RIO DE JANEIRO – a refined guide to a rough city

Instead of being Brazil’s rough and tough bad boy, Rio de Janeiro could be the most beautiful city on the planet. There are the ocean, the beaches, the hills, the vegetation, the views….I could go on and on.

Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, a smooth place in a rough city
The world-famous Copacabana

But then there is the poverty, the violence, the hopelessness, the corruption, the dirt….I could go on and on.
And I do. In this refined guide to a rough city.

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BASEL and the Rehberger-Trail – time to wonder, time to wander

Visiting Basel, you’re not only seeing Switzerland’s third-largest city – after Zurich and Geneva – but you also get to hike the amazing Rehberger Trail. It’s a route decorated with sculptures by German artist Tobias Rehberger. On this occasion, you can even cross the border to Germany walking.

View of the river Rhein at Basel
Cozy little Basel in the heart of Europe. There are a couple of art venues and many interesting buildings and places along the river Rhein.

That’s one of the things I absolutely love about Basel: It is located in the tri-border area of Switzerland, Germany, and France. Three totally different countries getting connected in harmony.

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BERLIN – a Guide to the Wild Wild East

A complete guide to Berlin ‘s Wild East – namely the part of Germany’s capital that used to be behind the proverbial Iron Curtain, obviously.

Mural at the East Side Gallery in Berlin
At the East Side Gallery, on this picture by street artist and wall painter Birgit Kinder you can also see a Trabant – aka Trabi. It was one of two types of cars that were manufactured in the former GDR and everyone in the west made fun of, obviously. The Trabi is crashing through a wall – guess which one that is. Also, its license plate reads Nov 9, 89 – the date the gates to the west were open and the wall – and finally the GDR – came down.

Formerly the capital of the GDR, Berlin’s Eastern neighborhoods actually changed really fast for the better and cooler and are more exciting than the full and settled West today.

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A Guide to the Capital of Europe: BRUSSELS is For Everyone

Let me guide you to Brussels, the vibrant capital of Belgium – and of Europe, for that matter. Historic buildings, wild street art, fantastic museums, beer, fries, and chocolate: This cosmopolitan city holds actually something for everyone in store.

Guide Capital Europe Brussels: Chocolaterie Manneken Pis
Different strokes for different folks: World’s most famous wee-er made of chocolate. Bon appetit.
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Street Art in Rio de Janeiro: The Voice of Colors by Rita, Eduardo, and Jorge

Street Art is becoming more and more not only tolerated, but also actually recognized and promoted – not exclusively in Rio de Janeiro. All over South America, Street Art has a long tradition – as a medium where colors give people a voice.

Street Art in Rio de Janeiro
#favelismo – an art movement turning poverty and humiliation into power and pride. That’s what great street art stands for.

I’m introducing Rita Wainer, Eduardo Kobra, and Jorge Selarón, three of the greatest urban artists that left ineradicable traces in Rio de Janeiro.

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Guide to BOGOTÁ – Colombia’s hip ‘n’ artsy capital

Guide to Bogotá – Colombia’s hip ‘n’ artsy capital.
It’s the most energetic and vibrant Latin American city I’ve ever visited, indeed.

Bogota-Graffiti in Bogota
All the ingenious and powerful murales, colorful graffitis, are one of Bogotá’s strongest suits.

I’m still overwhelmed by the charm and the beauty of many neighborhoods. I’m also impressed by the environmental awareness, by the countless delightful little shops and vegetarian and vegan snack bars. The most amazing suit, however, is the eclectic, outstanding, creative art that can be found at every corner.

Totally unexpectedly, Bogotá took me by storm.

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solo travel – PROs and CONs

When I started my blog in the Spring of 2017, it was mainly because I got asked so often about solo travel – and, obviously, there are PROs, but there are also what might be considered CONs.

illustrating the pros and cons of solo travel: Renata Green walking through the Museu Niemeyer in Curitiba
This picture was just too congruent to illustrate solo travel. However, you do not always walk alone!

Therefore, I decided to share my experience not only with my friends. Actually, I hope to inspire, inform, and encourage as many of you as I can to give solo travel a try.

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SALENTO – Fifty Shades of Green in Colombia’s Edenic Coffee Region

Fifty Shades of Green – in reality, there are millions of shades of green in Salento, Colombia’s beautiful Coffee Region

Main Square of Salento Colombia's Coffee Region
The lucky people of Salento are spending their life right in a picture postcard.

Nestled in the coffee mountains of Quindío, Salento is the epitome of Colombian life: A small town with little houses painted in all the colors the hardware store had available.

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Guide to the CAMERON HIGHLANDS, Malaysia’s Fruit Bowl

This is a guide to the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia’s Fruit Bowl, that should be on every visitor’s itinerary. This mountainous part of Malaysia is famous for tea farms, vegetable fields, and flower nurseries – and the fabulous Rafflesia Arnoldii.

Tea Plantation in the Cameron HIghlands
A visit to the beautiful tea plantations is not to be missed when visiting the cool highlands.

While we poor Europeans are travelling to Asia seeking the tropical sun, the Colonialists – no matter from which motherland – were desperately looking for cooler places in higher regions. Here, they were building settlements and mansions to take a break from….being wealthy and having servants.

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