First Time in ATHENS – Beyond the Acropolis

Yes, I’ve travelled the seven seas – at least metaphorically – but only recently I visited Athens for the first time. This is ironic since basically all of Greece is located on the seaside. With 13,676 kilometers of coastline – that’s roughly the little something of 8,498 miles – and 3054 islands and islets, Poseidon definitely is boss.

Not the only amazing facts. Next to Golgota and the Capitol, the Acropolis is one of the hills on which Europe was founded. So there is no excuse that I haven’t visited the cradle of our civilization before.

Cat at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece
Although Greece is basically sea-girt, besides lots of water, there are many rocks. As well as cats.

So as we got nearer to Christmas and the holy days became holidays, the question of where I would spend them was quickly answered. Athens – for the first time.

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Guide to DUBROVNIK, the Lustrous Pearl of Dalmatia

Guide to Dubrovnik, the Lustrous Pearl of Dalmatia. It was the grand finale of my bus road trip along the Adriatic coast.

View of the Old Town of Dubrovnik
Best of Dubrovnik: Architecture, mountains, and the deep blue sea.

Despite the large crowds and the flaws that come with tourist sellout that overshadowed my stay a bit.

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Two Days in PORTO. The Grand Tour

At the beginning of my railroad trip, I spent two days in Porto – enough time for a grand tour of the city.

Two Days Porto Tour: Ponte Dom Luis I was built by Théophile Seyrig, a scholar of Monsieur Gustave Eiffel
His master’s example: The Ponte Dom Luis I was built by Théophile Seyrig, a scholar of Monsieur Gustave Eiffel.

Road trips are my passion. Preferably railroad trips. Buses are fine, too.  But trains are classier. There is no legendary Trans Siberian Bus, no illustrious Orient Coach, after all. Nope, legends on wheels are always trains.

And getting to Porto by train undoubtedly keeps the legend alive.

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CUXHAVEN – walking on water

“The sun reflects strongly off the puddles, so don’t forget to put sun protection on your knee pits”, orders Ute pointing at my bare legs as we start walking on water off the shores of Cuxhaven.

Crossing the mudflat from Cuxhaven to the Neuwerk island.
Crossing the mudflat from Cuxhaven to the Neuwerk island. About twelve kilometers laid ahead of us.

I already did, but under her strict eyes, I repeatedly do as I am told. I do everything Ute marshals: The next four hours, she will guide me together with about two dozens other hikers into the tideland off the shore in Cuxhaven. My life will depend on her knowledge and sense of orientation.

We will be sort of walking on water – so I better listen to my leader.

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VENICE on a budget: when to go, where to stay, what to eat, and much more

Venice on a budget? Is that even possible?
Agreed, visiting Venice can be pretty pricey.
After all, you find yourself at one of the world’s most unique places – and it comes with a price tag.

Italy Venice Canale Grande
Every visitor to Venice will know this sight: The Chiesa di San Simeon Piccolo across from the main train station Venezia Santa Lucia, photographed from the Ponte degli Scalzi.

However, if you follow my simple hacks, visiting Venice on a budget is easy and still very enjoyable.

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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 - visited by streetcar
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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Art Weekend in Milan

An art weekend in Milan? How so?

After all, of all Italian cities, Milan probably deems the least Italian. No jolly groups sipping Aperol Spritz while playing boccia. Instead, executives rushing from their stately apartment houses to offices in glittering business centers. Hardly a narrow cobblestone alley. Rather big cars on broad avenues. Few statues around. No renaissance. No baroque.

Piazza del Duomo - with the iconic cathedral.
Piazza del Duomo – with the iconic cathedral.

Nevertheless, if you are prepared for what to expect, Milan will not disappoint you. Therefore, let me guide you to the city’s most important art venues – and beyond.

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