The Fuschlsee and its special features

A spontaneous short vacation in my home country took me to the Fuschlsee region three weeks ago . I had expected the usual from Fuschlsee: Pleasantly warm but not too hot water, well-kept bathing beaches and sunbathing lawns that were not overcrowded. But it turned out that the Fuschlsee is a very special lake in Austria.

When we visited the natural lido “Hof” on the first day of our vacation, I was really surprised by the sight of the lake and the surrounding area. The water is turquoise blue. It reminded me of my vacation in the Caribbean . After visiting the most beautiful beaches in the world in Mexico, I have a good basis of comparison. I really have to admit, the shallow water right by the natural lido Hof is just as turquoise blue and crystal clear as in the Caribbean. Only the water temperature differed slightly from the Caribbean Sea: The lake was almost 21 degrees. Personally, that doesn’t bother me too much, because I like to cool off on hot summer days. The Fuschlsee is perfect for this.

The area around the lake also differs from classic tourist regions, where one lido or hotel is located next to the other. From the natural lido in Hof you can only see pure nature along the shore : meadows, forests and Fuschl Castle. You are also not allowed to drive to the lido directly by car. It must be parked in the designated parking lot and the way to the lawn must be mastered on foot. It’s not too far, around one to two kilometers. In midsummer you can work up a sweat even on this short route, but the short hike at the end is worthwhile. There is no car noise and you can relax in peace.

 

Natural lido Hof - Fuschlsee

 

The natural surroundings around the Fuschlsee are of course also ideal for sports. The circular hike around the Fuschlsee is a leisurely hike . We started in Fuschl am See and circled the lake in around 3.5 hours. The great thing about this hike is that you almost always walk directly on the lake shore and thus have a great view . If you want something more challenging, you can go on the Dragon Trail hike , for example . However, since we were primarily in the region to laze around, we stayed with the Fuschlsee circular hike. The lake is so beautiful that I wanted to spend the whole day on the beach.

For us, the short break was definitely worth it. This was guaranteed not to be the last vacation at Fuschlsee . Since then, the lake has also been my favorite lake in Austria. Our next vacation then takes us to the Bohemian Forest region in Upper Austria. After so much relaxation, we want to really work off again. The Bohemian Forest should be ideal for this.

Going out in Amsterdam

When you think of Amsterdam, do you primarily think of slightly crooked, narrow houses, windmills and bicycles as well as canals that run through the city?

You are correct with these thoughts, but the Dutch city has much more to offer and invites tourists interested in culture and history to celebrate in Amsterdam.

Your way to the historic old town can lead you directly above the Leidseplain and encourage you to take the tram. You won’t find any parking spaces in Amsterdam’s city center anyway, which makes traveling by public transport or taxi the perfect starting point for your stay in the city.

Even on the train journey you will feel the Venetian charm and you will remember your last vacation in Italy. But it is not Venice, even if the canals and ancient houses along the Amstel give that impression.

Celebrate and have fun in Amsterdam – how and where?

Amsterdam is diverse and unique, multicultural and colorful, lively, always awake and cosmopolitan but also small-town at the same time. When deciding to go out in Amsterdam, there is a choice you need to make before visiting an establishment. Coffee shop or bar? In the coffee shop you not only get coffee and can experience Dutch culture up close.

However, what you won’t get and what you will miss when you go out is a cold beer or wine. So what to do if you enjoy the charm of a coffee shop in Amsterdam and still don’t want to go without a cool blonde? It’s best to do what the city’s locals do and decide to party in Amsterdam in changing locations. If you want to experience the Dutch smoking culture, you should visit the Bulldog Coffee Shop.

In the immediate vicinity is the city’s red light mile, which is a highlight of every tourist excursion, especially in the evening and not just for male visitors. After you have looked around the old town with almost 7,500 listed buildings during the day and visited the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Grachtenring”, you can treat yourself to a little amusement and adventure in the evening. Every route through the city offers you a new discovery.

From museums and secret churches in canal houses

Your fascination with medieval history could lead you directly to the torture museum on Damrak or to the sex museum next to it. You will pass old shipyards and will be amazed at painted gable stones or a secret church under the roof of a house on the canal ring.

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Did you know that there are over 90 islands in Amsterdam? If you tell your friends about going out in Amsterdam, you can attract astonished looks and score points with your geographical knowledge. The compact Amsterdam city center is connected by numerous bridges and can be accessed on foot from any direction.

At the Leidseplein and the Rembrandplein you can shop and enjoy, stroll and feel the pulsating hustle and bustle of Amsterdam up close. If you love flea markets, you will feel at home on the Waterlooplein. Every day between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., or a little longer in summer, you can stroll between the stands and find many extraordinary and unique things.

Chatting with the vendors is one of the things you should definitely do at the flea market – even if you don’t want to buy anything and bargain.

Between hippies and conservatives, glogs and tulips

While the 1970s generated a great deal of interest in Amsterdam, especially among hippies, squatters and dropouts, the Dutch have become more conservative today. Nevertheless, numerous backpackers still gather in the Vondelpark today and enjoy the summer sun.

amsterdam-641392_640Don’t be confused by the cranes and construction vehicles around the main train station, because in the Netherlands, road construction is mostly done at night. Everywhere you will find a colorful potpourri of people, typical Dutch goods such as glogs or tulips and gondolas, with which tourists can take a canal tour and get to know the city from the water.

No matter what excites you about the hustle and bustle in Amsterdam, you will enjoy a stay full of unforgettable experiences and get to know a culture that couldn’t be more diverse. The Dutch still mainly use their bicycles to get around or spend the afternoons in the numerous small cafes and restaurants along the canals. You will therefore mostly meet other tourists in the squares and have little contact with the locals.

 

amsterdam-1150319_640

Amsterdam’s nightlife in brightly lit splendor

When darkness falls over the city and shrouds Amsterdam in its shadows, the lights go on and numerous historic buildings, which during the day seem inconspicuous, are filled with music. The most popular clubs include Club 8 in Admiraal de Ruijterweg or Paradiso at Weteringschans 6-8 .

