How I can afford a life of travel. Don’t choose. Live a life of style!

How I can afford a life of travel. Don’t choose. Live a life of style and travel!

It’s 2018 and it’s January.

At the beginning of every new year, it’s the norm to think about what you did last year, and what you’re going to do this year.

Last year, I travelled to 8 counties.

8 wonderful countries!

However did I do that?

Have you ever been to Split in Croatia – Bring out the dragons!

I’m not a multi-millionaire. Neither is my husband!

I didn’t win the lottery.

I didn’t quit my job.

I didn’t change my lifestyle.

I didn’t throw my one and only child into boarding school.

I didn’t re-locate to a warmer (cheaper) climate.

I didn’t sell my stuff!

The Tall Young Gentleman & The Music Producer, looking very sorry for themselves at Valhalla – Blackpool

So how did I do it?

Well, if you look at my about me page, you will see that I am married, I have a son, and I have a corporate job in Berlin, as well as this wonderful lifestyle, travel, expat blog!

What I mean to say is that I live a normal life. Just like you.

I’m married, in a relationship with someone, or have been single. Just like you.

I have family responsibilities. Just like you.

I have a full-time job. Just like you.

And by god.

I have a daily budget.

Absolutely.

Just like you.

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“The Tall Young Gentleman” taking to the sails in Mardorf.

And yet.

And yet…..

There was something that I did differently that might have been slightly the opposite of you.

I wanted to travel to more destinations last year, and I did.

I wanted to get on that plane and go to Vienna. I wanted to take that train to Amsterdam.

OMG! I was so broke at the beginning of last year but I was desperate to go to Sweden, so I took a long-distance-inter-country-coach-bus, to Stockholm.

From Berlin!

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Travel through Europe via FlixBus!

Ha! Ha! Ha!

It was crazy, and I vowed never to do it again.

But only two weeks later, I did exactly the the same thing!

I’m totally mad!

But I did it anyway LOL!

The point I’m making is that you don’t have to do anything drastic if you want to afford a life of travel.

You don’t have to choose between having it all and having nothing at all, and you definitely don’t have to quit your lifestyle!

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Myself with ski leaders in Rokytnice nad Jizerou – Czech Republic

I’m living proof of that.

Oh yes, I’ve done my GAP year, and my backpacking era.

I’ve slept in a casino, I’ve been in a hostel where not 1 but 2 complete strangers, were sleeping on my €2 /$3 per night bed!

I’ve been to Scotland where my B&B (which I had already paid for mind you), had completely disappeared. Completely!

I’ve booked hotels in Italy and couldn’t remember the names (thankfully I remembered where I first saw it. In the New York Times)!

Heck. I even missed my flight to Qatar, and had to go to Korea instead!

I’ve adjusted my travelling style over time according to my circumstances, who I was travelling with, and my mood!

And let me tell you. I’m not 20 anymore so those fleapit hostels, motels, cheap-I-don’t-wanna-know-who-slept-here-previously are definitely now gone!

Yes, I’m going to keep an eye on my hard-working money, but No, I’m no longer going to be sharing a room with 20 people, 10 people or even 5 other people!

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Our bedroom at the Villa Akacja, Leba in Poland.
Our bedroom at the Villa Akacja, Leba in Poland.

Nope!

Those days were fun, but they’re over.

Absolutely.

I think!!

In short, I’m enormously happy to go to hostels and we went to quite a few in the last couple of years, but we paid that little bit extra for a private room (since my child is a great traveller too), privacy, calmness, and security. We’ve also been to fancy hotel resorts and even rented a whole house for two weeks in Bali.

So, how can you have it all?

If you’re under 25 years old, you don’t need it all, and that’s the darn truth!

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“The Tall Young Gentleman” having fun in Bangkok.

Get yourself a backpack, work for a couple of months in a local shop, pub, or business.

Take a gap year before university or after university, in the summer, in the winter, or whatever, and whenever, have about €1,000 / $1,000 or £1,000 at the initial stage, and you’re good to go.

I’m not talking about an around-the-world trip here or flight costs, just the old let’s-see-how-far-this-money-will-take me scenario. Grab an old car, grab a few friends, and off you go.

If you’re in Europe, stay on the continent and do a road trip. Ditto the Americas. If you’re in Asia, you’re gonna have a thrilling great time.

When it’s over, it’s over!

You come back, buckle down, save up, and then do it again.

Properly!

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Get a train ticket and travel through Europe!

