The Magic of Lisbon

sunset over Alfama

There’s no city on earth like Lisbon. To feel the vista of sunset drizzling over terracotta tenements and the Pombaline rococo of the old town; to husk over cold cerveza in the dulcet twilight of the banks of the Tejo as the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge blends into nightfall; to see the number 28 tram rattle and clank through cloistered, cobbled amber-lit laneways of Alfama – all of this is to ... Read Full Article

A Day with Frederick the Great and Sans Souci in Potsdam

The park and gardens of Sans Souci

When it comes to popular north German destinations, Berlin certainly hogs its share of the attention. Yet to visit Berlin alone would mean ignoring the multitude of equally fascinating locations near and around. One of the more impressive is much closer than you’d think, a conveniently short U-Bahn ride from the capital itself. Welcome to Potsdam. Potsdam, like Berlin, is a city steeped in ... Read Full Article

Discovering Berlin’s Bohemian Rixdorf

Welcome Sign to Richardplatz in Rixdorf

 It’s one of those crisp, grim Berlin days, the kind that makes you feel like you’ve walked into a refrigerator as soon as you leave the front door. I’ve decided to take a walk down Sonnenallee (sun alley) in the Neukolln neighbourhood, a busy strip lined with Turkish doner restaurants, Arabic groceries and Internet cafes. One of the last things you’d expect to run into at this point is an ... Read Full Article

A Fast Guide to Berlin’s Rapidly Transforming Neighborhoods

Landwherkenal, Kreuzberg

Of all Europe’s capitals, Berlin is one of the most geographically unique in that it doesn’t have much of a city ‘centre’. In its day, cutting the city down the line, the Berlin Wall created two separate hubs, depriving the reunified modern capital of an organic ‘downtown’. While a ‘centre’ has developed since the reunification years (in the form of the ‘Mitte’ district) it is arguably within the ... Read Full Article

The Crazy Days! ‘Carnival’ All Over Europe

Carnival in Venice

The ritual of ‘Carnival’ has been a prominent institution of cultural life since well beyond the days of antiquity—Ancient Greeks and Romans honoured deities Dionysus and Bacchus with wine feasts and orgies; Germanic Tribes chased wild winter spirits during the smoky nights of the ‘Rauchnachte’; Christians continued on with festivities of their own, with countless offshoots of festive tradition ... Read Full Article

Paris: In Search of Hemingway

Inside a writer's booth at Shakespeare and Company

On a chilly December night I laze under the terrace awning of a café by the cobbled Place de la Contrescarpe, staring across to the mouth of winding, fairy lit Rue Mouffetard. There is the musty scent of Gauloises in the air, hot café, the literary spirits of yesteryear lingering in the amber washed night street. I soak up Ernest Hemingway’s Parisian hood, a nook where he and many other literary ... Read Full Article

Gluhwein and Stollen in Dresden’s Christmas Market Wonderland

Stalls and Gluh Huttes at the Striezelmarket

If you happen to think that the North Pole is the most festive destination on earth come Christmas time, you might need to reconsider your position. To find yourself in the heart of Christmas cheer, you really need to head a little further south—down to Germany to the wondrous Christmas wonderland known as Dresden. Dresden is an ancient city with a rich and conflicted history. ... Read Full Article

Berlin’s Kreuzberg and Kreuzkölln: a Good Food, Drink & Coffee Guide

Fruhstuck at Fuchsbau

Cafes, bars and restaurants continue to sprout out of Berlin’s gentrifying neighbourhoods like spargel in the summertime. Kreuzkölln, the apex of gritty Kreuzberg and Neukölln, and its surrounds, remain a lure for Berlin’s flock of international émigrés, students and creatives. It’s no secret that the borough offers some of the best and cheapest options in the city for great food, drink and ... Read Full Article

Back in Time to Villeneuve les Avignon

Sur la pont du Avignon

Peppered with gorgeous towns, lush vineyards and sweeping rural scenes, Provence remains one of France’s most sought after getaways. While soaking it all up through the window of a romantic TGV train remains an alluring option, we decided to hit the road and satiate our wanderlust in a hired black Volvo. While it wasn’t quite a DeLorean, it took us through Provence, and six centuries back in time ... Read Full Article

Marvellous Montpellier – The Romantic, Wandering Gourmand’s Guide to a Medieval French Gem

Place de Comedie

Though you’re spoiled for choice in the European summertime, it doesn’t get much better than 10 days on the shimmering French Riviera—cue glorious sun, sumptuous food and wine, and cool, crisp dips in the azure waters of the Mediterranean. The only dilemma is where to go next. After filling our tanned bellies in Nice for 4 nights, we decided to venture west across the Cote D’Azur on a TGV, ... Read Full Article