There’s only one thing I love as much as getting my hands dirty in the kitchen and that’s traveling around the world. If I won the lottery today I would probably start creating a travel itinerary before even telling my family the good news. Nothing fills me with a sense of excitement and wonder like seeing a foreign country. This year Jeff and I were able to take our first serious overseas trip in 5 years. We visited Germany and the Czech Republic, with a brief but lovely layover in London at the end.
Germany was as beautiful and picturesque as I had imagined. Sometimes we joked that it looked like Epcot Germany but there was nothing Disney about the towns and ancient castles we saw. I’ll never forget the sweeping landscapes, the green mountainous vineyards…
My pictures don’t do it justice at all. My breath was constantly taken away by the beauty of Germany. It made me realize how flat my surroundings at home are. We would drive through these incredibly hilly towns with winding cobblestone roads. In some neighborhoods there were red and pink flowers in almost every window.
Sometimes we would pass fields of wild sunflowers on the side of the road that were the size of my head. There were bees everywhere. No one could give me a clear explanation of why but I got really good at dodging them.
And there were castles. So. Many. Castles! This castle, Burg Eltz, was my favorite. To get to it we had to take a 15 minute walk on a small winding dirt path on the side of a mountain. It was like something out of a fairytale.
Germany often gave me delicate opportunities to work on my fear of heights. It would seem that many castles and fortresses reside on the top of very large hills. I suppose at one point it was helpful for seeing enemies attempting to storm the castle?
Berlin was an especially memorable part of the trip for me. While I no longer consider myself a practicing Jew, there’s so much recent, intense history and I really did feel a connection with my ancestors while seeing some of the sights. The above photo was taken inside the Holocaust Memorial (also know as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe). It was both moving and haunting. We saw the remains of the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie. We stood in a park over what was once Hitler’s bunker. We visited Schaffhausen, a concentration camp. These weren’t exactly fun experiences but I’m glad I did it.
I was sad to say goodbye to Germany but that was quickly forgotten once I got my first good look at Prague. Hello amazing.
Prague was overwhelming and I could not put my camera down. At first I was distracted by how many tourists were everywhere. Like… elbow to elbow tourists who were all trying to walk in different directions. It was kind of fascinating to have a drink and people watch but when we first arrived I felt like I WAS in fact at Disney World.
But then we got off the tourist track and I fell in love. I fell in love with the architecture, the people, the history, the beer, the food, the prices (hello $30 for an amazing dinner with drinks).
There were little glimmers of beauty everywhere I turned. We might have even discussed retiring in Prague someday.
I’ve never been so sad to leave a foreign city in my life. We thought we had scheduled plenty of time. I felt like we barely scratched the surface. I want to go back. I hope.
See the cute camera strap I’m wearing in this photo? Right before vacation I was sent a free, handmade camera strap from Nena & Co to review. This trip seemed like a perfect opportunity to put it to the test and that I did. I wore this strap around my neck every single day for two and a half weeks. Did it show a bit of wear and tear by the end? Absolutely, you can see a little string dangling in the photo above. But honestly, that’s what I expected after lugging it around nonstop, sweating on it, flinging it about, and bumping into walls (which I do more than I’d like to admit). A couple of loose strings aside, this strap was incredibly durable. I never felt like my camera was in danger of going anywhere. The threads and strap itself are incredibly soft and never once caused any irritation to my neck. And I tend to wear mostly neutrals so the color of the strap was always just the right amount of flair for my outfit.
Would you like to own one of these straps? Nena & Co is giving one away! Each handmade strap is unique and no two look exactly alike. I know you’re going to love it as much as I do regardless of whether you’re taking your camera on the road or just using it at family gatherings. To enter, use the widget below. Please note that you must be 18 years old to enter and have a US address where the prize can be shipped. Good luck!
Disclaimer: I was sent a free camera strap by Nena & Co. As always, all opinions are my own.email. You can also follow me via RSS, Facebook and Twitter.