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Fastnacht
Frühlingsfest
Wittmontag
Happy Mosel Winefest
Duerkheimer Wurstfest
Bad Canstatter Volksfest
Oktoberfest
Christmas Markets
Volksmarch
Irish Hurling
Following European Soccer
EuroVision 2002
Kecak Dance
Cannes Film Festival
World Cup Playoffs SLO-ROM
Taking the Train 101
Kuta Bombing Site

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These are some special travelogues, travel tidbits, or other items of interest that didn't quite fit the travelogue model.  Some are also available by clicking through the maps under "Places to Go" at the home page.

Events for All Seasons

Other Stories

Germany's Christmas Markets (9 chapters).  Germany's Christmas Markets are very special -- outdoor Christmas Market in Bonn markets in the old town squares where the locals can sell wares, consume traditional food and drink, and celebrate Christmas the old-fashioned way!  They are great communities events, and most cities and towns (large or small) have them.  Together we've hit them by the dozen, so we've divided them by region! Following European Soccer.  Are you a soccer fan, but can't quite 'get' the European competitions?  Hesoccer_06.jpg (42775 bytes)re's a three-page primer written mostly for expatriates to Europe.  It presents an introduction to how the European soccer leagues work, how the international competitions work, and how to go to a soccer game in Europe hassle-free.

Fastnacht.  Europeans know how to break up a long, cold winter!  Fastnacht celebrations Nusslochers celebrating Fastnacht take place during the final week before Lent, a week filled with winter parades and parties all across southern Germany.  It's a great time to take a day off and watch the festivities!

 

Volksmarch.  Tom had the chance to participate in a Volksmarch (literally "People's Walk") in a small town not far from Heidelberg.  These organized walking events are held all over the country and some people take them very seriously, trying to hit as many as they can.  For others, it's just a great excuse to get some good exercise.  For me, it was a lot of fun, and I'll probably do it again!

Frühlingsfest.  Spring Festivals are very common in late April/early May.  This is the fruhlingsfest_04.jpg (55603 bytes)time when the weather truly begins to turn and the towns and cities try to push their citizens outside for fresh spring air!  This travelogue shows some of the Frühlingsfests we hit during the spring of 2004.

 

Irish Hurling -- A True Amateur Game.  The Irish sport of hurling is more than just a sport, it is a national passion woven into the social fabric of the country, helped greatly by its status as a strictly amateur sport.  For those tired of the modern-day traumatics that professional sports bring, this story harkens to days when sports were more 'pure', played for fun and community pride.

The Happy Mosel.  The Happy Mosel is a day-long event at the end of Pentecost Happy Mosel (May/June) where the roads along a 100-mile stretch of the Mosel River are closed to vehicles and opened to pedestrians and cyclists.  This celebrates the beginning of the wine season, and as the participants hop from town to town, they get to sample the fruits of the region.

 

EuroVision 2002 Song Contest.  What is the EuroVision Song Contest, you ask?  Both loved and reviled, it isSaku Suurhall in Tallinn where EuroVision 2002 was held simply the biggest popular music event in the world, watched by 50 million viewers.  It is indeed a Contest in which songwriting and national pride converge for one big party.  This story tells of my experience at the 2002 Contest held in Tallinn, Estonia!

Wittmontag in Rothenburg.  Wittmontag, meaning "White Monday", is a special holiday Wittmontag Performances in Rothenburgin German and is celebrated with period costumes, dances, parades, and festivals.  Here is a special travelogue that gives just a flavor for the celebrations held in the Bavarian town of Rothenburg in June 2001. Kecak Dance in Bali.  Art and music is deeply rooted in Balinese culture and religion.  There is no greater evidence of this than their beautiful and symbolic dances.  The Kecak Dance is performed routinely all across the island, entertaining hundreds of tourists each week.  It is a great show!  This short story tells of my experience attending one.

Duerkheimer Wurstfest.  The largest wine festival in Europe takes place Below the Big Barrel at Bad Duerkheim each September in the northern German Wine Road town of Bad Dürkheim.  But oddly enough, its name doesn't mean 'wine festival' -- it means 'sausage festival'.  No matter, it is still a great time!  (Be advised, though, if you go, don't drive.  The wine is served in pint sized glasses.  We're not kidding!)

Cannes Film Festival.  What's it like being in Cannes during the famous international Film FeThe Red Carpetstival?  Tom went for a day trip to southern France to find out.  It was a chance to watch the red carpet, mingle with the crazy fans, and check out the sights.  You can't actually get in the gate without some major credentials, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun there.

Bad Canstatter Volksfest.  The second largest Stuttgarter Hofbraeu Hall at the Volksfestbeer festival in Germany has everything the world-famous Munich Oktoberfest has, just not quite as much, and some things it doesn't, like nearly as many international tourists nor as much kitsch.  But it has all the charm and the crowds, plus it overlaps with the Baden-Wuerttemberg agricultural fest that's great for the kids.  Overall, this Volksfest is a good alternative if Munich is a bit far away.

World Cup 2002 Qualifier -- Slovenia v Romania.  Like international sport?  Few international competitions beat the World Cup soccer tournament. Slovenia-Romania, Nov 2001 Over two years, 200 nations fight for the 32 spots in the final tournament.  In the 2002 tournament, Slovenia and Romania played head-to-head for one of those spots.  Winner went to Japan/South Korea, loser went home.  Tom was at the first leg in Ljubljana, and here's a report. 

Oktoberfest!  Of course, the single biggest beer festival in Germany (indeed the world) Inside an Oktoberfest Tenttakes place in Munich.  Every year, millions of visitors flock to the convention grounds in the western quarter of Munich to enjoy this massive celebration.  Over 25 festival tents, a colossal amusement complex, and more beer and food consumed that one can possibly imagine!

Taking the Train 101.  This four part sCentral Train Station in Budapesteries was published in the European Stars and Stripes in May and early June 2002.  I have now reposted the articles here, with a few adjustments and updates.  (By the way, the original article is still available but delinked from the website's navigation system, it has been replaced with Lesson 3 here).
  Kuta Bombing Site.  I had the chance to revisit Kuta three months after the terrorist bombing of 12 October 2002.  It was interesting to see how the island of Bali had changed, and how it remained the same, during those three months. 
 

 

   
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