Tag Archives: central europe

Biking in the Moravian winelands of Czechia

I still can’t get used to calling Czech Republic “Czechia”, but I thought I’d try, at least for this post! Even my Czech husband still calls it Czech Republic (or normally Czech for short). Anyway, for years he has been telling me that we should visit the Moravian winelands, in the east of Czechia, more specifically in new wine season (more on new wine later). This year we finally did it, as a group of friends with whom we did Wine-and-Cycling Trip 1.0 with last year in the Alsace wanted to go on Wine-and-Cycling Trip 2.0. In fact for us it was actually the third wine and cycling trip, since we also rode along the Saale river valley. We planned our trip to Moravia in September, which is new wine season.

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Tübingen in Photos

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Tübingen is a picturesque, hilly university town in the state of Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, only 30km from Stuttgart. To the north is Schönbuch, voted one of the most beautiful forests in Germany, and to the south east are the Swabian Alb mountains. The river Neckar flows through the town, which has many beautiful old buildings, canals and cobblestone streets. In fact, Tübingen has one of the most intact historic old towns in Germany, so it’s surprising that it’s not on most people’s tourist radar. Like in another famous university town, Cambridge, boating is popular in Tübingen, which has its own version of the famous Cambridge punt boats, called Stocherkähne. It’s very pleasant to visit Tübingen and wander its streets. Here are some of the photographs I took during my visit. Continue reading

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Middle Europe Weekly Small Pleasures #6 – Summer days

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On the beach in Boltenhagen

This week a heatwave struck Europe, and the summer we had been longing for suddenly struck full force! We’d booked tickets in advance to go and visit my uncle and aunt who were on a three week holiday by the Baltic sea (Ostsee) in  Boltenhagen, but had a three hour travail trying to catch the train out of Berlin because so many people had flooded to the station to escape to the coast that we could not get on the train with our bicycles. However, after a long wait and a detour, we finally made it to the coast and countryside of the Bundesland (province) Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and enjoyed a weekend there catching up with family, cycling, swimming and walking around. More about that later, but in the meanwhile here are a few of the highlights of the week. Join the blog event Weekly Small Pleasures to share your own!

1) It’s been drier than usual for this time of year, in fact, many farms in Brandenburg have been suffering from lack of rain. In Czech, the rivers are also very low at the moment. During the weekend after the extremely high temperatures there were thunderstorms both Saturday and Sunday evening, so at least that brought some rain. I’m not sure if it was just a coincidence or if it was related to the dryness and then the two weeks of cool weather we had before the heat, but I found a beautiful leaf in Berlin last Monday morning – maybe from a confused tree!

2) A friend organized a BBQ in the park on Thursday evening. It was so relaxing to spend a summer’s night outdoors that it felt almost like a Friday.

3) On Friday we went to Prater biergarten with some friends. i really like it there – it’s full so it has a good atmosphere but there always seems to be somewhere to sit. My friend B and I both had a classic Berlin drink: Berliner Weisse (wheat beer) mixed with  red (raspberry) or green (Waldmeister) syrup. It’s great and refreshing for those who prefer something sweet to a more bitter beer!

4) The strawberries on our balcony are still yielding fruit!

5) I didn’t know this before I moved to Berlin, but there is a big Turkish community here. In many neighbourhoods you can find shops selling delicious Turkish sweets, including baklava. I don’t know the names of all of the different varieties, but they are all variants of sweet pastries containing nuts such as pistachio or walnuts.

6) And to the seaside! About 4 hours from Berlin on the train, but so worth it.

Have a good week!

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About us

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We are a South African and a Czech living in Berlin, Germany, and we love travelling around and seeing new places. Hopefully this blog can be a nice memoir of our experiences living in Germany and our travels to the countries around, and further afield.

According to Wikipedia the term Middle Europe is obsolete or rarely used – Central Europe is the usual term. However when visiting a friend in Finland I was curious to hear that up north that’s what they call us down here. And coming from the southern hemisphere, travelling through the countryside and forests of central Europe reminds me very much of scenes from Middle Earth in “Lord of the rings”. Whatever you choose to call it, this region basically refers to the countries in the middle or central region of Europe which share some common landscapes and history (although of course each country also has its own histories and culture). This includes countries such as Czech republic, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia, Hungary and Liechtenstein.

Central Europe

Central Europe

Of course, I will also share some stories from South Africa (my home) and about our travels to other regions beyond Middle Europe.

Enjoy!