Mallorca, Spain

Whenever I think of the word vacation, I think of warm sunny weather, a white sandy beach with turquoise blue water, palm trees, and a cocktail in my hand while I sun tan. I’m sure that I’m not alone in this imagery.

So, when I was asked by a friend to go on vacation with her, this is the image I had in mind. We decided on a 4 day long weekend on the Spanish island, Majorca, and believe me; my vision of avacation was indeed fulfilled.

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We languidly laid on a gorgeous beach until we were pleasantly tanned. Days consisted of sun, sand, and food, with the occasional ice-cream and cocktail thrown in for good measure. All in all the vacation was everything that I hoped it would be.

We stayed at the Hotel Delfin in Santa Ponsa, since we were intent on relaxing and staying away from party central. With only a 2 minute walk to the beach, we were in an optimal location. Though the food from the hotel left much to be desired, there was a wonderful selection of restaurants around town that more than sufficed.

Taking a half da y away from the beach, we decided to tour Old Palma city. I am so grateful that we did. Not because I wasn’t enjoying myself on the beach, I absolutely was; however, in general I found that Mallorca is one of those overly tourist destinations and I felt like I was missing out on getting any real impression of Spain. Luckily, Old Palma delivered on this account. The tall and regal architecture and narrow streets were iconic of old Spanish cities. Coupled with the most exquisite gelato, shopping in Moda boutiques, and enjoying Tapas at a quaint café for lunch, I feel like we fit in the best Spanish experience that Mallorca has to offer. The city itself was breathtakingly beautiful and I would recommend venturing out for a tour if you find yourself in the area.

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We topped off our city touring day with a stop by another beach in the area. It was one of the most beautiful beache s I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting, nestled in a cove of rocks like a wonderfully kept little secret. Again, it’s worth the trip out if you have the time. Just beware though that everything beautiful, like a rose, has its thorns. Apparently this beach is inhabited by a type of fish that hides in the sand and bites your ankles or heels when you get too close. Both my friend and I got bitten. Not to let that scare you off, I would still do it all over again even knowing what lurks below.

If you are hoping to be immersed in Spanish culture, then Mallorca probably isn’t the destination for you. However, if you want to relax on gorgeous beaches in the sunshine, leave with a glorious tan in only 3.5 days, and have a bountiful variety of food at you disposal, Mallorca should be your next vacation destination.

Published in Fusia magazine, July 2015

A Stroll Around Old-Town Colmar, France

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When I found out that the border to France was only a 30 minute drive from Freiburg, I naturally thought it was imperative for me to take advantage of the close proximity.

IMG_1536IMG_1558As you may recall from my last article, I was in Freiburg with friends who were attending a wedding. We were sitting around eating a very normal breakfast the day after the wedding when I mentioned “you know we could be in France right now eating an amazing breakfast, since the border is only 30 minutes away”.  Everyone replied, “What!?!?! Why didn’t you say something sooner?” Well of course I assumed they already knew, but since it was a little too late for breakfast, we decided to plan the next best thing. Like a page out of a book of someone else’s incredibly swanky life, we all decided to drive to France just to have dinner and then drive back. And all of this time I thought that the only people who could say “I had breakfast in Germany and Dinner in France” owned their own a private jet.

Being French-Canadian, any time I go to France it feels like I am returning to the promise land or something; it feels like coming home. This is precisely how I felt when we crossed the border into France.

The beautiful little village near the France-Germany border is Colmar, with Old-Town Colmar being a particular draw for tourists.

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Located so close to Germany, you can definitely make out German influences in the architecture; however, the atmosphere is distinctly French.

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Furthermore, there was an impressive display of archways and waterways thorughout the old town that particularly captured my attention.

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We walked down the beautiful cobble stone streets and I let the sound of my second language flood my ears. It is always a very interesting experience when you get to take one of your stored away, rusty, old languages out to play.

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We toured around Colmar appreciating all of the little things and doing some harmless window shopping. We got to the main town square, by the St Martin’s Church, and noticed that there was a spring fair set up, which we spent some time perusing even though the vendors were packing everything up. Colourful booths lined the square, spring decorations hung from all of the trees, and there were flowers everywhere.

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The set up seemed to be quite festive for a seasonal celebration; however, as Colmar is a major tourist destination, with great foot traffic comes great opportunity. Not to mention, these little festivals lend a little extra flare to the place and only add to its touristic charm.

