Category Archives: Pictures

Our photographs from around the world.

German-American Couple Visits the Spanish Island of Mallorca

27-view-from-catedral-de-mallorca

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!

 

About these ads

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

05-big-pink-tower-arrival-in-downtown-portland-oregon

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)

bike cyclist sign caution germany

“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.

eel orgy

“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!

If you liked this post, please follow our blog by entering your email address in the upper right corner of this page. You’ll receive future posts directly in your inbox! No spam, ever! You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Pictures: Expat Couple Visits St. Pauli’s Red Light District in Hamburg, Germany

20-shipyards-of-hamburg-germany

Welcome to the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, the second largest city in Germany, where you can legally pay someone to touch your pork roll.

On March 23rd, 2013, The Wife and I took a day trip to Hamburg. We rode the Metronome (or “slow train,” as we affectionately refer to it) north for about one hour, changed lines in Uelzen, then rode another hour to Hamburg.

When we first arrived, I was struck by the extent to which Hamburg reminded me of Seattle. It was beautiful, with a lively and colorful bay rife with wide-eyed tourists staggered about in circles. However, where Seattle has hills and skyscrapers, Hamburg has cargo cranes and a world-famous red light district. The red light district surrounds the street called Reeperbahn, which runs right through the St. Pauli quarter of the city. St. Pauli used to make me think of St. Pauli Girl beer (which is actually brewed in Bremen). Now, Saint Pauli makes me think of a slightly intimidating neighborhood where a couple of euros gets your bone smooched.

The Red Light District of St. Pauli is best seen at night, or so I was advised, enthusiastically, by the German guy I spoke with at the Restaurant Fischerhaus. Sure enough, there were neon signs and crazy porno storefronts everywhere, so I imagine the effect at night would be much like that of the Las Vegas Strip, where my every sense is subjected to a spectacular display of Shock and Awe. And much like the Las Vegas Strip, I wanted to spend just enough time on Reeperbahn street to have a beer, take a few pictures and get the hell out of there before shit got weird.

Here are our pictures. We hope you can dig ‘em!

If you liked this post, please follow our blog by entering your email address in the upper right corner of this page. You’ll receive future posts directly in your inbox! No spam, ever! You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Pictures: Our Looney Tunes Trip to Berlin – January, 2013

Oh Kreuzberg, you big silly. Is that a meat-eating flower jutting out from a mural of pure, German madness? "Have fun on your way to school, kids!"

Oh Berlin, you big silly. Is that a meat-eating flower jutting out from a mural of pure, German madness? “Have fun on your way to school, kids!”

The Wife and I were recently visited by one of our very close friends from Portland, Oregon. We shall call him, “Looney Tunes.” Looney Tunes spent New Year’s with us in Hannover, and then on January 2nd, we all took the CE train to Berlin.

I’d only been to Berlin once before, back in June of 2011, and that trip was wildly different. It was summer and we were staying in Mitte. This time around, it was winter and we were staying in Kreuzberg. Kreuzberg used to be punk rocker central and it was scary as hell, but it is rapidly being gentrified. Walking down the street, the buildings go like this: scary apartment building, crazy graffiti mural, depressing pub, Turkish döner place, Vietnamese restaurant, scary apartment building, really nice coffee shop. It’s kind of jarring how the places with money stick out from the rest, but Kreuzberg does have its own unique charm, I suppose. Looney Tunes absolutely loved it. The Wife and I will stick to our quiet little Hannover for now.

Here are some of the pictures from our trip. We hope you like them!

If you liked this post, please follow our blog by entering your email address in the upper right corner of this page. You’ll receive future posts directly in your inbox! No spam, ever! You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Pictures: Oktoberfest 2012 – Hannover, Germany

This was the view as we approached the Oktoberfest fairgrounds. I was so excited I had to go pee pee behind that tree on the left.

This was the view as we approached the Oktoberfest fairgrounds. I was so excited I had to go pee pee behind that tree on the left.

In Hannover, Oktoberfest takes place at the Schützenplatz, which is an open area directly across from the AWD Arena (home of the Hannover 96 soccer team, and yeah, you heard me right, I just called it ‘soccer’). This year, Oktoberfest ran from September 28th until October 14th, and yet The Wife and I almost missed it! We kept meaning to check it out, but (my wife) couldn’t seem to find the time. I finally jogged past the fairgrounds one morning and noticed it would only be open for one more weekend. That’s when I finally convinced my wife we had to go.

