Category Archives: Europe

Ålesund—Picture Perfect

Ålesund, Norway is one of those places on earth where the description “picture perfect” easily applies. Established in early 19th century, the town of 50,000 is the most important fishing harbor in Norway. Since the North Sea oil boom began … Continue reading

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Oslo—The Nature of Being Norwegian

On a recent sunny day in Oslo, Jay and Tanya went searching for what defines the Norwegian character. What is it that makes Norwegians, and their descendants, think and act the way they do? Essentially, what is “Norwegianness”? Tanya has … Continue reading

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Helsingør: Famous for Hamlet and Tax Collection

Perched on the very eastern tip of Denmark is the historic port city of Helsingør, or Elsinore as it’s called in English. This windswept town of 62,000 is most famous for Kronborg Castle, the setting for Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The castle … Continue reading

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Sevnica, Slovenia: The Town Melania Left Behind

A few weeks ago we took a roughly 2-hour drive from Ljubljana, Slovenia to the small 5,000-person town of Sevnica, where Melania Trump grew up. We had read that the town was trying to capitalize on its famous former resident … Continue reading

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The Day of Living Danishly: Legoland

On a recent trip to Denmark we embraced our inner child and visited one of the country’s top attractions, Legoland. After reading Helen Russell’s book, The Year of Living Danishly, we couldn’t resist the Legoland experience. Russell describes her year … Continue reading

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Hagenbeck’s Animal Park, Hamburg

On our recent visit to Hamburg we took the U-Bahn out to the suburb of Stelligen. Our objective was one of the most amazing and beautiful zoos we had ever seen, the Tierpark Hagenbeck. This private zoo was the brainchild … Continue reading

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Searching for Roots: The Emigration Museum, Ballinstadt Hamburg

For many Americans, the search for their roots often takes them to the entry and exit points of their ancestors. It might be Ellis Island in New York, Gorée Island in Senegal or Bremen and Antwerp. On our own quest … Continue reading

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Ghent, Belgium

Ghent, the capital of East Flanders, Belgium has been one of Jay and Tanya’s favorite places for years. Ghent is often passed over in favor of nearby Brugge when travelers visit Belgium but this is a big mistake. Although Brugge … Continue reading

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Brest & Cherbourg, France

A few weeks ago, Jay and Tanya visited the Brittany and Normandy coast with stops in Brest and Cherbourg. First of all, Brest is not one of those places tourists usually flock to. For one thing, it rains a lot … Continue reading

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Have Some Madeira, My Dear-ah

There is definitely something different about islands. And, we mean islands in general. OK, it’s not the obvious that they’re all surrounded by water. It’s that people who live on islands need to be somewhat self-reliant. Consequently, they develop their … Continue reading

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