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The Messel Pit: Our Cradle – #JoinGermanTradition

Messel Pit Entrance strictly forbidden Mortal danger That’s what it says, the sign on the metal gates in front of me, the gate leading to the Messel Pit. The sign is bright yellow – yellow for danger. Locked steel gates with a jagged edge on top; there’s no escaping the message. Luckily for me, I’m here […]

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Lorsch Abbey – #JoinGermanTradition

Willkommen! Schön daß du wieder da bist! Back in Germany, I’ve now travelled from 21st century Frankfurt, to 12th century Maulbronn, then 11th century Speyer, and now 8th century Lorsch. The last stretch, though 300 years through history, takes a mere 45 minutes on the Autobahn. World Heritage sites are prolific and close in south-western Germany. In the car park, […]

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Mary King’s Close: Edinburgh through the ages

It’s that time of year again: October, my favourite month. Warm, golden colours, leaves crunching underfoot, chestnuts kicked about, autumn winds, cool, refreshing temperatures, movement, flow. There’s mystery in the air. Anything might happen. I was born in October, on Halloween, no less. On my 30th birthday, two thousand million years ago, I dragged friends […]

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Silent Sunday: Twin waterfalls Låtefoss, Norway

Twin waterfalls Låtefoss, Oddadalen Valley in Western Norway

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A Town called Speyer – #JoinGermanTradition

From Maulbronn, I’ve now travelled 60 kilometres in distance, and another century back in time. I’m in the little town of Speyer on the River Rhine. My excellent guide for the morning, Friederike Walter, asks if I have a fear of heights. We’re about to head up a whole lot of stairs to the top of the […]

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Silent Sunday: Elevador da Glória, a Lisbon funicular

Elevador da Glória, linking the areas Baixa and Bairro Alto in Lisbon, Portugal. This Lisbon funicular has been in operation since 1885.

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Maulbronn Monastery Complex

It’s difficult to appreciate just how powerful monasteries were in the Middle Ages. Here at Maulbronn, for example, the abbey owned land all the way up to Speyer – today, a one-hour drive away (or two, if your SatNav isn’t cooperating; speaking from experience here). But… a monastery, nevertheless. Plenty of those about. What makes […]

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