Bavaria’s Regensburg a cultural and culinary feast

Everything I’d read and seen about Germany had been all about lederhosen and dirndls, pretzels and bratwurst, polka dancing and beer. I had a very distinct image in my mind before I was invited by my then-boyfriend to visit him at his university in the Bavarian town of Regensburg, near Munich.

Suffice it to say what I’d envisioned was spot-on…but that was just a mere scintilla of the culture of Bavaria which is unlike any other culture (including the rest of Germany).

I flew into Munich’s Franz Josef Strauss Airport and was met by my boyfriend. We drove the approximate hour to Regensburg, along the autobahn (yes, it’s scary to a newbie, but only until you realize how conscientious drivers actually are compared to U.S. freeways, where cell phones, Big Macs and mascara wands can be found in frightening amounts in one hand of many drivers).

The first thing newcomers to Germany, especially Americans, will notice is the almost eerie lack of trash alongside the autobahn as well as the lack of billboards and telephone lines. Strict laws limit outdoor advertising, leaving most of it to the sides of semi trucks and buildings. All there is are unadulterated views of rolling hills of hops being harvested, town after town after town of white buildings with red tile rooftops and a church with a rather unusual, turban-looking steeple and fields of rolled hay.

Coming into Regensburg, I was in awe of how quiet such a large city could be. It was May, and the University was just ending its spring session. Students were everywhere, sitting at sidewalk cafes, outdoor bars, sunning by the river or gathering in groups in the streets. The great steeple of the cathedral of St. Peter rose sharply above the entire city, marking the central point and serving as a reminder of the historic heritage of Regensburg.

High-tech and historic
Regensburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has a population of about 135,500 and is about 31 square miles, according to Wikipedia. The cathedral, which is the cultural hub of the city, was founded in 1275 and finished in 1634. The second-most important cultural attraction for the city is the Stone Bridge, which was built between 1135 and 1146 and still stands and is used today. Even the local pharmacy is ancient! The Adler-Apotheke, near the cathedral, was founded in 1610, and retains its ancient interior and vessels.

The juxtaposition of ancient and modern does not clash in Regensburg, but rather the many eras represented meld together like a carefully designed patchwork quilt. The botanical garden, public library and newer St. Emmeram’s Abbey (the Schloss Thurn und Taxis, owned by the internationally known family), and the colleges and universities of Regensburg blend together and add to the charm and beauty of the city.

Regensburg is also one of the main production sites of BMW, which makes 3-series, 1-series and Z4 vehicles at this location. Other major companies setting up shop in Regensburg are Siemens, Toshiba and Amazon.

The city’s Hauptbahnhof, or central train station, is directly connected to some of Bavaria’s largest cities, including Munich, Passau, Ingolstadt and Nuremberg; and it is easily accessible to Cologne, Vienna and Frankfurt via motorway.

Fairs, fests and freebies
Regensburg is a delight any time of the year. Christmas-time brings the world-famous Regensburg Christkindlmarkt (most Bavarian towns with a population of at least 1,000 have one), a Christmas shopping, drinking, eating and socializing extravaganza (complete with multitudes of tents selling everything from ornaments to mittens to glazed almonds and smoked mackerel); the autumn season means livestock shows, university concerts and productions, and sports; and May is…Mai-Dult (

Mai-Dult, a huge two-week carnival with rides, food, concerts, shopping and competitions, is a huge tourist draw for Regensburg and one I was lucky enough to be in town for.

In the States, you’ve got your midway with rides like the Crazy Mouse and the pendulum. You’ve got your hot dogs, popcorn and funnel cakes. All fun, to be sure. But Regensburg’s Mai-Dult is a party like it’s 1999, every single year. Locals and Bavarians dress in their finest Lederhosen (for men) and Dirndl (for women) for this, and families bring picnic baskets to enjoy a long al fresco meal as the kids ride the rides, try their hand at a bean-bag toss, or ride a real pony. Like Oktoberfest with training wheels, there is lots of beer and cheer, lots of dancing on tabletops and some hedonism, but most of that tends to be after about 10 p.m., way past kiddie hour.

