Midnight In Madrid

There can be no question about it:

Midnight in Madrid – Magnifique!

Edificio Metropolis

Some cities just are. When spotlights carve out individual buildings out of the darkness, leaving others in a haze of indirect light and shadows, we, the observers, lose some things (context, a certain degree of detail) and win others: mainly scale.

Plaza de la Independencia

Some cities simply benefit more from this trade-off than others,

Midnight In Madrid

Beer And Art In Dortmund Westfalenpark

"The Tower in Westfalenpark in the Ruhrgebiet in Germany"

Dortmund is the largest city in the Ruhrgebiet, Germany’s old industrial heartland. It’s an old city, old enough to have served as an imperial residence for Friedrich Barbarossa in the 12th century, but save a few old churches practically no old buildings are left standing. Dortmund Westfalenpark

For which WWII is to blame, of course, but it also does not help that for most of its life Dortmund was no

Beer And Art In Dortmund Westfalenpark

A Bucket For Monsieur

"Grand Canyon"

When fellow adventurer Traveling Ted asked me to share my “bucket list”, that started me thinking as to what places I would really really want to visit.

In the Bucket for Monsieur

If I were a decade or two younger, my bucket would be full as I would have wanted to visit at least one country in every continent. But the flush of youth has long waned, so the number of desired destinations

A Bucket For Monsieur

ABCs of Travel

"Alphabet soup Photo borrowed from Loozrboy on Flickr"

My ABCs of Travel

Aphabet Soup – Photo borrowed from Loozrboy on Flickr

It’s a game of Tag about the ABCs of travel making the rounds in the travel blogging community and Jeremy of Budget Travel Adventures tagged me. So, here’s my travel “alphabet soup”.

A: Age of first international trip: I was 22 then and was finishing a doctoral thesis for which I flew to do some research in the Philippines.

ABCs of Travel

Sniffing Out Easy Hiking In Madrid

"Street sign Calle de Madrid"

On a January week-end, we stayed in the capital city of Spain on the invitation of Spain’s leading budget airline, Vueling and online radio ScannerFM and their MyVuelingCity guides

. (Gracias, Vueling, y ScannerFM). Both urged us to rediscover the city on our own terms. And so we decided to search out a couple of possibilities for easy hiking in Madrid and its environs, nothing too long or too arduous,

Sniffing Out Easy Hiking In Madrid

Beaches in the South of France

"beach in Toulon France"

The South of France

I have a vivid recollection of our last beach holiday, not least because on the first day, I shaved off the full beard that I had sported for more than a decade.

Memories are made of this!

And then there was the “family tragedy”: our son (then barely two years old) lost his beloved, if unimaginatively named, “Unicorn”, a helium-filled balloon to which he

Beaches in the South of France

Disastrous Days Out Are Gifts From Heaven

Remember the series of hikes in the Münsterland we undertook last summer? I told you stories about moated castles, stately homes and the poetess Annette von Droste Hülshoff…

But not about the one we took to Ibbenbüren to hike through the Teutoburg Forest.

Disastrous Days Out

I have been silent about this day for a good reason, as you soon shall see, but since today, the

Disastrous Days Out Are Gifts From Heaven

Gift For A Hiker Kept Indoors For This Holiday Season

Ho- Ho- Ho, fellow hikers – yes, it’s that time of year again when we are hoping to be richly rewarded for being good throughout the year. Indeed, Santa Claus has a Christmas gift for a hiker kept indoors for this holiday season, right there in the digital stocking.

Shall we have a look, then at my gift for a hiker? (Just click on the image to continue reading.)

For those

Gift For A Hiker Kept Indoors For This Holiday Season

Is The German Forest Dying?

"Easy Hiker going through cut tree trunks on a hiking trail"

The German Forest

One more reason to go hiking in Germany’s forests: they may not be there for much longer. In 20 or 30 years, there will still be life in the German countryside, but perhaps not as we know it.

In the 1980s, the German forest appeared to be on its last leaves.

The German press was horrified. “Up there, all summits are toxic” was the title of a

Is The German Forest Dying?

Five Reasons Why I Do Not Like Hiking

Why I Do Not Like Hiking

by Hugh Sluggard

 

1. Hiking is hard work

I do not like hiking because I abhor physical and, indeed, challenges of any other kind. If it weren’t for the kids, I would gladly spend my holidays on the sofa, watching old episodes of Happy Days. Ah, the Fonz! They don’t make ‘em like that anymore, you know.

Taking it easy

2. Hiking exposes

Five Reasons Why I Do Not Like Hiking