There is live music on the Bourbon Street concert stage or the cozy wood-lined The Waterhole . If you don’t want to go out in the discos and clubs, but in an upscale atmosphere and get to know the luxurious side of Amsterdam, you will find numerous hotel restaurants and night bars with strict dress codes.

Numerous lights guide you through the city and show you how versatile and varied Amsterdam is at night. For every taste and every idea for going out, you will find a variety of offers and possibilities, which you can find out about online or in the event notices of the bars and clubs.

Conclusion: In Amsterdam there are no unfulfilled wishes and no dreams that you cannot realize. If your heart beats with the pulse of this city, let yourself be carried away and stay where you like it.

You can set up camp spontaneously in numerous guesthouses and opt for cozy accommodation with breakfast. You celebrate yourself and the city, celebrate your happiness and your life without having to worry about which direction you are running and which flow with the current of Amsterdam.

Every day becomes an adventure and lets you hear the pulse of the multicultural metropolis a little louder and feel the zeitgeist, the diversity of the city.

Short break in Barcelona

Barcelona is a city with many facets. Art, culture, sights, leisure activities and the beach right outside the door make the short vacation in the Spanish metropolis an unforgettable event.

The city with its peculiarities is one of the most important art metropolises, is an attraction for many artists and outspoken people who prefer an extraordinary lifestyle. Reason enough for an (extended) short break in Barcelona.

Barcelona – cultural pearl on the Mediterranean

There is hardly a city in Europe that offers more sights as well as tourist and cultural highlights . For last-minute travelers, the city offers inexpensive weekend trips with special attractions, so that the short vacationer never gets bored.

Barcelona2

Barcelona – The right weekend trip for adventurers and those seeking relaxation

Catalonia’s capital offers short vacationers eventful days. In the city’s many museums you can marvel at exhibits and art objects from bygone times and contemporary art. We recommend the Museu Picasso (daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and the Archeology Museum of Catalonia. In the many halls that are filled with exhibits, the tourist learns a lot about the origins and culture of the region of Spain.

Individualists and nature lovers enjoy the beauty of the indescribable flora in Parc de les Aigües , Serra de Collserola Park or Turó Park . The multitude of different sights cannot be visited in one day.

Therefore it is worth looking for accommodation during the weekend trip. There are inexpensive hostels to luxury hotels. Booked early and you can find great bargains for a weekend trip to Barcelona.

Sightseeing tour when visiting Barcelona

When planning a visit to the Palau de la Generalitat and the Sagrada Famîlia basilica, one should definitely not forget (see also the article about the famous Spanish church on Wikipedia). Other attractions include the Sónar (a festival), a performance at the Gran Theater del Liceu and La Barceloneta beach. The Olympic Stadium is just as worth seeing .

Barcelona stadium
Barcelona stadium

The rich Spanish cuisine, which is offered everywhere in small pubs and restaurants, ensures culinary delights. Seafood, fish and regional and international dishes are enjoyed with a Spanish red wine.

For those willing to party, Barcelona offers everything your heart desires on a short break. Because the city cannot calm down. Eating late and partying late, the many clubs, bars and pubs don’t fill up until around 1 or 2 a.m. The offers are rich and offer exactly the right ambience for every tourist. The party continues into the morning.

Barcelona is not only worthwhile for those interested in culture and art. Especially at the beginning of spring and autumn, when it is still (or already again) uncomfortably cold in Germany, you can enjoy pleasant temperatures in Barcelona.

The most beautiful sights in Vienna

When you think of Vienna, the first thing that usually comes to mind is Johann Strauss and the Viennese waltz. After three-four time, the senses are beguiled by the scent in the Viennese coffee houses.

But the Austrian capital not only has a lot to offer its 1.8 million inhabitants and the more than 6 million visitors annually in terms of cuisine. The city ​​on the Danube is also rich in attractions . After all, the eye eats with …

Typically Vienna: Fiaker for sightseeing
Typically Vienna: Fiaker for sightseeing

“Vienna, Vienna just you …

… Should be the city of my dreams forever – where the old houses stand… ”, Fritz Wunderlich once sang and set a musical monument for the city. And they are well worth seeing, the buildings of Vienna, which have both Gothic and Baroque elements.

The viewer can feel the flair of the former Danube monarchy when looking at the architecture, which dates from the founding period. But Art Nouveau , which became the symbol of a new era, is also widespread.

Everything waltz: the golden violinist in Vienna

And then there are the parks and gardens, the Naschmarkt, the Vienna Boys’ Choir and numerous modern attractions that invite you to sightseeing in Vienna.

A trip with the Fiaker gives you an initial overview of the sights in Vienna. One of the stands of the Viennese coachmen is on Stephansplatz, directly on “Steffl”, as the Viennese affectionately call St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna

St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna at night
St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna at night

He is the symbol of the city. It is often referred to as the national shrine. The beginnings of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, as the official name is, go back to the year 1147, when the church was completed and consecrated. Already at that time the church was oversized as a parish church, which suggests that there was already an ambition at that time to transform the place of worship into a bishop’s church. About 200 years later the church became the seat of the cathedral chapter.

It has been a cathedral since the 15th century and became a bishopric. The church building is 107 meters long and 34 meters wide. The highest of the four towers is the south tower with about 136 meters. In it is the main bell with 13 bells. The arrangement of around 230,000 roof tiles, which create a neat zigzag pattern, is particularly attractive. In addition, on the south side there is the K and K coat of arms, which is provided with the year 1831 and the initials of Emperor Franz I.

The roof of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna
The roof of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna

On the north side the coats of arms of the city of Vienna and the Republic of Austria with the year 1950 can be seen. In addition to the main portal, the so-called giant gate, there are four other gates that lead into the interior of the church. There are numerous altars, 6 chapels, 2 sacristies, the Turkish monument, 2 organs and the cathedral treasure, which is exhibited in the right Heidenturm.

Residence of kings and emperors: the Hofburg

The Hofburg , which has served the Habsburgs as a residence since the 13th century , is barely a 10-minute walk from the cathedral . Under Ottokar II Premysl it was by no means as representative as it is today, but that changed under Emperor Ferdinand I, who initiated the expansion of the castle in the middle of the 16th century and transformed it into the Hofburg.

