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8 Instagrams from Arctic Sweden

A visit in Arctic Sweden will likely begin in Luleå, one the biggest cities in the region. Luleå isn’t uninteresting in itself, with more than 100 cafes and restaurants, a pretty cityscape and some unusual street art. But I’m here to have a closer look at the Laponia region (the Latin name for the Sami [...]

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Mysterious Newgrange

You’ve heard about Stonehenge, of course, but are you familiar with Newgrange? Just across the water, in Ireland, Newgrange is a temple even older than the mysterious stones at Salisbury Plain. 97 standing stones surround the megalithic tomb. You’ll be with a guide; can’t wander about on your own in here; small groups are let [...]

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Old Rauma and Sammallahdenmäki, UNESCO in Finland

As I write this, I’m sat in my favourite cafe in Rauma, for the third time in two days. I’m in Finland to have a look at two of the country’s world heritage sites. As you know, I’m on a quest to see many of them, perhaps even all, and I’m really enjoying this self-imposed [...]

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Warsaw scenes

Are you curious about Europe’s not-quite-so-famous capitals? If so, may I suggest Warsaw? Poland’s capital is an excellent city to wander and explore, especially in spring and summer. Here are a few Warsaw scenes. Warsaw suffered heavily during World War II, with almost the entire city demolished and the population mostly decimated, either because they [...]

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Lavaux, Swiss wine country

When you think of wine, Switzerland is perhaps not the first country that pops into your mind, is it? Yet, wine bottles from as early as the 2nd century BC has been found here, so historians know wine has been produced in this land-locked mountainous country since Roman times, at least. The country’s largest continuous [...]

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The Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape at Pergamon

UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee is meeting in Doha these days, pondering which properties to add to its list of places that deserve special protection. As I hit ‘publish’, 22 new sites have been inscribed; the list now comprising a grand total of 1 001 sites. And I find myself becoming more and more of a [...]

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Aachen Cathedral and Charlemagne’s BMI

In Aachen Cathedral lies the body of Pater Europae. And who might he be, this Father of Europe, you ask? When I was an exchange student in the USA, someone once mentioned Charlemagne, a famous emperor of Europe. ‘What?’ I thought at the time. A European emperor I had never heard of? Well, turns out [...]

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