A Walk Through Athens Greece

As a hardcore history nerd and amateur cultural anthropologist (yes, I’m only two classes away from having a bachelors in Anthropology), Athens was the perfect opportunity to finally live out my fantasy of exploring and studying ancient cultures and their ruins. It was an honor to have a personal experience with one of the most prolific civilizations that has ever graced this planet.  Think about it!  Without Athens modern democracy wouldn’t exist!  The idea of forums and a government by the people for the people was a concept that arose from the Athenians who, like the goddess Athena for whom


Port of Hamburg: Photo Essay

Sorry Philadelphia, but I’m having a love affair with Hamburg, Germany.  I love its old traditions balanced with a spirit of new ideas, its humble, working class beginnings, and this port city’s seafaring feel.  Where Philadelphia’s shipping history was almost snubbed out because of America’s highway system (in recent years, there’s been a huge push to revitalize it), Hamburg’s is still thriving 826 years later.  Honestly, a life at sea is not complete with a stop at Hamburg Harbor. This past winter, I took a trip back to visit Hamburg and was welcomed by unseasonably beautiful weather.  As a result,

Heini Hiltunen Timo Kaukonen, left, sweats it out at the Sauna World Championships.
From ESPN "Sports from Hell"

That Time I Almost Died in a German Sauna

There are two types of people in this world: there are those who go to saunas for relaxation.  Then there are those who turn relaxation into a competition.  Yes, there are literally people who go to saunas to challenge one another on who can stay in a sauna the longest.  Back in 2010 I read a story about that Russian guy who died in a sauna competition in Finland.  The relaxation aspect of it I can get, but I think it’s a bit crazy that people take it to a whole new level and put their bodies through stress just

dall sheep

Have You Seen the Dall Sheep?

Alaska is teeming with wildlife.  In fact, Denali National Park & Preserve is home to 39 species of mammals, 169 types of birds, 14 fish, and 1 amphibian.  Amongst them are wild bears, moose, coyotes, wolves, eagles, and other creatures worth excitedly wiping out your camera and accidentally dropping it for.  But no animal in Alaska gets the older male tourist population more pumped than the Dall sheep. When compared to the other majestic creatures that you encounter in Alaska, the Dall sheep are simpletons.  You can usually observe them far off in the distance, hanging out on the peaks

Sun Rise

From the Darkness Comes Light

Hey there readers, On A Travel Broad, I tend to focus only on the positive and exciting side of my life and travels.  I share with you pictures from my time living in Germany and stories of my jaunts through Europe and North America in hopes of inspiring you to go out and experience the world for yourselves.  But I hardly ever discuss the difficult times I sometimes face.  Some of these challenging times are by my choice because I love traveling and sharing my travels with you gives me purpose.  In the 5 years since I’ve started this blog,

deutsche bahn

How to Navigate Germany When Deutsche Bahn Train Drivers Go on Strike

If you want to tick off a group of Germans, tell them that the train is going to be fifteen minutes late. But if you tell them that none of the trains will be running due to a strike? Utter chaos! Hundreds of thousands of travelers depend on the Deutsche Bahn to transport them to airports, cities and neighboring countries in Europe. But as Deustche Bahn train drivers prepare to go on strike tomorrow through Monday, these travelers, many of whom will be converging on Berlin this weekend for the 25th anniversary of its fall, are scrambling for an alternative.

roma kids

Playing with Roma Children

Below Acropolis in Athens, Greece, Roma children work as street performers, playing accordions, drums and the bouzouki, a type of Greek guitar, for money.  They purposely target marketplaces and tourist areas, knowing that that’s where the cash flows the fastest.  There are several levels of aggressiveness when it comes to begging.  Some casually perform on the street corner — in fact, the older kids are very talented at playing folk music, turning street corners in to concerts.  Then there are others who go from cafe table to cafe table playing music while simultaneously begging for money. Some get creative by

favorite place in the world

Answer to the Infamous Question, “What’s Your Favorite Place in the World”

