After Hurricane Dorian – Paradise Cove Beach Resort in the Bahamas is Back in Business

Paradise Cove Beach Resort on Grand Bahama Island is one of my favorite places. Located on the western part of the island, it is a small, privately owned business with a beautiful beach and a stunning reef just a few hundred meters into the ocean. Just like the rest of the Bahamas, it got hit by Hurricane Dorian in September. But owner Barry Smith and his crew worked hard, and are now ready to welcome visitors again.

Turtles, stingrays, corals, fishes of all colors and sizes, even a reef shark or the barracudas with their cold watchful eyes – you can all see them up close and personal when you rent snorkel gear at Barry’s and swim the short distance to Deadman’s Reef. It is one of the most beautiful and stunning sights I have seen. Indeed, paradise.

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Covering the Space Shuttle Program

STS-122 Atlantis on the launch pad at night, December 2007

The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission and the first moon landing on this day in 1969 brings back memories of one of my favorite topics as a reporter in the US: NASA’s Space Shuttle program. I was fortunate enough to visit the astronaut training site in Houston, Texas, as well as the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, meet many astronauts, and watch the final mission take off.

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Alsace – A Case in Point Why We Need a United Europe

What I really enjoy about the European Union is being able to travel without passport from one country to another. I still remember what is was like when you had to show your ID and pass a border simply for traveling through a then-devided Germany. We must never go back.

What is more, thanks to the Euro, you don’t even need a different currency when you travel from Germany to France, for example. I just recently enjoyed the beautiful landscape, cool castles, and picturesque villages of Alsace.

Eguisheim with its beautiful houses.
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Trust a Stranger (or Three)

Schmelztalstrasse

With all the news about violence and hatred and crime, it is good to remember that – at least in our part of the world – violent behavior is the exception, not the norm. And that, contrary to what we are often told, people are usually not planning to harm us. On the contrary. They are willing to help, or just need help themselves. I’ve made this experience twice in the last couple of weeks.

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Siebengebirge – Seven Beautiful Hills

View of the Drachenfels with the castle from Bad Honnef

We have a saying in Germany: Why travel far? If you look closely, you can find the best close to home.

While I like exploring foreign countries and places, I also enjoy hiking in my current “backyard”. The hiking trails of the Siebengebirge start literally just up my street.

The Siebengebirge, or Seven Hills, is a mountain range next to the Rhine River, and of volcanic origin. The highest is the Ölberg (461 m, 1509 ft), so I guess I would not really speak of “mountains”. But they nevertheless make for a nice hike, especially if you start at the bottom and do not drive half way up.

I love the lush greens and quite solitude of the trails and the forest. There are so many different hiking trails, that even on an Easter weekend, you don’t run into too many people.

Yesterday, I finally got to hike up to the Ölberg – and the view was spectacular.

View from the Ölberg looking towards the Rhine with Petersberg and Drachenfels

There is a cute little restaurant on top of the Ölberg. It is very popular, so for a Sunday brunch, you would have to make a reservation. In the afternoon, though, I had no problem finding a table.

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