Now for those of you over 25 years old with jobs, families, responsibilities, and crossroads in front of you, do what I do.

I live life to the full, I work hard at my office and on my blog, and I get creative.

Yes, creative.

There is plenty to do in Lucerne so “The Tall Young Gentleman” & I made our own independent walking tour instead!
  • Our son is 15 years old which means I can’t travel in the low season. Just like you.

What do I do?

I book ahead. Far ahead!

In 2012, we went on a 3 week trip to Tuscany. In August!

I know. I know. I forgot it was going to be boiling.

Don’t judge me!

Anyway, I took out a map, pinned the places that we wanted to go to, and started doing research and contacting hostels, hotels, villas and castles.

How I can afford a life of travel. Don’t choose. Live a life of style and travel in Italy!

Yes, castles!

And the most we paid for our Royal Victoria300-year-old-5-star-hotel-in-Pisa-on-the-riverside was €52.00 per day! For 2 rooms, en-suite including breakfast! For the 3 of us LOL!

We started planning in 2011.

In 2014, we went to four (4) destinations outside Europe where we live. We went to Thailand, Qatar, Indonesia, and Korea. We started planning it in 2012.

In 2015, we went to the Baltic regions of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland. Actually, we took a ferry to Helsinki, but still! Anyway, we took a bus-coach. The journey took us 26 hours, and we were knackered and exhausted, but we didn’t die!

We started planning it in 2014.

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Paella in Spain is just all you need!

In 2016, I went back to Asia, but our family trips were firmly based in Europe. Brexit or not! We went to Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Slovakia, and other parts of Germany.

We started planning it in 2015.

In 2017, all our of family trips were in Europe, regardless of the countless terror acts throughout the continent. We went to expensive Sweden, Austria and England, dependable Holland, Germany, and the Czech Republic, as well as new and exotic parts of Eastern Europe – Croatia and Slovenia.

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A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

Again, planning started in 2016, and all were in consideration of the school holidays!

So book your hotel sooner, rather than later.

Right here!

You have to take action to get it!!

If you live in Europe, you get a minimum of 24 holidays per year, and between 11-15 public holidays on top of that. That makes 35 days. Many get more!

If you start your holidays on Friday evening or Saturday morning, you’ve got the weekends too. When I went to India, I went for 4 weeks but on paper, I actually went for 17 working days or 2.5 weeks.

And how did I do this?

Over Easter and May Day weekend!

And depending on the year, if the public holiday is in the middle of the week (like Xmas 2018), you can just take the Thursday and Friday off, and you’ve got the weekend on both sides anyway. That makes 11 days off, (including weekends),  but using just 2 days booked off your holiday space!

Boom!!

Taking a taxi in Lisbon.

If you live in Europe, everywhere is so close. Poland is 1.5 hours away from Berlin. Denmark about 4-5 hours. By car.

England is 1.5 hours away by plane. France. Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece are about 2 hours. Turkey, Morocco, Egypt about 3-4 hours.

By train, the sky is the European limit. As for coaches or buses, Linda from Expat Eye on Germany travelled all the way from Latvia (not far from Russia) for all of €50!

We did it for even less!

In short, distance isn’t an issue.

You can fly, take the car, train, bus, sail, or even cycle! Europe is great for the bicycle.

If cash is short, camping is available all over Europe, as well as bunkhouses, hostels, and couchsurfing, for absolutely free!

Or book your hostel or apartment here!

Under the waterfall in Yosemite, USA.
Under the waterfall in Yosemite, USA.
  • We’re comfortable.  And we’re middle-class. Just like you.

What do we do?

We save, budget, and plan how much we can reasonably spend.

It took us 2 years and so our budget in Asia was €100 per day.

I went to Korea, but I should have been in Qatar!

We spent about €850 for a flight from Berlin-Bangkok-Bali-Berlin each. We spent about €150 flying around in Asia itself each, rather than taking the rickety all night train, and we spent between €18 per person for a lovely wooden chalet in Thailand, and €70 per night for a complete house in Bali!

We were there for a month.

Book ahead.

Far ahead!

Catching a fish on the Polish Baltic Sea.

And as for Poland, I paid €26 per night for the lovely floor-heated-free-WIFI-on-the Baltic-Sea double room!

If the budget is “reasonable” then book B&B’s, pensions, and small or “budget” hotels.

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Between you and me, Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle, are very much a Berlin fit! –
©Alexi Lubomirski

If you’ve got the cash. Go for it.

