Kitzbuhel

It’s an oddity of the East-West orientation of the Central European mountains that the ebbs and flows of ice ages of the last 2000 years have repeatedly wiped out and then replenished the Austrian and German forests. The legendary Walder we drive through today are the result of […]

Konstanz

In 1415, the Roman Catholic faith had sunk into complete moral and political collapse. With no answers for more than a century of famine, plague, pestilence, and nonstop warfare, the church authorities instead exhausted themselves fighting over the meagre spoils of a civilization gone rotten. Three different Popes […]

Vaduz

  Liechtenstein, the world leader in false teeth, gaudy postage stamps, and a whole lot of black money. We’re assuming it’s pure coincidence that they speak so odd and unintelligible an Alemanic dialect of German here, but it hardly fits with one’s image of the second-richest country in […]

St. Anton am Arlberg

In 1931, the future Nazi director Leni Riefenstahl found film work as a seriously terrible actress in a seriously goofy comedy, Der Weisse Rausch (The White Thrill). The movie featured Hannes Schneider, a ski instructor in St. Anton am Arlberg, as a daredevil racing and jumping down one […]

Braunau am Inn

In the 19th century, the tiny village of Braunau am Inn on the Austrian-German border gave the world the classic Christmas carol Stille Nacht (Silent Night), written by Franz Xaver Gruber for the guitar and sung by mournful German troops in the World War I trenches.   In […]

Remagen am Rhein

In 2000 years, the only invaders to cross the middle Rhein River were Caesar’s Romans and Napoleon’s French. Then on the afternoon of 7 March,1945, Sgt. Alex Drabik, a Polish-American from Toledo, Ohio, led his squad in a lunatic sprint across the creaking Ludendorff Bridge under withering German […]

Doel

The first thing you notice in this village on the Scheldt Estuary east of the port city of Antwerpen is the shops, restaurant, and hotel–there aren’t any. Anything that resembles a civic structure is boarded-up and ready for demolition. Then you notice that the only other human beings […]