And yet, I think that this Old-Town is always bustling with life, no matter the time of year or time of day. This square, even though it was getting late, was full of people, and of course you had the stereotypical French cafés and restaurants that were consistently busy with a stream of people. The café culture is one of the things I love the most about France; sitting on a patio enjoying a coffee or wine in the middle of the day for no other reason than because you want to. Vive la France!

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Aside from doing the drive simply because it seemed absolutely ridiculous not to, we were there with an aim…and a very important aim at that: to eat! I will never trash German cuisine, but it simply cannot compete with French cuisine. Not very much can. We French people, we just know how to enjoy life through food. Unfortunately, all of the patisseries were closed by the time that we got there (which is why we should have gone for breakfast), but there were still many high-quality restaurants open to choose from. We found a gorgeous little place and I got adventurous enough to try what I thought sounded like the most French thing on the menu: grenouille (which is frog legs for those who don’t speak French).

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The grenouille tasted like a mix between fish and chicken, there’s really no other way for me to explain it, but it was cooked to perfection in a delicious tomato sauce. Overall the food was fantastic.

I was a little sad that I didn’t get my traditional favorites, like crème brulee or my staple patisserie favorites, but all in all the trip was well worth it, especially for a spontaneous trip that we took on a crazy whim. The timing may not have been perfect, but Old-Town Colmar was definitely worth it.

 

Published in Fusia magazine, June 2015

Strasbourg, France

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I very much enjoyed this city. It had quaint cultural elements that gave it a certain joie de vivre. When we got to the centre square, we were greeted by a gorgeous carrousel as well as an extensive chess game where tourists and locals could take on a local master. The square was so full of life and vibrancy, it was impossible not to fall in love with it.

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We also took our time perusing the Cathedral Notre Dame de Strasbourg, which is not as beautiful and famous as its Parisian counterpart, but it was nevertheless impressive. Much of the architecture, like most European cities, was quite remarkable. Being so close to the border of Germany, you could still see German influences in a lot of the buildings around Strasbourg. However, there was also something so uniquely French about this city. There were numerous beautiful waterways and canals, as well as stone bridges. It is really a wonderful city to leisurely walk around.

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One thing that really impressed me was a house that we passed by that was covered in lavender. From plants ascending the outer walls of the house, to an entire lavender canopied walkway leading up to the house, it was a pleasure for both the eyes and the nose. Lavender is just about as French as it gets.

Of course, the most impressive thing – and it always is about France – was the food. As you may recall from my Colmar article, what I missed out on in my last trip to France was all of my patisserie favourites. I more than made up for that this time around! I will first note that anyone who has never tried Millfeuille has not lived! This is my absolute patisserie favourite. It is layer after layer of flaky pastry goodness paired with a delicious creamy custard and topped with a chocolate and glaze like finishing layer. It is out of this word! It is the perfect treat because it is not too sweet and just bursting with flavour. As a cautionary note, it is a little difficult to eat, since when you bite down on all of these delicious layers everything gets pushed out of order, but the mess is worth every single bite.

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My other favourite include Macrons, which I bought from Paul’s bakery. If you are ever in France you should try to find a Paul’s somewhere. It is some of the most extraordinary baked goods that you will ever come across. There was also, of course, an impressive selection of breads and other baked goods. We also passed by a patisseries that had a wonderful selection of chocolate and candy. Have I succeeded in making you hungry yet?

All in all, the trip was fantastic because the weather was beautiful, the food was absolutely fantastic, and the company was amazing. As long as you have good weather, good food, and good people to share it with, nothing else really matters.

 

Published in Fusia magazine, July 2015

Freiburg, Germany

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Since my coming to Deutschland, I have been told that I simply must see Freiburg, as it is one of the most impressive cities in Germany. Everyone told me that it is incredibly beautiful and well worth the trip. I had the opportunity to accompany some friends who were headed to Freiburg for a wedding. So while they were all inside eating wedding cake, I was wandering the streets of Freiburg, enjoying the sunshine and some authentic Italian gelato. Yes, I definitely got the better end of that deal. After close observation I can report with authority that the city did indeed meet all of my expectations, and then some. From the view of the city centre afforded from the Schloßberg, to the actual city centre itself, Freiburg is well worth seeing.

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Freiburg is one of those cities that it is impossible not to fall in love with. It is one of the most southern cities in Germany, and proudly boasts that it is the country’s sunniest and warmest city. It is also situated in one of the best possible locations: it is in the centre of the Baden wine-growing region. Which is an entry point for Germany’s infamous Black Forest, and is only a 30 minute drive to the France border, an one hour drive to the Swiss border, and a four hour drive to the border of Italy. When you can live in Germany, but have breakfast in France and dinner in Italy, you are definitely situated in an advantageous location to experience the best that Europe has to offer.