One of the most beautiful sights: The Vienna Hofburg
One of the most beautiful sights: The Vienna Hofburg

Today the building complex has 17 different wings, including the Hofburg chapel , the Amalienburg , the court library and the Redoutensaal wing . Illustrious court balls once took place in the ceremonial hall wing. The largest hall, however, is the ballroom with an area of ​​around 1,000 m².

The areas of today’s official residence of the Austrian Federal President, which are used as museums, are open to the public. In addition to the Sissi Museum and the Imperial Apartments, this also includes the Treasury, the Spanish Riding School, the World Museum and the Austrian Film Museum.

Historical works of art

From the Hofburg you can go through the Volksgarten to Maria-Theresien-Platz, where the Kunsthistorisches Museum is located. The building itself is one of the sights in Vienna that you shouldn’t miss. Only the entrance area with the magnificent staircase and the domed hall, in which there is a café, let the eye pass by. In which place could art history be presented better?

The Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, which opened in 1891, is one of the most important museums in the world. It is admired by over 1 million visitors every year. In addition to the Egyptian-Oriental Collection, the Antique Collection, the Coin Cabinet, the Library and the Vienna Art Chamber, there is also the Picture Gallery, in which you can admire famous works such as the “Tower of Babel”, Titian’s “Nymph and Shepherd” or Albrecht Dürer’s Trinity Altar can. The museum’s collections also include the Imperial Carriage Museum with its over 5,000 carriages, sledges and sedan chairs, which you can visit on the grounds of Schönbrunn Palace.

Much more than an amusement park: the Prater

But before you leave the city, it is best to make a detour to the Prater. That is simply part of a real sightseeing in Vienna!

The Vienna Prater, whose name is derived from the Latin “pratum” for “meadow”, extends along the Danube over an area of ​​6 km².

One of the top sights in Vienna: Ferris wheel on the Prater
One of the top sights in Vienna: Ferris wheel on the Prater

Emperor Josef II gave the area to the Viennese, which only then became freely accessible to everyone. From then on, the residents of Vienna used the green space for relaxation and fun. Coffee houses and dance halls were established, and fireworks and festivals were held. In 1897 the widely visible Ferris wheel finally opened, which laid the foundation for many other rides.

Today, in addition to the Praterturm, a 117-meter-high chain carousel, there is also a giant swing, the great ghost train, a mirror maze and many other attractions in the so-called “Wurstelprater”, the main season of which is from March to October. Families with children in particular will find plenty of variety here. Depending on the weather, the various attractions are open from 10 a.m. to around midnight.

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In addition, the Prater offers all those interested the opportunity to look at stars and starlets: At Madame Tussauds you will encounter wax replicas of Empress Elisabeth of Austria as well as modern greats from art, culture and sport. And the world of astronomy awaits your visit in the Zeiss Planetarium Vienna.

The pleasure palace at the beautiful fountain

Outside the historic old town, in the 13th district of Vienna, is the Schönbrunn Palace with its park and Schönbrunn Zoo. The baroque palace served the imperial family as a summer residence.

Picturesque: Schönbrunn Palace in the evening
Picturesque: Schönbrunn Palace in the evening

It houses a hall of mirrors, a ceremonial hall, the palace theater as well as the red salon, a billiard room, a porcelain room and the Napoleon room. The latter was probably used as a bedroom by Napoleon, who made the castle his headquarters during his occupation.

The palace gardens are also one of the sights in Vienna, as you will find the Neptune Fountain, the dovecote and the palm house as well as various gardens such as the Maze, the Crown Prince Garden and a Japanese garden, which was laid out in 1913.

The oldest zoo in the world

In the palace gardens at Schonbrunn You can pay a visit to the zoo the same name. On an area of ​​17 hectares, 730 animal species with more than 8000 animals can be admired. – The history of the zoo began with the design of a menagerie. The animal garden was opened in 1752, making it the oldest zoo in the world that exists continuously.

Siberian tiger in the Schönbrunn Zoo
Siberian tiger in the Schönbrunn Zoo

The zoo, which was privately owned by the imperial family until the end of the monarchy, was redesigned to be visitor-friendly in the late 19th century. In the course of this, numerous animal houses were modernized and rebuilt. At the beginning of the 20th century, Schönbrunn was one of the most modern and beautiful zoos in the world.

After the first elephant was recorded in 1770, further wild animals such as polar bears, big cats and kangaroos were added around 1800. The first giraffe , which was a gift from the Viceroy of Egypt, caused a sensation throughout Vienna in 1828.

Today the zoo participates in international breeding programs that make a significant contribution to the conservation of endangered animal species. Pandas, Siberian tigers, anteaters, orangutans and polar bears have now been successfully bred.

Our gastronomic tips

Sightseeing makes you just as hungry in Vienna as anywhere else. That is why we have put together a few gastronomic highlights that you shouldn’t miss:

The typical Austrian pub “Zur Eisernen Zeit” , the veteran at Naschmarkt, is very traditional .

The small café called “15 sweet minutes” reinterprets the traditions and serves sweet and savory sweets away from the mainstream. The “Nautilus” restaurant on the Naschmarkt will spoil you with its fish specialties. And for all those who prefer a relaxed atmosphere, “Garage 01” is recommended, where the weekly changing menu takes the guest on a culinary trip around the world.

Shopping in the old town of Vienna

If you are in the mood for a shopping spree after all the sights in Vienna, we recommend the shops on Kohlmarkt, Kärntner and Mariahilfer Strasse. Jewelers, perfumeries and numerous shops for fashion, jewelry and accessories offer what makes shoppers’ hearts beat faster.

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If you are one of those people who likes to stroll through flea markets, Vienna has five flea markets to choose from. One of them is the flea market on Vienna’s Naschmarkt, where around 400 sellers offer their goods every Saturday.

Even if the name “Naschmarkt” suggests that there are sweet delicacies that are so typical of Vienna, this is not the case. The Naschmarkt is the largest food market in Vienna. There are fruit and vegetables from the region as well as international specialties.

The most beautiful sights in London

sights in London

London is the capital of Great Britain and one of the largest cities in Europe. Companies and people from all parts of the world strive for London and make the city on the Thames an economic and cultural metropolis with international flair.

