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We did it! After almost 15 years of travel writing and blogging on Movable Type system we moved our blog from Typepad to Wordpress. Over the last few years we have begun to question our blog strategy more and more. Apart from not wanting to spend much time on SEO and social media we also felt that Typepad did not offer the same range of possibilities as Wordpress. When Typepad announced that they would not accept new sign-ups anymore at the end of last year we finally decided to switch. For sure it means that they are not sticking around for much longer. Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2021 at Westwards
The Muskau park is the largest and one of the most famous English landscape gardens in Central Europe, stretching along both sides of the river Neiße, which also marks the German–Polish border. In 2004 the Muskau garden was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. Creator of this masterpiece garden was the German aristocrat Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau. Cycling towards Muskau on the Oder-Neiße cycling trail, we decided to read up on Prince Pückler-Muskau and the garden. So far, we had only associated the name of Prince Pückler with Neapolitan ice cream – which is named after him in German: Fürst-Pückler-Eis! Prince Pückler-Muskau must have been ... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2021 at Westwards
Glad you liked it! We always thought you have been practically everywhere ... Not in Germany's cliché, though?
The “Romantic Road” sounds familiar in German, but few Germans know what and where it is. And certainly those down-to-earth Germans have not spent much time walking (or driving, or hiking) on the Romantic Road. Autumn leaves and Franconian wine were the highlights of this trip Actually, the term does not refer to your relationship status, but to a 460 km themed holiday route ... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2021 at Westwards
That's true, and they did try hard to turn mountain lovers into divers... Perhaps a basic affinity to being underwater is needed.
In 2019 the fourth site on the Canary Islands was awarded the status of a UNESCO world heritage site: Risco Caido and the sacred mountains of Gran Canaria. Prior to the arrival of Spanish conquerors in the 15th century, Gran Canaria was the most populated of the Canary Islands, and therefore there are more pre-Hispanic remains than on any other island. …The core of the UNESCO inscription is Risco Caido, a cave structure with more than 20 caves …. First, we make our way up into the mountains to the picturesque village of Artenara, nearly 1300 m above sea level. The newly inscribed caves must be somewhere near Artenara, but we are not sure where exactly … Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2021 at Westwards
Fuerteventura literally means “strong winds” and that was indeed the prevalent feature of the island when we visited Fuerteventura for 12 days in December. With a mild and dry climate and not far off the Moroccan coast, the second-largest of the Canary Islands is a popular winter destination for European tourists. We arrive in the South of the Island by Fred Olsen ferry from Gran Canaria and walk over to the nearby town of Morro Jable – a strip of colourful houses built into a dry wadi not so long ago. A balmy breeze wafts through the alleys and we have some cortados and a cheese sandwich at one of the cafés. Arabic is spoken at the neighbouring tables and Morro Jable definitely has a North African vibe to it. Nothing in the desert landscape behind us would recommend this spot for a settlement, were it not for the broad white sand beach ... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2021 at Westwards
We wish you a happy and healthy New Year! As always, we conclude the previous year with a review of our travels. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic we had to cancel almost all our private travel plans and most of our work-related travel ceased, too. But overall travel-wise we did not so bad in 2020. January: Austria and Norway In January we went to Eastern Tyrol ... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2020 at Westwards
The modernist Workers' Union school was built into a forest outside of Berlin: The glass front of the Bauhaus-constructed refectory looks out onto sparse woods and a pond. In addition to the large windows with an intricate opening system, the room has large skylights fitted with special heating pipes to prevent fogging from the hot food. When we visit, the room is not in use and the chairs are put up on the tables. Constructed in 1930 for the General Confederation of German Trade Unions (ADGB), … Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2020 at Westwards
It is a very small country and it doesn`t take much time to get around. Public transport is free in the whole county!
It is really a beautiful hike! The white wines in Luxembourg are good too!
Eritrea is a very relaxed and safe destination in Africa. Easy to travel, but accommodation and restaurants are pretty basic most of the time. Transport also is a problem in most parts of the country as is the tiring process of getting permits for everything.
Toggle Commented Nov 12, 2020 on Travelling up and down in Eritrea at Westwards
Dear Linda, no problem there are lots of rental companies in the area and everything is possible from a few hours on the river up to the five day tour. In theory you could even paddle beyond Anklam, but the rentals companies would not pick you up from there. So you would either need your own boat or you would have to paddle back to Anklam. You could also rent a bigger house boat on the river.
The ice cream shop is called Eis Greissler. They have shops in several cities in Austria - also in Vienna. And more interesting flavors like poppy seed and Apfelstrudel.
It was closed due to Corona - but can be visited under normal circumstances. Sometimes you don`t visit a place, because it is not so far away and that gives you the feeling you can visit whenever you want, I think....But yes, Luxemburg is worth a visit. Good wine too!