Indeed, other European influences are evident in the cities architecture and atmosphere that make Freiburg an incredibly unique German city. First and foremost, there is a distinctive medieval layout that has been preserved, along with the iconic Freiburg Münster cathedral, the Historisches Kaufhaus and the Martinstor, which is one of the original city gates. All making Freiburg home to some of the oldest architecture in Germany.

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There are also semblances to Italian architecture that give the city a European flare beyond the traditional German city.

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All throughout the city centre are small channels of water called Freiburg Bächle that are so unique and really impressed me because they were unlike anything that I have yet seen. Apparently these channels were created to provide a steady stream of water for fighting fires and providing water for livestock. Although there is a common misunderstanding that they were originally created as a sewage system; however, even in the medieval ages there would have been strict penalties for polluting these channels. In their contemporary setting, these channels of constantly flowing of water, diverted from the Dreisam, function as a natural cooling system in the summer time and pleasantly fill the air with the gurgling sound of running water.

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These Bächle have become so entrenched in the city’s identity that they have given way to a famous Freiburg saying, that a tourist who steps into a Bächle will marry a Freiburger. And indeed you can always tell who the locals are because they step over these channels seemingly without even realizing that they are there, whereas tourist without fail will step into them at least once. So the saying has been adapted to “when you visit Freiburg you will marry a Freiburger” because the stepping into a Bächle is inevitable. However, I can proudly say that throughout this short trip I managed to keep my feet on dry land.

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If you are ever planning a drive from Germany to France, Switzerland, or Italy, I would definitely recommend heading through Freiburg and stopping for a leisurely walk around this beautiful city. You will be very glad that you did.

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Published in Fusia magazine, May 2015

It’s Time for Africa

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I was recently given the opportunity of a lifetime. I have always wanted to travel to Africa and go on a safari tour, but it has never been in the budget. The destination was always so far away and required a lot of planning and saving. Recently, however, I was asked if I would like to go along on a trip to Namibia with my brother’s sister-in-law, who is a flight attendant for Condor. I was so excited and obviously jumped on the opportunity. A trip of a lifetime for a fraction of the cost; how does anyone say no to that? Of course the only set back is that layovers are short: we were to fly in Monday night and fly back out Thursday evening, but 3 days in Africa are better than no days in Africa. So naturally I said “absolutely!” and for only €280 I was on my way to my dream vacation.

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When we landed in Windhoek, we were greeted at the runway with a warm breeze and by the biggest grasshoppers I have ever seen in my life! They flew around the tarmac like planes taking off and landing, and I found them to be quite intriguing. Once we passed through customs and baggage claim, we were shuttled to the hotel in a van that was arranged by the airline.

Lesson #1, in Namibia they drive on the left side of the road.

I admit that I was quite happy to sit back and let everyone else drive, because I felt very disoriented cruising down what felt like the wrong side of the road to me at a high speed. Nevertheless, we arrived safely at the Hilton Hotel in Windhoek where we were greeted by an incredibly friendly staff. The hotel was absolutely gorgeous and I would recommend it to anyone who may be visiting the city.

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After a fantastic sleep in our luxurious suits, we woke up to a sunny +26 day and were ready for some fun! We decided to consult a tour guide who planned an action packed schedule for us which included a tour of the sand dunes as well as a safari tour for an incredibly reasonable price.

Although it was around a 4 hour drive out to the Namibia dessert, it was well worth it. The scenery changed from lusciously green and mountainous to soft drifts of sand with hardly any vegetation. And the vegetation that we did see was incredibly impressive and completely exotic and foreign.

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To consider how drastically the landscape changed in only a matter of hours was baffling to me.

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The sand dunes were incredibly beautiful all on their own. We walked through massive ranges of sandy peaks and were able to appreciate the vastness of this dessert. It is a little difficult to describe, but the way the sand glistens in the sun is unbelievably breathtaking.

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We then ended our sand dune experience with a little bit of fun. The rest of the crew decided to go quad riding and tried sand boarding, but I decided to enjoy a nice leisurely ride through the dunes with my furry friend Naftali.

Lesson #2, Namibia has camels!