There are plenty of wonderful places in which you’ll be treated like royalty!

Cool Britannia!
Cool Britannia!
  • We keep our eyes open and go on various mailing lists. Just like you.

Register with airlines and transport corporations that you like, and as many as you like.

Register with hotel and hostel brands that you like. They always have special deals and discount offers for their members. I once flew to Krakow with Easyjet for free! And why?

Because I was on their mailing list and it was a new destination.

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Or simply, sing for your supper. Vienna – the world capital of music, music everywhere!
  • Be creative with flexibility!

We have school and jobs. Just like you.

Just because you have a fixed job, doesn’t mean that you can’t be flexible.

If you’re looking for an adventure. Use skycanner and go for “anywhere” within your budget.

Go to Eastern Europe instead of Western Europe.

Go to South America instead of North America.

Go to Wales instead of England.

Or not.

Don’t choose. Go where you want to go.

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Don’t choose. Go where you want to go – Live a life of style and travel!

If you live in North America, I know that it’s more complicated.

However, if you’ve worked hard, don’t feel guilty. TAKE your holidays and USE them for your own pleasure.

Don’t paint the porch. The porch can wait.

Go to that place that you’ve always wanted to go to.

Do the road trip.

Or fly to Argentina.

Whatever.

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If you’re American, and you only feel comfortable visiting other American cities, that’s alright too!

If you feel more comfortable staying in North America, then stay in North America. North America is an amazing destination and so beautiful.

I’m not here to guilt trip you. It’s your holiday.

If you feel more comfortable, going on a package tour. Go for it.

If you feel more comfortable travelling with the whole family. It’s your call.

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Stuffed sticky rice wrapped up in a banana leaf in Bangkok. Go on. Try it!
Stuffed sticky rice wrapped up in a banana leaf in Bangkok. Go on. Try it!
  • Don’t forget to ask. We love a bargain. Just like you.

Ask for discounts.

Ask for a bigger room.

Ask for an included breakfast.

Ask for WIFI.

Ask for an extra bed.

Ask for free parking.

Ask about children prices, student prices, senior citizen / retiree prices, corporate prices, even regional or local prices.

If you’re from “there” let them know. You never know. If you don’t ask, they can’t help you, or reduce the prices.

Ask, and ask again.

It doesn’t matter if it’s “only” 2 months, 2 weeks, or 2 days. Just know that you can afford to travel.

You can have it all.

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Don’t even think of asking me!

And now for what you’ve all been waiting for…..Where am I going in 2018?

Drum roll pleeeeease!

Travel plans this year are:

Romania

Romania

Belgium

Bulgaria

Bulgaria

Czech Republic

Norway

Norway

Poland

India

India

And of course, Germany! Ho! Ho! Ho!

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BMW Munich – Summer in Germany – Simply the Best!

I travel a lot for leisure and pleasure.

I live in Germany, which many consider to be an expensive Western nation. I can afford a life of travel and a comfortable Berlin lifestyle.

I choose to have it all.

HOW I CAN AFFORD A LIFE OF TRAVEL. DON’T CHOOSE: LIVE A LIFE OF STYLE AND TRAVEL!

How I can afford a life of travel. Don’t choose. Live a life of style and travel!

This article is not sponsored, and the exciting countries that I plan to visit in 2018, all my very own!

In January, I’ll be making an announcement that will probably surprise you. Find out throughout January!

I went on a press trip to Hamburg. Watch out for the details!

I’ll be continuing my last visit to the UK later in the month!

In a few weeks, I’ll be visiting Belgium!

I’ll be at the British Shorts Film Festival taking place between 11th – 17th January. If you’re an aspiring film-maker submission is free of charge, so hurry!

I’ll be at the most famous burlesque-fantastic Berlin operetta – Frau Luna – Operette in zwei Akten, taking place at TIPI AM KANZLERAMT, between 11th January – 11th March. Everyone’s most excited!

I’ll be at Berlin Fashion Week taking place between 16th – 18th January.

I’ll be at the 33rd British Council Literature Seminar – #BritLitBerlin taking place between 25th – 27th January, 2018. If you want to attend or join in, registration is now open!

Save the Date!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in January, then where the hell are you?

January is going to be splendid!

See you next week!

How I can afford a life of travel. Don’t choose. Live a life of style and travel!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

How I can afford a life of travel. Don’t choose. Live a life of style and travel!

What do you choose to do with your holiday/vacation time? Where are you going in 2018? Have you been to any of the countries above? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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Food in Germany: 5 of the Best Ever!

