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Rhine Valley highlights, eats and sleeps

Thinking about visiting the Rhine Valley? There’s a long, winding river, delightful villages, cliffs with mythical maidens and more castles than anywhere else in the world. And that’s just a few Rhine Valley highlights. You can take a hotel boat, aka river cruise ship, up (or down) the river. Or you can rent a car and be […]

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World at a Glance: Roman Frontiers in Germania #JoinGermanTradition

Reconstructed Roman frontier fort and pleasant setting for a forest restaurant Driving along the Rhine Valley a few weeks ago, I kept seeing signs for the Limes Route. What was this? A quick search on my phone told me this route followed the ancient Roman borders in Germania. I had a lot to cover in […]

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One day in Antwerp – a snapshot

One of the most famous novels in Norway is called Gift (meaning Poison. Oddly, it also means ‘married’). It was written in 1883 by Alexander Kielland and is a deeply critical social commentary on the educational system. Cramming and memorising was the order of the day, and not necessarily topics relevant to real life. Students […]

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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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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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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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