I was shocked for some reason to find out that Namibia had camels and was very excited to partake in my very first camel riding experience. It was a bumpy and rather uncomfortable ride, but it was incredibly fun and a great way to experience the dunes. Plus Naftali seemed to like me and was incredibly sweet. I’m still convinced that she was smiling for the camera.

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We then left the dunes and drove for another 4 hours to embark on a safari tour.

Lesson #3, expect to drive for extended periods of time if you want to experience the wonders of Namibia.

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Obviously a safari tour is the quintessential activity to participate in when on a trip to Africa and was what I was looking forward to the most. Again our weather was fantastic and we were able to enjoy our ride through the landscape. We saw countless different kinds of wild game, including antelopes, springbok, a wilder beast, impalas, and various other kinds of game that I can’t even remember the names of now. We also saw zebras, wild boars, giraffes, rhinos, and crocodiles, and had the fortune to see an entire family of monkeys run across the road in front of our cars while we were still driving out to our destination.

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There is something completely amazing about seeing these animals in their natural environment. It was an utterly fascinating experience unlike anything I have ever had before. There are so few moments in your daily life when you are amazed by what you see right in front of you, so I consider these moments to be priceless. Seeing rhinos walking together, feeling a thrilling rush when they started to charge at the jeep, or seeing a mother giraffe with her baby; these are sights that many people will never get to experience first-hand.

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Forgive me for being repetitive, but it is absolutely amazing; there is no other word that can adequately describe experiencing something firsthand that is so awe-inspiring. I know as a travel writer I am supposed to be able to portray these experiences in wonderfully descriptive words, but the experience has left me relatively speechless. The pictures, however, will hopefully be able to covey the thousands of words just out of my reach that can describe this experience.

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Unfortunately we didn’t see any elephants or big cats, but that is the nature of a safari…with such a vast amount of space to cover, you won’t always get to see everything that you want to. All in all though, it was a fantastic time and I feel incredibly privileged to have been able to partake in it.

Our last day in Namibia we decided to do a little souvenir shopping in the city and then relax poolside in the sun before our evening flight out.

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Of course it is ideal to have a little more time to really be able to take in everything that the country has to offer. I would very much like to go back and spend more time there; however, I feel exceedingly fortunate to have had those 3 days to experience such an impressive country and to have made incredible memories that will last a lifetime.

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Published in Fusia magazine, April 2015

Meditations on Prague

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There are very few moments in your life or places that you visit that actually change you. I had one of these moments in a very special place that I have and will continue to hold dear for my entire life when I visited Paris 10 years ago. There was something about that city that made me feel like I was coming home. I absolutely fell in love with it and it continues to be my favorite place on earth. Granted I haven’t seen the whole world yet, so my list of comparisons is quite short, but so far, in the past 10 years, nothing else has come close to its beauty or has been able to rival it in any way. No other city has touched me so deeply and moved me: nothing has changed me.

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That is…until now! Fortune once again smiled my way as I had the wonderful opportunity to spend this past week in Prague. This week was a dream come true, as I have been wanting to visit Prague for many years now. I knew that it was beautiful from my own research into the city, but there was nothing that could actually prepare me for the way the place would move me. Although unlike Paris I didn’t feel like I was coming home, I felt more like I had fallen into this wonderful, beautiful, fairytale-like world that at moments left me completely breathless.

Prague has existed in all its glory for 1,100 years. It is a place of exceedingly great history and has been walked by some of the most impressive historical icons. It is the birthplace of Franz Kafka, the ground of Bohemia, and the declared resting place of the mythical Golem who protected the city’s Jews from violence. The architecture and the history tell such complex and interwoven stories that are simply not found in North America. It gives one the feeling of being immersed in a story, of walking the streets and being a part of something that is eternal: it existed long before you got there and will continue to exist long after you are gone. It’s a feeling that I can’t quite accurately explain, but it mirrors the sentiment that Shakespeare expressed in his sonnet 18:

 

“But thy eternal summer shall not fade,

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,

Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,

When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st.

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.”

 

Although Shakespeare was writing about immortalizing a person he loved by giving this person life within the lines of his poetry, I feel the same can be said about a city, particularly when that city has not only been written about and immortalized in verse, but is also the birthplace of the creative works within which it has been immortalized. The city has a life and history or story all of its own, to which we can become observers, but it exists without us and despite our being there to experience it. And yet, because we experience it, we add to its life…we ‘eternalize’ the story and history by being witness to it.

