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3 Bavarian Towns Surrounded by Medieval Walls

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Germany certainly has no shortage of historic towns, practically unchanged since the Medieval times. And let’s admit it right now, many of us when traveling to Europe look for that authentic, historic feeling that will transport us back to a time that is long since gone. Many of us want to take a walk through a storybook town, that is beyond anything we have ever known.

But of all the picturesque, fairy tale towns in Germany, there are only three towns left still completely encircled by their Medieval walls all found in Bavaria. Luckily, all three are on the trail through Bavaria known as the “Romantischestrasse” (Romantic Road) which stretches from Würzburg to Füssen.

All relatively close together, they could easily be combined into a long weekend road trip if you’re as obsessed with half-timbered towns as I am.

The question now remains, which one should you visit if you’re short on time? Or which which one is less touristy but offers the same authentic feeling? Continue reading

How to Travel Like a PRO with GPSMyCity - California Globetrotter


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How to TRAVEL Like a PRO with GPSMyCity

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You’ve just read the most awesome travel article of some far off place you plan to visit soon. Sure you could go ahead and pin it and then scroll through endless posts to find it again. But that would require using your data, and possibly cost you roaming charges or you might just be headed somewhere with limited internet access. Then comes the hassle of sitting down and looking up the locations wasting even more data and precious time!

But why take the risk of missing out on hitting up some of those amazing places you just found in that awesome post when you could just use a GPS-Guided Travel Guide!!?

What’s a GPS-Guided Travel Guide, you might ask?

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2016: A Year in Review - California Globetrotter


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2016: A Year in Review

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2016 has been another wonderful year, unfortunately it flew by so fast I actually felt like I didn’t have time to take it all in, soak up every moment and enjoy every minute. I certainly tried as best as I could to enjoy every single day and to slow down the time, but that is something completely out of my hands.

This year was a big year for us that had PLENTY of happy, joyous moments, many new adventures and lots of opportunities for which we are incredibly lucky to have had. So I want to take the time to show my gratitude to this beautiful life we live that has given us the chance to travel Europe. And I especially want to show my gratitude to my new husband who has been the most wonderful travel partner I could have ever asked for!

With each passing year, I feel that our lives continuously improve and grow and while there is so much more to be done, I know that for now, we should only focus on the here and now, but I can’t help but feel excitement for 2017 that will be filled with many new adventures, laughter, happiness and growth.

While I shouldn’t look to far into the future, I don’t want to look to far back into the past either. There were plenty of ups and downs throughout the year, on and off the camera, but that is no reason to dwell in the past either.

But a recap of our amazing year certainly doesn’t hurt that left us with long lasting impressions that turned us into story tellers and left pieces of our hearts everywhere we went. Continue reading

The Splendor of the Munich Residenz & Why You Should Visit It - California Globetrotter


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The Splendor of the Munich Residenz and Why You Should Visit It

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Of all the times I had ever been to Munich, I had never much been interested in visiting the Munich Residenz. From the outside, it looked like a boring, plain building in the city center, no different from the other buildings. And then I was on Pinterest one day, you could call me a Pinaholic and I stumbled upon a picture that was so beautiful of the a room inside the Residenz. I pinned it for later and it soon got buried in my list of things to see and do in Germany.

Until one rainy day.

We had planned to go down to Munich for the day, but as the weather would have it, it was a day with torrential rain and a bit cold for a late Spring day (yes, this post is a bit late in coming). Well, I grew up traveling and never letting rain stop me from seeing what I want to see….Ok, maybe a little bit. It wasn’t the kind of day you wanted to do any sightseeing in Munich or sitting out at a biergarten.

So, we headed in doors for the day. To the Munich Residenz. And booooy, was I WRONG! Continue reading

Exploring Nuremberg's Christmas Market - California Globetrotter


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Exploring Nuremberg’s Christmas Market

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Of all the festive Christmas markets that fill every town center in every major city throughout Europe, Nuremberg‘s Christkindlmarkt is one of the most famous, along with Frankfurt, Dortmund, Dresden & Stuttgart. If ever there were one market you just HAD to visit, this would be the one!

Why you might ask?

Well, before I get into the specifics, first you need understand the fascination Europe and its visitors have for these exciting Christmas markets.

A Christmas Market, or Christkindlmarkt is a street market which is spread out throughout the town center, with stalls decorated in the Christmas fashion, selling knickknacks perfect for decorations or Christmas gifts lasting the entire four weeks of Advent. The very first of these began in Strasbourg, France in 1570.

