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Balabanova All Over

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[Hamburg, Germany] Situated on the river Elbe, Hamburg is Germany’s second largest city and its own province with 1.5 million people. 2,000 bridges all over the city have earned it the nickname Venice of the North. Hamburg has the biggest number of millionaires per capita and the second largest port in Europe (Rotterdam is the largest). Two devastating fires 100 years apart – one in 1842 and one in 1943 – have… Read More

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[Berlin, Germany] I had a leisurely last morning in Berlin. My train to Hamburg was not until half past noon, so I had breakfast at my favorite little bakery around the corner from my AirBnB, then went to see one last attraction – Hackesche Hoefe. These are a series of courtyards connecting restored buildings in the Jugendstil (German Art Nouveau) style. The courtyards are full of shops, restaurants and there’s even a… Read More

uid[Potsdam, Germany] By Wednesday, I was ready to leave the history-heavy Berlin behind and head out of town to Potsdam, where Frederick the Great (1712 – 1786), King of Prussia, spent his summers. In Potsdam, Frederick had two places, at opposite ends of the grand Sanssouci park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The small, more intimate Sanssouci palace housed his quarters and apartments for guests. Normally, a kaiser’s residence would… Read More

[Florence, Italy] I fit in a lot more than I thought I would today, even by my standards, and that says a lot! I am looking forward to a more relaxing Friday in Firenze ahead of a couple of side trips Sarah and I are taking this weekend. At 8:30 am, I left the house and stopped in for a coffee at a place just a couple of corners away called Caffe… Read More

[Chicago, IL] A couple of major Chicago attractions book-ending a divine lunch at a Michelin-starred restaurant? Not a bad way to spend another day in Chicago, I think! We started off our day at Willis Tower. Built as and still commonly referred to as Sears Tower, it was the tallest building in the world from the time it was completed in 1973 until 1998 when the Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia were… Read More