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 […]
This weekend I’m out and about exploring Germany. UNESCO Germany has very kindly invited me on a journey through history; one with great time leaps at either end. If you’d like, you can follow along on the #joingermantradition social wall. With jobs and kids and whatnot, I have a window of a mere four days to […]
It’s raining out, a wet, chilly June day, typical in Ireland, I’m told. To escape the weather, I’ve popped in to Kyteler’s Inn in Kilkenny, to the cavernous cellar. Kyteler’s Inn has been a lively, merry place since its first owner bandied about here 700 years ago. Looks like it still is. There’s no mobile connection […]
On Vörösmarty Square in Pest, Gerbeaud has been around since 1858. Some say it’s touristy and over-priced. Me, I adore the atmosphere of another era in this Budapest cafe: high ceilings with plaster rosettes and crystal chandeliers, silk wall papers, solid brass-footed tables, and heavy velvet curtains separating the different rooms. The Royal Habsburgs came here, […]
In the Mesdag Panorama, you step into the painting: a 3D, 360° image of Scheveningen of another era; the people, the beach, and the rough North Sea. You’re in a museum – and you’re on the beach!
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 […]
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 some 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 […]