Versailles and Louis XIV

Well, this is definitely no simple hunting lodge. The palace of Versailles, built by Louis XIV just outside Paris, is one of the most overtly conspicuous displays of wealth and ego ever built, by a monarch for whom wealth and ego were like mother’s milk. Walking around, golden domes, gates, window adornments - golden everything…

Paris’ Montmartre and Sacre Coeur

Montmartre, Montmartre, where the throngs and the songs continue Montmartre, Montmartre, where Paris (Paree) on a spree gets in you Montmartre, Montmartre Can Can While not home to the most recognizable sights in Paris, Montmartre is perhaps the most famous neighborhood, heavily represented in popular culture for more than a century. It is the traditional…

The Ultimate Guide to Bonn!

Bonn doesn’t get much love from the tourist community. It seems to always be passed over for the larger Cologne, about thirty minutes north by train. Well, that’s a shame. Bonn, while smaller than Cologne, has a lot going for it, and the price differential between staying here versus in Cologne itself makes it -…

Bonn and West Germany

On May 7, 1945, Nazi Germany surrendered unconditionally to the allied forces. As the war in Europe ended, Germany was divided into four spheres of control, each region “belonging” to one of the allied powers: the US, the USSR, Britain, and France. Berlin was divided into quarters, although it was surrounded by the Soviet region.…

Majestic Drachenburg Castle

Castles on the Rhine. There is a fairy tale quality to this abject reality: castles are truly everywhere along the Rhine River in between Mainz and Bonn. Some are ruins; some are intact. Some are medieval stone keeps; some are more modern chalets and villas. Some are museums; some are lived in still. A castle…

Burlesque Berlin

Willkommen! Bienvenue! Welcome! Fremder, Etranger, Stranger Gluklich zu sehen. Je suis enchante. Happy to see you. Bleibe. Reste. Stay. Willkommen! Bienvenue! Welcome! Im Cabaret, Au Cabaret, To Cabaret. Cabaret The famed Broadway musical Cabaret starts with this greeting. Based on the Christopher Isherwood novel Goodbye to Berlin, Cabaret confronts the realities of the huge Berlin…