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This is perhaps too complex of a concept for this type of travel article, and I apologize for that. I guess my inner nerd is showing. However, being a literary scholar, there is something that amazes me about inhabiting the same space that some of my literary heroes not only inhabited before me, but that is the very space in which the works that I have studied and loved were created. As I toured through the Jewish Quarters I remembered stories of Golem and the myth came to life: for a brief moment I could believe in the mythical creature and the stories surrounding him that I learned so much about. When I walked past the Old Town Square and the Astronomical Clock, I could retrace Franz Kafka’s steps as he walked the streets of Prague contemplating his frenzy of thoughts that became The Metamorphosis and The Trial.

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Perhaps Golem and Kafka aren’t as alluring to everyone as they are for me, so I assure you that simply being able to appreciate the architecture and culture that was the foundation of so many works of art is beauty enough to attract you to this city. Some of the “main attractions” that I was most impressed by were Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge, and St. Vitus Cathedral, but I have to say (and this is perhaps again the literary scholar in me) I was extremely impressed by the Strahov Monestery and its immense libraries. Although it is an exhausting and long walk up the mountain side to get there, it is incredibly worth it. There are two vast libraries, one theological that house nearly every translation and version of the bible, and the other is philosophical, housing works from some of the most important pilosophy scholars as well as works of natural science and history. The libraries hold around 280 000 titles and house some of the oldest manuscripts, the oldest of which dates back to 860. It also displays incredible and significant artwork, including beautiful painted ceilings by Viennese painter Anton Maulbertsch (1794).

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Ultimately the city is breathtaking and very easy and pleasant to walk (as long as you don’t wear high heels that get stuck in the cobble stone streets and walkways). There are so many things to see and do; we even took in an Opera on our last night there. If you love architecture and impressive historical and artistic history, then Prague is definitely a city that you should visit.

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All photos, except for Strahov Monastery, were taken by Sloveigh Treis.

 

Published in Fusia magazine, March 2015

The Road-Trip Upgraded

Road-trips have always held a special allure for me. When I was a child they meant adventure: my brothers and I all packing into our van with my parents to drive all the way to Florida or New Brunswick from our home in Ontario. In my teens and early 20’s it meant freedom: jumping in the car with High School or University friends and driving all night to NYC. Ultimately, the one thing that never really changed, in my opinion, was that road-trips were always more about the journey than the destination. Even though I’m “all grown up now,” I’m still drawn by this childlike fancy to jump in the car and go; go anywhere and everywhere.

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Recently I took a road-trip from Berlin to Frankfurt. Rule #1 of the road-trip, your ability to enjoy your journey depends 100% on who you’re with. If you have to be in a confined space for many hours with a person, it better be someone you enjoy spending a lot of time with. I was luckily making this drive with one of my closest friends, so we were already off to a great start. Why I classify this as a road-trip upgraded is because it was unlike anything I have ever experienced.

Upgraded Speed

First things first, we were cruising on the autobahn at a comfortable 180-220 km per hour. Believe it or not, pumping up the speed actually makes a huge difference. Not only does it cut down your actual driving time, but the rush is exhilarating. Of course there were a few teeth clenching moments when we needed to slow down quickly and I braced myself for my imminent death, but in the end it remained fun and not fatal.

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Upgraded Scenery

Second was the upgraded scenery. Don’t get me wrong, Canada and the U.S. have very beautiful pastoral landscapes with cattle grazing or fields upon fields of crops; however, in Germany, this pastoral landscape is also dotted with castles and windmills. While driving down the highway there were multiple stretches of km after km of windmills. At one point we were so close to these windmills as they surrounded us on both sides for as far as we could see. I felt so tiny among the towering windmills, like Don Quixote amidst his giants.

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Perhaps windmills aren’t enough to make most people feel like they are driving through an almost fairytale landscape (they do for me because I am bizarrely fascinated by windmills) but the castles really seal the deal. All along the stretch of our 5 hour drive, we saw castle after castle; at one point there were three castles in a row on closely neighboring hilltops, all easily within the same field of vision. At this point in our trip it was starting to get dark, so the castles were all externally lit up; they stood on their hilltops looking stately and majestic, and we drove on in admiration. ‘I’m driving through a land of windmills and castles,’ I thought to myself, ‘this is by far one of the coolest road-trips that I have ever been on!’

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There are about 20,000 Castles that grace the German landscape, many of which have been preserved as heritage sites or are being used as museums and hotels. There are also more than 21,607 wind turbines located in the German federal area, with plans to build even more in the coming years. This means it is pretty difficult to drive anywhere in Germany and not come across some windmills and castles. With about 19,990 castles left to see…who feels like taking a drive with me?

