Category Archives: Pictures

Our photographs from around the world.

Visiting Konya: Pictures and Videos from Our Trip to Turkey

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So much tea, it will forever haunt my dreams…

As you may have read from our last post, my German wife and I recently enjoyed an epic trip to Konya, Turkey, and we had a blast. This post, however, contains the pictures we took, plus a video at the end, which will give you a nice summary of our experience in just 4.5 minutes.

Here are our pictures! We hope you like them!
Click one of the thumbnails below to start the slideshow and see the captions:

*** WARNING *** Video contains some colorful language. (Also, the sound quality absolutely blows, so you may need to adjust your volume settings higher or lower, depending upon which scene you’re watching.)

If you would like to read the original Konya post, check it out: Discovering Konya, Turkey: The Top 10 Preconceived Notions Dislodged from My American Brain

Visiting Portland, Oregon: An American Expat and His German Wife Return to the States for Spring Break

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Welcome to Portland: City of beer, beards and reefer buds.

My wife is a smokin’ hot, full-blooded German woman with a killer smile and a wildly unpredictable sense of humor. I am an American expat built from the lesser parts of cyborg nerds and dragon jockeys. Together, we live in Hannover, Germany, and this blog is an ongoing account of our shared misadventures.

Now, we hadn’t visited my hometown of Portland, Oregon, since late 2013, so it was a pretty big deal for us to see our friends and family members this year. What follows is a picture gallery depicting our trip from beginning to end, complete with an epic pub crawl, a visit to the very site where I asked my wife to marry me, and everything else which makes me proud to call myself a Portlander. Or a Portlandite. Portlandian? Portlandonian! I COME FROM THE LAND OF PORTS.

 Click one of the thumbnails below to start the slideshow and read the captions:

 


 

If you would like to read another post regarding my hometown, check this one out: My German Wife’s First Encounter with ‘Kitchen Kaboodle’ in Portland, Oregon

German-American Couple Falls in Love with the City of Bremen, Germany

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Remember that pointy bra Madonna used to wear?

At the beginning of November, my wife and I took the train from Hannover to Bremen, Germany. It was just a day trip, and I honestly wasn’t expecting much. The things I knew about Bremen could be counted on a high school shop teacher’s hand (because they’re always shy a couple digits):

  1. Bremen is where Beck’s beer comes from.
  2. Bremen is a city-state, like Hamburg and Berlin.
  3. Bremen is somewhere up north, like Winterfell.

That’s it! Nothing else! So you can imagine my surprise when I discovered Bremen absolutely rules. Here’s why…

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Imagine a giant person stepping on that thing. Prolly hurt worse than a Lego.

Unlike Hamburg or Berlin, the Allied Powers didn’t bomb the everloving shit out of Bremen during World War II. (And by this, I mean they did mess it up real good, but they didn’t flatten it completely.) The result is a massive medieval market square still intact today! There’s a beautiful town hall and an enormous cathedral, and you can hardly take a step without bumping into one famous sculpture or another. (Like the Bremen Town Musicians, named after the Brothers Grimm folktale involving a donkey, dog, cat and rooster, who stand on each others backs in order to scare the holy piss out of a bunch of felons during a home invasion.)

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“HEEHAW-WOOF-MEOW-COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO, MOTHERFUCKERS.”

The very oldest part of Bremen is called the Schnoorviertel, and it’s the neighborhood where all the medieval sailors and merchants used to live. I swear to Christ, I felt like I’d stumbled into Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter series. Of course, instead of Ollivanders, the Leaky Cauldron and Gringotts Wizarding Bank, the Schnoorviertel of medieval times was probably more like a river of human waste and merkin-sporting prostitutes dying of The Consumption.

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“Bring out your dead!”

Much like OMSI in Portland, Oregon, Bremen has a kick-ass science museum called the Universum. My wife and I were there for its Universum bei Nacht event, where adults can enjoy the permanent exhibit with live music in their ears, cold brew-doggies in their hands and absolutely no screaming kids biting at their ankles. We also got to place little stickers on our favorite exhibit pieces, effectively voting for which ones would remain, and which would be replaced. My favorite was the shadow room, which featured a phosphorescent wall and a flashbulb. You hold a funny position against the wall until the flash goes off, then step back and laugh at your perfectly captured silhouette. (You can imagine how quickly this innocent little bit of scientific education descended into a porno horror show.)

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“Hang on a second, honey. I’m tripping balls.”