Sightseeing in London is very diverse and offers new surprises every year. In addition to some of the most visited museums in the world with constantly changing special exhibitions, London has many famous and worth seeing sights. A real opportunity to go on a sightseeing tour.

The most famous museums in London

The museum landscape in London is particularly diverse . The most famous museums include the British Museum, the National Gallery, the Tate Gallery, and the Tate Modern art gallery. There are also a large number of private museums and collections on a wide variety of topics.

The National Gallery

The National Gallery is one of the largest art museums in the world. It is located in the famous Trafalgar Square and is already an imposing structure from the outside. 2300 paintings alone are exhibited in the National Gallery. These include works by Titian , Monet, Botticelli and Cézanne; most are from the 13th to 19th centuries.

Museum in Trafalgar Square, London
Museum in Trafalgar Square, London

The admission is free . The National Gallery occupies a special place among the sights in London because it is centrally located and one of the city’s landmarks.

The British Museum

The British Museum is also one of the most visited museums in the world. The impressive building is north of the Thames and can be easily reached via the Picadilly Line and the Cercle Line.

The British Museum in London
The British Museum in London

Entry is free here too. Visitors can admire works of art and artifacts from different eras of world history at the British Museum . Among other things, Egyptian mummies and ancient coins from the early history of all continents are on display.

Tate Gallery of Modern Art

The "Tate Modern"
The “Tate Modern”

The Tate Gallery of Modern Art , Tate Modern for short, is located south of the Thames in the Southwark district. It is a museum for modern art that has a permanent exhibition and constantly changing special exhibitions by various modern artists.

This impressive art collection is housed in a former factory that was converted into a contemporary building by the star architects Herzog & de Meuron from Switzerland.

sights in London

Major attractions in London include Westminster Abbey , Kensington Palace , Buckingham Palace and St Pauls Cathedral . In addition to these historical buildings, there are also numerous other sights of a more profane kind such as the London Eye ferris wheel and the wax museum of Madame Tussauds .

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The latter is the most famous and also the first wax museum that existed. Madame Tussauds now has branches in many other cities around the world. The museum is popular because you can take photos with replicas of the Queen, various heads of government, Will Smith, Mohammed Ali or Kim Kardashian.

Big Ben

No other building is more associated with the city of London than the Big Ben clock tower. The melody that its bells play every full hour is world-famous and has been adopted by countless clockmakers.

Westminster Palace with Big Ben
Westminster Palace with Big Ben

Big Ben is actually the tower of the House of Parliament , which is one of the largest building complexes in London and is located directly on the banks of the Thames.

Both the House of Parliament and Big Ben are best seen and photographed from Westminster Bridge . A tour of the parliament building is only possible in the mornings and not all of the queuing visitors are allowed in. The parliamentary sessions of the lower and upper houses still take place in the parliament building.

Tower Bridge

Another unmistakable landmark of London that should not be missing when sightseeing in London is Tower Bridge . It crosses the Thames and is in the immediate vicinity of the London Tower . Hence her name comes from.

Tower Bridge after sunset
Tower Bridge after sunset

Characteristic and architecturally impressive are the huge massive 65 meter high towers that have held the Tower Bridge for centuries. There is the option of climbing the bridge towers and the connection between the two towers and from there enjoying the view over the Thames, the tower and the city.

Recently, tourists with a head for heights can also dare to look through the glass floor at the bridge itself.

The London Eye

The London Eye is probably one of the most famous big wheels in Europe. From the top you have a great view over London – if the weather cooperates and it is not too foggy.

The London Eye ferris wheel is right on the Thames
The London Eye ferris wheel on the River Thames

When the weather is clear you can see all the way to Windsor Palace . Especially when the weather is nice, there are long queues in front of the entrance to the London Eye. For many visitors, a lap on the London Eye is simply part of a vacation in London.

It is best to book your tickets in advance on the internet directly with the organizer.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is located in the City of Westminster in the heart of London . The royal family of Great Britain live in this huge building. The mighty building is already worth seeing from the outside.

Buckingham Palace in London
Buckingham Palace in London

Those who want to visit Buckingham Palace from the inside can do so especially in the summer months , when some of the sumptuously furnished rooms are open to the public .

Another highlight in connection with Buckingham Palace is the changing of the guard , which takes place daily from April to July and otherwise every two days at 11:30 a.m. This small and worth seeing spectacle lasts 45 minutes.

Changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace
Changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace

Westminster Abbey

When visiting the British capital, Westminster Abbey should of course not be missing as a really outstanding sight. Over 100 British kings , queens, princes and princesses were interred in this famous church , starting with King Edward who died in 1066.

Westminster Abbey in London - the burial place of many kings
Westminster Abbey in London – the burial place of many kings

Other personalities are also buried in Westminster Abbey, such as the British African explorer David Livingstone and the writer Charles Dickens . So you walk through very historical ground when you enter the church.

London Zoo

The London Zoo is located north of Regents Park and is one of the oldest zoos in Europe. More than 750 animal species and a total of more than 18,000 individual animals can be found on the 15 hectare site.

The reptile house, the penguin pool and the bird house were designed by well-known architects. The London Zoo is not only home to the usual zoo animals such as elephants, giraffes and zebras.

There are also true exotic species to marvel at : for example, the zoo has had an ant colony, lowland gorillas, Sumatran tigers and Galápagos turtles since 2011. A single building is dedicated to the butterflies and there is a huge aquarium divided into different aquatic habitats. There is an Amazon world and a coral reef in it.

Parks and green spaces in London

London is known for its diverse and varied green spaces and parks.

Hyde Park – the most famous park in Great Britain

The most famous park in London is Hyde Park . It is located in the west of the city and is often referred to as the green lung of London . Many Londoners use the park with its 1.4 square kilometers as a recreational area for jogging, picnicking and walking.

Hyde Park in London - the capital's green lung
Hyde Park in London – the capital’s green lung

In the middle of the park is the Serpentine Lake, which divides the park in two halves. In the summer months, numerous concerts and events take place in the park area.

