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Nirvana in Narva: Where Castles Clash

Exploring Russia and The Baltics When you travel the nerd way, you discover little gems filled with history and gorgeous views and experiences you’ll remember forever, even though you didn’t check off any boxes. Like these two little villages in rural Russia. I had read about Narva, Estonia in one of my all-time favorite books,…

Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster Zone Tour: Is it Safe?

Chilling Experience: Chernobyl Tour You have a happy family with little children in the idyllic “atomic city” of Pripyat, Ukraine. Your husband works at the nearby Chernobyl nuclear power plant. (Then and now). You are privileged with wide flower-lined streets, the Soviet Union’s first supermarket, swimming pools, a cinema and a close knit community of…

Visiting Auschwitz

Visiting Auschwitz Concentration Camp Before boarding the 50’s era bus for the ninety minute ride to Auschwitz, I stopped in that really beautiful St. Mary’s church with Jesus hanging from above. So strikingly beautiful. Which only magnified the contrast with the day ahead. Stepped outside and it was the perfect day to visit Auschwitz. Bitterly…

7 Days in Germany, Austria and Poland

Summer 2019: First Leg of 35-Day Adventure This is the first leg of a 35-day adventure that will cover 5,000 kilometers and cover 11 countries. The entire trip entails: – Hiking in beautiful Bavaria – Brief stopovers in Vienna and Krakow – 10 days in Ukraine, including a tour of Chernobyl – Visiting Transnistria, a…

Hiking to Hitler’s House

Hiking to Hitler’s House If you’re a dictator with grandiose plans to dominate the world, it makes sense that you’d build a stunning home on top of a mountain with spectacular views over Berchtesgaden, in the heart of Bavaria two hours south of Munich. So this is Hitler’s famous Eagle’s Nest. You take a bus…

Best Day in Budapest: Walking into History

Best Day in Budapest: Walking into History (This was part of a four-day excursion in Budapest as part of a five-week trip in the summer of 2015. Contact me for more info on exploring Budapest as there is a lot to experience here.) I awoke to a beautiful sunrise and walked out the door at…

Hiking Hoverla, Ukraine’s Highest Mountain

Hiking Hoverla, Ukraine’s Highest Mountain We hiked this beautiful mountain as part of our 10-day adventure in Ukraine. You can read about the entire trip, including our adventures in Chernobyl and Transnistria, here. 60% of Ukrainians live below the poverty line. So why don’t you see any homeless people or people begging for money? I…