I can’t really do justice to the awesomeness that is Bremen, so I’ve put this little video together to summarize our trip. It’s only 95 seconds long, and it features videos my wife recorded herself! Check it out:

And as always, here’s the complete picture gallery with snarky captions. Please click one of the images below to begin the slideshow:

Thank you for reading our blog and have a wonderful day!

German-American Couple Visits the North Sea, Denmark and a Whole Hell of a Lot of Sheep

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“Stop. Stop. Stop.”

In mid-August, my German wife and I boarded a train which took us from Hannover to the North Sea of Germany. We met my wife’s family in Husum and stayed with them on the Nordstrand peninsula — in the tiniest, most 1970s bed and breakfast you’ve ever seen. Outside, we were surrounded by giant wind turbines, rolling green pastures and sheep. Oh God… so many sheep.

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Why are we all wearing socks, you ask? Oh, just the rocks and razor-sharp clam shells hidden beneath the mud…

We went for a walk through the Nordstrand mudflats during low tide (Wattwanderung) and visited the Hallig of Nordstrandischmoor. A hallig is an undyked islet, which means it’s basically just a little hill that becomes isolated by the ocean during high tide, and sometimes for several weeks at a time during winter. 27 people live on Nordstrandischmoor, and it is common knowledge that one of them is pregnant. (A real concern, when their only connection to the mainland is a rusty old construction railway.) The very thought of being trapped on this hallig for any length of time had me nervously checking the tide schedules and eyeballing the nearest sheep, wondering about its capacity to serve as a floatation device. “Mother of God, the ocean is closing in! C’mere you little shit…” *BAAA-A-A-AHHHG*

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That’s a church AND a school. “Welcome to 1st Grade, sinners!”

We also took a day trip to Denmark and visited the city of Sønderborg. I was super excited about this, as I am whenever I get to cross a border into a different country. It always feels a little naughty, like I’m getting away with something. Like I’m a drug mule with a colon full of heroin balloons, and my puckering anus is the only thing between me and a life sentence. I was disappointed when we didn’t have to stop for customs or border patrol — we didn’t even have to show our visas or anything! Oh European Union… you are awesome, but you are boring.

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“Where’s the civilian border patrol? Why is no one shooting at us?”

One the way back from Denmark, we stopped by Flensburg, which is the northernmost town on the German mainland. There, we ran into some kind of festival down by the water, where my brother-in-law and I poured shots of vodka into our Flensburger pilsners and named them “Titty Pils.” (My mother-in-law was not amused.)

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“I’m sorry, Schwiegermutter, but I am not the angel you thought I was.”

The next day, the whole family got on a ferry and rode out to another hallig, this one called Gröde. It is the smallest German voting district, with a whopping total of 17 inhabitants. They have a church, a cemetery and an elementary school in which two students are enrolled. Two. You can imagine what prom will be like when they’re older:

“Would you like to dance, Grizelda?”

“I’m sorry, Orbert, but Papa says dancing gives vigor to the Devil’s loins.”

…and then they just sit there, gazing out the window at the tallest hill on the island, at the peak of which are two sheep enjoying the most violent, wool-slapping sheep sex on earth.

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Oh yes, those people laying in the grass in boots and full raincoats are “sunbathing.”

I can’t really do justice to all the things we saw at the North Sea and in Denmark, so I’ve put this little video together. It summarizes the whole trip in about 60 seconds:

***WARNING*** Video contains a lot of annoying wind noises and more than a few swear words. *To clarify that last bit, I wanted to take a picture of the ocean, not record a video. You feel me, iPhone 4 users?

And of course, here’s a picture gallery. I took 90% of these pictures, but the ones that aren’t completely awful were taken by my wife. Please click one to begin the slideshow.

Thank you for reading our blog and have a wonderful day!

German-American Couple Visits the Spanish Island of Mallorca

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Pictured: The Hawaii of western Europe.

In April of 2014, my German wife and I flew to Mallorca. Mallorca, (or Majorca) is an island off the southeastern coast of Spain, known condescendingly as “Malla.” It is a warm, beautiful and relatively close vacation destination where western European people — particularly highschool and college students on spring break — go to sing, dance and flirt with alcohol poisoning. If you say the word Mallorca to a German person, chances are exactly 2 things will pop into his or her head:

  1. El Arenal, the district where all of the beer drinkin’ and titty swingin’ happens.
  2. Ballermann Songs, El Arenal’s folksy techno soundtrack for the lethally inebriated and/or functionally retarded.