Food in Germany: 5 of the Best Ever!

Hello Everyone!

Did you over-stuff your belly with Christmas Day delights?

Did you manage to get through the Christmas festivity without shouting, screaming, or bursting into tears?

Jolly Good!

A portrait of Christmas taken from our garden!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

I love writing about food!

I consider myself a respectable foodie.

But most importantly, I like writing about countries and regions that have been overlooked such as the following:

A traditional Sunday lunch anywhere in Britain!
©Time Out London Food & Drink
Hungarian stew
Polish fishermen on the Polish Baltic Sea who did fabulously well!
A delicious mug of cold beer in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
Me drinking bubble tea in Taiwan!
A 5 minute guide to German food. On the Baltic Sea beach!

Yay!

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CHRISTMAS MARKET TRADITIONS

Beer in Germany isn’t a joke.
How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!

As we’re a British-German family, we mix our traditions in order to make our lifestyle as British and German as possible!

One of those traditions is eating out, and going to a Christmas Market!

The Christmas Market in Germany, isn’t just any old market.

Nordic Angels at the Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt im Hof der Kulturbrauerei or the Lucia Christmas Market in the hip and trendy courtyard of the Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauerberg!
© Jochen Loch

Oh dear me no!

The German Christmas Market is a way in which people can socialize with their friends, hang out, and just have a fine old time.

The German Christmas Market is a way in which we can socialise with our American friends in Berlin!

The Christmas Markets isn’t Disneyland or some sort of recreational park, it’s a German tradition of browsing at skilled crafts, shopping, eating traditional German Christmas streetfood, and drinking to the heath of one and all, with hot mulled wine, otherwise known as Glühwein.

And for those with a far stronger alcoholic tendency than my own, trying out the “Feuerzangenbowle.”

Trying out the Feuerzangenbowle. Again!
Trying out the Feuerzangenbowle. Again!

It can reduce a grown man to tears if care is not taken…!

Ouch!

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FOOD IN GERMANY: 5 OF THE BEST EVER!

Best of Berlin – 4 years and counting!
An Affair with Chocolate – ©Sarah Robinson

When people think of German food, you can’t blame them when their impressions tend to lay on the stodgy side of things.

I mean, when you think about it, German food doesn’t sound exciting!

Just greasy!

However living in Germany has shown me that yes, German food does lie a little on the heavy side, since it was originally designed for working class peasants, but you know, the modern-day German isn’t a peasant anymore!

Well, not all of them…

One of Germany’s best – Roast goose, home-made dumplings, gravy & red cabbage!

So you can get lovely food such as roast goose, home-made dumplings, home-made gravy, and red cabbage!

Yum-my!

In fact most Germans are intelligent, tolerant, internationally minded, and open to different life experiences, and that is reflected in the food.

In fact, in Berlin where I live, you’d be hard-pressed to find “real” German food!

A most delicious Bosso Spätzle! How to eat cheaply in Luxembourg!
A most delicious Bosso Spätzle!
How to eat cheaply in Luxembourg!

Austrian food. Yes.

Berlin food. Oh yes!

But German food. Eeeh! Umm!

Not quite.

“Typical” German food has a hard, long reputation of being rather stodgy and boring.

Pretty much like British food actually!

So let’s see what we can find.

Shall we get started?

1.  THE NUMBER ONE FOOD ITEM IS THE SAUSAGE!

Best German meals to try out in Berlin – Currywurst!

The very highlight of a typical German day is the sausage.

All hail the almighty S!

Germany has loads of different sausages and each comes with its own unique taste.

White sausages. I've tried it every which way, but I still don't like it! ©TakeAway - Wikipedia
White sausages. I’ve tried it every which way, but I still don’t like it!
©TakeAway – Wikipedia

I find the white sausage with sweet mustard or Weißwürst quite disgusting personally, even though I’ve tried it every which way.

Ah well!

A perfectly acceptable pork grilled sausage or bratwurst!

The grilled pork sausages with mustard, ketchup or both, otherwise known as Bratwurst can be decisively delicious.

My favourite German sausage however, is the currywurst.

The currywurst is Berlin’s most famous sausage.

Currywurst and chips slathered with tomato ketchup, curry powder, and sometimes mayo!
Currywurst and chips slathered with tomato ketchup, curry powder, and sometimes mayo!

Currywurst!