The tempting aromas of roasting chestnuts, sweet gingerbread cookies (lebkuchen) and warm, cinnamony Glühwein (malted red wine) waft pleasantly through the crisp winter air. You are bundled up in your warmest winter jacket, with a festive Christmas scarf and the buzz of holiday shoppers “oohing” and “ahhhing” fills the air as they stroll up and down the market lanes. You warm your cold hands around a Christmas mug of Glühwein while strolling the cobbled-stoned market alleys.

Sound delightful yet? Got you in the mood for Christmas? Good! Now you’re ready to be introduced to Nuremberg’s Christmas Market.

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Your COMPLETE Guide Using the Deutsche Bahn in Germany! - California Globetrotter


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Your COMPLETE Guide to Using the Deutsche Bahn in Germany

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One of the greatest things about living in Europe is the ease at which one can travel nearly the entire continents without a car. But before you can go and hop on any train, you need to know the ins and outs of using the Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s most powerful train service. You will be hard pressed to find another train in Germany which offers high speed trains throughout the entire country as DB is the ONLY option. So, please allow me to walk you through traveling through Germany with the Deutsche Bahn! Continue reading

The Most Picturesque Half-Timbered Towns in Germany - California Globetrotter


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The Most Picturesque Half-Timbered Towns in Germany

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Let’s be honest. When you think about Germany, everyone pictures Germans wearing Lederhosen, drinking beer and eating bratwurst, magnificent fairy tale castles perched high above the towns people and beautiful landscapes. While this is partially true, there is certainly much much more to this wonderful country.

There are three types of dwellings most Germans reside in: Big cities like Berlin, Munich or Frankfurt. Villages out in the countryside with endless fields of crops. And then there’s half-timbered storybook towns that we imagine all of Germany must look like.

Unfortunately, these are a dying breed and only make up a small fraction of Germany. There are dozens of amazing small towns, especially along the Deutsche Fachwerkstraße –  “German Half – Timbered Houses Route”, leading from the river Elbe in northern Germany to Lake Constance in the south. Along this route, 98 towns have united to protect these historic half-timbered towns!

Here are some of the most hidden, half – timbered towns throughout Germany, some not on the Half-Timbered route, all worth a visit if you’re looking to truly learn about the history and architecture of this amazing country. If you make it to the end of this post, you’ll find an interactive map showing the towns! Continue reading

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Germany’s Magical Christmas Markets

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If there was one time of year you should come to Germany, winter would be it. Yes, it’s cold and often gloomy but with the approach of the Christmas season, comes the warmth of the holiday spirit and a warm cup of Glühwein surrounded by friends and family.

Towns, villages and cities throughout Germany deck out their city centers in the most vibrant, jolly, Christmas decorations and line up rows upon rows of adorably decorated wooden stalls filled with the most exciting Christmas gifts and goodies!

The smell of roasted chestnuts, spiced red wine with Jack Frost nipping at your nose truly bring the spirit of Christmas alive in the towns across Germany.

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Schloss Hohenschwangau, Schangau, Bavaria, Germany - California Globetrotter


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Schloss Hohenschwangau

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When you think of romantic castles, fairy tale love stories and majestic scenery in Germany, your first thought is instinctively the Neuschwanstein Castle. Walt Disney immortalized this dreamy castle in all opening scenes of his movies and can be found at every single Disney amusement park.

Today, tourists flock to visit this magical castle, perched on a rocky cliff in the Alpine mountains which overlooks the small village of Schwangau. Upon arrival, many are amazed to find that just across the village is another castle. Schloss Hohenschwangau is easily over shadowed by the glory of Schloss Neuschwanstein and few make the time to visit both castles.

So why should you bother visiting this castle which hardly rivals the castle that fairy tales are made of?

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Cochem & the Reichsburg Castle, Germany - California Globetrotter


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Cochem & the Reichsburg Castle

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When you think of Germany, you undoubtedly imagine castles like Schloss Neuschwanstein or half-timbered towns like Rothenburg ob der Tauber. But what if I were to tell you, that there is more to Germany beyond the most touristy places of other romantic castles and historic towns offering a glimpse into the past? Would you believe me?

I hope so, because I’m about to introduce to you the small historic town of Cochem, located in Rhineland-Palantine, not far from Koblenz which sits along the left bank of the Mosel river.

Quite off the beaten track in Germany, but not completely unknown to tourists, this picturesque town with his cobbled-stoned allies and half-timbered houses is packed with quaint cafes and restaurants, surrounded by rolling hills of vineyards topped with the an Imperial Castle.

Have I wet your taste buds yet? Continue reading