Red wooden gates mark the entrance to the Jaegersborg Dyrehave, the deer park just north of Copenhagen. On this rare warm and sunny summer day, the broad, paved entrance road is full of people walking or cycling. We turn into Mathildesti lane, a sandy, but wide and rather straight lane heading north into the centre of the park. In the 17th century, Mathildesti lane was one of the major axes for riders to cross the huge deer park. Today there is still a smaller riding lane somewhere in the distance, but we don't see any horse riders nor many other people until we reach the small palace in the centre of the enormous park. What we do see is different kinds of deer, such as red and fallow deer, roaming through the woods in groups, grazing or eyeing curiously the activities at the golf course below the palace. Even today there are still hundreds of deer living in this royal deer park and former hunting ground. They were brought here in the 17th century ... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2020 at Westwards
Why did the dinosaurs have to die? They disappeared a long time ago, … but a little-known coastal stretch in Denmark might have something to do with it. The coastal cliffs of Stevns Klint provided the researchers with a clue what kind of catastrophe to search for. Our excursion to Stevns Klint was a coincidence due to corona-induced changes of travel plans … So instead we took the bicycles for a ride through Denmark and first spent a day at Møns Klint, an impressive white cliff formation looking out onto the Baltic Sea. The Møns cliffs are part of the same chalk formation as the White Cliffs of Rügen in Germany, and a popular tourist attraction with a visitor centre and a number of walkways and hiking courses. It is not the cliffs of Møns Klint, however, that are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, but the smaller ones at Stevns Klint a bit further north. We stop in the area ... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2020 at Westwards
After two weeks of hiking and climbing in Styria's impressive Alpine mountains, we decide to switch bare rock and high altitudes for some urban atmosphere in the province's capital city of Graz. Graz is not only a convenient traffic hub for our return journey to Berlin but also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage for its well-preserved Renaissance Old Town. From the tramway window, we look out onto pleasant outdoor seating areas, where people are already leisurely enjoying wine and aperitifs. The scene has a distinct Southern European flair – Graz is, after all, not so far from Italy. We get off ... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2020 at Westwards
Luxembourg is such a small country that you are tempted to think it consists only of the City of Luxembourg. But of course there's also countryside, and in the countryside there is a long-distance hiking trail we have set our eyes on. "You walk in several circles around the small town of Echternach, in a somewhat mountainous area with lots of rolling fields.” Sounds strange? But it's supposed to be a beautiful trail with impressive rock formations. This being Luxembourg, the trail is also well-organised with a lot of information online, including details on currently closed tracks and suggestions for walking stages using (free!) public transport. A perfect first excursion into a foreign country after the long Corona restrictions – we think. Equipped with hiking gear, tent and walking sticks we board a train for Luxembourg, but ... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2020 at Westwards
Hi Dennis, so nice hearing from you. Yes, paddling on the Peene was very tranquil (wouldn't that be befitting for Styx, too?). You could even go for long-distance SUPping ... But first, some other exciting projects!
“Westerly winds and some showers, too cool for early July”. The weather forecast for our week of paddling along the Peene River in Northern Germany was not too favourable. But it means we will be paddling downriver, as Heiko at the kayak rental explains: The river's surface elevation in Verchen, at the start of our tour, is just 24 cm higher than at its end about 80 km away in Anklam. "The Peene is the only river in Europe that actually changes its direction with easterly winds and flows away from the sea." Local PR agents call the river Peene the "Amazonas of the North" – this may be a bit of an exaggeration, but large parts of the river are a nature sanctuary and we expect to see a lot of animals ... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2020 at Westwards
A small queue is forming outside the Berlin TV Tower while we plug in our earphones to listen to the tour guide. "Tall and lean, tall and lean … very clean," high children's voices are singing the praise of the futuristic TV Tower that was a showpiece of socialist architecture when it was built in 1969. At 365 m height …, it was among the highest towers in the world, and the shiny metal ball holding the revolving tower café at a height of about 200 m was visible from all over Berlin. "But the first thing proud socialist East Berliners would see when they stepped out of the elevator was – West Berlin!," the audio guide comments. Back then, … Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2020 at Westwards
Byblos is one of the longest continuously inhabited cities of the world. The first people to build their houses at the shore of the Mediterranean at this spot did so 8000 years ago! And remains of all ages have been found in the ground. That's the reason why Byblos has received UNESCO World Heritage status in 1984. The most eye-catching structure of the vast archaeological site is however the crusader castle ... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2020 at Westwards
The Hermitage is far too big and too wonderful for one day - we could explore maybe one third in one full day (7 hours). An absolute must-see!
Toggle Commented May 31, 2020 on Total sightseeing in St. Petersburg at Westwards
On our way to the Outer Hebrides on the very outskirts of Europe, we look back from the Castlebay ferry onto the harbour of Oban. People are sitting outside and enjoying a rare spell of May sun – it will be the largest number of people we are to see for a while. Our destination, Castlebay, is a tiny village huddled around the harbour, with a ruined castle on an island rock in the bay, indeed. From there we walk on for two more hours over empty coastal roads to the even lonelier island of Vatersay. Vatersay, the southernmost island of the Outer Hebrides or Western Isles, is the starting point of the Hebridean Way which will lead us over all the ten Outer Hebridean Islands to the regional capital of Stornoway. Some islands are connected by causeways, like the first stage's small islands of Vatersay and Barra; others by local ferries, and the total hiking distance is about 250 km. Early the next day we meet the two other hikers who had been with us on the ferry, but both hurry off with little luggage Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2020 at Westwards