Prelude to a Blue Danube Dream

Alone among European countries, Germany can claim sections of both the Rhine and the Danube, Europe’s most storied rivers. Most of you will have been aware of that, of course, but here is something that may surprise you: the German sections of both rivers are of a roughly similar length (865 km for the Rhine, 687 km for the Danube), and of the 10 countries that the Danube passes through on her

Prelude to a Blue Danube Dream

Do You Think Mougins is Worth the Climb?

Picasso spent the last 12 years of his life here, but there are many other reasons to visit this hilltop village north of Cannes If the French Riviera is not exclusively famous for being a playground of people with more money than sense – from 19th century Russian aristocrats via eccentric East Coast heiresses during the “Jazz Age” to the oligarchs of today – it owes this to the great modern artists who chose to

Do You Think Mougins is Worth the Climb?

It was Once a Wonderful Springtime for Napoleon

200 years after the event, we followed the Emperor and his army on the first stage of their walk back to Paris and to Waterloo On 1 March 1815, the recently deposed Emperor Napoleon landed with a small band of 1000 loyal soldiers in Golfe Juan near Cannes, arriving from his exile in Elba to reclaim the French throne. Exactly two hundred years later, the municipal administration of what is now a small but lively

It was Once a Wonderful Springtime for Napoleon

The Remains of the Romans in the Riviera

On the basis of the evidence, it feels safe to say that the Empire’s troops did not come here to enjoy the beautiful beaches The history of the Riviera, if we are honest, begins in the 17th century when its oldest towns were built, and it really picks up 200 years later with the invention of tourism.

Anything that happened before is irrelevant for the modern-day resort towns that are lining the coast.

The Remains of the Romans in the Riviera

One of a Kind

Berlin’s Tempelhof airport has been turned into a paradise for cyclists, windsurfers, wild birds, crazy golfers, baseball fans – and walkers Hiking, in a certain way, is like listening to popular music – because, let’s face it, most hikes do not really offer anything strikingly original like something you have never seen before, but rather rearrange familiar motifs: trees, meadows, wooded hills, a river, a lake, views of farms and distant church steeples.

One of a Kind

More Ghosts from the Past …

… and some splendid views of Berlin’s most famous tourist attractions in Part Two of the Berlin Wall Trail Something that I did not mention in Part 1 of this post: the Berlin Wall walk is also a great way of discovering the city. It mixes the discovery of quarters that you would otherwise be unlikely to visit with interesting views of most of Berlin landmarks, sometimes from afar …

More Ghosts from the Past …

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

Themed Walks in Paris: Bastille Day Walk

Themed Walks in Paris The Bastille Day Walk What better way to celebrate the 14th of July, the French national holiday, than to trace its events, following – as literally as that is technically possible – in the footsteps of history in one of our themed walks in Paris?

Whatever you may think of the French Revolution, at least, Bastille Day is one national holiday that does not commemorate a bunch of stuffy

Themed Walks in Paris: Bastille Day Walk