Heidelberg is one of Germany's most visited cities. The Christmas markets make Heidelberg's Old Town sparkle with Christmas cheer. Here are 11 photos that show how cute and quaint Heidelberg truly is.
How could such a small town have such big history? It’s not just big historical in textbooks, but this tiny Bavarian town has a large part of my heart’s history.
Both sides of my family come from the Ukraine, which also includes some Polish blood in our genes. Growing up I watched my Great Grandmother, who we called Baba, cook pierogies, kielbasa and sauerkraut, stuffed cabbage and borscht. Visiting her throughout my childhood, I always remembered her grandiose rose garden and her antique cabinet that contained painted Easter eggs, decorative plates and hand-stitched table clothes.
Although my Great Ukrainian Grandmother lived in Cleveland, she lived close to her Eastern European roots. Why does this matter? Because my family, including my grandmother, lived in Berchtesgaden, Germany for seven years before immigrating to the United States in 1951. During the War, my family was taken from their farm in the Ukraine and sent to Budapest, Vienna and later Berchtesgaden to live in displacement work camps.
I learned a lot from my Baba who lived an abundant life filled with family and grand children. Complete opposite of me, a driven for success type of person, I valued her simplicity to find happiness while being surrounding by her loved ones.
I felt those same feelings while walking through the time Berchtesgaden streets. Besides its charm and beauty, the locals lived a simple life filled with strudel, kürbis soup and market vegetables. Everything around had that German-Austrian flare that included class and delicate details. Houses on the hill were decorated with lavish flowerpots and ivy that trickled down the wooden walls.
Even the cemetery was beautiful, but also saddening. Young men who fought for the “Vaterland” during the World Wars lived short lives, some died as young as 20 years of age. But, I guess its no different than today with young men serving overseas. Isn't the world ready for a change? What would happen if we took all the brain power and put it towards collaboration and not war?
This city is also known for Hitler’s retreat, Obersalzburg where his bunker and Eagle’s Nest home lies. Walking through the bunkers was an interesting experience. We walked in the same rooms and hallways of such a dark historical figure. So much history occurred in the same hallways where Hitler and his one thousand SS troops once lived and stood. It was surreal to think that my family once lived, or maybe crossed paths, with the War’s most treacherous beings. But, somehow they survived everything. It's interesting to see such a beautiful place integrate the light and dark aspects of life - nature and war.
Today, Berchtesgaden is a perfect Southern Germany getaway to escape the city life and stress. Surrounded by pristine nature, visitors can explore Königssee and the nearby national park for hiking and walking. It’s the perfect place to reflect about life, spend time in nature and discover the secrets of human history.
Ibiza is an idyllic island for those who love electronic music, hippie markets and healthy eating. Passion’s Café is one of Ibiza’s most popular (healthy eating) cafes. Passion’s is not 100% plant-based, but the bulk of their menu consists of vegetarian, vegan, raw and macrobiotic options. With four locations throughout the island, it’s easy to catch a sunrise meal or a sunset snack.
I stayed in Playa D’en Bossa and visited the PDB’s branch for a pre-party (well technically post-party) breakfast. Thanks to sunless days in Germany my body does not adapt well to hot environments the first 24-hours, which means the only thing I can ingest are fruits and liquids.
The PDB’s location is on the south end of town close to Space and Ushuaia. The street-side café offers outdoor tables, inspirational quote-posters and an extensive menu. I stared at the menu while watching a table of tattooed burly British bears down shots of wheatgrass, espresso and kale-infused smoothies. Although they couldn’t body build in Ibiza, they certainly knew how to cure a hangover.
Unfortunately, Ibiza is an expensive place and one must accept the level of prices. My eyes disbelieved at first the prices. Seven to ten Euros for a smoothie? Welcome to Ibiza! I ignored my 300-dollar income and ordered an eight-Euro peanut butter banana and cocoa smoothie since I have not consumed that combination in years. It made me reminiscence of my college days working at a vegan café and slugging chunky monkey smoothies.
I sat and sipped while wondering #WTF happened to my feet last night. Apparently, flip-flops are not dance-friendly shoes. But the music was worth it and so was the ginormous smoothie. The cold and soothing flavors chilled my insides from a near heat explosion. I ordered a homemade croissant for a beach snack.
Passion’s menu ranges from egg-potato hashes to quinoa pilaf dishes. They source locally grown produce and the tastes, flavors and concoctions are top-notch. It’s worth the price especially when comparing it to other mainstream eateries serving burgers and fries for close to the same price. Bring cash, as it’s a ten-euro minimum to use a Visa or Mastercard, but if ordering an actual meal you’ll surpass ten Euro.
Passion’s is a place to revitalize your inner-world while energizing your outer-world to survive the long and sunny Ibiza parties. It’s a place that pushes health to the edge with modern and creative culinary inventions. To sign off, one inspirational word of wisdom from Passion’s -
“The secret of passion is purpose. What’s your passion?”
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Passion’s Café – Ibiza, Spain
Elizabeth Rae Kovar is a Fitness Trainer, Author of Finding Om, Presenter, Yogi, Vegan & lover of the World. View her portfolio at www.elizabethkovar.comor health-based blog at mindbodysoul-food.com