If you are planning a vacation in London, you should look at one of the event calendars in order to be able to experience one of these events.

Bizarre: Speaker at Speakers Corner in Hyde Park
Bizarre: Speaker at Speakers Corner in Hyde Park

There is another attraction at the northeast end of Hyde Park. Speaker’s Corner is right here, right next to Marble Arch .

This is a small square where everyone is legally allowed to give a speech on any topic . The only thing that the speakers are not allowed to talk about is the Queen and the royal family.

In fact, there are a few, sometimes somewhat curious, characters at Speakers Corner every day who give lectures on all kinds of topics.

Brompton Cemetery

West Brompton Cemetery is a particularly beautiful green space . It is located near Earls Court and is used as a recreational area by the residents of this area.

The Brompton Cemetery is not only a peaceful and relatively quiet green space with hedges and trees, but also has thousands of beautiful ornate gravestones with crosses and angel figures enthroned.

 

The perfect 48 hours in Oslo

As part of the Travelers Insight blog parade “The perfect 48 hours in…” I would like to make a suggestion for two wonderful days in Oslo . In principle, a longer visit to the Norwegian capital and the surrounding area is also recommended, but if you have limited time or are still looking for suggestions, you will hopefully find something here.

Oslo is one of those cities that cannot offer countless sights like some other European capitals do. What impresses you here are less grand streets and historical buildings churning out, but rather the special flair of the fjord and the very own charm that this city exudes. An absolute must for Scandinavian fans!

Day 1 – Explore the city center

Look out into the city center from the opera in the morning

The opera house in Oslo is not far from the main train station directly at the harbor and thanks to its unusual architecture it is accessible and therefore ideally suited as a vantage point of the city center from the roof . The angular shape is modeled on an iceberg, the facade is largely covered with noble Carrara marble slabs.

There is even more modern architecture to admire right next door, so to speak: in the Bjørvika district . The barcode is the silhouette of a few long, narrow skyscrapers, which are always at a certain distance from the next building, but all of which have their own architectural details . From a distance – and seen from above – the sight resembles a barcode, hence the name.

From the opera you continue towards the city on Karl Johan , the main street in Oslo, which leads from the train station directly to the royal palace. In the city center, the distances are short, everything can be easily reached on foot. On the way to the castle you will pass the cathedral, the parliament building, the grand hotel, the national theater and the university.

Grand Hotel in Oslo

The impression is not misleading: Oslo is a very green city. Around the royal castle , which is located on a small hill, there is a large park – the castle park. So it is ideal for a short break from the exploration tour before continuing to the famous town hall .

One can probably argue about the beauty of the town hall, but the fact is that it has a high symbolic meaning and appears every year through the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize

Oslo City Hall

What strolls through the city is already noticeable, are the many electric cars – easy to recognize by the license plates, which start with EL. Accordingly, the necessary infrastructure is also available here: You can see charging stations and special parking spaces for e-cars in many corners. Norway is a pioneer in the field of electromobility, which is mainly due to the fact that the state is consistently promoting it. The acquisition costs are often lower compared to cars with a combustion engine thanks to tax advantages. In the meantime, however, one is also faced with the challenge of adapting the infrastructure in the future to the rapidly increasing number of electric cars.

In the afternoon up to the fortress

View from Akershus Fortress to Oslo City Hall
View from Akershus Fortress to the town hall

Akershus Fortress, an originally medieval castle that was later converted into a Renaissance chateau , is only a stone’s throw from the town hall . From here you have a great view of the town hall, the fjord and the harbor or you can take a look at a cruise ship, if one has docked.

Food and accommodation

The Aker Brygge district is home to a variety of restaurants – from fish restaurants to Italians, there should be something for everyone here. The open-air restaurant Lekter’n , which is located on a floating pontoon in the fjord, exudes a special flair . From here you have a great view of the fjord and Akershus Fortress (provided there is no large ship in front of it). In terms of food, you shouldn’t expect anything more than solid performance here.

There is enough accommodation in the city center, but you can also spend the night a bit outside the city center. Thanks to the T-bane, Oslo’s subway , the distance to the city is quite straightforward. The Oslo route network is manageable and therefore ideal for people who are not particularly well versed. Tickets are available in the stations at the Ruter machines (white # on a red background), for example as a single ticket or 24-hour ticket

Day 2 – From Holmenkollen out into the fjord

Enjoy the view from Holmenkollen in the morning

The second day starts with a trip to Holmenkollen, the mountain northwest of Oslo, on which the Holmenkollbakken ski jump , known among winter sports enthusiasts, is located. To do this, take the T-bane to the Holmenkollen station and then walk the last bit up the mountain. But the way up the mountain is not only worthwhile for ski jumping fans, because the view over the city and the fjord is very impressive.

Holmenkollbakken ski jump
Holmenkollbakken ski jump

A ski museum is located below the ski jump , in which, among other things, the history of skiing is illuminated. The entry also includes the viewing platform at the highest point of the ski jump, namely above the jumping facility. From here you have the best 360 degree view of Oslo . If you want to save yourself the entrance fee for the ski museum, you can move around freely in the spectator stands and enjoy a very nice view from the mezzanine.

Those with a head for heights who would like to experience a ski jump for themselves can “zipline” with adequate safety (except in winter) or, in good English, swing down from the jumping facility on a zip line.

Discover and relax in the Vige landsanlegget at lunchtime

On the way back from Holmenkollen you can use the Majorstuen exit directly to visit the Vigeland Sculpture Park . Alternatively, tram 12 stops right in front of the park ( Vigelandsparken stop ). The sculpture park is the life’s work of the Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland. There are over 200 stone and bronze sculptures to marvel at. The most famous of these are the Sinnataggen , the defiantly stamping child, the Monolitten and the Livshjulet , the wheel of life. The park is open all year round and there is no entry fee.

The most beautiful sights in Moscow

Right from the start: In Moscow you won’t find just vodka everywhere and polar bears don’t walk the streets . This joke only causes eyes to roll or a tired smile in locals, so leave it at home right away. What to take with you instead is plenty of time. There are so many exciting sights in the city that are beautiful and unique that they cannot be missed.

