Category Archives: Europe

Romanian Wine Country: A Weekend Away from Bucharest

Most years, come August, I’m ready to go back to school. I’ve spent time with family and friends, caught up with hometown gossip, hugged my niece a thousand times, and even squeezed in a road trip or two. This August, however, things are different. No trip back home, no face-to-face catch-ups, no hugs. And despite an amazing road trip through northern Greece, the idea of hopping back on Zoom to teach teenagers has my skin crawling.

Continue reading

Traveling During a Pandemic: Our Road Trip through Northern Greece

As we approached the Bulgarian/Greek border crossing checkpoint, I pinched the wire around my nose and tightened the mask’s loops around my ears. The border security guard walked from car to car, collecting passports and motioning for people to park or to join the socially-distanced queue to get tested for COVID-19. 

Luke and I held our breath as we handed him our registration, Romanian IDs and passports, strategically placing my American identification at the bottom of the pile. He gave us both a stern look and had us park next to the station. 

Continue reading

A Weekend in Veliko Târnovo

Homes in Veliko, Bulgaria

Before I moved to Romania, I had never heard of Veliko Târnovo. And to be honest, I probably wouldn’t have  been able to point to Bulgaria on a map.

Even though Eastern Europe is quickly becoming a popular tourist destination, Bulgaria (and Romania) is often skipped over, in favor of Hungary or the Czech Republic. I’m personally pretty happy about this fact, as it means my husband and I get to explore abandoned castles and fortified churches without waiting in lines, and are able to have picturesque medieval cities like Veliko Târnovo pretty much to ourselves.

Since Veliko is only a 3-hour drive from Bucharest, Luke and I just went for the weekend, staying Saturday night and coming back Sunday. It was enough time to soak in some of the town’s history and charm, but I would’ve liked another day or two. We’ll be back.

In the meantime, here’s a look at what we did, where we stayed and, of course, where we ate. Continue reading

Video: 2 Weeks in Croatia

croatia-sail-islandsWinter has arrived in Shanghai, and even while I’m typing this (indoors), I’m wearing a scarf and fuzzy slippers. So naturally, I’m thinking of warmer places and warmer times, like this summer. For six weeks, Luke and I traveled around Croatia, Italy and Slovenia, eating pizza, lots of gelato, and kicking back in the beautiful nature that surrounded us.

We started our adventure in Croatia, deciding to cruise around the islands with Sail Croatia. I was actually hesitant to do something like this, as I hate organized group tours. Also, I had read reviews online about 30 and 40-somethings having to deal with all night parties and waking up to piles of puke outside their cabin doors. Continue reading