Europe2019-07-27T12:04:08+01:00

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.

Latest Europe travel stories

Villa Augustus

Travelling around the world you’re bound from time to time to come across the curious, the evocative, the unexpected, the downright weird and wonderful. Once such weird and wonderful thing is Villa Augustus. It might sound like a villa from the days of the Roman Empire. It isn’t. Instead it is a hotel in a former water tower in the [...]

By |21 September 2021|cafes & restaurants, Netherlands|

World at a Glance: Noravank (Day out Yerevan)

Thought you had seen enough Armenian monasteries here on the blog, did ya? Nope nope nope: here's yet another. One different from the rest, located in a gorge with tall red cliffs. On the road to Noravank - and past the mysterious Nakchivan In this post, we're at Khor Virap monastery, where Armenia was founded as the world's first Christian [...]

By |14 September 2021|Armenia, Daytrip|

Road tripping in the Arctic: North Cape

Norway’s Hurtigruten (Coastal Express) passes through the most stunning scenery as it voyages from Bergen to Kirkenes, next door to Russia’s Kola Peninsula. The entire round trip takes 11 days and is a leisurely way to see the ruggedly beautiful skerries. My mission this morning, however, is less about sightseeing and more about finding the quickest route from A to [...]

By |7 September 2021|Norway, Road trips|

Poland road trip 2021: responsible travel in the corona era

Preface Another year with COVID-19, another year with a powerful need to spread the wings and go. Anywhere! All but essential foreign travel is discouraged. That has been the mantra here in Norway for the last 18 months. Seems like forever. It has been a challenging situation for the world's governments, and rules have changed constantly as new knowledge has [...]

By |31 August 2021|Poland, Road trips, UNESCO World Heritage|

World at a Glance: The Holy Sands of Worms

The city of Worms is first and foremost famous (though perhaps infamous is a more apt description) for a formal assembly in 1521, known as the Diet of Worms. Called by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, one Martin Luther was summoned to defend his views on the Catholic Church. As you may recall, those were not favourable views. Martin was [...]

By |4 August 2021|Germany, UNESCO World Heritage|

7 wonders of the classical world: Temple of Artemis Lost

Ephesus is an interesting place to wander and explore; it comprises sights visible - and invisible. My favourite feature at Ephesus is not visible It no longer exists. At least not in the physical world. But it lives in the imagination. The Temple of Artemis was the largest building of the ancient world - and also one of the 7 [...]

By |31 July 2021|No more, Turkey, UNESCO World Heritage|

Maritime Greenwich: where time begins

Greenwich is a lovely little village. Village? But isn't it in London, you ask? Well, yes. But isn't London really a collection of little villages? At least, that's how it feels. Greenwich has that village feel. Perhaps strengthened because you have to cross the river to get here. Now, granted, if you take the tube, i.e. the Docklands Light Railway, [...]

By |23 July 2021|England, UNESCO World Heritage|

Fuggerei: 500 years of social housing, uninterrupted (Day out Munich)

Doesn't this look cosy? This unique neighbourhood in Augsburg is separated from the rest of the city by a wall with 7 gates. Inside is 15 000 square metres with 8 straight lanes, a town square, pretty fountains, sculptures, two museums, a World War II bunker, a church, and trees and flowers everywhere. Most of all there are 67 nearly [...]

By |7 July 2021|Germany|

Wildlife in Norway’s Dovrefjell National Park and how to see them safely

As you travel between Oslo and Trondheim, you'll want to stop a few times. A short hike is just the ticket - good to move a bit, and at Hjerkinn you can also have a look at a very cool portal. Not a portal to another dimension, but to wildlife. Make sure you have time. And patience. Reindeer selfies We're [...]

World at a Glance: The legend of Khor Virap

A few years back, I was in Yerevan, looking to visit a land that must not be named. An email and a few phone calls, and I was offered a lift with pilgrims, a whole bus full: from Beirut, from Syria, from Quebec, from Iran, from Sydney - an intriguing sample of the Armenian diaspora. Lively folks, too, it turned [...]

By |25 June 2021|Armenia|

This one time in Norway (2.9 billion years ago)

Remember our little road trip across the Hardangervidda Plateau to see the new foot bridge across Vøringsfossen waterfall last summer? Well, Cat and I enjoyed the journey and the landscape so much, we decided to cross the plateau again. Returning from a quick visit to see apple trees in bloom along Hardangerfjord provided the perfect opportunity. Flowering trees, however... that's [...]

By |20 June 2021|cafes & restaurants, Norway, Reviews, Road trips|

Favourite Fjällbacka, by Instagram (mostly)

I have a few favourite places around the world. Or maybe not so few. But they include this little village just 12 minutes by ferry from downtown Auckland, where we lived when Cat was a baby, back in 2003. And this other little village in Cornwall, that I will write about soon. And home in Norway, there are almost too [...]

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