Germany Travel Guide

Travel makes you understand

that you should not think

you’re always right.

Christian Louboutin

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Linderhof Palace is a most adorable mini-Versailles in the alps for one royal recluse

It is the season for Christmas markets soon and if you’re headed to see some in Germany, here are other sights I enjoyed the most:

Prettiest hotel bar at the Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Munich. They also have a little nightclub in the basement with a great band playing pop and classic dance tunes.

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Bumped into dream cars from every decade at the Mercedes Museum in Stuttgart

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Made sure my crown jewels are still where I left them… was this at the treasury in Munich?

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Try a horseless carriage ride through a small town, scenic woods and farmland

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Rothenberg is a medieval city that survived the war unscathed by sheer luck of circumstance…

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…Hear how from Rothenberg’s Night Watchman. History teachers can learn a thing or two from him on how to dress the part while regaling the crowd with humorous narratives.

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Though it wasn’t on my original wishlist, Dresden was a lovely surprise , turning out to be my favorite city this tour. Bombed for no good reason during the war, the women of the town saved what they could from the rubble and re-used these to restore the city center back to its former glory.  The Zwinger Palace is now home to three museums with its restored courtyard of elegant fountains and sculptures. I loved strolling through its upper level walkway, imagining how many women were subliminally seduced in an afternoon stroll surrounded by the countless sculptures of fat cherubs, lovers, women holding food or children, all suggesting fertility and love.

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I felt positively royal in my room at the Crown Prince Suites of the Kempinski Tauschenberg Palace Hotel. With very high ceilings and space wide enough for dancing, both sides of my bedchamber had double connecting doors to adjoining rooms–perfect for the discreet entry and exit of guests or lovers. Standing right in the heart of town, this palace was originally built as the residence of the king’s favorite mistress. Below is what the bombed shell 😉 looked before and after restoration.

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One of the amazing treasures at the Residenza is this galleon carved in pure ivory. Do you see the tiny sailors climbing the ropes? The middle mast has the royal seal “embossed” on its thin billowy sail.

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Berlin was too, too modern for me. I like to travel to Europe for old architecture and they are doing a great job restoring the few structures that have remained standing like this Cathedral by the river.

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A very modern Holocaust memorial

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Found Cinderella’s carriage at the Nymphenburg Palace in Munich

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Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share your own German faves.

xoxox

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© Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

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Where to Stay in Paris: 2 Jewels

There ain’t no surer way to find out

if you like people or hate them

than to travel with them.

Mark Twain

Solo travel is a privilege and an education.  Once or twice a year, I take a “mommy’s vacation”–preferably somewhere I’ve never been before.  This is one of the ways I expand my comfort zone, open my eyes to inspiration and possibilities, and feed my joy.  I take time off from catering to everyone else’s needs, preferences, and opinions and pay attention to my own: when I want to wake up or sleep, where I want to go, what I want to do or not. I love traveling light with just carry on luggage and my own agenda–though “traveling light” is relative with my darling Mark III (aka, camera.)

If you’ve never traveled alone,  what better destination for a first solo expedition than Paris?  Like jewel boxes of delightful surprises, these are two hotels that I would be very happy to return to.  Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to add to your favorite places to stay in Paris and other destinations you recommend for easy solo travel.

Hotel Le Notre Dame (1, Quai Saint-Michel 75005 Paris +33 1 43 54 20 43) is a tiny gem updated by Christian Lacroix with a view of–guess what?–the Notre Dame.   Being in the center of the City of Light, there is no quiet moment if you keep your windows open, however, its interiors and view are like no other.  An easy walk to the Latin Quarter, St. Germaine des Pres and the Marais, this hotel let’s you trace the Seine to reach the Louvre and the Tuilleries, too.  On your walk back, stop by another jewel box with stained glass windows, the Saint Chappelle, to experience live classical music in a setting that moves me to tears.  On a rainy day, you can people watch at the brasserie downstairs while enjoying the biggest escargots in town.  The Saint Michel neighborhood is chockfull of restaurants and bars with a hopping nightlife for locals and tourists alike.  The metro and RER B train to/from the airport are right across the street.

In the cozy lobby of Hotel Le Notre Dame…

…Grab a velvet seat for a corner “office on the road” with a view.

Be the master of the stairs (because the elevator is tiny)

Room 31 at Hotel Le Notre Dame

For a more quiet and luxe retreat, Hotel Saint James (43, Avenue Bugeaud 75116  Paris +33 1 44 05 81 81) is the only chateaux hotel in Paris.  Tucked away west of the Arc de Triomphe, its water fountain welcomes you before its charming and elegant staff.   The lobby of bold black and white, velvet furnishings, and vibrant wallpaper throughout the 48 distinctively decorated rooms/suites are a feast for the eyes.  (Tip:  Request a room facing the fountain.)   And what’s not to love about their massage room with gilded mirror and chandelier?  The Champs Elysee and the Eiffel are about 15 minutes on foot.  A few steps outside the hotel’s gate is a metro stop I didn’t investigate, preferring to explore this city mostly walking, bathing in its renowned light.

Hotel St. James Paris by Sharon Birke www.PowerfulGoddess.com

The view from Room 306 facing the fountain.

Hotel St. James Paris by Sharon Birke www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Hotel St. James Lobby

Hotel St. James Paris by Sharon Birke www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Whimsy on the back stairs

Hotel St. James Paris by Sharon Birke www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Waiting room at the spa

© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

http://www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

xoxox

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