If you come to Regensburg in the spring and are lucky enough to be in town for Mai-Dult, there are some must-dos: DO have a beer, even if you don’t like beer. You might convert. DO have a smoked mackerel. It comes whole (eyes, tails and all) on a stick, but it’s the most succulent, smoky piece of fish you’ll ever have. DO have an oversized bretzen (pretzel) and wear it on your arm like everyone else does. DO get to the beer tents very early and have someone (perhaps the one who draws the short straw) save a table for you as you walk around.

Again…you have carnivals and amusement parks, and then you have Mai-Dult. It’s that good.

Beds, breakfasts and Bars
Being a college town, there is absolutely no shortage of bars in Regensburg. Everything from Irish pubs to Mexican cantinas can be found in Regensburg, and a great place to check out what’s going on is It’s in German, but you can translate it through Google and get club hours and specials quite easily.

If you’re staying overnight in Regensburg and are on a student’s budget, a great place to stay is Mercure Hotel Regensburg, with 159 rooms at about $75. There’s free WiFi, a restaurant, bar and sauna, and it’s just 2.5 miles from the central station.

Do yourself a favor. Don’t eat the free continental breakfast unless you REALLY are on a tight budget (or rather, take some for later as a snack – I personally stacked up with protein bars I picked up here). Nearby, there are many cafes that serve up a great cappuccino and pastry, and you’ll get to people-watch and feel like a local. One great breakfast choice is Anna Cafe, at Gesandtenstrasse 5. Starbucks has nothing on this large, spacious and personable spot with a light decor, flowers on each table, pastries, pastries and more pastries, and unpretentious, easy-to-order coffees.

Come and have a piece of kirschtorte and a cappuccino, read (or at least look at the pictures) the Mittelbayerische Zeitung and plan your day. Or not.

After breakfast, which was typically at Anna Cafe, my boyfriend and I would head over to the middle of town for some serious shopping (for me). There are shops that run the gamut from antique knick-knacks to hard-core goth art, and everything in between. Scattered throughout the town are also kiosks selling (depending on the season) fresh white asparagus, strawberries, eggs or other seasonal produce/products.

The University, or Uni as they call it, is worth a visit, especially when there is a musical event or other organized activity. The grounds are impeccable as well, with modern gardens, sculpture and walkways. If you REALLY want to get a feel for the current style, attitude, politics and general likes and dislikes of the German Gen. Y, hanging out at a university is way more constructive than reading a teen magazine.
Lunchtime, except for business people and visitors, is more typically eaten at home in Germany. Hence, you may find lunchtime is your favorite time to get great seats and more individualized attention. One great place for lunch in Regensburg is the Historische Wurstkuch’l, or the Historic Wurst Kitchen, a teeny-tiny shack right on the Danube that sells all kinds of weiners, pretzels and accompaniments. It’s the oldest weiner stand in the world, so it’s definitely a draw. Every so often, the Danube overflows and the little shack hunkers up and closes down until the river recedes, but for the most part it’s open all the time.

A nice afternoon jaunt is a drive over to Bad Gogging, a spa town about 40 minutes away. Here you’ll find no less than five pools of different temperatures, all meant to help all kinds of ailments, from diabetes to chronic fatigue syndrome. Not only that, there are saunas, steam rooms, eucalyptus steam baths, stone massages, exercise classes such as underwater spinning and much more. A two-hour pass can be had for about 7 Euros.

After an afternoon of pampering, drive on over to nearby Abensberg, where you can have dinner and stay at the Jungbräu Hotel, a gorgeous hotel in the heart of town, with a distinctly homey feel and great restaurant serving up traditional Bavarian fare such as Schweinebraten, Forellen, Schnitzel and more. Spend the next morning wandering the quaint cobbled streets of Abensberg and its beautiful homes, then head on back to Regensburg or even Munich.

