  U.S. military police are warning Americans to not drink and drive if attending what is considered the world?s largest wine festival.<br>Stars and Stripes

'Drink safely and have a plan' at Bad Duerkheim wine fest, US officials urge

Americans are being urged by U.S. military officials to drink responsibly and ‘have a plan’ if they attend what’s been billed as the world’s biggest wine festival in Bad Duerkheim, Germany.


This U.K. hike is sublime. Just avoid the bombs, tides and quicksand.

The path crosses a still-active military test-firing zone, pelted with bombs since World War I.


White-hot Refshaleoen: Meet the trendiest neighborhood in Europe you’ve never heard of

The Oxford Dictionary defines hygge as “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment.” The Danish concept has become so popular that it made the dictionary’s word of the year shortlist in 2016. I first discover the true meaning of hygge at La Banchina, a 16-seat farm-to-table pescatarian restaurant overlooking Copenhagen Harbor.

Heat wave arrives in Europe, just in time for tourists

The recent record-smashing heat in parts of Europe is running smack into the continent’s peak tourist season, adding crowds of visitors to the sweltering mix as cities try to care for their most vulnerable residents. Parts of France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Poland, Switzerland and the Czech Republic have seen temperatures soar into the 90s and even past 100 degrees Fahrenheit -- at least 20 to 30 degrees above normal. The extreme heat was expected to last into the weekend in some areas.


Seeing Paris, baguette by baguette

I am in love with the art and heritage of French bread. Fortunately I’m not alone. Each year one chef is chosen in the Grand Prix de la Baguette de tradition francaise, an accolade bestowed each April for the past 25 years. The winner goes to a handcrafted baguette that beats out dozens of entrants from across Paris and tops a list of 10 finalists; all compete for a cash prize of 4,000 euros ($4,900) and -- most importantly -- mass recognition for superior artisanal baking.



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Vicenza jazz club Bar Borsa offers unbeatable breakfast

You can’t get a “Moons over my Hammy” or a “Grand Slamwich” in Italy. There are no Denny’s, no IHOPs or Waffle Houses where you can begin your day with 1,000 calories or more. Breakfast in Italy isn’t really a thing.




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  • One-day bike races have a passionate following in France, and amateurs can pedal the same route

    In a remote corner of northern France, three farm fields intersect. On a cold morning in mid-April, the crops that border a narrow crossing of rough-hewed cobblestoned paths barely reach ankle high. But three pop-up bars are doing a brisk cash-only business, and it’s clear that some of the hundreds of rowdy, flag-draped cycling fans who have gathered here have been drinking for hours.


  • Leonardo devotees flock to artist’s hometown of Vinci

    There are no more maps available. But it’s not a problem, says the woman at the front desk of our hotel. She takes out a piece of paper and rapidly sketches the almond-shaped town — just a couple of curved streets around the castle walls, with an “X” at the church and a dot at the museum ticket office. “I’m a descendant of Leonardo,” she jokes as she hands it over. That’s probably not the first time someone has used that line in Vinci, Italy, a hamlet perched among the Montalbano Hills known for producing Chianti, artichoke-scented olive oil and a certain genius who was born here in 1452.


  • The North remembers: In Northern Ireland, 'Game of Thrones' leaves a lasting legacy

    The Europa Hotel was once known as the most bombed hotel in Europe, but on a Friday morning in April, it's bustling with tourists and weekenders enjoying a hearty breakfast buffet. Almost no one recognizes Conleth Hill, the actor who plays Varys, the bald eunuch and royal adviser whose cunning enabled him to survive nearly eight seasons on one of TV's bloodiest shows, "Game of Thrones," without ever lifting a sword. The anonymity (aided by the reappearance of his thick, silver hair) doesn't appear to faze him. Here he's just another local who lives an hour away in Ballycastle, the seaside town where he grew up.


  • A solo quest to find the source of the mighty Rhine

    It's a solitary quest, indulging a fantasy of being reincarnated as a 19th-century explorer discovering the source of a mighty river. That the Rhine has been well-mapped for millennia doesn't matter; there are still personal discoveries to be had.


  • Here's why it's worth hiring an expert to plan your family trip to Italy

    Do you enjoy travel planning? Are you exhilarated by spending weeks or months scrutinizing every possible hotel, restaurant, tour, train schedule and other specifics of your vacation? If so, this story is not for you.


