Ghosts of the 20th Century

Hitler, Stalin, Kaiser Bill: see them all on a walk along the Berlin Wall Trail Some of the world’s greatest cities are defined by a single building: Paris, for example, by the sleek elegance of the Eiffel Tower, Sydney by the brashness and sheer daring of its Opera House. And then there is Berlin, a city whose most famous structure no longer exists but continues to nevertheless haunt the city, occasionally to materialize in brutal

Ghosts of the 20th Century

Walks near London: Different Layers of British History

… including some that you can eat and drink: A walk through the Cathedral town of St Albans, 20 miles north of London Towns and villages near London are engaged in a constant battle for their soul: most have succumbed a long time ago and been gobbled up by the near-by metropolis, suburbanized and converted into dormitory towns with – at best – a few old churches or timber-framed Tudor mansions, now invariably reinvented as

Walks near London: Different Layers of British History

Modernist Architecture in London – Part 2

Themed Walks in London A walk through the “Florence of the 21st Century” The City of London is where most of the capital’s truly iconic works of modernist architecture are concentrated, but West London, too, has many fine new buildings.

The big difference is this: while London’s business district provides a homogeneous context of brashness – big and high “cathedrals of capitalism” vying with each other and encouraging the construction of ever bigger

Modernist Architecture in London – Part 2

Modernist Architecture in London – Part 1

Themed Walks in London A walk through Skyscraper National Park: the world’s most exciting collection of modern architectural masterpieces There are many good reasons to visit London: for its world-class theatres, its magnificent pubs, or to pay a visit to the Queen. Here is another one: the town’s unique collection of modern architecture.

This has not always been so. Until fairly recently, say the mid 1980s, there were not a

Modernist Architecture in London – Part 1

The Perfect Hiking Trail

The circular walk around the moated castle of Kemnade and the medieval Blankenstein fortress ticks all the boxes of a pleasant hiking experience Some hikes are great because they focus exclusively on One Big Thing and never let you forget how magnificent that One Big Thing is: hikes through the Grand Canyon, for example, fall into this category, but so do – one level down on the scale of awesomeness – ascents of the smaller

The Perfect Hiking Trail

Freiburg – Beer, Buzz and the Black Forest

If you want to explore the Black Forest, one of Germany’s main hiking regions, you basically have the choice between two options A couple of years ago, we went from town to town, tackling consecutive stages of the Westweg trail: the classic “long-distance hiking mode”. This has always been my preferred way of hiking.

But this time, we had to think of something else because the trip to the Black

Freiburg – Beer, Buzz and the Black Forest

Black Forest for Beginners: Lake Titi

A short train away from Freiburg, you can familiarize yourself with some of the area’s charms in a brief and very easy walk There is, of course, no law that says every hiking trip to the Black Forest must include at least one stage of the Westweg.

There is, however, a nagging feeling that without such a stage, your trip would seem strangely incomplete, in the same way that a

Black Forest for Beginners: Lake Titi

Cuckoo Clockwork in the Black Forest

The multi-award winning Wutach trail may be a trifle remote but is ultimately easy to reach – thanks to the ruthless efficiency of the local transport system

No offense to all the places where we have recently been hiking: thank you Greece, thank you Tuscany, thank you Gran Canaria, you were wonderful and we had a lovely time, but the fact remains that hiking in Germany is something rather special and unique. This

Cuckoo Clockwork in the Black Forest

Follow the Monet in the Italian Riviera

Following in the footsteps of the impressionist master at the Riviera resort of Bordighera

The French painter Claude Monet spent one winter – the early part of 1884 – in the Italian town of Bordighera, having been introduced to this part of the Riviera by his friend Renoir the year before.

Monet was 43 at the time, already an accomplished artist with some “signature” paintings under his belt, but by

Follow the Monet in the Italian Riviera

Look Through the Innocent Eyes of Little Big Artists

Today, in the final post about our trip to the Cyclades, I want to share with you something that we spotted on the Aqua Jewel ferry from Ios to Milos: children’s impressions of typical motives from the Aegean islands.

Kids can be the greatest painters, obviously not in the philosophical or allegorical mode. You cannot expect them to produce anything to rival the depth of the Sistine Chapel or Titian, but they are

Look Through the Innocent Eyes of Little Big Artists