Moscow is one of the most expensive cities in the world.
Moscow is one of the most dangerous cities in the world.
Moscow is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

There are many stereotypes associated with this city. But only those who have visited the city themselves can describe what this city is like. Opulent facades, historical masterpieces and cultural treasures lurk around every corner. In our blog post, we have summarized the most popular sights that you should definitely see on your first visit to Moscow . In our other posts we will give tips for your future visits. Because anyone who has already been to Moscow will want to come here again. Guaranteed!

Take the metro – ride the train and admire the very special atmosphere

Moscow Metro

Standing in traffic jams for hours is everyday life in Moscow. That is why 9 million people are out and about in the underground metro every day. Anyone who has found the Paris Metro to be hectic will no longer notice it after a trip in the Moscow Metro. The Подземка ( Padsemka – the emphasis on E), as the locals call the metro , is fascinating and exhausting at the same time. The escalators are long and the transitions between the stations are often endless. In some places, however, only the noise of the approaching trains reminds you that you are in the metro. Inside it is partly as beautiful as in a palace.The metro, with its curved ceilings and crystal chandeliers, is a sight in itself. Marble on the floor, mosaics on the walls – nowhere else in the world are there such beautiful metro stations.

A ride on the Moscow Metro is   a challenge for the inexperienced. Especially at rush hour. Those who are used to getting into the car slowly will feel stressed here. Those who dawdle are literally pushed into the train by the crowd. It’s very loud inside, although hardly anyone is talking to each other and the train is fast. If you hurry to get on, you can get a seat, which is often worthwhile – the journey from one sight to another can take a good 40 minutes. An absolute advantage of the Moscow Metro is its intelligibility. If you know which station to get off at, you will find them easily – the structure of the metro is very simple.

The red square – a must stop on the Moscow trip

Moscow Red Square

 

Actually, the place is “beautiful” and not “red”. The name was simply translated literally without taking into account that krasnij means not only “red” but also “beautiful” in Old Russian. A visit to the red square is a must on your program. It is located right in the center and directly borders the Kremlin. There you immediately feel like you’re in a fairy tale: several centuries of history meet here. The square is virtually framed by the beautiful historical masterpieces. The Historical Museum, the Gate of Resurrection, St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Kremlin, the mausoleum, the GUM department store – you need at least one day to get to know these great sights.
The red square has existed since the times of Ivan III, i.e. since the 15th century. At that time the square served as a place for trade and was later also used to proclaim the laws of the rulers. The square has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990 .

GUM: Russian Luxury

Moscow GUM

The luxurious GUM is located directly on Red Square, opposite the Lenin Mausoleum and the Kremlin Russia is often associated with luxury and wealth. In GUM you can experience this up close. One of the largest department stores in Russia is a must to admire the pseuso-Russian style , take a mandatory photo with the fountain, admire great shops and the audience. The GUM was opened in 1893 and in the 70s-80s it was the address not for luxury, but for normal goods. Today GUM is not only the fashion temple for the upper-class, but also a historical monument of the late 19th century.

Moscow Kremlin

Moscow Kremlin

The Kremlin is the seat of the Russian President. But it’s more than just that. The Kremlin is a place of majestic cathedrals, museums and churches. When the weather is good, the view from both inside and outside is breathtaking: the gleaming gold dome and magnificent facades are truly unique. Not to be missed is the Cathedral of the Assumption , which by the way is the oldest church in the city.

Dormition Cathedral

You should definitely check out the armory and diamond fund. There you can admire the status symbols of the Russian tsar, everyday objects, church objects and the unique collection of diamonds and precious stones that were cut in the Kremlin factories or were donated from abroad.

St. Basil’s Cathedral

St. Basil's Cathedral Moscow

 

One of the most famous Russian churches in the world is even more majestic in reality than in the pictures. No photo can truly reproduce the splendor of the colorful onion domes, frescoes and iconostases. The cathedral was built in 1560 by the Russian masters Barma and Postnik. The popular saying goes that Ivan the Great was so enthusiastic about the church that he blinded the architects so that they could no longer repeat this masterpiece.

St. Basil’s Cathedral was built to honor victory in the battle for the Tatar-Mongolian capital Kazan. Both the colors and the shapes used in its construction are remarkable. The church consists of nine chapels, each chapel represents a special event in this war. The chapels and the main church are set up so that they point in all four directions. Even if the church looks so big from the outside, it is also very narrow inside.

There have already been several attempts to destroy the church: Napoleon, who actually wanted to take the church with him to Paris, but what was not possible, had his soldiers blow it up. But the rain that started suddenly ruined his plans.

Communists have also tried several times to destroy the church. The most famous story is how Stalin prevented the church from being demolished. According to plans, it should be demolished to allow parades to take place. The bells have already melted. When the plan was presented to Stalin, his adviser wanted to remove the cathedral with a wave of the hand, to which Stalin replied: “Leave it there, Lasar!”

A few years later a new attempt was made and the preparation of the demolition was given to the architect Petr Baranowsky. But he holed up in the church and yelled with him if it was to be torn down. So he saved the masterpiece, but not himself – years later he was imprisoned in a labor camp.

In 2003 St. Basil’s Cathedral was thoroughly restored and since then it has been mainly used as a museum, but occasional services are also held there.

Tretyakov Gallery

Even if you are not a big art lover, you should definitely visit one of the largest art museums in Moscow . There you will find mostly paintings by Russian artists from 18-19 centuries, including a large collection of Russian icons. If you want to get to know Russian culture better, you should plan plenty of time for the visit. There is no other way – you stroll from one hall to the other, admire the greatest masterpieces of Russian culture and just want more of them.

The museum got its name from the Russian merchant Pawel Michailowitsch Tretyakov, who started collecting works of art in the mid-19th century. When he died, his brother donated the works of art along with the building where he lived to the state. All private collections that Communists later confiscated also moved to the museum – this is how this huge collection (over 100,000 works of art) comes together.

Russian cuisine in a charming ambience

Russian cuisine

 

Pelmeni, pirogi, borsch – don’t miss out on these delicacies from Russian cuisine. Especially since the offer is really enormous. Those who want to treat themselves to something special, you should definitely the Café Pushkin visit. Not exactly cheap, but the ambience is unique. Not only old-fashioned waiters and violins create the atmosphere from the 18th century. Rooms full of books, candles and samovars make you forget time here.

