While beer enthusiasts are busy trying every beer known to man, tea is more my speed. Tea has seen such a resurgence in popularity in recent years. Loose tea seems more popular than ever. Part of the fun of being a tea drinker is being able to try lots of different teas. No two taste the same and even ones that “are” the same, such as blended teas like your Earl Greys or Breakfast Teas, aren’t the same. The recipe or formula, if you will, for each blend is different. I wanted to share five loose teas that I absolutely love: Harney and Sons’ Viennese Earl Grey, Tay Tea’s Duchess’ First Love, Adagio’s Ceylon Sonata, Dallmayr’s Ostfriesien and Eco-Cha’s Organic Dong Ding Oolong. Continue reading →
Maybe it is just me but when I travel or explore anywhere new I hate to be obvious about it. As far as I am concerned there is nothing worse than looking like a tourist. A recent guided tour in Nuremberg made me open up my mind a bit to the concept. But it’s still not at the top of my list despite how much great information you can get on a walking tour of a new city or even exploring your own backyard. So when GPSmyCity reached out to me about their app I was really interested.
GPSmyCity is a convenient and inexpensive app (each city costs less than $5) for your mobile device that offers self-guided walking tours on a variety of topics for nearly 500 different international cities. Using the GPS on your device, you can easily follow along the planned path and get from one important sight to another without getting lost. Available on both Apple and Android devices, the walking tours work offline so you do not have to worry about your data plan. You can even use the app to create your own walking tour. Not to mention that, because it is on your phone, it is discrete. No one need know you are a T-O-U-R-I-S-T. And because it is self-guided, you can spend as much or as little time at each spot as you wish.
It can be difficult knowing where to eat, what to see and where to go when traveling to a new city. Munich is such a large city with so many world-class attractions that it can be difficult to focus. For that reason, I wanted to put together a list of some of my Munich tips: favorite places to eat, things to do, and places to see in the Bavarian capital. I have included links to places I have already blogged about and descriptions for places I haven’t. Now on to my Munich tips! Continue reading →
You have been learning German, on your own or with an instructor or class. Now you want to put what you have learned to the test and try speaking German in Germany (or Austria, or Switzerland). Ready or not, you had better be ready! I wanted to share a few of the things that I learned on my most recent trip to Germany. Here are five lessons that I learned from trying to speak German in Germany. Continue reading →
During my first visit to Germany in 2009, while visiting Berlin, everywhere I turned I saw people carrying these really cool, unique looking messenger bags. Those bags, I quickly found out, are by FREITAG. Clearly, this is no fashion or style blog. There are plenty of folks out there passionately blogging about clothing and accessories. However, I do love sharing things I think are special. FREITAG is one of those things. Continue reading →
As an actress, moderator, and musician Nora Tschirner does it all. After getting her start in the early 2000s as a moderator and VJ for German MTV, she transitioned to acting. These days you might happen to catch her on Tatort or with her band Prag, in which she sings and plays guitar. The band, by the way, released a new album entitled “Kein Abscheid” earlier this year. But that’s a feature for another day. Let’s focus for now on Tschirner as an actress with her roles in three fun comedy films: Kebab Connection, Soloalbum, and Keinohrhasen. Continue reading →
You know that you’re becoming a serious tea drinker (is there a special name for that? A tea head?) when your collection of tea accoutrements includes a clay teapot. I acquired one, along with some incredible organic oolong tea from Taiwan, from Eco-Cha. That’s when I found out that the teapot has to be cured.
A clay teapot is an unglazed teapot made of, obviously, clay. The pots are generally referred to as Yixing teapots, as traditionally clay teapots are made with clay from the Chinese city of Yixing. According to what I’ve read, many of the teapots that are today marketed as Yixing teapots are not, in fact, made with actual Yixing clay. If the Yixing label is important to you, you’ll have to do a bit of research to ensure that a teapot is “authentic.” One of the reasons the clay teapots are so popular is that they’re considered to be the best teapot for brewing tea. Continue reading →
German filmmaker Werner Herzog isn’t a man who can be pigeon-holed. He doesn’t stick to just one thing. In the world of film making, he seems to have tried it all. If Roger Ebert is to be believed, Herzog has done it rather successfully, too. Herzog makes films: big films, small films, long films, short films, documentary films, films that are not documentaries. He’s one of the German world of film’s most important filmmakers but he isn’t a strictly “German” filmmaker, as his films aren’t strictly in the German language. For this month’s German film feature, let’s focus on three of Herzog’s films that are in German and, coincidentally, all star German actor Klaus Kinski. Continue reading →
My week-long self-imposed German challenge is over. So how’d I do? I made it — but only just. The whole reason I challenged myself was because life has gotten really busy. But as we all know, if you don’t use it you lose it. After years of hard studying, I’m sure as hell not ready to give up all I’ve learned without a fight. Even with making special time in one week to take on the challenge, it was still tough to accomplish my task.
The German Challenge is half over! How about that? As I write this, I’m mid-way through my self-imposed challenge to do 30 hours of German practice in a week. There have been positives and negatives and I wanted to share those, as well as how I’ve been spending my time.
The last couple of times I’ve traveled to Manhattan I’ve ditched the awkward rides on the subway in favor of walking. In theory it sounds crazy but the island really isn’t all that large depending where you’re going. It’s great exercise (which means you can feel a lot less guilty enjoying food on your travels) and it’s a much better way to see the city. But when I started planning the trip to San Francisco I wasn’t quite as sure about walking the famously hilly terrain of the city. Would it just end up being too much? Would I end up with sore, tired feet and a grumpy attitude? Public transit for the places I was interested in seeing didn’t seem like much of a sure thing. I started considering taxi cabs, something I’d ordinarily never consider. That’s when my friend, who we were in San Francisco to see, recommended Uber. Continue reading →
I’m always trying to recreate at home the foods and drinks I’ve enjoyed in Germany. I’ve tackled spezi, Jägerschnitzel, Linzer cookies and Zimtsterne to name a few. But there are some things I can’t recreate. Some of the ingredients I can’t always get. Some of the condiments will just never be the same — and who would make their own mustard, anyhow? Most importantly, the sausages at the local grocery store chain are just never going to be the same as fresh German-style sausages. Luckily, I discovered that Philadelphia has a secret. It has an authentic German butcher shop Rieker’s Prime Meats. Continue reading →