Knoxville, a Town We All Know Well

Let’s not play games. You’re not getting out of this entry without a link to “Knoxville Girl.” My favourite version is by Nick Cave:   Even though I have lived in Knoxville for (I hate to say it) the majority of my life now, I continue to seek out beauty and adventure with my furry…

Anderson County Antics

Anderson County is home to the small towns of Clinton, Norris, Oak Ridge, Rocky Top, and Oliver Springs. Many communities in this area were originally developed by the government as an experiment in urban planning and to support employees of ongoing confidential and/or industrial projects. Nowadays, the secret is out, but the history remains just…

Maryville (Stay Woke)

Just today, I learned that Maryville (mumbled locally as “Murrahvull”) College was founded by abolitionist Isaac L. Anderson and that the city has a rich history in anti-slavery movements. The Society of Friends presence was strong in the area beginning in the 19th century, and one of their core values is opposition to slavery. This…

Blood, Sweat, and Haggis

I went to the Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Highland Games at the Maryville College campus for the first time ever. Despite three layers of sunscreen, I was baked to the core by an unforgiving sun and am struggling to regain energy, but every minute was justified. The SMSF began in 1981 and changed locations…

Schloß Neuschwanstein and the Mad King

The Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles both sit high in the mountains over the village of Hohenschwangau in Southern Bavaria near the Austrian border. Neuschwanstein is also known by the rest of the world as the Disney Sleeping Beauty castle. Look familiar? Designed by and built for “Mad” King Ludwig II in the 1880s, the castle was…

Heidelberg, Schön War’s!

After a whirlwind week of road tripping from München to Bad Kötzting and then to Neuschwanstein in Schwangau, 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  1925 by Fred Raymond. This…

Berlin, Immer Berlin

Berlin is the city that makes my heart skip a beat. The very buildings, monuments, and street names define and narrate my lifelong obsession with Germany and its history like an interactive storybook. First with the Weimar Republic era when the artists, filmmakers, musicians, architects, scientists, and great writers who emerged during this time birthed…