Another great location is Mama’s “Mari vanna” room , delicious and very original. You can enjoy pelmeni and vareniki in a sixties-style apartment. At that time, many Russians lived in so-called communal apartments . Each family only had one room, the bathroom and kitchen were shared by all families. The atmosphere of a Russian communal apartment was thought out in every detail. You dine comfortably close to other guests like in a communal kitchen and with a bit of luck you might even meet the in-house tomcat Wen jamin . The food is very delicious and absolutely Russian.

Sparrow Hills and Gorky Park

Here you can experience the most beautiful sunrise, relax after a long tour of discovery or enjoy the view of the city. “The mountains” are around 70 m high and offer an unforgettable panorama. The highlight is the Lomonosov University building, a beautiful building and an architectural monument from the Stalin era. A walk to Sparrow Hills is best combined with a visit to Gorky Park.
The world-famous Gorki Park, 1.2 square kilometers in size, is the popular recreational spot for locals. Do sports, play, go for a walk, go boating in summer or ice skating in winter – the green oasis in the middle of the city offers family relaxation for everyone.

The Bolshoi Theater

Bolshoj theater

A visit to the Bolshoj Theater is also a must for all opera and ballet fans . The building was built in the classicism style and was only restored a few years ago. It was built in 1780 and was previously called the Petrowski Theater, like the street of the same name where it used to be. Since then the building has burned down twice and has been rebuilt from scratch.

For over 225 years the theater has been the world symbol of Russian culture and attracts thousands of visitors every season. “Swan Lake”, “The Nutcracker” – the unique ballet troupe masters their work like no one else in the world. The tickets for the ballet and opera are not too expensive, but they sell out very quickly. It is therefore best to order the tickets before your visit. You will be entranced by both masterful performances and majestic ambience . Before the performance begins, you can enjoy the splendid decoration in the hall: shining gold, noble red velvet set the tone for the spectacle. And if you come to the performance yourself in an evening outfit, you are well prepared for the very special evening.

Remember: In Bolshoj you must n’t miss the third gong , otherwise you will spend the whole act at the very back, even if you have paid for good seats. Video and photo recordings are also strictly prohibited. Leave the cell phone and camera aside and enjoy the unique experience.

5 things you should definitely take with you on a trip to Moscow

Safe storage for
your money Europeans in Russia have always been recognized by their loosely hanging half-open rucksacks, by women’s bags that are carried behind the back and do not have a zipper. But even if there is a lot of security in the city, you are never safe from pickpockets. Especially in the places where there are many tourists. Avoid unsafe luggage and always keep an eye on your bag.

Documents
Where do you stay when you visit the city? Do you have a hotel reservation or are you staying with your friends? If you want to spend more than three days in the city, you have to arrange a registration. This could be your hotel booking or a document that your hosts have to organize for you when you arrive. You should always have this registration with you and show it during inspections. If you are leaving on the same day, your train or plane ticket is sufficient.

Comfortable shoes
So really comfortable shoes. Even if you don’t plan on walking a lot, it is inevitable. Also, for example, when you are out and about in the metro. The transitions are sometimes so long that you need a good 10 minutes to switch.

A good physical condition
The city is big and is always in a rush. Even if you plan a relaxed daily routine, the hurry will catch up with you faster than you think. Your walk will be faster, you will also be in a hurry, although you don’t have to. It’s infected faster than you think. Visiting many sights also requires a good physical condition.

Chic outfit
You can often recognize Europeans by their casual look, which is worn both during the day and in the evening. Russians like to wear chic clothes, high shoes and expensive jewelry in the evening. So be sure to take your chic clothes with you – you will probably not have as many options as in Moscow again soon.

Mallorca is much more than a vacation island

The large Balearic island of Mallorca is a symbol of holidays in shimmering turquoise bays and delicious tapas. But the dream of a Mediterranean life also comes true for many Germans here.

Mallorca: dream vacation included

The beaches and the sea on Mallorca make vacation dreams come true for many Germans . Year after year we make a pilgrimage in droves to the largest of the Balearic Islands, which we therefore affectionately refer to as the 17th state. Last year that was just over two and a half million Germans in the period from June to September .

Based on these figures, it is not surprising that one or the other consider Mallorca as their main residence – or at least think of their own holiday property . Most people quickly dismiss these thoughts, however, as Mallorca is widely known for its high property prices. Of course, there are fantastic villas and fincas on the beauty of the Balearic Islands, but also quite affordable apartments. A closer look at the property market in Mallorca is definitely worth it

Why is Mallorca so popular?

Mallorca is pure deceleration . The Spanish Dolce Vita and the calm of the sea let you breathe deeply away from the hustle and bustle and sangria. The speed of life is immediately throttled at the sight of turquoise shimmering bays, enchanting harbors and picturesque places.

Enjoy the slowness while sailing

When sailing, progress is slower than in hardly any other sport. Even pedestrians are often faster than a sailboat. But that’s exactly why sailing is so popular and fascinates people more than ever. In an increasingly hectic society, the stress stays outside when sailing. Just enjoy the moment, let your gaze wander over the wide sea and simply come down. This feeling is indescribable when the wind blows the salty air around your nose and the lighthouse sends out its regular flashes of light. An editor from Stern describes this wonderful feeling in his travelogue very figurative. On his sailing trip from Mallorca via Formentera to Ibiza, he experienced how to consciously reduce the speed.

What sailors particularly appreciate about Mallorca is the perfect maritime infrastructure . Sure, there are many islands with picturesque bays, water shimmering in various shades of turquoise, idyllic sand and pebble beaches. But Mallorca also offers first-class and modern marinas with the associated infrastructure, which makes the island an excellent sailing area.

All year round to golf in Mallorca

In only a few destinations, golf courses are playable all year round. The Mediterranean climate on Mallorca with mild winters ensures a golf season over 365 days . The fast and numerous flight connections available also make golfing on the large Balearic island attractive. Short trips are also worthwhile, as you can be there in just two hours by plane from Germany. Around Palma, and with it the airport, you will find 15 golf courses alone. All in all, with 24 courses, Mallorca offers a wide range of options for all sorts of preferences, whether it’s a big tee in the driving range or a relaxed round on the 18-hole course.

