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…

Khachapuri Dream Boat

Before I tell you about the cheesy dream boat I made, I’d like to share this intense performance art song by The Shin (a Georgian band, as opposed to The Shins) that incorporates moves from “Thriller” and something called dabbing long before it became an ordeal. There is also a tall-dark-and-handsome singing an ode to…

Let us go then, you and I… to Buncombe County

Asheville has always been on the back burner for me. I first went when I was 18 for some of the niche nightlife events, and I met a large community of fascinating people. Mostly I knew the city at night and as a hub for shared subcultural interests. I spent a remarkable amount of time…

Scharf München

Back in my most beloved city, München, the first thing I wanted was to visit the Viktualienmarkt. It is my tradition to buy strawberries at the VM regardless of the season,  just a simple and sweet thing I look forward to. My friend DH and I went to München’s city center and I showed him some…

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…

Köln, Kölsch, und Können

First thing first in Köln (Cologne), you must visit the Kölner Dom Cathedral. Take the Bahn to the Hauptbahnhof and when you exit the station, it will not knock the breath right out of you. The Dom is a fine example of Gothic Architecture, and functions as the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese and…

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…