Currywurst is beef or pork sausage grilled and chopped up, then smothered with a spicy ketchup and curry powder. It’s eaten with a pile of chips and a slice of bread or a bun.

It’s such a famous icon that it even has its own Currywurst Museum where you can learn how currywurst is made, smell it, watch a film about it, attempt to sell it, and play around with the french fries and chips.

You can sometimes even have chocolate and curry ice-cream!

Berlin's most famous iconic meal - currywurst, chips & mayo!
Berlin’s most famous iconic meal – currywurst, chips & mayo!

Currywurst can usually only be found in Berlin everywhere you look.

My two favourite places however, are the 1930’s East Berlin historical establishment called Konnopke’s Imbiß in my own area of Prenzlauerberg, and the 1980’s West Berlin trendy establishment Curry 36, in my old neighbourhood of Kreuzberg!

p.s. They speak English in both places, so no worries if you don’t speak German!

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2.  THE MOST EXQUISITE VEGETABLE IS THE ASPARAGUS!

I needed to know what we doing, so that we wouldn’t get poisoned with mushrooms and die!!

Eek!

It’s true you know, so let’s talk vegetables!

The thing that Germans all rave about is…

Wait for it…

Asparagus!!!
Asparagus!!!

Asparagus!

I know!!

White asparagus, otherwise known as Spargel!
White asparagus, otherwise known as Spargel!

Asparagus, especially white asparagus, otherwise known as Spargel, is a popular summer dish especially in season.

It’s a pretty short season of just two (2) months, so we all run around, looking for the nearest farmers market, so that you can get can the freshest produce possible.

Luckily for us, we have two (2) farmers markets in my neighbourhood, and one of them is less than one (1) minute away from my house!

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3.  THE MOST RECOGNISABLE, BUT STILL TASTES WEIRD, IS THE GERMAN MEATBALL!

Are they burgers. Or meatballs!

Eek!

Some might even go as far as to call them burgers!

In Germany, they’re called all types of different things.

In Berlin, these German meatballs are huge pan-fried minced balls of beef, pork, or lamb and are known as Boulette.

In fact, so much so, that when I first came to Germany, I didn’t know what they were, so I didn’t eat ’em! Imagine my shock when I discovered that they were actually meatballs!

I wasted two years not eating them!!

A Berlin lunch of Frikadellen, Fleischkühle, Fleischpflanzerl or Königsberger Klopse!
A Berlin lunch of Frikadellen, Fleischkühle, Fleischpflanzerl or Königsberger Klopse!

In other parts of Germany they are smaller and known as Frikadellen, Fleischkühle, Fleischpflanzerl or Königsberger Klopse!

They are not normally eaten with a tomato sauce, but with bread! As you can see above, these meatballs are small, topped with apple mousse, accompanied by sliced brown bread sprinkled over with tomato, salmon, and mustard & cress, or sliced brown bread topped with cream cheese, sliced radishes, with more mustard & cress.

In fact they were quite delightful, so I scoffed the lot!

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4.  THE BEST GERMAN TREAT IS THE SCHNITZEL!

Schnitzel. Simply one of the best!

I’m sure you heard of schnitzel!

Schnitzel is a variety of meat such as veal, mutton, chicken, beef, turkey, reindeer, or pork that is lightly pounded flat with a rolling pin, until it’s quite thin!

The meat is then rolled in flour, whipped eggs, and bread crumbs and pan-fried!

But let me tell you a secret.

Wiener Schnitzel – A traditional-Germanic dish served in Austria and Bavaria!
©Stuart Forster / Getty Images

The best type of schnitzel to have is not actually the German variety, but the Austrian Viennese veal cutlet, otherwise known as Wiener Schnitzel!

You can usually tell which is which as Wiener Schnitzel is made only from veal, and the others could be made out of anything at all!

It’s usually served with a garnish of sliced lemons, boiled potatoes, chips, potato salad, a sprinkling of parsley, berries, and some sort of side salad.

Either way, it’s always a treat, and quite delicious.

Oh yeah!

Yum!

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5. THE MOST POPULAR CREAMY DESSERT IS THE BLACK FOREST GÂTEAU!

Yummy Black Forest Gâteau!
©2017 Prima – Hearst Magazines

Scrummy desserts can be found all over Germany, Austria and Switzerland, as the cake shops are lovely.

One of the most famous, and certainly most recognisable, is the Black Forest Gâteau, otherwise known as Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte!

Black Forest Gâteau or Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte!