Mallorca as a main or secondary residence

Officially , only around 20,000 Germans are registered with a place of residence on Mallorca. Unofficially , however, the number of Germans who live permanently on the island is estimated at around 60,000. The reason for the declining numbers experts refer to the Spanish fiscal policy, which since 2011 and 2012 means, among other things, the taxation of assets for foreign residents and also obliges them to disclose larger assets abroad.

Nonetheless, the Balearic Island is like no other for (at least) a second home. Many of the foreign residents appreciate the fact that, due to the very good infrastructure , they do not have to do without the usual amenities in any way. Mallorca is particularly suitable for older people due to the excellent medical care it offers. In addition, there is no language barrier , as many German doctors and other service providers have settled there.

A day in Breskens on the beach

Breskens is located in the extreme southwest of the Netherlands in the province of Zeeland at the mouth of the Scheldt in the North Sea. With a really large selection of holiday homes and incredibly wide beaches , the small resort is ideal as a holiday destination for families with children.

We are now going to Breskens again (as a family with two children). The holiday homes are located directly behind the dune or the dike of the Breskens. This means you can quickly walk to the beach in just a few steps. The holiday homes and apartments can be rented on a weekly basis through the Verhuur-Centrum in Breskens  or through large tour operators such as Roompot .

The beach between Breskens and Cadzand was massively heaped up with sand from the sea in 2010 in order to protect residents from the storm surges in the North Sea, especially in the winter months. Even if the fortification of the coastal facilities is not without controversy among the locals, it has brought  about a very pleasant property for visitors: the beach in Breskens is really very wide compared to beaches on the Mediterranean Sea . It is also suitable for sports and games as well as for long walks. The beach in the area between the ferry landing point (to Vlissingen) and the Breskens lighthouse is really nice. The beach is only divided by a row of groynes every 300 – 400 metersto break the waves.

By the way: I took all the pictures from Breskens on the extended Whitsun weekend of 2017, when many visitors from nearby countries (Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg) were in Breskens. The beach is not really “full”. Below the week it means emptier😉

Play and relax on the beach in Breskens

The moment I put my feet on the sandy beach for the first time on every vacation, the vacation really begins for me. Everyone can do what they like on the beach. Some play soccer, volleyball, boules or frisbee. The others rest or read. Children are of course buried in and sometimes the family’s dad has to go into the freshly dug sand pit. The very daring kite or surf.

In the summer months, the beach cafes and restaurants along the coast are usually open daily. Both in ” t ‘Halve Maentje ” or in Loods Tien  you can enjoy sheltered from the wind with a wonderful view over the Scheldt over to Vlissingen and watch the pilot boats or large ships passing by. Since the Scheldt is the connection from the North Sea to Antwerp (in Belgium), large ocean liners pass here practically at any time of the day.

Weather and tides on Breskens beach

The ebb and flow of the tide can be clearly felt in Breskens. The tidal range (difference between ebb and flow) is sometimes 4 meters or more. As a result, the beach, which is already wide, becomes about 100 meters wider at low tide. Especially when the tide is low, you can hike extensively through the mudflats.

Short break on Lake Constance

A trip to Lake Constance is always a very special vacation, regardless of whether you are spending a few days or a few weeks there. Endless lakes that sparkle in the sunshine, cozy old towns with their winding alleys, pretty pedestrian zones that invite you to take a leisurely stroll – you can hardly imagine a place that has a more romantic feeling than the Lake Constance region .

No wonder that every second hotel hereA trip to Lake Constance is always a very special vacation, regardless of whether you are spending a few days or a few weeks there. Endless lakes that sparkle in the sunshine, cozy old towns with their winding alleys, pretty pedestrian zones that invite you to take a leisurely stroll – you can hardly imagine a place that has a more romantic feeling than the Lake Constance region .

No wonder that every second hotel here has the word “romance” in it. Whether dreamy cities or charming islands – finding a suitable place for a romantic marriage proposal is no problem here. And of course you can combine it with a short vacation or weekend trip

How about, for example, the flower island of Mainau ? We find an island to fall in love with and also to get engaged. Wrapped in aromas of roses, lavender and fuchsia in a very romantic way in the evening sun – such a marriage proposal is sure to remain unforgettable for the future bride and groom. has the word “romance” in it. Whether dreamy cities or charming islands – finding a suitable place for a romantic marriage proposal is no problem here. And of course you can combine it with a short vacation or weekend trip

How about, for example, the flower island of Mainau ? We find an island to fall in love with and also to get engaged. Wrapped in aromas of roses, lavender and fuchsia in a very romantic way in the evening sun – such a marriage proposal is sure to remain unforgettable for the future bride and groom.

And also for their friends. Because people like to talk about such a marriage proposal. Our tip – it is best to travel in May-June, when the rose garden is in full bloom.

The lake promenade in Überlingen is another example of an unforgettable marriage proposal. Ideal for all classic music lovers : a dinner in the small café with champagne and a view of the lake at sunset , followed by a delicious dessert and the very classic mint-colored ring case with the inscription “Tiffany”.

Our tip – take your camera with you! Your fiancée, who will shine with a diamond ring, will look absolutely magical against the backdrop of the evening lake. And you have the perfect motif for your wedding invitation cards.

If you want to go high, you absolutely have to include Meersburg Castle in your bike or stroll tour. Climbing the tower is worth it, because you are rewarded with a breathtaking view high above the sea. Up there you feel like you’re in a fairy tale – high up in the castle, waiting for the prince who is already kneeling there with the sparkling ring in his hand and is waiting for the joyful “YES!”

Our tip – ask your best friend for ring ideas! She usually knows exactly what shape the stone must have and which gold your future fiancée prefers.
A marriage proposal on Lake Constance is always beautiful and the more surprising it is, the better.

Every few meters you will find beautiful places that are ideally suited for the most emotional surprise . Take a look at our picture gallery and let yourself be inspired!