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Published in Fusia magazine, February 2015

A Day of Wellness at Miramar Bath House

Most people can agree that one of the most disappointing things to happen while traveling, short of losing all of your money and identification, is to get sick. Travel is a luxury and an investment and being in bed sick is such a waste of essential time and dampers the enjoyable experience. So, when I got sick with a flu that had me in bed for about a week, I was understandably quite disappointed. I was even more disappointed because I had a trip to Frankfurt planned and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to go because I was feeling too sick for the 5 hour drive from Berlin. Luckily for me, I was starting to feel better the day before my scheduled departure.

Upon my arrival into Frankfurt my friend, who had also been sick, assured me that she would get us better quickly; her solution? A Wellness Tage (a day of wellness) at Miramar Bath House. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but having heard so much about European bath houses, I figured it would be a good experience to add to my European travels.

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The reality of this experience exceeded all of my expectations. There are about a dozen different pools and hot tubs. Being that we partook of this experience in the winter, every pool was heated to a cozy 34 degrees or higher. The, let’s call it an ‘amusement spa’, was divided into themed locations: thermal pools, salts and crystals oasis, sauna paradise, and the wave pool and water slides section. This is precisely why I’m calling it an ‘amusement spa,’ it was a water park meets spa and was uniquely interesting.

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We entered the spa and first took a nice leisurely swim in the central thermal pool. It was languid and relaxing, but I also took this opportunity to actually swim and therefore be a little bit active. We then decided to head outside to the hot tubs. We sat emerged in bubbling hot water with steam cascading all around us, and….wait for it…..SNOW falling lightly on our heads. The juxtaposition almost made me giddy. I’m sure I looked childish as I reached out to catch the large flakes fluttering gracefully down towards us, but I had never sat outside in the snow in my bikini before. In my opinion the best moments are experienced with childlike fascination and glee anyway.

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After the hot tubs we moved on to the waterslides. This is apparently where you get your workout, since you have to carry large tubes up what feels like never-ending staircases, but the thrill of the slides makes it completely worth it. After we had our fill of plummeting into the topsy-turvy unknown, and being buffeted back and forth in the wave pool, we headed towards the salts, minerals, and crystals area for our much needed R&R. Again we found ourselves in a thermal pool that headed outside. We languidly swam amidst steam and strangers.

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We then headed back indoors to relax on recliners in a heated room in front of a beautiful gas fireplace.

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The entire crystal room is decorated with crystals and Amethysts. The constant sound of waterfalls, the glow of the fireplace, and the glittering from every corner of the room makes you feel like you are relaxing in the lap of luxury. Even the hot tub in this room is designed in a way that you feel like you are sitting directly in the middle of an Amethyst.

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After much relaxation and swimming, we then partook in some much needed and thoroughly enjoyed aromatherapy massages and then relaxed in the Sole Relax Raum, which was a heated room of therapeutic tranquility: the floor was covered in bath salts which perfumed the air and the room remained disruption free for a 20 minute period where an attendant created tranquil music with gongs and other serene and soothing instruments. The space was meant to be an oasis for quiet contemplation and mediation. The yogi in me was impressed and excited about the idea of being able to focus on the wellness of mind as well as body.

massage 2 solo relax raum

After many more hours of swimming and relaxing in all of the various areas, we reposed in the sauna paradise and walked the grounds. I will admit that my North American mentalities made this a slightly uncomfortable experience for me since in Sauna Paradise clothing is optional. However, despite this momentary angst, the entire experience throughout the whole day was so unbelievably relaxing and exhilarating that I left on a wellness-high.

sauna 3 sauna

Ultimately I was thoroughly impressed with my first European bath house experience. Miramar combines fun with relaxation and in turn really has something to offer everyone; whether you are there to have fun on the waterslides and in the wave pool, or to relax and unwind in the salt baths and thermal pools, Miramar really has something for the whole family.

krystal outside bath 2 children's pool

In the end, my misfortune of getting sick worked out to allow for an exceptional experience. The getting sick is no fun, but the getting better can be! The Europeans really know how to relax and enjoy life when it counts and they really know how to get better in style. All I can think of now is….how on earth am I going to get better from colds and flues when I’m back in Canada? Somehow sipping Neocitran in bed just doesn’t have the same appeal as a European bathhouse.

Photos taken from Miramar Website: http://www.miramar-bad.de/therme/

Published in Fusia magazine, February 2015