The Black Forest Gâteau is a very rich chocolate layered sponge cake, with a cherry and whipped cream filling, strawberry jam, double cream, and decorated with more whipped cream, dark red or black cherries, and grated chocolate shavings or curls!

The cherries can either be sweet or sour.

In Germany, a Black Forest Gâteau is traditionally filled with sour cherry fruit brandy, otherwise known as kirschwasser, some other sort of spirit.

Or a good dollop of rum!

The traditional costume of the women of the Black Forest region, with a hat with huge, red pom-poms on top – Bollenhut!
©Michel Lefrancq

In fact, without the brandy or kirschwasser, the cake cannot be labelled as either a Black Forest Gâteau or a Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte!

Hic!

That’s it from me.

See you next year!

Book your hotel here!

FOOD IN GERMANY: 5 OF THE BEST EVER!

This article isn’t sponsored and all opinions and most delicious food items, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

I went on a press trip to Hamburg. Watch out for the details!

I’ll be continuing my last visit to the UK next year!

In January, I’ll be visiting Belgium!

I’ll be at the British Shorts Film Festival taking place between 11th – 17th January, 2018. If you’re an aspiring film-maker submission is free of charge, so hurry!

I’ll be at Berlin Fashion Week taking place between 16th – 18th January, 2018

I’ll be at the 33rd British Council Literature Seminar – #BritLitBerlin taking place between 25th – 27th January, 2018. If you want to attend or join in, registration is now open!

Save the Date!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin next year, no champagne for you!

January is going to be exciting!

Have a great festive season, and a stunning New Year!

Food in Germany: 5 of the Best Ever!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

Food in Germany 5 of the Best Ever!

Do you like German food? Do you think these items are the 5 best food items in Germany, or have I forgotten something? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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How to visit Yorkshire. And York!

How to visit Yorkshire. And York!

So York was pretty good!

As you know, I spent the Autumn and early winter, visiting the UK and travelling around Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire! And Liverpool!

If you’re just joining in, here’s a recap:

Yay!

And of course, if you want to read about Scotland and other British things, just follow the link here!

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YORKSHIRE

My piece of fudge in York – 3 days in York – 33 things to do!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

You really can’t talk about York, without talking about Yorkshire, the county (state) from which it came!

Yorkshire, otherwise known as Yorks or the County of York, is a county in Northern England, and the largest in the UK!

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LET’S GET A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY!

The Flying Scotsman at the National Railway Museum – York
©Nigel Holland

As far back as 866, the south of Northumbria – otherwise known as modern-day Yorkshire – was invaded and conquered by fierce Norsemen from Scandinavia, which is present day Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, known as Jórvík!

The word Yorkshire, comes from the very same viking word – Jórvík, and the Old English word – Shire – meaning to take care of, or the official charge of.

Thus Yorkshire!

Constantine the Great – Emperor of the Roman Empire in York!

Yorkshire has a very rich heritage and has been around for more than 2,000 years!

In fact, my fellow British blogger – Thomas Peck – reminded me in my previous post that

Constantine the Great was crowned Emperor of the Roman Empire in York in 306AD. He was the Caesar that allowed religious tolerance and thus the survival of the early Christians. He popularised the festival of Christmas and converted to Christianity in 312AD. As a result, York had its first Bishop in 314. He was also the one who moved the capital of the Empire eastwards, and set up the new city of Constantinople. True, he moved from York to Trier (better wine no doubt), but it all started in the great city of York!

And another hilarious British blogger – Mike Snowden – decided it would be fun to sleep outdoors.

In Winter.

In the North York Moors National Park.

Without a tent!

Or anything. Just a bag!

He didn’t really like it!

Oh no. It’s snowing!
This isn’t Yorkshire. But I bet after he woke up. He probably thought it was!

But isn’t it funny?

Even though everyone in the UK knows all about Yorkshire, most people outside it, seem not to have heard of it!

The Humber Bridge in Hull – connecting all of Yorkshire!

Because Yorkshire is so huge, it has been divided into North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, East Riding of Yorkshire, Hull, North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire, and of course, the historical city of York!

Not only that, even though technically, Yorkshire is part of North-West England, remote parts of the county such as Great Ayton, Runswick Bay, Middlesbrough and Dalton-on-Tees, are now considered to be a part of North East England!

It’s been years since I’ve been to Newcastle, Tyneside, Northumberland, and Durham.

In fact, my first MA was actually at Durham University – the Number four (4) ranked university in Britain!

