Take a Lovely Spring Hike in the Italian Riviera

One of the most reliably surprising experiences of any trip to the Riviera usually happens right at the start, even before you have fully arrived.

When you come by plane from northern Europe, you will be flying over the snow-capped peaks of the High Alps one moment, then you blink, and the next time you look out of the window you are already looking at the vast blue expanse of

Take a Lovely Spring Hike in the Italian Riviera

Discover the Most Storied Backcountry Village of the French Riviera

Last week, I told you about the bus company Zest and its daily tours from Menton into the arrière pays, the French Riviera’s mountainous back country. Of these altogether ten different day trips, most are going to places that also are, in principle, available on Zest’s ordinary lines.

The problem is that the schedules of these “ordinary lines” (that often run no more than twice day) are mainly arranged for

Discover the Most Storied Backcountry Village of the French Riviera

Revealing the Many Truths About Vienna

Vienna: for some people it is the city of Mozart, for others the city of Freud, for others still the place where Orson Welles charms and deceives everybody in The Third Man. Possibly the only thing they can all agree on is that Vienna is located on the Danube. It turns out, however, that the reality is a good deal more complicated than that. We reveal the many truths about Vienna

Even a

Revealing the Many Truths About Vienna

To Passau for the Second Movement of the Blue Danube

In the initial post about our trip along the Danube, I said that the Rhine landscape featured a large number of castles While this is undeniably true, it may have been misconstrued to imply that the landscape of the Danube did not.

So let me clearly state once and for all that this would be a totally false impression. Of course the Donau has castles, too. And just to prove the point, today

To Passau for the Second Movement of the Blue Danube

A Sporty Hike on the Hilltop Backcountry of the French Riviera

Once they were giants – Breil and the Roya River From the train, Breil-sur-Roya looks incongruously large and imposing, with its tree lined riverside avenue and two large churches in the centre of town.

Located in that part of the border country between France and Italy that is characterized by perched hilltop villages and their nervous huddles of buildings, Breil comes across not only as much bigger but also as much bolder, saying

A Sporty Hike on the Hilltop Backcountry of the French Riviera

The Funiculaire of San Romolo is No More

Sanremo and San Romolo: Once Conjoined Twins

Once upon a time, the remote hillside village of San Romolo was one of the Italian Riviera’s most popular daytrip destinations.

Mention its name to natives from Sanremo of a certain age only if you are ready to be showered with story after story about happy family outings, sun-drenched Sunday afternoons and long walks in the forest.

The Story of

The Funiculaire of San Romolo is No More

Walk on the Great Wall of Catalonia in Girona

Here is a tip if you face an acute what-to-do-with-the kids emergency in Barcelona If you are visiting the Catalan capital with teenage kids in tow who have become ever so slightly rebellious after three days of art nouveau, hallucinogenic architecture and the musty smell of museum corridors, take them to Girona (it’s a little more than 30 minutes away by high-speed train) and straight to the Great Wall of Catalonia.

Walk on the Great Wall of Catalonia in Girona

Go Hiking Up Castellar in the French Riviera

Castellar is a vaguely picturesque medieval village just to the north of Menton on the French Riviera, and on its own (we might as well be honest about this), it is not worth the trip. Castellar’s 972 inhabitants may hate me for saying this, but such are the risks of boldly speaking truth to power. Still, there are generally quite a few visitors around, even at this time of year. So what attracts all these

Go Hiking Up Castellar in the French Riviera

Five Reasons Why Rivers Make Great Travel Companions

What constitutes a “beautiful landscape”? Opinions on this may vary, but most people will agree that a beautiful landscape must contain some …. 1. Body of water

For the simple reason that we are programmed to find beautiful what is good for us, and water happens to be the number 1 condition for an environment that can sustain human life. If you don’t believe me: check any book on art

Five Reasons Why Rivers Make Great Travel Companions

Rediscovering the Greatest Literary Work About Hiking

W. G. Sebald and East Anglia The Rings Of Saturn is the greatest literary work about hiking. The book deals – as you may suspect – not only with hiking but with a great many other things besides, but its central conceit is a long walk that the author undertakes along the coast of East Anglia, the peninsula north of London and Cambridge in eastern England.

If you have never

Rediscovering the Greatest Literary Work About Hiking