Although Regensburg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it gets much less press than other Bavarian cities, which is an advantage to the traveler who wants space and wants to feel like a local. It is a definite must if visiting Bavaria.

Apart from being a world traveler, adventure seeker, and blogger, Joanna Weis is a freelance marketing advisor currently closely collaborating with an Australia-based cruise company – CruiseAbout.

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Losing weight with body wraps

Everyone comes to a point in their life in which they want to lose a good amount of weight rather quickly. Whether it be for a wedding, to get in shape for summer or just to make themselves feel better, every person wants to know how to lose weight fast. There are many different methods to shed unwanted pounds from your body. This article explains a few ways you can lose weight quickly.

One of the most common and obvious ways to lose weight is to hit the gym and start exercising. There’s nothing more satisfying than doing hard work and seeing results for it. Start working out a few times a week and follow a strict routine that consists of intense cardio exercises. These are designed to work away fat fast, are usually pretty easy to do and don’t require expensive equipment.

There are many other alternatives for losing weight that don’t involve exercise, too. A proper diet is a great way to get rid of excess weight. Most people are surprised when they find out that making just a few small changes to the way they eat can have dramatic effects on your weight. Cutting out foods and beverages that are high in sugar and calories is a good way to start. Try adding good portions of fruits and vegetables to your daily intake. These work as natural fat burners and are great for getting vitamins and nutrients that your body needs to function properly. From there you can try going by one of the popular diets such as Atkins or even the HCG diet.

Another popular way to lose weight fast is through the use of diet pills. There are literally hundreds of pill related diets that pop up every single year and are heavily advertised both on and offline. Do these magic pills work? Some people claim that they work wonders for losing weight while others argue that they are completely useless. So, it would be safe to assume that you would have to try one out for yourself to find the true answer to this question. Some of the most popular brands of weight loss pills include Apidexin, Phenphedrine and DecaSlim. Each have their own unique way of burning fat and some even have drugs that suppress your appetite so that you become full by eating less. This allows you to easily lose weight quickly.

Probably one of the most effective and easy ways to lose weight fast is by using body wraps to lose weight. Body wraps give you the ability to drop weight, slim down your waist line and look sexy. These products work incredibly fast providing almost instant results even after just one use. Most wraps are made from elastic-like materials and are soaked in natural ingredients that promote healthy, quick weight loss. They actually retain heat which makes your body perspire and literally melt pounds away just by wearing the wrap in the areas that you want to lose weight in.

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Hit those abs with some exercise ball workouts

If you have been attempting to build toned and sexy abs but have been struggling to do so you may need to add a few new exercises to your routine to get the abs you want. A lot of people have trouble getting strong abs simply because they don’t vary their workouts enough. Sticking to simple crunches and using ab lounges won’t give you the results you want by themselves. One thing you can do is throw a few exercise ball ab workouts in the mix to really work your core.

Exercise ball ab workouts are made up of pretty much the same things you would normally do to work on your abs including crunches and back extensions. The difference is that exercise balls are more challenging and provide a much more intense workout than performing these exercises normally. With an exercise ball you not only have to focus on completing the exercise but you also have to keep balanced on the ball which makes for a much more complex and effective workout.

There are many different exercises that you can do while using exercise ball ab workouts. These include crunches, back extensions, butt lifts, hip extensions and ab rolls. One of the best things about doing these exercises on an exercise ball is that you work many more muscles than you normally would. Some of the muscles you will work during these routines include the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, internal obliques, external obliques and the erector spinae. So you are getting a more efficient workout when you use an exercise ball.

