To return to a beloved city can be disappointing. Prague’s crowds have grown so large that even pickpockets have trouble making a clean break. Melbourne feels like it’s trying to become a second Sydney, instead of that grittier grid dotted with delicious eats. And Salzburg, the city that my wife and I had romanticized after our visit seven years earlier, seems to have promoted Mozart to such an extent that the whole place feels as charmless as Graceland.
The first time that I had traveled to Austria was 2010 and my plan was to visit the wineries of Vienna. My then-girlfriend, now-wife, and I took the subway to the end of the U4 line, Heligenstadt, hopped on the 38A bus that journeyed uphill, and then disembarked at Armbrustergasse, where the road split. For the vineyards, we were told that we had to continue from there on foot. Continue reading
When the Mad King was slain by Jaime Lannister, he fell upon his death bed of pine forest. His face and body formed the peaks of the Wilder Kaiser mountain range in Tirol, Austria. This is not the true story of the formation of the Wilder Kaiser, which means Mad King in German, but when my guide pointed up at the gray stone-peaked mountains with the beautiful death bed of pine forest below, I stopped listening to the legend and made up my own Game of Thrones-inspired tale.
With the consequences of the Brexit looming and the ripple effects of America’s changing political face, its certain that the European Union will evolve. Frankfurt, with its international airport and big-bank headquarters, which already serves as a hub for commercial and financial interests, will increase its importance in the EU. Yet, everything about this German city feels so far removed from big business and the market. Continue reading
The first two times I had visited Warsaw, I was underwhelmed by the sites dedicated to the murdered Jews. The former bunker at Mila 18, where Analewicz and his men had fought to the death, was just a mound. The Jewish cemetery was locked. The last remaining segment of the Warsaw ghetto wall was in an apartment courtyard where residents paid more attention to their laundry drying on lines. And as I stood before the powerful testament to the resistance fighters, a man sidled up beside me and allowed his dog to urinate on the steps that led up to the statue. Continue reading