Berlin is Burning at 775

Berlin was on fire last night – literally. The city put on one of the truly oddest celebrations ever to commemorate its 775th year. And by odd, I mean fun-dangerous-bizarre-edgy-Berlin odd.

Street theater group Titanick entertained and confused with their rather uninterpretable performances. One mummy-like figure wrapped a tree in bandages while a Dr. Seuss-esque figure played a silent horn. A mutant alien baby climbed a bamboo scaffolding. A zombie with a scythe communed with a giant sunflower while a monster victrola played opera. OK.

But to me, the night was all about La Compagnie Carabosse. Alternately referred to as “fire alchemists” or “fire poets,” The group draped the center of Berlin with hundreds of pots of flaming, gurgling, boiling Continue…

Interview with

Fellow travel blogger and friend Lash at has a fascinating interview up on her site this week… an interview with us! (Sorry people, modesty is not a virtue in travel blogging.) In the interview, we discuss a range of topics from getting jaded when you travel long-term to psychological damage related to karaoke to my fetish for city walls. Check out the interview on her site, and also take a look around at some of the great content she has as well.

Berlin Festival of Lights

The Berlin Festival of Lights 2012 just ended last night and, as you can see in our pictorial, it was absolutely mind-blowing. The event was crawling with visitors and photographers scouring the city for colorful light art, dancing laser animations, and full-facade video projections that turn Berlin into “the place to be” in Europe in late October. It’s an amazing concept to encourage visitors to explore and interact with Berlin’s unique architectural heritage – and we absolutely loved it!

Our Top YouTube Videos

1. Quest for the Perfect Beach
Our quest to find the perfect beach in Goa, India is now our top viewed movie. Thankfully. Finally, there’s a little love to go with all the hate we get for the next video.

2. First Class Travel on the Rajdhani Express
Our review of the Rajdhani Express is the video Indians love to hate. Because of the reaction to this video, we gave up our idea of doing a video review series of each class within the complicated Indian rail system. We also learned to shut our mouths and just play funky background music. 😉

3. Asiatic Lions of Sasan Gir
This was an especially up-close encounter with the rare Asiatic lions of Sasan Gir National Park in India. These are some of the rarest cats on the planet – and they walked right under our noses.


Germany is Just One Big Blur

Even our current apartment is blurred out

For many tech-savvy travelers, Google Street View is absolutely indispensable. Finding your way around a new city (or even your own for that matter) is much easier if you can step into Street View and look for signs, entrances, parking places… you name it. It’s also a great tool to scope out a neighborhood. In fact, we always use Street View to check out hotel locations before we book them online.

But when it comes to Germany, Street View is rapidly becoming one big blur. Moving around through German neighborhoods in Street View is like walking around with blinders on. Step into a view of Berlin or Munich or Frankfurt and you are likely to find the sexy 360 views blemished with an unending series of blurred-out squares.

Why you ask?

Simply put, Germans Continue…

The Olga Show

So who’s the best street performer in Berlin? That might sound like a tough question considering all the talented musicians, acrobats, magicians and more who pass through the city each year.

In our opinion, the answer is quite obvious: it’s Olga Kholodnaia, a Russian violinist who stops us in our tracks every time we happen upon one of her performances.

Over and over, she pops up in crowded hot spots such as Alexanderplatz or Mauerpark and always draws a crowd with her upbeat take on a variety of artists from Vivaldi to Nirvana. My personal favorite Continue…

Removing Dust Specks and Scratches with Photoshop

When we recently did our flashback to Egypt, I found this old picture of me in front of the stepped pyramid at Saqqara. While we were at Saqqara, the light meter on my camera broke and I had to practice taking pictures using the average exposure settings listed on the back of a roll of Kodak film.

To see whether my exposures were working, I had the pictures developed in Cairo. Clearly, the machine had some serious issues as all the pictures were scraped, scratched, and covered in huge white flecks. Damn. (Piece of TnT trivia: Every photo I took in Africa was taken with a broken light meter – yikes!)

It occurred to me that after years of working with Photoshop, I could resurrect this old photo, which has tremendous sentimental value. But I really didn’t relish the idea of sitting for hours using the clone tool to remove all the damage by hand. Luckily, I found this amazing Continue…

History in the Streets of Berlin

This year, Berlin turns 775!!! To celebrate, Berlin is hosting a range of events including two open air projects City in the Middle Ages and City of Diversity, which culminate on October 28 with an official birthday celebration in the Nikolaiviertel. That means you still have one month to check out what’s going on as well as to enjoy Berlin while she’s still a youthful 774. (Don’t worry Berlin, you don’t look a day over 500.)

As a taste of what’s going on, we wandered through the Nikolaiviertel and photographed Berliners reenacting 700 years Continue…