  • 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.


  • In London, eat your way through the history and future of Britain’s iconic dish

    Frank Dobson Square, a brick-paved chunk of East London, has seen better days. Its centerpiece, Dobson’s 1951 sculpture “Woman With Fish,” was vandalized beyond repair and removed in 2002. Those sitting on the benches around the square — who number three, including me, this Thursday morning — have only its former home, a forlorn metal plinth, to look at now. I haven’t come to see the sculpture, though, or its plinth. I’m searching for something else, something that records this locale’s unique place in British history. This is where the world’s first fish and chip shop, Malin’s, was founded in the early 1860s.


  • Touring the French Riviera on foot reveals what ships, buses would never let you see

    Warned of absurdly high cab fares, I shrugged off another warning about Nice — its robbers and pickpockets — and decided to walk to my hotel from the train station.


  • Relaxing in Spa, the Belgian town that started it all

    “Thirsty?” asks the flight attendant as she hands me a blue bottle. I twist the cap and sip the crisp, slightly acidic water. One look at the label, Spa Reine, and I wonder if the advertising gods are tracking me. Spa. That’s where I am headed. No, not to the spa — to the Belgian town.


  • Connecting past, future on a pilgrimage to Vienna’s Jewish Quarter

    On an unseasonably warm night the week August turned into September, every table at Pizza Quartier on Vienna’s Karmelitermarkt was filled. Pizza after pizza emerged from the wood-burning oven as parents sipped white wine while half-watching children -- mine included -- playing elaborate games of tag in the 19th-century market square. Come morning, it would be packed with the organic food vendors, pastry makers and florists that dot this little corner of Vienna’s Second District, Leopoldstadt.


  • Centuries of history come to life on a verger tour of Westminster Abbey

    I am a cathedrals nut. In France, in England -- and anywhere else I can follow a tall spire to a historic cathedral. Often, I design a cathedrals itinerary. And when I'm in London, I never pass up Westminster Abbey, one of the greatest.


  • In Albania, age-old traditions and Mediterranean beaches on the cheap

    Outside, the cicadas loudly buzzed and the scent of sun-baked oregano wafted through the car window. We descended from the clouds onto the Albanian Riviera. A pearl-like string of beach towns extended south toward the Greek border. The Albanians can be a party-loving bunch with electronic club music shaking up the beach clubs until the wee hours.


  • Ancient Sibenik’s latest rebirth marks it a Croatian leisure capital

    It’s just past noon as I gaze at the Adriatic Sea from St. Michael’s Fortress, a medieval bastion atop the old town of Sibenik, a coastal city that sits poised roughly at the center of Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. Late September bura winds have cleared the skies, making the horizon crisp and the sea cerulean. I can smell cypress trees and hear the rustle of the soft sea-scented breeze. Only a handful of other visitors stroll around the fortress, looking out over the Sibenik Channel, the islands of the archipelago and the rooftops of the old town below.


  • Travel highlights in Europe for 2019

    Was your New Year’s resolution to take advantage of your time stationed in Europe by traveling around the continent as much as possible? You’re in luck, as the year 2019 is shaping up to be yet another great one for tourism.


  • Berlin leaves its mark on this visitor

    In the shadow of the ruined spire of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, a platoon of protesters lifted banners and voices in outrage. Their grievances were with the policies of Recep Erdogan, the president of Turkey, who would be arriving in Berlin the next day for a state visit. Erdogan would tie up traffic during his stay, which coincided with mine, rather as happened during the visit of the last dignitary who came to Berlin the same moment as I had, the Dalai Lama -- but for very different reasons.


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    German exhibit gives an in-depth look at the life of an American icon

    Who was Marilyn Monroe? A new exhibit at the Historisches Museum der Pfalz in Speyer, Germany, tries to answer the question with clothes, photos, letters and close to 400 items from her estate.


  • Turkey’s terrain, people, history make colorful trip

    I’ve either been pixie dusted or turned into Barney Rubble. Everywhere I look, towering rock “fairy chimneys” dot Turkey’s fantastical wonderland of Cappadocia. I’ll also explore mystical age-old cave churches, sleep in a “cave hotel” that entombs guests and wine, and scoot-duck-gasp my way through a spooky ancient underground city, one of dozens burrowed here. And wait until I dreamily float over it all in an Oz-like flame-breathing balloon.


