BRUSSELS and Beyond: Day Trips to Antwerp, Bruges, and Ghent

Going on day trips from Brussels to the other Flemish medieval jewels such as Antwerp, Bruges, and Ghent is really easy. Just hop on the next train that will take you to each of them in less than one hour and for under 10 €uros.

Renata Green in a day trip in Bruges, Belgium
Dreaming of being a princess? Well, I go all the way and become king!

I’m a busy body with a chronic case of FOMO.

But Belgium got the cure.
It is relatively small, actually, the fifth smallest country of the European Union. It slumbers there nestled between Germany, the Netherlands, France, and Luxemburg pretty much undisturbed in the middle of the continent, not bragging with its beauty.

And beauties it has all right!

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TIVOLI – Villas, Waters, and Wealth. A Day Trip from Rome

A day trip from Rome took me to Tivoli where I found mesmerizing villas and playful waters. In short, the remnants of Antique Roman wealth.

View of Tivoli from Hadrian's Villa,  seen when visiting the Villas on a Day Trip
The so-called Poecile with the Roman Campagna in the backdrop.

Mind you, already Mr. Hadrian used to spend relaxing weekends at Tivoli almost 2,000 years ago.

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ROME for first-timers, repeat visitors, and eternal admirers

Whether you are first-timers or repeat visitors, beautiful and exciting Rome will turn you into eternal admirers for sure.

View of The Colosseum and Romolus and Remus drinking from the Capitoline Wolf - some of the Icons of Rome to be visited by first-timers.
View of the Ancient Roman Icons.

It is known as the Eternal City for a reason. Just like in Athens, there’s ancient history everywhere. It combines just fine with the modern, energetic, and sophisticated millennial metropolis.

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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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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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Guide to PORTO. The Grand Tour

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.

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.

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

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CINQUE TERRE – The World’s Most Picturesque Hiking Trails

The Cinque Terre, connected by the world’s most picturesque hiking trails, are built on terraces above the deep blue Ligurian sea.

Riomaggiore, one of the Cinque Terre from where you can take world's most picturesque hike
View of Riomaggiore from the Ligurian sea.

Gimme five! High five! Scattered way up high on the steep hills of the Ligurian coast are many small, picturesque villages. Yet, only Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mare became world-famous for their scenic views and overwhelming beauty. In 1997, they made it to the list of Unesco World Heritage Sites – along with Porto Venere and the islands of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto.

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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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