Pastrami Sandwich at Katz’s – Our New York Trip

We went on an extended weekend-trip (4 full days) to New York in September 2014. We had both been there several times before and absolutely love the city. When I was still living in Munich and thinking about moving abroad again in late 2005, New York and Hong Kong were on the top of my list, with London only ranking third. However, I’m glad that U.S. visa requirements and Hong Kong’s relatively low pay packages for non-expats led to my move to London in January 2006, because otherwise I would not have met my wife who is now blogging here with me as Berkeley Square Barbarian.      She had bought the tickets and booked the hotel to celebrate my birthday. It was our first trip together to this city, and each of us showed the other one around places we had been to on our own in previous years.     […]

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Cornwall – The Most ‘Old English’ Holiday Destination

We’ve been to Cornwall a few times, for the first time in the summer of 2008, just a few weeks after we met. It is probably the most Old English of all UK holiday destinations. We both only moved to the UK ten years ago and only became citizens recently, one of the things we love most in our new home country is that it welcomes foreigners and people from all kinds of different backgrounds, so it is with no ill-conceived nostalgia (or worse) that we call this stretch of land the Most ‘Old English’ holiday destination: 96% White British. We got the impression that Cornwall is also extremely popular among our fellow countrymen and women as a holiday destination. Most of the tourists we met on our travels were English, many from London.      Once we flew into Newquay, which, in hindsight, was not exactly environmentally friendly, but every […]

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Exploring Ruin Pubs in Budapest

In October 2013 we travelled to Budapest to meet up with an old friend of mine from uni and his girlfriend. We enjoyed the whole city, visited all the main sights, took a boat tour, went for a splash at the Gellert Spa of James Bond fame, but probably the most fun we had was when we checked out the many so-called ruin pubs.      Ruin Pubs (‘rom kocsma’ in Hungarian, literally: pub in a ruin) are located in formerly abandoned, derelict buildings in the city (of which there are still plenty as a result of lack of maintenance during the communist era) and are extremely popular hang-outs both for locals and tourists. The first ones sprung up in the early nineties and new pubs join the scene every year. Usually they combine street art with a quirky 1970ies retro-touch, cheap cocktails and live bands and art happenings.      Szimpla […]

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Putin Naked, or: St Petersburg

In September 2013 we met up with an Australian couple, we’re friends with, in St. Petersburg, Russia. It was the first time for all four of us to visit Russia, and we were all excited. We had all been to some exotic places, but somehow, going to Russia felt more exotic and adventurous than any of our trips had felt for a while. The couple we met up with was actually newly-wed and they were on their honeymoon. They had invited us to join. We had initially not shown much interest, because it seemed strange to join another couple on such an occasion, but our friends insisted and we are glad we joined, because it was an unforgettable trip all four of us enjoyed greatly. Our friends had already known each other for many years and had been on their honeymoon trip for several weeks with several more to follow, […]

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Our #1 Destination in the UK: Scotland

In July 2013 we took the best decision so far when it comes to holidaying in the UK, we went to the Scottish Highlands, our #1 destination in the UK. We took a flight to Glasgow, where a rental car was waiting for us. From there, we drove up to Fort William, next to Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain at 1,345m. We stayed at the local Travelodge, which was cheap and clean, but without air condition, which wasn’t ideal during one of the hottest summers this patch of land had seen with temperatures regularly peaking at around 30 or 31 degrees.      Everyone in London among our friends, who had been to Scotland in summer before, had warned us about the mosquitos, so we came prepared with tons of insect repellent (Avon skin care spray works great in our experience, even though it was never intended to repel any […]

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