Mortons in Europe, Part 1

Paul & Sarah in Prague

Back in 2006, my sister Sarah won a scholarship to spend the summer in Europe, studying art. She spent a month in Rome and a month in Norway before my brother and I met up with her in August to travel around together.

We flew into Amsterdam, rode the train to Berlin and then to Prague, took a cable car to the highest point in Germany, strolled the streets of Paris, rode bikes to Monet’s garden in Giverney and drank beer and ate chocolate in Brussels. All in three weeks.

Sarah & Paul on a paddleboat in the German Alps. Best. Day. Ever.

Next week, my brother and I will be landing in Zurich on Christmas Day. Sarah now lives in Freiburg, Germany with her husband Nik and the four of us are scheming plans for Mortons in Europe, Part 2.

Park Lunch with Parisian Birds

At first, we were all pitching wild ideas for Spain, the Canary Islands, Italy and Vienna. But then we realized it’s winter and far flung travel won’t be as easy. Plus, Sarah and Nik have an apartment in Freiburg, so we have a free place to stay. We’ve already done the whirlwind European tour, so this time we’re going to focus on a region within a few hours of Freiburg.

When traveling, especially in Europe, there’s always such a temptation to see as many places as possible. There is something to be said for the whirlwind tour of major cities – it’s something of a logistical right of passage for every young backpacker – but I’m also looking forward to spending two weeks exploring Freiburg, the German countryside, and a few nearby small towns and cities.

Paris Nap

Even staying within a small geographical area, there will be plenty to see: Freiburg is in southern Germany, on the edge of the Black Forest, near the borders with France and Switzerland. On the last trip, we took a ride through the countryside in southern Germany and it was so lovely. I can’t wait to see it in winter!

Check out Sarah’s paintings! She’s amazing. And stay tuned for Mortons in Europe, Part 2!

Me in the German Alps. We are all so young in these photos. Time flies...

About theblondecoyote

Mary Caperton Morton is a freelance science and travel writer with degrees in biology and geology and a master’s in science writing. A regular contributor to EARTH magazine, where her favorite beat is the Travels in Geology column, she has also written for the anthologies Best Women's Travel Writing 2010 and Best Travel Writing 2011. Mary is currently based in western Colorado. When she’s not at the computer she can usually be found outside -- hiking, skiing, climbing mountains and taking photographs. Visit her website at
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7 Responses to Mortons in Europe, Part 1

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  2. Europe is beautiful ) Happy travels!

  3. TBM says:

    Looks like a great trip. I just moved to London and I’m excited to explore the continent! Thanks for sharing the photos.

  4. ehpem says:

    Another approach to travelling I learned with my sister, when she was a student studying art in Europe. We went to see great art galleries in as many cities as we could. We had a train pass and would pull into a city, go to the art museum for a good long slow absorbtion of whatever was on offer, then have a quick look at the sights and move on. It was not random, there were things she wanted to see, mostly in the way of paintings. It worked really well, you get immersed in one thing in many places.

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