A Tale of Two Kremlins

A kremlin, the fancy Russian word for fortress, is not an entirely rare sight across Russia but only one has the distinction of being THE Kremlin. Moscow and its Kremlin were founded in the 12th century. Prior to the 1900s many people lived inside the Moscow Kremlin walls just as they would in any village. Soviet…

From Russia With Rap

(TL, DR: Enjoy this Russian Rap Playlist, suckas. Through my travels, I have fallen privy to unexpected information and earned some unconventional badges of expertise. It may come as a surprise, but for better or worse, I know my way around the core Russian rap scene.   A few people have laughed and been dismissive about the…

Onward Clarevoyage, to the Burren!

Ireland’s Galway Bay on the west coast forms a crescent around the Aran Islands. Today, after leaving Kylemore Abbey, we traveled south to Oughterard, Galway, the Dunguaire Castle in Kinvarra, Bell Harbour, Bealaclugga, Ballyvaughan, and into the heart of the Burren. Road Trip Essentials 101 For every road trip, you need a playlist, junk food,…

Heidelberg, Schön War’s!

After a whirlwind week of road tripping from München to Bad Kötzting near the Czech Border, along the Alps to Schloß Neuschwanstein and back to München again, I was ready for a solo retreat to Heidelberg. Heidelberg’s official song “Ich Hab’ mein Herz in Heidelberg Verloren” translates to “I lost my heart in Heidelberg” and was first recorded in…

Victorian Gothic in Rugby

At the suggestion of several friends I visited Historic Rugby, Tennessee to find out what is so special about the tiny village. Rugby was dreamed up as a religious cooperative Utopia in 1880 for England’s wealthy, idle younger sons who pitifully did not inherit the fortunes of their elder brothers and were too proud to…

Secret City of Bombs and Mud

I moved to Oak Ridge, Tennessee when I was 19. It was an unfortunate time because the industrial plants and historical sites were not yet open to the public for touring. The mall was wheezing its last breath, the used books/music store was going under, and hardly any of the places you can find entertainment…