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
Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter from 9 stories up on a fine Sunday morning in December. You're in for a treat today, folks: England's second city. I know! You're from Manchester and you beg to differ. It's a tale of two cities. And since we are still in the age of wisdom and the age of foolishness, in the epoch of belief [...]
That’s the question! We have a saying up here, which in essence means ‘taste is like your bum: divided’. A bit crass, I know. But if ever there was a place where it is appropriate, well, that place is Naples. And in my defense, it does sound better in Norwegian, rhymes n’everything: Smaken er som baken: delt. After an initial [...]
11 things I’ll love about Jæren? Where the heck is Jæren, you ask? How do you even pronounce it? And what is this letter 'æ'? Let’s begin with the name. The closest English pronunciation I can think of is Yaren, with the emphasis on the first syllable, and the ‘a’ pronounced as in mad. If you say it with a [...]
Remember Pippi Longstocking? Mischievous, fun-loving, freckled little redhead, about 9 years old, who lived in a big, ramshackle villa all by herself. Strong in every sense, she could lift her own horse. Generous, unpredictable, thoughtful, philosophical, living completely by her own rules. I loved watching her on children’s TV when I was little. An inspiration. In one episode, Pippi celebrates [...]
Writing about the terrific Villa Augustus made me think of Dordrecht itself. It really is a lovely city, with plenty to discover. Also, it has been a while since I've written a city post. Let's start with a Dordrecht cat. Because why not! From the 11th century, Dordrecht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, and one with [...]
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. Amongst the weird and wonderful, 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 Netherlands. [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]