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24 August 79: A Day Like Any Other

It’s a scorching hot August day, much like that fateful August day 1 938 years ago, I imagine. And much like the residents in 79 must have done, I’m walking the streets of this once wealthy Roman town, then home to 15 – 20 000 people. They walked and worked and played in vibrant, urban surrounds. I walk among Pompeii’s […]

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World at a Glance: Heidelberg’s Student Prison

From its foundation in 1386 and until World War I, Heidelberg University had jurisdiction over unruly students. Depending on your misdemeanour, you could land a sentence of anything from 24 hours to 4 weeks in the Studentenkarzer (student lock-up). The most common offences? … loud singing in the city lanes, inappropriate behaviour in public as […]

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In Bruges: UNESCO meets black comedy crime

I was first in Bruges just after uni. It was a brief trip, just 3-4 hours, and what I remember best was cleanliness! Not so much as a gum wrapper littered the cobbled streets. Years later, I returned with Ali. Possibly an even shorter visit. So when VisitFlanders invited me to have a closer (and […]

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De Koninck: Antwerp in a Bottle

As you may recall, we really like Antwerp here at Sophie’s World. So we just had to return! Earlier, we’ve talked about the city’s three World Heritage sites (three!). This time, I’ll tell you about an unusual Antwerp brewery. Sounds, well, not that exciting? That’s what I thought, too. In fact, when I learned we […]

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Roadtrip through #LutherCountry. Also, A Tramp Abroad.

I am writing this while waiting for a plane at OSL. Seems that’s all I do lately. This particular one will take me to FRA. (Annoyed with people who speak airport code? At least these two are easy.) At FRA, I’ll pick up a hire car – and follow in the footsteps of Martin Luther. […]

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In Flanders Fields the poppies grow…

“Listen, our guns have stopped.” “Maybe the war is over. Maybe it’s peace.” “Oh hurray! The big knobs have got around the table and yanked the iron out of the fire.” This exchange from the last few minutes of the final episode of Blackadder Goes Forth is what I think about while visiting Flanders Fields […]

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A Tale of Two Villas

30 kilometres from Rome, you’ll find two villas. Two very different villas. In fact, the only thing they have in common is being on UNESCOs list of properties worthy of special protection for the future. The bus from Rome (from the station Ponte Mammolo on Metro line B) takes me to Tivoli in the hills […]

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