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.

Beach on the German island of Borkum - inviting you to do some Island Hopping
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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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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ATHENS for First-Timers – Beyond the Acropolis

Yes, I’ve travelled the seven seas – at least metaphorically – yet never made it to Greece. 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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BREMEN – BIG and small. A complete city guide.

(Updated Mai 2020)

Bremen, located in the northwest, is definitely not Germany’s most famous city. However, visitors who find their way here will certainly be surprised. And even rewarded since the historic old town – partly a UNESCO world heritage site – deems like the capital of a fairyland. And you’ll run into some fabulous creatures and fairy tale figures, indeed.

The Roland in front of the City Hall of Bremen
Mr. Roland in front of the town hall: As long as he stands tall, Bremen remains free and independent.

But there is far more to discover in this Free Hanseatic City.

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LUBECK – a guide to Germany’s most ravishing city

Somehow Lübeck, Germany’s most ravishing city, has always reminded me of Venice. An innocently cute and relatively small city that used to possess such a political influence and economic power – reaching all over Europe and beyond.

Holstentor at Lübeck
There are quite a few lions in Lübeck – honoring Henry the Lion, the Bavarian King who after Munich founded also Lübeck in 1159. In the Backdrop the iconic Holstentor and right next to it the ancient salt warehouses.

Although Lübeck has incredibly beautiful buildings and alleys, seven church towers, three Nobel prize winners and world-famous marzipan, it does not suffer from destructive over-tourism. I don’t want to change that, however, I’d like to show you around one of Germany’s most ravishing cities.

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TALLINN – a small city with a great spirit

Estonia’s capital Tallinn cannot be described with a handful of corny attributes and some stock catchphrases.

Tallinn - Estonia: St. Michaels Church
Besides many lovely and alluring things, there is also a bit of creepy to see in Tallinn – which makes the city even more intriguing.

Overall, by the standard categories, this city is far too diverse, its past too changeful, its faith too inconsistent, its present too dynamic, and its future definitely too promising. In conclusion, a hub between the poles of history and creativity.

Estonia is the northernmost of the three Baltic States. Hence, culturally and language-wise, there are close relations with Finland, historically there are multiple cultural ties to Germany through the German Baltic states.

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RIGA – a guide to Latvia’s entrancing capital

So here comes an updated guide to Riga, Latvia’s entrancing capital.

At this moment, the Baltic states are in some sort of touristy limbo: Certainly not an insider tip anymore, Latvia is still far from being overrun by large tourist groups.

Music Group at the Ethnographic Open-Air Museum of Riga, to Latvia's entrancing capital. A Guide.
After having been ethnically oppressed for the longest time, the Latvians happily and proudly rediscover their cultural heritage.

Although Riga is a modern and forward-looking metropolis, Latvia’s capital preserves proudly its cultural identity, traditions, and a melancholic charm.

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Comprehensive Guide to HAMBURG, the “Gateway to the World”

(Updated April 2020)

Hamburg, Germany’s second-largest city, prides itself to be the “most beautiful city in the world”. Obviously, this catchphrase is highly exaggerated.

Sailors at the Port of Hamburg, illustrating a Comprehensive Guide to Hamburg
For ages, sailors from all over the world anchored at the Port of Hamburg.

However, there definitely are alluring views that make you yearn for undiscovered shores. Germans call it Fernweh – loosely translated to aching for distance.

I’m sure the maritime charm and traditional openness to the entire world will amaze you.

Hence, this Comprehensive Guide to Hamburg will take you to the city’s most beautiful corners.

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PUERTO MADRYN – all about whales and wales

As much as I enjoy road trips, getting off the bus at yet another terminal, looking for accommodation, exploring new surroundings – it gets tiresome. Therefore, towards the end of a road trip, I’m looking forward to spending a couple of days in a beach destination. Somewhere I can lay on the beach, reading a nice book – or just napping.

Patagonian sea lion on the Valdes Peninsula close to Puerto Madryn
Between beach days, you get to see fascinating creatures in the surroundings of Puerto Madryn.

In Argentina, I’d chosen Puerto Madryn for this purpose. A beach town on the northern coast of Patagonia, famous for whales in the waters and migrants from Wales on the shores.

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EL CALAFATE & EL CHALTEN – Argentina’s Winter Wonderland

A couple of months ago, a friend of mine posted a photo on her facebook-timeline: A small boat floating on a light turquoise lake in front of a high wall of ice.

Couple taking pictures of the Perito Moreno Glacier close to El Calafate in Patagonia, Argentina
…and this is only a fraction of the gigantic glacier Perito Moreno!

What a mesmerizing sight!
It just sucked me in.
Just looking at this picture, I felt the cold crawling up my spine. I was sure I could see my breath if I exhaled.
This place must be a mysterious place, a world of its own, governed by some beautiful, chilled ice-queen.

It was the National Park Los Glaciares in southern Patagonia.

I had to see this place for myself. As soon as possible.

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