  • In Edinburgh, ceilidh dancing is a great way for travelers to reel in new friends

    The cheerful melody bellowed from the accordion across the dimly lit room, filling me with jittery anticipation. Holding a hand of each stranger on either side of me, I bounced in a circle to the left and then to the right, doing my best to remember the steps that had just been explained.


  • Prague, Vienna and Budapest -- by road instead of river

    It’s no surprise that central European river cruises are booming. Gliding along the Danube or the Elbe through the countryside, perhaps topside with a glass of wine, is a lovely image. But my wife Eileen and I instead chose a "road cruise" from Budapest to Vienna to Prague last September. And we’re glad we did.


  • A hiker explores his father’s homeland peak by peak

    My son, Marc, and I had tromped through shin-deep snow for several hours, and by the time we reached the blustery top of the peak, we couldn’t see more than 25 feet because of a whiteout.


  • 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.


  • A new river line hopes to redefine cruises for millennials

    Boris, a U Host, stood before a group of river cruisers relaxing in the U Lounge, a gathering space seemingly designed by Alice’s Wonderland of Furnishings. He wore all black, as if he had just rolled in from a night of chasing the White Rabbit around Paris. While he spoke, hands wrinkled with age and smooth with youth lifted glasses of riesling to their lips. Then arms slowly began to rise in response to his question.


  • Sweet discoveries: Nothing compares to eating fresh stroopwafels in Amsterdam

    My introduction to stroopwafels, the gooey caramel waffle sandwich from the Netherlands, was in a small village in the south of Spain, where I live. A Dutch couple had opened a small bakery tucked among the winding cobblestone streets. One morning, I stumbled into their store and watched as they cut a slab off a log of fragrant dough, pressed it with a waffle iron, separated the top disk from the bottom, spread the inside with caramel sauce and put the halves back together.


  • Italy’s Dolomites a pleasure to explore in the offseason

    I had two challenges to overcome when planning a late-May trip to Northern Italy’s Trentino-Sudtirol region: a major snow year and the offseason. The first meant that the thousands of miles of trails in the rugged Dolomite mountains were still buried. The second meant that many of the high-alpine refugios, famed for hearty food and rustic lodging, were closed between winter and summer. One more thing — I arrived in the rain, and the forecast called for more storms throughout my trip.


  • In Germany, two delightful destinations for dachshund lovers

    Outside the Dackelmuseum in Passau, Germany, I dropped to the cobblestone pavement to greet its four-legged ambassadors, year-old siblings Moni and Little Seppi. The black-and-tan short-haired dachshunds sniffed me, then Little Seppi reached up to gently lick my face. A kiss so soon? I felt special, though I’m guessing I was one of hundreds he’d smooched since the Dackelmuseum, or Dachshund Museum, opened in April.


  • Tour company helps hikers go it alone, with local support, along Spanish coast

    Serendipity — an unexpected delight — is the word that comes to mind when describing the seven-day hike my wife and I recently did in the wild and undeveloped northwest coast of Galicia, Spain. Simply put, anyone who is adventurous, loves traveling to Europe and is fit enough to do 10-mile hikes should seriously consider doing this hike.


  • Trying on a farmhouse in Northern Italy for size

    Framed by a mountainous horizon, the farm fields are littered with hay bales, both round and rectangular, and I’m reminded of the Virginia Piedmont, where I grew up. Such a gentle, pastoral landscape seems imprinted in my spiritual DNA, and is the real reason I’ve journeyed here, to Northern Italy’s Piemonte region: to discover whether the two places have more than similar names in common.


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    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.


  • In Seville, Spain, young chefs are creating the next generation of tapas

    The first time I encountered tapas, I was 6 and didn't like them. My head was level with a huge wooden bar, and all I could see was a school of shiny silvery fish languishing near slices of bread. I've grown some since then; my head clears the bar most days. Meanwhile, tapas have become an international phenomenon.


  • In the south of France, a city is still ruled by ancient Rome

    A funny thing happened on the way to the Airbnb. As we dragged our suitcases along the cobblestones in the southern French city of Nimes, we saw a gladiator on a cellphone. The helmet-wearing warrior, looking straight out of ancient Rome, winked at my kids and kept marching toward the amphitheater.


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    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.


