A few days ago, M and I took advantage of a regional train pass that allowed us to head anywhere in the state of Bayern (Bavaria) for a combined fare of €26. We first rode the bus to Aschaffenburg where we boarded a two-hour local train to the city of Wϋrzburg. We hadn’t done much research before selecting it as our destination for a one-night adventure (inexpensive, interesting, and semi-local were our main requirements), and we weren’t sure what to expect. Perhaps for that reason, we were quickly captivated by the place. (more…)
We’ve been in Germany just ten days, but it feels like a lifetime…in a good way. We left Ireland last Tuesday after a fantastic week, capped off with two active days in Dublin. It was a short, productive flight to Frankfurt; M worked on the poetry book he’s co-editing, and I practiced my German (which needs a bit of practice). Our flight landed nearly an hour late, but M’s uncle and cousin were waiting patiently for us just past customs. We had initially planned to take the train, but after a long week of travel, we were grateful for their offer to pick us up. We chatted all the way back to their house in a small town along the Main River south of the city of Aschaffenburg.
We stayed local the first few days, getting used to another time zone and catching up with M’s family. We’ve traveled here each of the past two summers, but in prior years, our visits have been planned around M’s cousins’ weddings. It’s a nice change of pace to be without a formal agenda on this trip. (more…)
The highlight of our time in Clifden was our two-night stay at the Hillside Lodge, a modern B&B located on Sky Road a mile or so from the town center. Our room was comfy and cozy, the perfect place for adjusting to the time change and convenient base for exploring the town on foot. One of the owners works in the music industry, and the home is a carefully-curated treasure of music memorabilia. Breakfast each morning consisted of a fresh pot of coffee, generous cold buffet (with fresh fruit, stewed prunes, and homemade granola) and hot selection cooked to order (based on a menu we filled out the prior evening). Their vegetarian version of a traditional Irish breakfast included veggie sausage, baked beans, and a potato cake. It was delicious and satisfied us for most of the day. (more…)
Greetings from Ireland! We left from Boston Monday evening on an overnight flight to Shannon Airport on Ireland’s west coast. Our plan to sleep through the flight and wake up refreshed in the morning was foiled by the fact that you can really only manage about two hours of sleep on a six-hour flight. So we were more than a little sleepy upon arrival and quickly downed two airport coffees to jump-start our new day. We picked up the rental car we had reserved in advance, having splurged an extra $100 or so for an automatic. We’d heard tales of terror about driving on Irish roads, and although we can both drive a stick shift, we didn’t want the added pressure of figuring out how to do that with our left hands. Driving on the right side of the car on the left side of narrow roads while navigating endless roundabouts would be tricky enough. (more…)
We arrived in Prague Thursday afternoon on a regional train from Leipzig via Dresden. C and S are traveling with us on this leg of the trip, and we are happy to have the company. (As an added bonus, we’ve been able to join them as guests in the Deutsche Bahn lounges at every train station…) After a steamy 45-minute walk to the hotel, we happily dropped off our packs and roamed the neighborhood. We stumbled upon a fantastic restaurant (Stará Doba) where we sat in a sunken beer garden and feasted on Czech beer, fried cheese, fresh bread, and roasted vegetables…all for around $12 per person. After dinner, we picked up ‘to go’ beers at a corner store and continued to wander around, getting a feel for the city and stopping only for cover under a bus stop shelter while a thunderstorm rolled through. (While we waited, M and C chatted up a Canadian couple on a bicycling trip who have already logged more than 600 miles across Europe…) We made our way back to the hotel just as it was getting dark (after 10:00 PM local time) and quickly fell asleep, exhausted from our travels and excited about the next day of adventure ahead of us.