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
North of Copenhagen is Elsinore - and Denmark's third UNESCO World Heritage site, Kronborg Castle. This is the home of Hamlet, the mythical prince of Denmark. (The town's Danish name is Helsingør, but Elsinore sounds so much more romantic, doesn't it?) Kronborg Castle is interesting enough in its own right, even without any references to Shakespeare's mad protagonist. It's from an [...]
The main purpose of our Danish road trip has been to set up Alex' student flat in Copenhagen. Naturally, we spent loads of time in Ikea, always a slightly painful experience. But I did it, that's how great a mum I am. And I discovered Lyngby! Lyngby Fortunately, Ikea is in the Copenhagen suburb of Gentofte, which is near another [...]
Roskilde: Cathedral, Rock, Vikings. That nicely sums up Denmark's oldest city. The university city is just a short train ride from Copenhagen. And a surprisingly diverse city it is, offering a UNESCO-listed cathedral, a creative Viking ship museum, and probably most famously, its annual wild rock festival. The Roskilde Festival is the largest of its kind in Northern Europe and [...]
Hans Christian Andersen, famous author of artistic fairy tales - including The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, Thumbelina, The Tin Soldier and heaps more - was born in Odense on the little island of Funen (Fyn in Danish). Odense is Denmark's third largest city, and named after the chief Norse god Odin (often called Wotan in English) – delightfully pagan, [...]
On my must-see list for this trip were Denmark's three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One of these, the 10th century Jelling Stones - or Jelling Mounds, Church and Runic Stones - hail from the time when Viking king Harald Bluetooth ditched the Norse gods for Christendom. The Jelling Stones site has two carved rune stones: King Gorm was responsible for [...]
About 20 minutes from the pleasant little town of Vejle, is Givskud Zoo with its famous lion park. When I was growing up, families went on summer holidays to Denmark, particularly to Legoland and Givskud Lion Park. We never did. (Mum took us kids to New Orleans instead, so I can't really complain). Nevertheless, seeing signs for the Lion Park [...]
Short post today, just a quick comparison between two of Denmark's major cities, Aalborg and Aarhus. Aalborg I had heard good things about Aalborg and looked forward to hang out and spend a night there. Arriving at about 5.30 p.m., the town seemed fairly empty. 4 - 5 hours later, it was practically deserted. Also, the town centre wasn't that [...]
Idyllic towns and villages aside, northern Jutland can be rough; pounding surf from the North Sea, winds sweeping in. The landscape around the pretty seaside village Skagen is remarkable, almost primeval: the heath, old mounds, interesting vegetation and Rabjerg Mile - or Råbjerg Mile, as is its proper name in Danish - the enormous migrating sand dunes; somehow unexpected in [...]
This month, we’re exploring Denmark more in-depth, highly overdue. My oldest daughter, Alexandra, begins studying at Copenhagen University in September and we’re combining setting up her student digs with a nice, long road trip. My 8-year-old wants to get up close with the lions at Givskud. I want to see Denmark's three UNESCO's World Heritage listed properties. (If you click [...]
She married a Manx farmer and had loved every one of the 50 years she had lived here. Isle of Man had been good to her and her family.
Castletown was the first Manx capital. I stopped at a cheerful pub called The Castle Arms that looked cosy in the late afternoon sunshine.
Isle of Man has been used as film location for numerous movies, including the deliciously wicked Keeping Mum. Remember this gorgeous view?