“I ran past Oktoberfest this morning and there’s only one weekend left!” I exclaimed. “There were tons of beer tents in there! They even had roller coasters with Germans on them! Screaming Germans! I need this, honey. I need it so bad.

The Wife relented and we experienced our very first Hannover Oktoberfest together. It was AWESOME.

Here are the pictures we took that night. I’m sorry there aren’t more; I was too busy experiencing pure, unadulterated joy.

If you liked this post, please follow our blog by entering your email address in the upper right corner of this page. You’ll receive future posts directly in your inbox! No spam, ever! You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Pictures: A Walking Tour of Hannover, Germany, on the Red Thread, Part I

Hannover New Town Hall Rathaus

On September 8th, 2012, just 6 days after my arrival in Germany, The Wife and I began the first part of our ongoing walking tours of Hannover. We followed “The Red Thread,” which totally sounds like a yarn shop for old ladies, but is actually the main tourist circuit through the city. We barely made it through half of the tour on our first day, so I would expect these posts to continue for some time because the Red Thread is one long mother.

Here are the pictures. Click one of them to open the gallery. We hope you like them!

If you liked this post, please follow our blog by entering your email address in the upper right corner of this page. You’ll receive future posts directly in your inbox! No spam, ever! You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Pictures: My Lufthansa Flight from Portland, Oregon, to Hannover, Germany

On Sunday, September 2nd, 2012, I flew with Lufthansa Airlines from Portland, Oregon, to Hannover, Germany. This was a fortuitous date, apparently, because employees of Lufthansa went on strike right before my flight and immediately after. I totally threaded the needle on that one, like Tom Berenger in Sniper – “One shot, one kill.”

I arrived without problem in the arms of my wife on Monday afternoon, September 3rd (a day later, because the flight from the US to Germany is one long mother).

Also, the Lufthansa strike is over, thankfully, because I have a massive flight-crush on Lufthansa and I would hate to see my winged lover’s reputation sullied.

Here are the pictures from my intercontinental journey. Click one of them to open the gallery. Let us know if you can dig ‘em!

If you liked this post, please follow our blog by entering your email address in the upper right corner of this page. You’ll receive future posts directly in your inbox! No spam, ever! You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Pictures: Our Visit to Einbeck, Germany, in the Summer of 2011

As you are probably aware, The Wife and I visited Germany last summer. One of the places we stayed was Einbeck; A sleepy little borough right smack in the middle of the country. Einbeck is famous for its 600-year old Einbecker Brewery, home of Einbecker Bier — the origin for the term “Bock” beer. Einbecker Brewery is believed to be one of the oldest breweries in Germany; a fact that is not only awesome, but reason enough to go to Einbeck and never, ever leave. Unfortunately, my wife spent a great deal of her life in Einbeck, so she is immune to its siren’s call. Thus, we did not see this magical brewery, but we did take in some acceptably charming sights around town.

Here are the pictures. Click one to open the gallery. We hope you enjoy them!

If you liked this post, please follow our blog by entering your email address in the upper right corner of this page. You’ll receive future posts directly in your inbox! No spam, ever! You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Pictures: Our Stay in Marburg, Germany, During the Summer of 2011

The Wife and I stayed in Marburg, Germany, last summer before stopping in Einbeck on our way to Berlin. Marburg was by far my favorite town — with its fairytale scenery and small, college town charm — and I wanted to move there immediately. My wife, however, spent the last two years there earning her second Master’s Degree from Philipps-Universität Marburg, so she was quite done with it. This made me cry like a little bitch, so she compromised and agreed we could retire there when we’re old and crusty. So, here’s to you, Marburg! I look forward to the day I slip into the foggy wasteland of senility as I wander your magical hills and alleyways with absolutely no idea where I am!

Here are the pictures from our stay. Click one to open the gallery. We hope you enjoy them!

If you liked this post, please follow our blog by entering your email address in the upper right corner of this page. You’ll receive future posts directly in your inbox! No spam, ever! You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.