The Yorkshire Dales

Within the borders of the historic county of Yorkshire, are areas which are widely considered to be among the greenest in England, due to the vast stretches of unspoilt countryside in the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors!

Indeed, Yorkshire is also known as God’s Own County or God’s Own Country because of it’s beauty, and is considered to be one of the best places in Europe!

In fact, I initially watched this marvellous film at the British Shorts Film Festival, and now it’s deservedly winning award upon award. As it should!

Take a look below.

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WHY GO TO YORKSHIRE?

Castle Howard in North Yorkshire, is more than 300 years old!

Why not?!

Well, Yorkshire is in England.

And regardless of Brexit, who doesn’t like England?

It’s entwined with civilizations, history and culture, that goes back centuries!

And.

We recognise far more than we realize.

We all know the Tudors! And also the gorgeous – Jonathan Rhys-Meyers!

If you are versed in English history, you’d know well the two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster – a red rose – and the House of York – a white rose.

Think Vikings!

Think Guy Fawkes!

Think the Wars of the Roses!

Think the Tudors!

Think Henry VIII!

Think Harry Potter!

And then, book your hotel here!

Victoria in front of the carousel fairground – York
©Frank Böster – The Music Producer

Ha! Ha! Ha!

You won’t believe it, but before this visit, I had never previously been to York!

I know!

Why you should visit Switzerland, and eat cheese!

It’s as bad as when I didn’t go to Switzerland, even though Switzerland is literally next door!

Happily, I can say that I certainly changed this situation!

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TAKE ME THERE?

Using the TransPenine Express train!

We started from Blackpool and took the train to York.

The ticket above was from our journey from Cheshire to Manchester, and even though we took the Northern Railway train from Blackpool to York, the seating arrangements and look of the train, is similar!

I booked the tickets online and in advance. If you use the website National Rail Enquiries, it would give you the variety of available train options. Britain isn’t known for having cheap transportation, so the trick is to book well in advance!

Our journey took a little over 3 hours!

Cost: Blackpool North to York – on an Advance Single ticket – Adults – £12.50 each. Children (5-15) – £6.25 – Altogether a very reasonable £31.25 on the Northern Railway train!

If you’re really short on cash, you could of course take the bus-coach using the National Express or Megabus and check for prices, as in many case, the trains were surprisingly, by far the cheapest way to travel through the North!

The trains are not as plush or as spacious as those in Germany, and the train station in Blackpool is rather small, so give yourself plenty of time, as you can’t reserve a seat!

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IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?

Victoria outside Monk’s Bar – York City Wall – York
©Frank Böster – The Music Producer

It depends on the time of year!

We were in York during the best time of all – Halloween – and it was thrilling!

The Music Producer and The Tall Young Gentleman had never been in the UK during Halloween before, so they were pretty excited!

There are loads of night events and ghost activities in the city. York is quite small, so we frequently met other groups, but it was pretty well organised, as times were staggered so that you weren’t all standing in the same corner! There were a couple of whoops, and “get them,” but it was all in good fun.

We went on two night-time walking tours and ended up sprinting through the nooks and crannies of historical York with torches, a Dr. Who-like character, and being chased by zombies!

But in the summer, crowds are going to be huge, and the streets are quite narrow, so watch your handbag and wallets, queue smartly, and elbows at the ready!

Plan well.

Book your hotel here!

WHAT IS YORKSHIRE LIKE?

I’m a Yorkshire terrier and I’m impressive. So is Yorkshire!

We were only there for 3 days, but Yorkshire definitely made an impression on me.

Yorkshire as a whole is just wild!

It’s of historical and architectural interest, the local people are common folk, open-minded, loyal, reliable, packed with common sense, and typical of the North in speaking plainly, with a lovely Yorkshire burr!

And it’s quite beautiful!

I DON’T SPEAK ENGLISH VERY WELL.

No need to speak. Let nature do the talking!

Ha! Ha! Ha!

The locals speak with a Yorkshire accent.

The type of working class English that you would find in Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Northumbria, the Merseyside, Cumbria, Cheshire, Leeds, Hull, Middlesbrough, and certain parts of Northern England!

The proud accent of Sean Bean, and pretty much most of the Stark clan and anyone from The North, in Game of Thrones!

But don’t worry.

Just smile.

Have a drink.

And you’ll be fine in a jiffy!

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AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?

You don’t have to live in a Yorkshire Dale barn. Unless you want to!

Ha! Ha!

This is England!

Not unless you want to!