“What’s your favorite place in the world?”  It’s often the first question that everyone asks when they learn that I’m a travel writer.  In my younger years, I often answered with a place I had recently gotten back from, mostly for the sake of conversation.  “Oh I was surprised how much I loved Denmark” or “I loved Barcelona for the food”. But the more I travel, the more I realize that there is no definitive answer to this question.  People sometimes expect me to pick a favorite place because of the sites (“isn’t Paris the best because of the Eiffel

York Post

York: England’s Most Haunted Town is Actually Charming

York: England’s most haunted town.  Seems like a bold claim, but when you look at York’s gruesome history of the Black Death, murder, poverty, war, and genocide you can kind of see where these ghost stories come from.  As a result, many businesses in York are cashing in on things that go bump in the night.  Nightly ghost tours take upwards of 75 thrill-seekers at a time to go ghost hunting at famous sites, hotels offer premier rates to stay in their “haunted suite”, and pubs have banners and signs claiming York’s most haunted pub, not because of any quantifiable

cats of athens

The Cats of Athens

People often talk about how many dogs are roaming around Athens, but let’s take a moment to enjoy the cats. With the picturesque views and the natural coyness of cats, I have enough photos to do a 15-month “Kittehs of Athens” Calendar if I wanted to.  Here’s a few of my favorite felines so far.

A little bit of French Canada – Montreal

At the beginning of fall, I decided to trek up north of the border to experience Montreal, Canada.  This French-Speaking city surprised me in many ways!  I wasn’t expecting Montreal to be a vibrant city full of young hipsters and deliciously bad-for-you dishes wrapped up in an appreciative art scene.  Even though it is a French-Speaking city, many locals were also fluent in English, due to the many English Courses offered in Canada.  Montreal made a great destination for a long weekend get away because it’s a little city with big attitude.  Here are a few of my favorite places!

Notre Dame MontrealBasilique Notre-Dame

Located in Old Montreal, it’s like a little piece of Europe right here in North America.  Like many other Notre-Dame cathedrals, this gorgeous church it is ordained with plenty of paintings and sculptures depicting scenes of the Christian faith.  The only difference I noticed between this church and others I’ve seen in Europe was that this one was slightly more modern and detailed with more vibrant colors and plenty of texture.

La Cour on rue Saint-Amable

There’s a tiny little pedestrian street called “Rue Saint-Amable” where many artists set up their photographs, paintings and other artisan crafts to be sold to art lovers.  But one of the coolest areas of this tiny street is an area tucked away called “La Cour” where many jewelers display their handmade goods.  The narrow passage opened up to a courtyard with a large tree growing in the middle, a nice and shady spot to escape the sun and look at intricate jewelry.

La Cour Montreal

SchwartzSchwartz Montreal

This place wasn’t even on my radar!  But after so many of my friends and locals told me to go, I just had to check it out.  Hell!  I even overheard people talking about it on the streets – Schwartz Smoked Meats!  So I couldn’t resist the temptation, and I’m glad I didn’t gloss over this important Montreal staple.  I arrived around 11 am to enjoy a smoked meat sandwich for lunch and there was already a line out the door of people just waiting to be seated!  After a long wait, I was seated at a tiny table all the way in the back.  This small hole-in-the wall had the capacity to seat maybe 50 people.  Every single seat was taken, and even though it was a ton of people crammed up in this narrow building, it was absolutely silent.  You know the food is good when everyone becomes coaxed into a silent trance.  After getting my smoked meat sandwich, I could see what the hubbub was all about.  The meat was flavorful, the rye bread was fresh and the mustard and pickle served as a perfect complement to this titan of a sandwich.

Mount Royal

To shake my meat coma from Schwartz, I checked out Mount Royal.  Mount Royal offers great views of the Montreal skyline, pristine nature, plenty of park space, and greatest of all, a graveyard!  I didn’t get a chance to check out the graveyard, but I did see what all the fuss was about.

Mont Royal

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