  • In Slovenia, a ski and a swim make an unusual pairing

    As an American expat happily living in Slovenia for many years, I love exploring my adopted country and looking, more deeply than perhaps even locals do, into what makes it such a wonderful place to visit and reside. One line I hear frequently, and which guidebooks like to boast about, is that the country is so compact, with such a diversity of terrain, that you can ski in the morning and swim in the ocean in the afternoon. Would it be any fun? Only one way to find out.


  • Forget spritzes, shopping and fancy hotels. The best part of Lake Como is being on it.

    “Mom! Do you have the permit?? WHERE IS THE PERMIT???” I yelled above the engine of our custom Cantiere Ernesto Riva motorboat while zooming along Italy’s Lake Como. I had just gotten comfortable in my captain’s perch. Then, a gust seemed to sweep away the paperwork required for taking out this stunner of a boat, at a whopping $190 an hour.


  • You ate what?! A fearless foodie’s foray into the bouchons of Lyon

    Andrew picks up his beer and leans back against the red banquette seating at Le Romarin, a tiny bistro-bar in the heart of Lyon. Over the next 48 hours, we’re planning to eat our way across this famously gastronomic city, but something is worrying him. “I’m looking forward to the wine,” he says. “I’m looking forward to the cheese. I’m just not sure about the innards.” Most people would see his point. Not me. I love offal.


  • The next ferry you board might run on batteries

    Not far from Norway’s North Sea oil rigs, shipbuilders are assembling some of the first ferry boats ever to be powered entirely by batteries.


  • Northern Ireland’s lake lands: Rain, history and the Mellons

    We stood at the bar of the grand Lough Erne Resort, looking out at the driving rain. “You see that lake out there,” mused the barman wryly. “That was a field this morning.” This was my first trip to Northern Ireland’s lake lands in the western region, two hours by car from Belfast and a slightly longer drive from Dublin.


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    Switzerland-Italy train ride traverses different worlds

    The new Gotthard Base Tunnel is a 35-mile stretch through a mountain of granite. The scenery transforms from mountainous Alpine stretches to palm tree-dappled Mediterranean landscape. Even the outside temperature is a few degrees warmer than it was where the tunnel starts.


  • Medieval meets modern in charming Kilkenny, Ireland

    On a sunny Friday afternoon in April, the sleepy city of Kilkenny, Ireland, began to wake up. Chattering students filled the sidewalks, their book bags slung across school uniforms, many of the boys carrying the short, hockey-like sticks used in hurling. Locals hurried through Butter Slip, a narrow passage between two streets where butter vendors set up stalls in medieval times. And shoppers ducked into the small stores that share a main street with a 17th-century merchant’s house and an 18th-century town hall building that was served as a customhouse.


  • Biking Britain, end to end

    Our three-week British bike trip last spring could be called a series of literal highs and lows. We cycled what’s called the End to End: from Land’s End on the southwestern tip of Cornwall in England to John O’Groats in the northeastern corner of Scotland.


  • Don't overlook Germany's second-largest city

    Germany’s second-largest city, Hamburg, is awash with history, and played especially key roles in the stories of 19th-century emigration, World War II and the Beatles.


  • European war museums echo 'Never again'

    All over Europe, there is little stomach for war. The motto of one military museum I visited in Vienna says it all: “War is something for museums.” And many European countries have followed this advice — creating fascinating exhibits about their military heritage.


  • Air travelers on layovers see Frankfurt on foot thanks to walking tour

    In the just-waking hours of a cool, misty morning, we slipped into Frankfurt, Germany, the way dreams slide between vivid reality and hazy memory: surreal and ephemeral.


  • How to foil Europe's clever pickpockets

    I don’t give much thought to petty crime when I travel abroad. I’m well aware that it happens: I’ve been preaching about the importance of wearing a moneybelt for decades. And for decades — probably about a total of 4,000 days of travel — I’ve never been hit by a thief. Well, my happy streak finally ended: I was pickpocketed in Paris last summer.


  • Some European travel cliches are worthy experiences

    Amped-up Spanish flamenco bars, dirndl skirts in Germany, ape tours of the Rock of Gibraltar — when does something slip from authentic to cheesy?


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    Record-breaking cable car to Zugspitze opens near military recreation center

    A world record-breaking gondola is set to open Friday on Germany’s tallest mountain, the Zugspitze, just outside the Armed Forces Recreation Center Edelweiss Lodge and Resort.