If you have never used exercise ball ab workouts before you may want to position yourself somewhere that has a wall that easily accessible or just something sturdy that you can prop the ball against. Exercises on the ball may look easy but if you have never done them before, getting used to balancing yourself while performing them may prove to be more difficult than it seems. Not everyone is great at balancing themselves and for many people it takes a while before they can pull off these exercises easily.

Before you proceed to get on the ball and begin working out you should take the time to stretch and possibly do a short cardio workout of 5 to 10 minutes. This is just to warm up and prepare yourself for an intense ab workout. Exercise ball ab workouts can be very demanding and you will need to be prepared to balance and control your form.

You will want to vary the entire workout and incorporate crunches, back extensions, ab rolls and several other exercises to ensure you get the most effective workout you can. For each exercise you will want to do between 1 and 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions. When you are first starting out make sure that you focus on getting the form right and balancing yourself. It is important to do this because if you twist or turn suddenly on the ball you can injure yourself.

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Advantages Of Residing In Assisted Living Facilities

The assisted living facilities are mainly meant for individuals who are older (mostly 60 years of age). These kinds of living communities will help to reduce the gap between the senior citizens who are living independently and the experienced nursing homes. The assisted living facilities are providing many helpful services which may include housekeeping, grooming, laundry, assistance with drugs etc.

These facilities are having very large structures and can accommodate about 400 residents or a small number of 25 senior citizens. One of the best ways to find out a better assisted living community is to search via internet. You can compare various facilities which each of the communities are offering and choose the one which is satisfying your personal needs.

The person who is designated as Activities Director will be arranging the daily alternatives for the residents such as outings, dances, educational classes, crafts, seminars etc. All these activities are designed so as to encourage the physical as well as mental stimulations of the senior citizens.

The assisted living facilities will be having a care plan for each person during admission. Sometimes personalized services will be required for the residents and the communities will be offering it too. The care plans will be updating in a frequent manner in order to ensure that the resident is receiving enough care depending on their physical and mental conditions.

There will be a Health Care Director who will be satisfying the various health needs of the senior citizens who are residing in these communities. They will be providing sufficient care for all the health related problems with proper medications, socialization, diet and personal hygiene.

Various factors should be considered before sending your loved ones to an assisted living community. When compared to various other options available for residing, these communities are having very expensive living facilities. This is because, in most of the nursing homes, people will be living in a small private space; while in assisted living facilities, the residents are provided with special apartment type of settings. The assisted living communities are not a substitute for the nursing homes. There are many benefits for these communities. The assisted living communities will help to manage the finances of the older individuals, assist in medications etc.

If you’re lucky enough to live in Alabama, you can find some great nursing homes in the local area that will provide assisted living for your loved one.

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Making the travel easy and comfortable

One of my all time experience and wonderful memories is with this car rental that has established in the car hire business and now has become world famous car rentals that provide 24 hours and seven days a week service which is quiet amazing and doing excellent job. One of my experience is when I visited Manchester on my business trip, I could easily judge the difference between this car hire and other car rentals as I have tried most of the car rentals, but now from all the car hire this car hire is giving maximum satisfaction to the customer in very cheap price with great comfort level.

As I was travelling with it for the first time I was keen to know about the company whether it is licensed or not and the drivers are qualified out not, but to my surprise I found the driver so experienced with certificate in driving that made me feel so mesmerizing and were so smoothly driving and had good knowledge of English and was a good guide that made me surprised and saved my money.

I assure you from all the car hires I have experienced I found this Billiger Mietwagen car rental as one of the brilliant car hires and that’s the reason there is lot of appreciation and rush of the public.

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I work in the movies industry; I basically make art movies and was invited to the Russian Art Cinema Association in the city of St Petersburg. This is my first trip so I was bit nervous about handling their culture, language and life style. I finished all the formalities of immigration and went ahead and booked my tickets and hotel room. I arrived at St Petersburg airport, this was not in my mind about Russia before I saw there is a huge economic transformation it looks like some sort of shopping festival.