But Mallorca isn’t just an STD riddled playground for Europe’s shameless youth; you’ll see a lot of middle aged and retired people there too — just wandering around, snapping pictures with cameras from the 1980s and relaxing in tapas bars as they seek some momentary escape from the hollow footfalls of death’s relentless pursuit.

And although we did visit the El Arenal party district once, my wife and I mostly stayed in and around the capital city of Palma. In Palma we saw the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma (more commonly referred to as La Seu), walked up to the Castell de Bellver (or Bellver Castle), and even rode the historical train to Port de Sóller. We had an awesome time, and I took a whole lot of pictures to show you, my faithful readers. Please click one of the images below to start the slideshow. We hope you can dig it!

 

German-American Couple Returns to Portland, Oregon, for the 2013 Holiday Season

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Good ol’ Big Pink, lookin’ like a dildo in a hurricane.

The Wife and I flew back to the United States for the holidays this year. We spent Christmas in Portland, Oregon, and New Year’s in Cannon Beach. You know what was weird about being back home? The fact that it wasn’t weird. I’d been in Germany for a year and 3 months, and the Pacific Northwest felt exactly the same way I left it; green, rainy and full of Subaru Outbacks.

We had a fantastic time with our friends and family, saw lots of familiar places and even returned to the same beach where we got married. It was a great trip, and I captured the experience in the following sequence of horrible photos taken with my iPhone (and without a lick of photographic talent).

Click one of the images below to start the slideshow. We hope you can dig it!

German-American Couple Takes the Steinhuder Meer Bike Tour (And I Have an Allergic Reaction to Eel Meat)

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“Bike tour on a beautiful summer day? Obviously something bad is going to happen.”

On a lovely Saturday in August, The Wife and I rode our bikes to the Hannover Hauptbahnhof, got on the S-Bahn and rode that sumbitch out to Wunstorf Station. There, we got back on our bikes and took a glorious ride to the Steinhuder Meer; the largest lake in northwestern Germany.

It’s beautiful, with tons of paddle boats, row boats, sail boats and young people making out on the dock like they ain’t got no shame at all. In the middle of the lake is a small artificial island called Wilhelmstein, with an 18th-century castle on top. (Leave it to some rich old German bastard to build himself a castle. Jesus. I can’t even afford a new bike helmet.)

The Steinhuder Meer is a big lake. It covers an area of about 12 square miles (30 km), but it’s super shallow. Its average depth is 4.4 feet (1.35 m), which means an average person could walk right across it… except for those few spots where it hits 9.8 feet deep. That’s when you go in over your head and scream like a little girl. Air bubbles rising to the surface. Eels coiling around your ankles. Underpants filling with trouser apples.

I’m not kidding about those eels though. The Steinhuder Meer is lousy with ’em, and the nearby town of Steinhude sells eel sandwiches in every pub, deli and restaurant you can find. Now, I have a deep and enduring fear of eels. Take one look at a group of eels and you just know they’re evil. Evil, and cursed by God.

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“Is that an eel orgy? No? Oh good, then I’m just having night terrors again.” — Image courtesy of Peter Harrison (http://www.flickr.com/photos/devcentre/)

So, it was with a good measure of apprehension that I tasted the eel sandwich my wife bought at Schweer’s Aalräucherei. I considered it a revenge bite. Revenge against every eel in the world just for creeping me out. Unfortunately, I am allergic to fish. I had no clue eels were in any way related to fish (I am a wiser man now), so of course I just went for it; I took a huge bite and swallowed that mother like it done me wrong, and I discovered exactly 2 things in the following moments:

  1. Eel meat is super oily and tastes like rubber bands dipped in toilet water.
  2. I am allergic to eel meat. It causes my lips, mouth and throat to swell up, turn red and itch like unholy hellfire.

I am no stranger to this allergic reaction. I’ve tried all sorts of fish, and the only one I can get away with is tuna. Something about tuna fish is just fine with my body. So is shell fish, like lobster and shrimp. But every other kind of fish — especially salmon — makes my throat itch and my lips swell up and stick out like a Simpsons character. The sensation is a combination of burning, itching and aching all wrapped up in one mix of poetic justice. Fortunately, it comes on in like 30 seconds — so fast I can’t really ingest enough to be in any danger of asphyxiation — so I just put the stupid fish down, say, “God dammit,” and wait 45 minutes for the swelling to subside.

After my reaction to the disgusting eel meat, we had a fantastic day and took a bunch of pictures. Click on one below to start the slideshow and, as always, we hope you can dig ’em!

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