  • Sweden's glass country sparkles with pride

    You can’t say you’ve seen Sweden if you’ve only been to Stockholm. Rural Sweden, especially the province of Smaland, is a worthy addition to any Scandinavian itinerary.


  • Europe Travel

    Nuremberg’s Christmas market is nutcracker sweet

    With no canned music, fake greenery, plastic kitsch or war toys, Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt feels classier than your average crafts fair. With all these goodies, it’s no wonder that the market attracts more than 2 million people annually.


  • Three of Europe's most stunning journeys

    Sometimes in travel, the journey is the reward. And that is particularly true in Europe, where trains, buses and boats link destinations near and far, high and low, urban and rural, often through spectacular scenery.


  • Passengers enjoy scenery and pampering on a train from Dublin to Waterford

    There is something about trains that has captivated me since childhood. Alas, living in the U.S., I’m not able to indulge my passion for them much, which makes it all the more wonderful when I’m somewhere where I can. That most recent somewhere was Ireland, and the train wasn’t your garden variety type, but rather the Belmond Grand Hibernian.


  • Winter is a cool time to go local in Paris

    The City of Light shines year-round, but Paris has a special appeal in winter. Sure, the weather can be cold and rainy (the average high in January is 43 degrees Fahrenheit), but if you dress in layers, you’ll keep warm and easily deal with temperature changes as you go from cold streets to heated museums and cafes.


  • There's no place like Rome for the holidays

    I find the holiday season in Rome a joy: crisp air, stylish big-city Italians sipping hot cappuccino in corner cafes, and hurried shoppers thoughtfully pausing at grand manger scenes. The season in the Italian capital stretches for more than a month — not to maximize shopping days, but to fit in the season’s many holy days.


  • Free as the breeze: A chartered sailboat beats a cruise liner when hopping Greek islands

    To go where cruise ships don’t go was perhaps the biggest advantage of a sailboat charter in the Greek Cyclades.


  • Portugal's Nazare upholds ancient seaside traditions

    Just two hours north of Lisbon, Portugal, is one of my favorite beach towns: Nazare, an Atlantic Coast fishing village turned tourist retreat.


  • Double identity: Strasbourg is French, but it's German, too

    Strasbourg is the capital of France’s Alsace region and just a two-hour train ride from Paris. But it’s also just 2 miles from the border of Germany, and a popular port of call for cruises down the Rhine River.


  • Rural Romania: A land that time forgot

    Romania is full of surprises and wonderful people. And as you leave the capital of Bucharest, it gets even better. In the Romanian countryside, the nation’s unique history and traditional culture live on vividly.


  • Travel among epochs while roaming in Rome

    Within Rome's ancient walls, just 12 miles around, lie many of the city’s iconic gems: the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain. We walked nearly everywhere, moving between epochs in a matter of minutes.


  • Luther's moment approaches: Oct. 31 marks 500th anniversary of Protestant Reformation

    For the world’s roughly 800 million Protestants, a small corner of eastern Germany is their spiritual home — a place that takes on added importance this year, the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.


  • Tiny island nation of Malta deserves more than just a stopover

    For travelers today, Malta’s proximity to Europe’s glamour destinations is a definite plus, if not a widely appreciated one. Often experienced as a day stop on Mediterranean cruises, Malta greatly rewards a longer stay.


  • Edinburgh's alleys hold a trove of historical treasure

    In long-ago days, this venerable town became known — oddly, affectionately — as “Auld Reekie.” It’s believed the nickname came, in part, from the smell generated as residents of yesteryear greeted each new day by opening their windows and flinging the contents of their chamber pots into the street below. This was before indoor plumbing — if you get my drift.


  • Birmingham museum and gallery offers a world-class collection

    I recently spent a peaceful afternoon at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, marveling at its impressive collection of art and artifacts, many of international importance.


  • 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.


  • In France’s Dordogne region, a land of castles and caves calls for deep exploration

    When our children were 11 and 9, young enough to still be entirely inside the family circle but old enough to remember, we splurged on a “once-in-a-lifetime vacation” and rented a small farmhouse in Southwestern France outside the village of Saint-Cyprien. Each day, our son and daughter would say goodbye to the donkey that hung around our patio and we’d climb in the tiny rented Renault and drive somewhere in the fairy tale-beautiful Dordogne River region.

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