The driver drove me straight to the hotel. Next day I was in the RACA hall where the presentations for best art movies are given out. I was to give away award for the best foreign art movie. I was thrilled giving away the award and spoke about the ill treatment melted to art movie makers and absolutely no financial aid from the government or private sector. A lot of people agreed with me after the function was over we had a dinner party I got a chance to meet art directors from all over the globe, exchanging ideas and discussion. I had a memorable trip and thanks to Rent a car in Moscow for making my trip comfortable.

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Fully satisfied with EuropCar hire services

We spent Ten days in Bari, & we chose to hire an automobile. Bari Airport make use of the old Terminal one, really shabby comparing towards the new terminal T2 (they’re connected and you will walk towards the new terminal). Vehicle rental counters can be found within the arrivals room. The very first positive thing is you will not wait. Yes you don’t have to wait.

There is NOBODY, and that I mean nobody was waiting at the counters so we’ve got whole attention. The price from EuropCar was just as promised also it added full insurance, just like we booked. Guy in the desk was built with a decent command in English. The people who are working there are soft and gentle. The 2nd positive thing could be that the vehicles are within the parking garage some two minutes of walking. So there is no need of walking for a long way. The 3rd positive thing about the EuropCar was the services provided by them. They checked the vehicle before us & marked all of the scratches on the diagram that each side signed. They are very good in Autonoleggio Offerte.

We have brought a transportable GPS Navigation around which is advisable to possess one during Prague. There have been very little traffic jams, once we were advised due to summer holidays. We have planned handful of trips away coupled with simply no trouble with the vehicle, aside from parking within the city. Also parking at the centre may also be virtually impossible whether you do not are conscious of some hidden parking, yet there is simply no trouble with parking from Prague (we’d prepaid parking within the hotel). Drop-off seemed to be easy. You simply park the vehicle within the garage, they again check it.

The vehicle was fine there were not any surprises away using their pricing either. Till it had been fourteen days following the end in our trip and that we noticed on our statement that the Europcar Athens just billed us at least 165 Euros – presumably for the damage about the car.

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Maintaining a Workout Routine

If you’re going on a vacation or business trip and want to make sure you’ll be able to exercise, these tips will help you plan ahead so you can work out right in your hotel. All it takes is a little creativity to keep up with your routine outside a gym, but if you prefer to do the things the traditional way, you’ll also find info about accessing exercise equipment and local fitness resources when you’re a visitor in a new place.
Find out how to keep up with your exercise routine while away from home

Choosing Healthy Foods

Going abroad and not sure how you’ll manage to keep up with your healthy diet plan? Knowing where to turn for information, and what precautions to take in choosing the foods you eat, can help you eat right most anywhere in the world.
Get information on keeping up a healthy diet during international travel

On-the-Go Snacks

You know all about the airport options: a fast food burger, salty packaged snacks, rubbery-looking lunch meat. Packing your own healthy snacks is a better way to get the energy you need while traveling. There are plenty of ways to avoid airport junk food!
Find ideas for healthy snacks that will stay fresh in the airport

Navigating Restaurants Abroad
If you have dietary restrictions, such as food allergies or sensitivity to certain foods, it’s important to be able to communicate your needs to restaurant staff. Planning ahead and knowing some key phrases can help you dine out in a safe and healthy way, no matter where you travel.

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Choose your gym or check your hotel fitness facilities in advance

Many people work out right in their hotel rooms with a body weight exercise program or even portable equipment. Many refuse to go without a fully equipped gym. Unfortunately, on-site Hotel gyms are notorious for sounding great in the advertisements and then when you arrive, you find that the “gym” is a room about the size of a walk in closet, with a few pieces of (mostly broken) archaic equipment from the 1970’s. There are a few exceptions, but having learned my lesson a couple times, I now use the Internet to locate a gym prior to my trip. Call in advance and ask if there are daily or weekly rates.

