Railroad Trip PORTUGAL

On my railroad trip through Portugal, I’ll show you that travelling the country by train is easy-peasy, cheap, and fun.

Houses in Porto, first stop in PORTUGAL - complete guide to a railroad-trip
Picturesque Portugal: The beauty of everyday life.

Let me guide you from mesmerizing Porto all the way to Lisbon – with some amazing whistle stops in between.

Do you hear the whistle blow? Quick – jump on the train and let’s go!

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Complete Guide to a Bus Road Trip through CROATIA

Everybody who has been to Croatia is just raving – about the food in general and the special treats such as extra virgin olive oil and big, aromatic truffles in particular.

About the beautiful sceneries and the clear waters that are one of Europes last dolphin refuge. But I was stubborn. When everybody tries to talk me into one direction, I turn my head and walk the other way. My mental age is 13.

Croatia - Riva Promenade in Split
A stroll on Split’s Riva Promenade

And then, I had to face a very stressful Autumn and therefore, I needed a destination somewhere in Europe. A place that would save me from culture shock. Hence, I renounced from my plans on going around half the globe to Japan and decided to spend September in Croatia.

Since it’s much closer. Since it’s much cheaper. And a teeny tiny bit since everybody who has been there is just raving about it.

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LJUBLJANA mon amour

Ljubljana mon amour: In fact, already the city’s name sounds like a tender song…and derives from ljubljena – beloved.

 Ljubljana Dragon Bridge
Like in every decent fairy tale, you have to make it past the dragon to get to the beautiful princess. Ljubljana is no exception.

Albeit the city is not hidden anymore, it has kept its sleeping beauty charm and is still a sparkling gem.

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VIENNA – visited by streetcar

To visit Austria’s capital, for the most part, you don’t need to join an expensive city tour. In fact, almost all of magnificent Vienna can be visited by streetcar.

View from the Museum Leopold in Vienna
Isn’t that a beautiful picture?
God and some very talented architects made it: It’s the view from a window at the Museum Leopold at the Museum’s Quarter.

So hop on, let’s explore a city full of history, stories, and myths.

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The Island of BORKUM – West of East Frisia

The tour of German islands is coming to an end. I’ve taken you with me from the former easternmost isle in the Baltic across the north sea to the Dutch border – where we’ll spend a couple of carefree summer days on Borkum.

Beach on the Island of Borkum, Germany
Doesn’t this beach with the colorful chairs and cabanas just look like the perfect summer destination?!

The island of Borkum is one of the seven East Frisian Islands off the coast of Eastern Friesland. It is not only the largest, but also the westernmost one. Therefore, it’s geographically actually closer to the Netherlands than to the German mainland.

The island is located between the Westerems strait and the Osterems straits respectively between the North Sea and the Wadden Sea to the south which grants some fascinating and unique features.

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The Island of NEUWERK – where the way is the goal

“So, by which ferry did you get here?” asks the chubby little lady and her accent gives her away as Southern German. “Well, I came here walking”, I beam at her, still thrilled by my hike from the mainland to the island of Neuwerk.

Hike on tideland from Cuxhaven to Neuwerk
To Neuwerk – this way! You cannot blame people if they don’t believe that you came to an island walking.  

The lady looks over the rough sea where the huge waves are rolling towards the shores of Cuxhaven. She frowns and shakes her head and is, obviously, thinking I’m trying to tell her a cock and bull story.

Little does she know: Visiting the island of Neuwerk, the way is the goal; definitely.

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The Island of HELIGOLAND – soft spot with rough edges

A trip to Heligoland is always a good idea. On just one square kilometer, it unites soft sand dunes and rough cliffs. It adds tax-free shopping to natural wonders like frolicking seals and jumping guillemots.

Bird Rock on Heligoland, Germany
The number of gannets on the rocks on Heligoland’s western cliffs will just overwhelm you.

Heligoland is a tiny archipelago that long ago used to be Danish and British. But, actually, it is as German as can be since the poet Von Fallersleben wrote the National Anthem during his stay on the island in 1841.

However, visiting Heligoland today, either on a day trip or for a longer stay, it is almost impossible to imagine that at the end of  WWII, Germany’s supposedly only deepsea island was completely bombed out. For then long years, it was even uninhabitable.

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, today, Heligoland is one of Germany’s most popular island when it comes to a couple of relaxing days in a secluded spot.

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The Island of FÖHR – every village a home

Föhr – every village a home: What’s that all about?

Thatched house on Föhr
I’m not able to figure out Föhr’s strongest suit – there are so many great things to do and see; the traditional architecture is certainly one of the most alluring ones.

Well, let me take you to one of Germany’s most popular holiday islands where almost each of the 16 villages’ name ends with the suffix –um. Since this is the Frisian and Lower German version of heim…which translates to home, you can imagine how cozy and homey this North Frisian island is to its….homies.

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ISLAND HOPPING in GERMANY

While international tourism to Germany is increasing, visitors rather stick to the clichés like beer and Lederhosen at Munich and a cruise on the river Mosel; or they hang out at the hip capital Berlin – instead of enjoying Island Hopping in Germany.

I guess that’s the reason why many people think Germany is landlocked. They don’t think about long coasts, two seas, and about 80 islands.

Dunes on the Island of Borkum in Germany
I think this is not the first image that comes to mind when talking ’bout travelling Germany.

However, that’s exactly what Germany’s north has to offer – and many fascinating phenomenons like the tideland that comes with it. As a matter of fact, Germany’s shoreline is longer than the Portuguese one.

So what are you waiting for? Join me on my island hopping…in Germany!

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