The complications of a multi-national wedding


When people get married in the movies, there’s never any mention of all the paperwork, and so I naïvely thought that on the day of the wedding you go to the church or government office, sign some papers and that’s it. Unfortunately that’s not the case, especially when it’s a marriage between two people of different nationalities, as in our case!

Someone in my German class told me he and his wife (both Italian) got married in the US, and all they needed were passports. The European version of a Las Vegas style wedding is apparently to go to Denmark as less administration is required there, but even for a wedding in Denmark you do need more paperwork than just passports, so a little bit of advance planning is required. My advice to anyone going into a multi-national marriage is not to set a wedding date until you have your paperwork in order. However this is also tricky, as venues need to be booked in advance and some papers expire (for example, a letter of no impediments is only valid for 6 months).

Our case is more complicated than most, as four countries are involved. I am South African but also have British citizenship, as my mother is British. My fiancé is Czech. We are living in Germany at the moment and we will get married in Czech Republic. As a result, we started with the administrative process for getting married in January, and are still not finished, in August, two weeks before the wedding. Continue reading

On the road…


You may have noticed a bit of radio silence lately…this is because we have just returned from a short trip to the Canary islands, a volcanic archipelago lying in the Atlantic ocean off the coast of southern Morocco. Now we are back in Berlin…stories of sun, sea and volcanoes to follow soon!

Exploring the calderas of São Miguel, Azores


In the middle of the Atlantic lie the paradisaical islands of Azores, volcanic islands rising up from the sea. Over the Easter weekend we visited São Miguel, the largest of the nine islands, and spent some days driving around the island, exploring its beauty. I’ve already written about the lush botanical gardens and the fascinating fumaroles we visited in the first day and a half. On our second day, while we were visiting the fumaroles, I had a sore throat, and unfortunately it turned out I’d caught the norovirus (gastric flu) going around my work. As an expat living in Germany I am susceptible to every bug that goes around, as they’re all new to me, so it’s like being  a child again. So I had to spend one day in bed (Good Friday) feeling very ill, while a miserable J spent some time walking around the nearby town alone, coming back now and then to check on me and bring me medicines and drinks. At least he had the chance to watch the Good Friday parade. The only good thing about norovirus is that it is short-lived, and as Saturday dawned I felt well enough to face another day of sightseeing. The fresh sea air, beautiful views and warm sunshine lifted my spirits enough that I even had energy to do some hiking. We drove around the island to admire some of the magnificent coastal and hillside views and hike up the dormant volcanoes for amazing views of the calderas, large craters formed by the collapse of emptied magma chambers during volcanic eruptions, which had filled with rainwater to become crater lakes. Continue reading