Scottish Thistle

A week in Scotland’s West Highlands

We’d been to Edinburgh once for a long weekend of exploring, but were itching for a change of scenery. (Turns out the itching would be literal at times.) When my parents came to visit from Michigan, they told us to pick a place we’d like to explore together. We chose a bed-and-breakfast in Scotland’s West Highlands to use as a daily jumping-off point, and we sure don’t regret any of it. Continue reading

World Cup Fever on the Steinerne Brücke

Germans are getting goofy with their World Cuppery. It’s kind of nice to see them cut loose and blow off some steam.

Not a whole lot of progress on the bridge to report since last time. At the south terminus you can see the nice new interlocking stones forming the base of the future sidewalls.


So I’ll leave you with a nice scene from the bridge instead of of the bridge.


A week in Northern France, Part 3: Churches

There are a lot of churches to see in Northern France. We stayed in Saint-Riquier, which has a sizable abbey and a big white church in the center of town. A short drive away is the Cathedral at Amiens. A little further back East is Reims, renowned for the coronations of French kings. Of course, there’s also Mont Saint-Michel, but we’ll have to save that one for a future visit — Omaha Beach was about as far west as we could handle from our gîte in Picardy. Continue reading

A week in Northern France, Part 2: War Stuff

Just out back from our gîte there was a British cemetery and memorial with graves from both World Wars and several continents. We saw signs for British cemeteries all throughout the region.

We devoted the next day to the D-Day landing beaches in Normandy, and the museum in Bayeux. It was a long drive, and it took us through a very smelly section of Le Havre. The trade off was a trip up and down their nifty bridge. Continue reading

Lost in Picardie

We’re on vacation, hooray! It’s been a stressful, busy couple of months in the Regensblog household, so we needed a little getaway. We wanted somewhere that we could get to with our car and that wouldn’t require more than one week’s of travel time. We settled on northern France, the regions of Somme and Picardie, right on the Belgian border.

Sounds idyllic, right? Well, so far so good. The trip was uneventful, the accommodations are even lovelier than the pictures made them seem and the surroundings are quite charming. Here’s the problem:

We’re not sure what to do here.

I couldn’t find crap for suggestions in my usual resources, Frommer’s and Lonely Planet. We’re close enough to go to Normandy and look at the D-Day sites for a day trip, and we’ll definitely pop in to Amiens and maybe even Reims for some architecture gawking, but if there is good stuff closer to where we are, I’d like to know about it. So here I am, asking the blogosphere: do you have experience in Picardie? Any can’t-miss activities? We are open to suggestion!

Roadtrip through Northeastern Romania

I was in Iași again the last weekend of April 2014. I was there for a long time — nine days, which might be a new record for me — between two holiday weekends, and staying there over a weekend, which usually isn’t necessary. Romania, as we discovered last fall, isn’t particularly foreign-tourist-friendly. And I try not to obligate my work people to spend more of their free time with me than, say, one evening once per visit. But the team surprised me with an exciting day trip around the region, including all new stuff for me to experience.

I’ve been visiting Iași since November 2006. I’ve eaten at most of the restaurants you’d take a visiting foreigner who likes local cuisine. On Friday afternoon they said “bring a jacket (in case it rains), comfortable shoes, and your camera. Be ready at 9:00 sharp Sunday morning out front at your hotel.” Mysterious! I had no idea this was going to be a roadtrip through Northeastern Romania — or a wide swath of it, anyways. Continue reading

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