You can also ask if your hotel has an affiliation with a local health club. During my last trip, the hotel was affiliated with a Bally Total Fitness Center that was just a 10 minute drive away and use of the Bally’s was included with the price of my room. It turned out to be an excellent club, so I was a happy camper.

If you are already a member of a gym in your local area, check to see if your gym has an affiliation with other clubs around the country or if they belong to an organization such as IHRSA (international Health, Racque & Sportsclub Association). Some clubs are part of a network which allows you to train at other clubs when youre traveling – all you have to do is show your membership card and you will get access to train at other clubs that are part of the network. IHRSA has more than 6,500 clubs in 67 countries in its network.

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Mix Up Your Workout While Traveling

Whether you’re on vacation or away on business, exercise can take on a new form while you’re on the road. So if your normal routine isn’t possible, be flexible and devise a new one.

When you’re on vacation, after some resting and relaxing, it will probably feel good to start exercising again. Or if you travel frequently on business, you may want to work out but are tired of the same old hotel fitness centers with their basic treadmills and weights. So why not give your normal workout routine a vacation too? Read on for some ideas on how to work up a sweat in ways you might not have considered before.

On-the-Road Exercise Variety: Think Out of the Box
There are plenty of ways to get in a good workout while you’re traveling or on vacation — and you don’t need to use a single step from your regular workout routine. Consider some of these ideas for a start:

  • Take a walk. Explore your new surroundings on foot — doing a little sightseeing at a brisk, work-up-a-sweat pace will make the time fly by.
  • Engage in some water fun. If you’re near the ocean, go swimming, surfing, snorkeling, or recruit some players for a lively game of beach volleyball or water polo.
  • Think pedal power. Rent a bike and cycle the city — it’s a great way to explore all the while you’re burning calories!
  • Play a game. Why not have a little fun? You’re on a trip, after all. Check out a local course and hit a round or two of golf, or play a few friendly games of tennis on a local court.
  • Go shopping. Walking briskly through a mall or hitting the streets while carrying packages can actually be good exercise.
  • Take a hike. On vacation in the mountains or visiting a location with good hiking trails nearby? Head out for a healthy hike.

Gear Up For a Run
Going jogging while you’re away from home is a great way to make this type of exercise more fun. Local parks, trails, and waterfronts can provide great new scenery for you to enjoy. Your hotel may have recommendations for good places to run and many are also able to provide maps of local trails. Some people actually plan vacations around jogging and hiking routes. If you’re an avid runner and look forward to the opportunity to take a run through new sights and sounds, do your research before you go.

“You don’t have to go to a gym; just bring your running shoes and [explore what's] outside,” says David Lytle, editorial director of, a travel site. “Most large public parks have running courses. Research ahead of time where those parks might be if you’d like to use them,” he recommends.

Work Out in Your Room
If time or circumstances interfere with other options, you can also get a great work out right in your own hotel room with portable equipment such as resistance bands and jump ropes. Some hotels even provide these items to their guests. Find out more about how you can maximize your workout routine right in your hotel room in “Keeping Up With Exercise While on Vacation.”

But If You Miss That Gym…
If you are going to be in town for a while and want to find a real gym for your workouts, you can probably find one that offers a temporary membership or one-day passes.Ask your hotel if they provide passes to a local gym or fitness center. With the growing number of travelers interested in fitness while they are on the road, this is becoming easier to find.
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“If your hotel itself doesn’t have a gym, often they will have some sort of relationship with a nearby gym,” says Lytle. So before you book your reservation, be sure to ask the hotel what sort of exercise options it can offer you. Another good idea when you’re looking for a hotel for business or vacation travel and you want to continue your workout routine at a gym, is to do a search online and then narrow your choices to hotels that are closest to a gym or fitness center.

With a little planning, you should certainly be able to find a gym to call home while you’re traveling. And if you’re up for something new, traveling can be a great excuse to vary your workout routine and try something you might never have a chance to do at home.

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