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A Beginners Guide to Oktoberfest, Munich Germany - California Globetrotter


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A Beginners Guide to Oktoberfest

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It’s a new year with lots of new adventures that lay ahead! Maybe people are getting out their Bucket Lists and checking which things to tick off this year! I’m sure most of you have always dreamed of going to the world’s largest street fair with all the beer imaginable!

Between late Spring and early Autumn, it usually implies that somewhere in Bavaria, a beer festival can be found. ‘Gemütlichkeit‘ is in full swing from Regensburg’s Dult to the world’s most famous beer festival: Munich’s Oktoberfest and beyond!

What is normally a simple oval meadow is turned into the world’s largest, boisterous beer drinking festival with stalls, marquees, funfair, loud music and tons of people. For two weeks every year this folks fest takes place at the feet of the Bavaria statue, the patron saint of Bavaria, or as the locals call it, the “Weisn”. Continue reading

Your 10 Day Guide to Bavaria! - California Globetrotter


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Your 10 Day Guide to Bavaria

IMG_4804Want to visit the beautiful Bavarian countryside, filled with fairy tale palaces and romantic roads dotted with idyllic towns? Start your trip with a day in Munich learning about WWII history before driving the Romantic Road to Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Würzburg before heading towards the fairy tale Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace. Then take a drive along the Bavarian Alps and visiting Germany’s highest peak – Zugspitze. Then head towards Berchtesgaden before crossing the border into Austria for a side trip to Salzburg. Before heading back to Munich, stop an enjoy one of many lakes, preferably Chiemsee.

If you LOVE fairy tale castles, medieval towns, beautiful scenery, WWII history or doing some outdoor activities either as a solo traveler, a couple or a family, then this is the perfect itinerary for your first visit to Bavaria!

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Top Places to Visit in Germany! - California Globetrotter


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Top Places to Visit in Germany!

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If you’re considering traveling to Europe, you should definitely add Germany to your Bucket List! Germany certainly has plenty of castles, fairy-tale villages and places of wonder that really need to be seen, drooled over & shared!

I receive a lot of people who always ask for some great suggestions of places to visit in Germany. So now, I share with you my favorite destinations in Germany, and even a few I hope to make it to!

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Lake Tegernsee's Christmas Markets - California Globetrotter


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Lake Tegernsee’s Christmas Markets

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Located in one of Southern Bavaria’s most stunning regions, not far from Munich, surrounded by mountain peaks patiently waiting for snow is Lake Tegernsee. Scattered around the lake are five small villages hugging the shoreline, each decked out in Christmas holiday spirit. Together, the five village’s Christmas markets form what is called Tegernsee Advent Magic loaded with Christmas stalls with a unique twist to traditional German Christmas gifts. A perfect location if you’re looking for something less touristy than Christmas markets in larger cities. Continue reading


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King Ludwig II of Bavaria’s Schloss Linderhof

IMG_3760There are many stunning castles and palaces throughout Bavaria, with the most popular all built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria. You might know his most romantic and popular castle, Schloss Neuschwanstein perched high up on a hill in Schwangau or the palace he built on Chiemsee which is dedicated to his idol, King Louis XV of France, a smaller replica of the Palace of Versailles called Schloss Herrenchiemsee. If you have visited either of these castles, you might have left feeling a bit unsatisfied as both castles were not completed by the time of King Ludwig II’s untimely death in 1886. But fear not!

Schloss Linderhof was the only palace that the King lived to see to be completed and had the chance to live in for eight years! Again, this palace was inspired by the Palace of Versailles in Paris and you can see the stunning artwork in honor of the French monarchy. While it might lack in size, as it is the smallest palace built by King Ludwig II, it packs a punch and it well worth the visit! Continue reading

What is the Difference Between a Burg and a Schloss? - California Globetrotter


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What is the Difference Between a Burg and a Schloss?

