One of my absolute favourite things about Germany is the abundance of allotment gardens, even in the middle of huge cities. Allotment gardens are small pieces of carefully divided open land used for the sole purpose of gardening, and they often have a small wooden shed at one end, lush flower beds, fruit trees, and garden decorations on display.
I’ve been quite homesick lately, so I thought I’d make a list of 25 things that I love and miss about my hometown, Cape Town, South Africa. It’s 59 days until I’m back for a visit, so these bittersweet memories will have to keep me going until then!
If you happen to be in Frankfurt on a Saturday, be sure to check out the Kleinmarkthalle and the Erzeugermarkt Konstablerwache (Farmer’s Market), which are both near Hauptwache in the city centre. These food markets are a delight to the senses, and well worth a visit. Kleinmarkthalle is an indoor market full of “delikatessen” and “feinkost” (luxury cooking ingredients and food), with many vendors and a stunning arrangement of meats, cheeses, spices, world cuisine (Indian, Chinese, Turkish, Italian, etc), flowers, fruit, and vegetables.
One of the best ways to become acquainted with the city of Frankfurt is by taking a sightseeing boat trip up and down the Main river. This way, you can see the famous Frankfurt skyline with its modern glass-clad skyscrapers and old churches as you learn about historic and important parts of the city from the tour commentary.
I adore wine. I love the sound the cork makes when it is released from the bottle, I love watching the crimson (or golden/blush) liquid splash into the glass, I love taking that first sip – like a tentative first kiss – and curling up in the evening with a good book and a good glass of red.
I’m fortunate enough to come from a country that is known for its wines – and for around 3 years now, I’ve been sampling what wines South Africa has to offer by going for tastings at local wine farms and trying different wines when out to dinner.
Travelling has opened up a whole new world of wines, and I hope to review many of them in the coming months.
The first time I visited Paris was in July 2003, in the middle of summer. I was 13 years old, in Europe for the first time with my family, and everything seemed impossibly magical. All the wonderful things I had only read about or seen in movies came to life in vivid colour that summer – the huge, imposing Eiffel Tower, the delightfully colourful and symmetrical flowerbeds and hedges of the Jardins de Tuileries, the sophisticated sidewalk cafés, the delicious pastries, and the famous artworks I had only ever seen in musty old textbooks in my art class back home.
I fell in love with Paris swiftly and deeply. As we sat on the steps below Sacré Cœur on Bastille Day (July 14th), I watched the fireworks over the city and felt incredibly blessed to be in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, and to have the opportunity to soak up the sights and culture.
Greece holds a special place in my heart. I have visited three times, and each time I have fallen deeper in love with the dry, rocky, cyprus-tree-covered mountains, the sea that shimmers in so many shades of blue, the all-embracing sunshine, and the leisurely pace of life. This summer, my fiancé and I visited Paleokastritsa in Corfu. I’d been to Corfu before on a Contiki tour, but never to the west side of the island, so we were set to explore a new place together.
Learning a new language isn’t easy, especially when you want to learn as much as you can in a short space of time. In my time spent teaching English as a foreign language (as well as being a student myself learning basic Italian, French, and German!) I have picked up a few useful tips for learning the basics of a new language. So, if you’re travelling to a different country soon and you’re keen to learn some of the local language before you go, take note of the 5 helpful tips below.
Whether you’re visiting Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, or a small town somewhere in between the bustling cities, you’re sure to come across some of these cultural differences during your travels in Germany.