Who is Frau Holle and Why is She Called Franz in Austria?

"Chr"istmas market in Hattingen Germany

When Frau Easy Hiker saw this in Soelden, she was intrigued.

Who is Frau Holle and why is she called “Franz” in Austria?

Frau Holle heisst bei uns Franz

Frau Holle, you will be thrilled to know, is a rather complex character in Nordic mythology, associated with peace, fertility and the underworld.

She is also a supporting character in the Grimms’s fairly tale of the Cinderella-like Goldmarie,

Who is Frau Holle and Why is She Called Franz in Austria?

Hiking And Christmas Markets in Germany

"Christmas market in Trier Germany copyright Tourist Information Trier"

Let’s face it, fellow hikers: November is not the best month of the year for hiking

The weather is getting murkier by the day, the trees are shedding their leaves, the clouds barely seem to lift, and, worst of all, the days are getting seriously short. Which is not good news unless you happen to like hiking in the dark (and I still have to meet someone who does).

Hiking And Christmas Markets in Germany

The White House Le Corbusier Built

"Le Corbusier built Villa Savoye in Poissy near Paris"

Day Trip from Paris The White House Le Corbusier Built I am not a great fan of art museums – mainly because I have hardly ever learned anything from looking at a picture on a museum wall that I had not already learned from looking at a good reproduction in a book.

Architecture, however, is a totally different story.

Before my first visit to Barcelona, I was totally unaware that the

The White House Le Corbusier Built

Hi-De-Hi Au Vieux Campeur In Paris

"Le Vieux Campeu"r shop for hiking guide books and gear in Paris

A Visit to Au Vieux Campeur in Paris Let’s get this out of the way now. This is NOT a sponsored post.

I have not received a Euro cent (or a penny) from Au Vieux Campeur in Paris, and not a free book or a free map either.

In fact, the Vieux Campeur is not even aware that he is going to feature in a blog post on this site,

Hi-De-Hi Au Vieux Campeur In Paris

Blocksberg Or Bocksberg

"Easy Hiker with his mom in a cable car up to Brocken in Germany"

Easy hiking in Germany I’m sure you will agree. To visit the mountains without getting to the summit of one is like traveling to the sea without dipping as much as your toe into the water.

So when we recently visited the Harz mountains in northern Germany and had no time to climb the Brocken (aka the Blocksberg), the highest peak of the range, we decided that the Bocksberg, separated

Blocksberg Or Bocksberg

A Peep Show Machine And Video Games

Where to Go in Germany An Old Peep Show Machine In the age before computers and video games, itinerant amusement parks in the 30s to the 50s were the place kids and adults could have some fun.

At the end of our day hike on the Siebengebirge south of Bonn in Germany, we chanced upon these vintage games machine circa 30s and 50s . On offer was a mechanical fortune teller, a peep

A Peep Show Machine And Video Games

Sad Memories and Relics Of Two World Wars

"Marechal Foch's tent at the Musee de l'Armistice in Compienge near Paris"

Day Trip from Paris Memories of Two World Wars

The highlight of our day hike in Compiegne was the visit to the Musee de l’Armistice to view some of the relics of two world wars.

Aside from the monument erected to honour the war dead, we saw relics of two world wars that were on display too.

Marechal Foch’s Tent

Replica of an armoured vehicle used in WWI,

Sad Memories and Relics Of Two World Wars

How Do You Call it: Seilbahn or Cable Car?

"Cable car in Brocken Germany"

Seilbahn or Cable Car?

The English call it a cable car, the Americans say aerial tramway and the Japanese refer to it as the Ropeway. For the Germans, it’s Seilbahn.

The prototype of the Seilbahn or cable car was first built in 1644 basically to move soil to build defenses up in the hills. In the 1860s, it became the most efficient means to transport ore mined from high mountains to

How Do You Call it: Seilbahn or Cable Car?

What Hitler Did in Compiegne

"Compiegne War Memoral statue near Paris"

Day Trip from Paris Here’s What Hitler did in Compiegne One hour away from Paris lies the quiet provincial town of Compiegne where not one but two recent chapters of European history were completed.

If the 30 Year European War from 1914 to 1945 was a drama in five acts, Compiegne was the stage of the final scenes in the first and the fourth act.

What Hitler Did in Compiegne

Archways Built By Nature

"An archway built by nature in a garden in Meaux near Paris France"

Nature has always done it pretty well, with little or no help from man – create archways with trees, that is. Archways Built by Nature

We’ve seen quite a number of these archways built by nature on our hikes, through well-tread trails and even through pristine forests.

But sometimes, man just can’t keep his hands off a good thing. Ask the French gardeners.

Archways Built By Nature