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As a little girl, I always dreamed of living the fairy tale life as a princess in a beautiful castle perched upon a hill, with my long locks of brown wavy hair flowing over the castle window waiting for my prince charming to come and sweep me off my feet. Oh wait…that’s Rapunzel. Things like that don’t actually happen in real life, but that’s what we grow up thinking about if you come from the US. We don’t really have castles in America. I say that as a general statement, as there are “castles” in America, which are more like big fancy schmancy mansions. Hearst Castle in California is a great example of a mansion house being called a “castle” built by a newspaper millionaire in the early 1900s and is nothing compared to European castles.

Ever since I first came to Europe in 1999 for the first time with my family at the young impressionable age of 14, I have seen an endless amount of different castles in many different countries. My father always used to tell me that I was living in a fairytale and I better come back to reality. But how could I when real life fairytale castles DO exist!? Now, I just imagine my tiny apartment as some tiny castle overlooking the road with tall double white doors that open to a gate as my “balcony” which I imagine opening and singing to all the fluttery birds to come to my window like a scene straight out of Cinderella.

But here in Germany? I’ve seen castles that have left my jaw dropped on the floor in awe and other castles that are simple and not nearly as romantic. But then I realized, none of the castles are actually called a “castle”. Here, they have different meanings and while wandering around the ruins of an old castle the other night near Regensburg, I asked my German boyfriend what the difference between a “Burg” and “Schloss” is and our conversation west like this: Continue reading

Festivals in Europe - Farbenfest (Color Festival) - California Globetrotter


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Festivals in Europe!

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I am a lover of festivals! Big festivals, little festivals, historic festivals, music festivals, summer festivals, you name it, I want to go! Since living in Europe, I am constantly surrounded by an endless number of possibilities, from the fun related festivals to the ones of historical importance. Now I try to go to as many as I can, the others, over time will come! Until there here are the festivals I have been to and the ones I want to go to!

The Festivals I’ve Been To!

The Flower Carpet Festival 2014

IMG_2309Every other year, on even numbered years, Brussels turns the already magnificent 17th Century Grand Place into a beautiful flower carpet with over 750,000 Begonias! This is a festival not to miss for those who love beautiful things, as this festival is for one weekend only, usually in August!

Open to the public for free to walk around it but for the best view of the Flower Carpet, pay just a few euros per person to go up inside the stunning Hotel de Ville which dominates the main square and step out on to the balcony.

When: Next August 12-15th, 2016

Where: Brussels, Belgium

How much: Free!

Website: http://www.flowercarpet.brussels/en

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Day Trips from Munich: Starnbergersee, Bavaria, Germany - California Globetrotter


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The Perfect Sunday Funday! – Starnbergersee

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As each passing day continues to have better weather, I have been going stir crazy and knew I had to go on a small adventure to sooth my restless soul. The California girl in me desperately needed some Vitamin D! This weekend, the weather finally permitted us some warm weather and somewhat blue skies to make an afternoon trip to Starnbergersee (Lake Starnberg) just 16 miles southwest of Munich. With the S-Bahn, the lake is easily reachable every 15-20 minutes.

Starnbergersee is Germany’s 5th largest freshwater later and enjoys beautiful views of Zugspitze from the Starnberg shore. It is a fantastic place for a family outing, even with little ones and bikers!

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Understanding the Lederhosen Culture - California Globetrotter


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Understanding the Lederhosen Culture

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One of the many things that people automatically associate with Germany is the traditional Bavarian costume. However, this is a big misconception about the German people. What most people don’t realize is that the Lederhosen and Dirndl are a Bavarian tradition and therefore not worn throughout all of Germany. Nor are they worn all the time. For the most part, Bavarians wear their Lederhosen and Dirndl on special occasions, however it is quite possible to see some hard core Bavarians wearing them for no special reason other than the fact that they are proud of their heritage. But don’t be surprised when you are walking around Bavaria and not everyone is wearing them.

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Amazing Views Over Europe - California Globetrotter


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Amazing Views Over Europe!

 IMG_3014Every new city I travel, it is my goal to climb at least one tower or find a viewing platform in the form of a castle perched on a hill, hiking a mountain or taking a c able car to truly see the entire city from a birds eye view! Here is my list of places around Europe that you can check out for the best views on your trip and where to find them!

Austria

Salzburg

Salzburg, Austria - California Globetrotter

View from the Hohensalzburg Fortress

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