Discover the age-old continent through these Europe travel stories, its curious, unsung places as well as its more familiar spots.
You may notice a few countries that may not traditionally be considered European. Europe’s borders are never easy to define. So I’ve decided to go by the old definition I learned in school: In the east, Europe ends at the Ural Mountains. That means the Caucasian countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia – are part of Europe, according to Sophie’s World. This is probably also according to the countries themselves: all three are members of the Council of Europe and cooperate with the European Union with a view to future membership. Also, all three countries participate in the Eurovision Song Contest; can’t argue with that.
Holy See (Vatican)
Latest Europe travel stories
Whatever this potentially ominous sign means, water is everywhere in Augsburg and it has been systematically managed since the 14th century. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to go anywhere in Augsburg and not encounter the city's ingenious water operating system. There are medieval water towers, fountains, millwheels, hydroelectric power stations...
G'day folks! It's 1 September, first Sunday of autumn. Time for a local focus, I thought. If Oslo is on your radar this colourful season, here's a piece I wrote for Thai Airways' inflight magazine a while ago, updated today, just for you. Enjoy! Fresh in Oslo It’s Sunday morning and I’m at Frognerseteren, a cherished Oslo landmark. The [...]
Ah Brighton: the awesome activities, the off-the-wall oddities, the flamboyant flair, the unique boutiques, the eclectic entertainment, the creative cuisine, the superlative sound, in short, the first-class fun. Curious about this city with the vivacious vibes? (Stop with the alliterations already, you say? OK, OK.) Less than an hour by train from London, or a mere half-hour from Gatwick Airport, [...]
Wondering where to eat in hip, cool Brighton? Of course you do. Let's get right on it. (Click the name in the headings for a link to the properties). Murmur: healthy, locally sourced delicacies On Brighton’s lively city beach, just metres away from the British Airways i360 experience, and the fab sculpture Phi, is this little casual, contemporary spot with [...]
Why is it however many millions of pairs of socks I buy I never seem to have any? They just disappear. For me, socks are like sex. Tons of it about, but I never seem to get any. When you hear the words Prince Regent, does your mind, like mine, immediately jump to this quote? No? What, you haven't seen [...]
For a tiny country, Denmark has had surprisingly many new sites added to the World Heritage list in later years. Some of them are a bit uninspiring, but here is one that IS interesting. https://www.instagram.com/p/tNk7LmvSKp/?taken-by=sophieofnorway As is the case for many UNESCO sites, this one requires knowing the backstory. Although a lovely landscape to stroll on a lazy Sunday, Stevns [...]
Saint Thomas of Canterbury Today, we’re going to talk about Thomas Becket. And I don't mean that dude on Sniper, but the original one, Saint Thomas of Canterbury. Our Thomas Becket came long before the US Marines – and was, frankly, more of a badass. That cost him his life. Right here in Canterbury Cathedral, where he was head honcho [...]
Few things enchant me more than libraries. I've often thought I'd like to sleep over in one, especially in a delightfully dusty, old library. Sneak in around closing time, say, then hide until everyone is gone and stay overnight. Sleeping bag, head lamp and a water bottle, perhaps some biscuits, that would be enough. Only me and possibly a ghost or [...]
Present-day Sweden has about 10 mill inhabitants, just over 1% of Europe's population. But back in the 17th and 18th centuries, this little country was an empire, ruling a rather large part of Europe. Around the Baltic, you can still see markers of the Swedish era, such as in the German city of Wismar. UNESCO Sweden Port of Karlskrona - [...]
I'm dreaming of glaciers lately, which you may have deduced. Possibly because of all this snow. So while we wait for spring to get here (come on, already!), why don't you come with me to another glacier. To Jungfrau-Aletsch. It's not going to be strenuous at all: we'll take the train up to 3454 metres. Once up in the heavens, [...]
I'm looking out at the tonnes of snow covering my back garden today, and my thoughts drift west, to Langjökull. Langjökull, you say? That sounds suspiciously like the li'l thing that spread volcanic ash all about the place not too long ago, stopping air traffic n'everything. We may not have cash, but we've got ash! Ah, but you mean Eyafjallajökull. [...]
The postcard pretty baroque church on tiny, lovely Bled Island is probably the best known image of Slovenia. If you could zoom out, you'd first see the stunning Lake Bled (Blejsko jezero in Slovene), then the little villages along its shores, then the green fields and the rolling hills. Zoom out even further, and you'd see the majestic Julian Alps [...]