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

11 things you’ll love about Iceland

Ice, ice, baby!Or rather, Iceland, Iceland, baby!Want to come along?Is this how you think Iceland looks? You are right - to an extent. This is Jökulsárlón, a big glacial lake at Vatnajökull, Iceland's largest (and Europe's second largest) ice cap. On the whole, though, Iceland is temperate. On the colder side of that scale, but temperate. I've laid on the [...]

By |31 March 2021|11 things, Iceland|

Bauhaus: a design revolution

Have you seen Babylon Berlin? It's one of my favourite series to binge during these times where all we have is time. The series is set in late 1920s Berlin and - despite the gloom and doom of those years - well, I just want to be there. Even for just a few days. As soon as Elon sets up [...]

Oslo – Bergen road trip: across the Hardangervidda Plateau

A road trip across Europe's largest mountain plateau is better suited to photos than to words. The landscape speaks for itself.Random roadside scene, summer at HardangerviddaCrossing the mountain from Oslo to Bergen, you can choose between several passes. The ones most frequently used, are the Hol - Aurland Pass, Filefjell, Hemsedal, Haukelifjell (briefly mentioned in this post), and Hardangervidda. All [...]

By |14 February 2021|Norway, Road trips|

World at a Glance: The Cotton Palace at Pamukkale

It's January 2021, the januariest of them all. Final day of January, but still... It's long this month. It's cold, it's dark. Most noticeable this year, it's quiet. Quiet as the world after the apocalypse!Give me the opposite, please. A bright, sunny day on a (semi-)packed beach in the Yucatan sounds positively pornographic at this moment. But... we'll not get [...]

Bergen beckons

Bergen is Norway’s best known city for visitors. And although I’m a Drammen patriot, I’ll happily admit Bergen is recognised for good reason, not least for its proximity to the famous world heritage-listed western fjords.King Olav Kyrre granted Bergen (then named Bjørgvin) city status in 1070, four years after he had seen his father, Harald of Norway, killed in battle [...]

By |13 December 2020|Norway, UNESCO World Heritage|

Hiking Gaustatoppen, Norway

Only 4 more weeks until this strange, ominous year will become history, and not a moment too soon. If you're like us, you're more than ready to get back on the road. Any road. But healthy would be a bonus, wouldn't it? Just now, healthy sounds right. Feels right. Healthy - and outdoors. Using our muscles. Breathe fresh air.So I [...]

Athens to Thessaloniki Road Trip

I’ve just returned from a short road trip in Greece. It was a much-needed break, an opportunity to see my fave travel mates, and, as an added bonus, a chance to celebrate my birthday in another country. That's a 3-in-1 Kinderegg right there!We spent a gorgeous few days in the country, weaving our way from Athens to Thessaloniki, up in [...]

By |22 November 2020|Greece, Road trips, UNESCO World Heritage|

Stave churches – and a rant

I've been meaning to write about stave churches here on Sophie's World for a while now. Years, actually; but waiting until I had seen the oldest of them all: Urnes. Somehow, I thought that one was needed.Well, in this corona-dominated summer - or early autumn rather - I finally got around to it. So here you are: one of the [...]

By |30 October 2020|Idle musings, Norway, UNESCO World Heritage|

World at a Glance: Wittgenstein’s cabin

See the house perched on the rock there? This is not exactly the best picture I've taken. I snapped it as I drove past, thinking that this, this is Norway in a nutshell. Find a remote, inaccessible spot, and build a cabin. Or a house even. (Maybe this natural inclination for isolation is part of the reason we’ve been spared [...]

By |3 October 2020|Idle musings, Norway|

Pisa: Field of Miracles

Campo dei MiracoliField of Miracles: how wonderful is that name!Wonderful - and apt, I think. I can easily picture this as a centre of miracles: the blue sky, the green grass, the wonderful white constructions, the warm Tuscan terracotta wall: it's all rather stunning.The official name of the field is Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square).The piazza has an ensemble of [...]

Pfaueninsel: where peacocks roam (Day out Berlin)

When people think of the UNESCO-listed Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin, Sanssouci is probably the first that comes to mind. And that Rococo palace of the Prussian king is indeed a fine example, with its park and temples and follies. Voltaire even stayed there for a bit. However, the World Heritage site comprises no less than 150 buildings [...]

By |14 September 2020|Daytrip, Germany, UNESCO World Heritage|

New Lanark: compassionate capitalism works (Day out Edinburgh)

Utopia: we all have our own ideas of that, don’t we? Compassionate capitalism and urban planningSo did Robert Owen. Back in the late 18th century, this Welsh philanthropist, social reformer and idealist thought it was possible to combine a highly profitable business with human welfare. Today, we would call it compassionate capitalism; we even take it for granted in some [...]

By |10 September 2020|Daytrip, Scotland, UNESCO World Heritage|
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