I’M ON A BUDGET, BUT I’M LOOKING FOR A BIT MORE LUXURY AS I DON’T WANT TO ROUGH IT! WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Now, let’s be honest. Britain isn’t cheap. The trick is clever planning!

Now, let’s be honest.

Britain isn’t cheap.

If you’re from Western Europe, the US, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, or any of the Nordic countries, then Britain will be similar, if not cheaper than your own country!

If not, you could be in trouble!

The trick is clever planning!

Book your hotel here!

WHERE WE STAYED:

Our late night snack & a pot of tea at our Clearly Apartments Bootham York!

After our holiday in Madrid last year, we decided to always get an extra hotel / hostel room, or an apartment, so that our teenager doesn’t have to share personal space with his parents!

Frankly, if you’re paying between £35.00 – £60.00 per night, for huge apartments with a working kitchen, a terrace, and in some cases, even a piano, you simply can’t go wrong!

Book ahead to get good prices.

Book your apartment or hotel here!

Use my link and book your hotel!

After much research, I chose the very nice Clearly Apartments Bootham York.

I made our reservation via booking.com.

Use my link and book your hotel!

In many cases, I prefer to use booking.com because you can make hotel / hostel / apartment reservations, and cancel for free, if you’re not sure. Not only do I recommend them, but I use them myself! Note: I’m an affiliate member of booking.com. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

Our living / dining room at our two-bedroom two-bathroom Clearly Apartments Bootham York!

The Clearly Apartments Bootham York is a lovely two-bedroom two-bathroom apartment in a quiet residential neighbourhood.

I loved the fact that the apartment was a mere seven (7) minute walk from the city centre.

We had two bedrooms with two en-suite bathrooms (yes!) which our teenage son liked enormously. There was also free refreshments, milk, WiFi, and a laundry room (with dryer), that we forgot to use until it was too late!

In fact, our bedspread and pillows were so comfy, that I dropped off within minutes!

The en-suite private bedroom of our teenager at the Clearly Apartments Bootham York, was comfy too!

Cost: For a standard two bedroomed – two bathroom apartment in the UK – £143.10 (including tax) per night, or for 4 people – £35.78 a pop!

You’re welcome!

Book the Clearly Apartments Bootham York or your Yorkshire hotel / apartment here!

I’M LOOKING FOR SOMETHING A BIT DIFFERENT. ANY IDEAS?

I’ve got millions of ideas!

Always!

Click here for more inspiration!

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

Train travel through Yorkshire is best.
Followed by hiking & cycling through fields, then using the car when you’re utterly knackered!

Yorkshire is huge, so travelling by train is best!

Your next most enjoyable means of transport is hiking, trekking, rambling, walking, & cycling through open fields.

As well as sailing or river cruising.

Or you can of course, use the Yorkshire local services or the car, when you’re utterly knackered!

ANYTHING ELSE?

The Hogwarts Express at the National Railway Museum – York

Most museums and galleries, are free of charge.

Most importantly, if you live in the UK or visit the UK on a regular basis, there is quite frequently, free admission for 12 months included in your ticket, so don’t throw it away!

MY VERDICT:

Camping in Yorkshire. Happy Days!

I have happy childhood memories of camping and hiking through Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Dales, and the North York Moors!

I’m sure you will too.

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WOULD I COME AGAIN?

Totally!

Yorkshire is heaven.

It’s wild and captivating, and makes you feel alive!

I can’t wait to visit again.

Let’s do it!

HOW TO VISIT YORKSHIRE. AND YORK!

How to visit Yorkshire. And York!

This article isn’t sponsored, and all opinions and the wonders of Yorkshire that we gloried in, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

I went on a press trip to Hamburg. Watch out for the details!

I’ll be continuing my last visit to the UK next year!

In January, I’ll be visiting Belgium!

I’ll be at the British Shorts Film Festival taking place between 11th – 17th January, 2018. If you’re an aspiring film-maker submission is free of charge, so hurry!

I’ll be at Berlin Fashion Week taking place between 16th – 18th January, 2018

I’ll be at the 33rd British Council Literature Seminar – #BritLitBerlin taking place between 25th – 27th January, 2018. If you want to attend or join in, registration is now open!

Save the Date!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in winter, you’re missing out!

December is going to be glowing!

Yay!

How to visit Yorkshire. And York!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

How to visit Yorkshire. And York!
How to visit Yorkshire. And York!

Have you ever been to Yorkshire? Do you like camping, or would you prefer a sandwich and a pint! Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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