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Hello Mark - the trail is signposted with the blue k and a crown (as in the picture), and quite consistently so. Very few places where you might go wrong. There are books in German about the König Ludwig Weg, and the local tourist information in Fuessen has a lot of information on their homepage: Try They offer maps and gpx data for the trail, too, so even if it is in German, that should help, and you can also machine translate the trail description texts to get some idea what's in the text.
Heavy rain has set in when we reach the Gyeongbokgung Royal Palace in Seoul. A family dressed in the formal garb of Korean nobility is seeking shelter under the eaves of the palace. The traditional dress of the Yangban, a Korean noble or court official, consists of the characteristic hat traditionally made from horsehair with a bamboo frame (the rental ones are made from plastic...). The women wear hanbok, the Korean skirt that begins directly under the breast and bulges down with a lot of fabric. Some of them are holding umbrellas, and nearly all are holding smartphones to take family photos in the palace surroundings. Gyeongbokgung Palace is one of five Royal Palaces in Seoul, originally built in the 14th century but repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt. The latest round of rebuilding Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2018 at Westwards
Dear Rosemary, you really should. One day is enough to see the sights and walk the city. But Korea in general has so much to see and explore. There is good hiking too....
Hi Danik! Yes Korea has a lot to offer to tourists. Very old culture and tons of historical sightseeing. Infrastructure is perfect too and the food ist tasty (very spicy though....). And it is not too expensive (but more expensive than South East Asia).
Thanks for your comment, Fiona. Yes, the Korean national dresses are really special...
The group of grassy, strangely globular hills in Gyeongju looks like an oversized playground but without slides and climbing frames. It is a rather unique sight, which we immediately remember from when we first visited the Royal Tumulus Park on a previous journey in 1992. Meanwhile, the Gyeongju Historic Areas have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list and we have come back to have another look. On our journey on the fast KTX Train from Busan, we had a taste of the Korean high-tech shift in the past 25 years: We had reserved seats, but the train conductor never looked at our tickets. He just walked past, looking at his tablet and comparing Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2018 at Westwards
Young men in formal robes stand in front of gleaming golden walls and porticoes. Above them, wings of the Archangels can be seen. The mosaics of Thessaloniki's ancient Rotunda are included in the UNESCO World Heritage “Paleochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessalonika,” and rightly so. In terms of sightseeing, we always try to eat our cake as soon as possible – that is: not to save the highlights for the end but to go immediately and see the things on top of our wish list. Decades of travelling have taught us that unexpected changes of plan can occur …. So on our first day in Thessaloniki, as soon as we have checked in, we walk down into the town and enter the Rotunda. 30 m high and round, it is a sturdy building from antiquity… Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2018 at Westwards
In fact, as vegetarians with a slight vegan tilt we actually appreciate the basil in public squares - bread with tomatoes and cucumbers can be somewhat boring after several weeks ...
Many Uzbeks are rather pious, but not at all fanatic and often not too strict about alcohol and certainly not about dress rules. For tourists it is very relaxed.
It's a good time to travel there now, as everything is getting easier (visa, money, transport...) but it's still very authentic. A mix of oriental, post-soviet, and modernisation excitement.
We just walked around Doha without taking a tour - at least in Education City that wasn't such a brilliant idea because it was still largely a building site, and also Doha is not a city intended for pedestrians - no way to cross the highways. At one point we had to take a taxi just to get to the other side of the road. So, hopefully you do find a tour doing this!
Eagerly we stare at the winding road and the fields around us with occasional houses, rushing to the exit at the sight of a sidewalk and a restaurant sign. Road signs have been pointing to the UNESCO-designated Vergina Archaeological Site for at least two kilometres now, and we are keen to get off the bus in order to visit the Makedonian royal tombs. Alexander the Great must have been here before us we think. But, "Not yet, not yet", the bus driver and several locals ... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2018 at Westwards
The guide at the Britz Windmill tightens a rope hanging from a beam and then shows how the mechanics work to make the mill grind a little finer. "A professional miller would be able to hear and feel the wind quality, and know immediately how tight to fix the millstones, he sighs. "But here, all of us are just hobby millers. We have to check the milled flour every so often and then adjust the stones." The historic smock mill in the South of Berlin was built by a miller ... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2018 at Westwards
10 am on a blistering hot summer day in Seoul. Our Korean guide arrives with a battery-powered handheld fan tucked into her belt. She is very professional about her sightseeing tour to Jongmyo Shrine. "Jongmyo is the memorial shrine for the Royal Ancestors of the Yi Dynasty of Korea. ..." More than 100 years after the fall of the dynasty, the descendants of those Korean kings still regularly hold Confucian memorial services for their ancestors. This longstanding tradition of complicated rites has been named a UNESCO intangible heritage in 2008 and also made Jongmyo ... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2018 at Westwards
Yes, it is very oriental! Also a lot of Islamic architecture, but the Islam itself in Uzbekistan is today more pious tradition than organised religion. Very relaxed compared to, say, North-African countries.
We visited Uzbekistan for the first time in 2004, but we had been dreaming about going there since 1992 when we accidentally laid hands on an Intourist brochure about the country. And it turned out the monuments, such as the Kalon Minaret in Bukhara and the Registan in Samarkand, were even more awesome than we had imagined. Since then, we have returned many times on private trips, research trips for our guide book "DuMont Reise-Handbuch Usbekistan" (in German), and as tour guides for German tour groups. Last July, we did another four week research trip for the guide book's new edition and still found new favourite places. And now we feel it is time to share our list of personal highlights in the UNESCO World Heritage site Bukhara from years of travel: ... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2018 at Westwards
How to swim in a dying sea --- The water is shallow, and the ground covered with soft mud. Wading through it, we sink into it with a slurping sound, sometimes up to our knees. And finally, about 30 m into the shallow water, we are able to lie down and drift. But swimming is still not possible: Because of the high concentration of salt , arms and legs bounce out of the water as soon as we try to make some swimming stroke, and we only end splashing ourselves (and the others) with salt water. The Aral Sea is actually an undrained inland lake, which is why all the water … Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2018 at Westwards
Indeed it is. What we also found strange is that most of the tourists were Italians...
Toggle Commented Aug 14, 2018 on Highlights of a weekend in Bologna at Westwards
Earlier this summer we did a weekend trip to Bologna – just because it was one of the most reachable cities south of the Alps for us, about 7 hours by bus. One of those historical North-Italian cities that are generally pleasant to explore, Bologna is also a city that we hadn't been to already. Before we went, we consulted a guidebook, Bologna City's website, and some other online resources and blogs – coming up with a mix of sights, exhibitions and food … Back in Berlin we ranked our five favourite experiences, … --- No. 1: Japanese woodblock print exhibition at the Palazzo Albergati (10 points)--- Searching for special exhibitions in Bologna, Natascha had come across a Japanese-themed exhibition: Giappone: storie d’amore e guerra” … Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2018 at Westwards
The morning bus from Daegu is not particularly crowded, but on leaving the highway to tackle smaller roads into the mountains and towards UNESCO-designated Haein-sa Temple, it fills up. A number of old Korean peasants get on: They are wearing polyester dresses with floral patterns, and their shopping bags smell of fish and garlic. A huge radish tumbles out ... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2018 at Westwards
Thanks for the suggestion! We will keep it in mind!
Toggle Commented Jun 11, 2018 on 6 Highlights from 6 days in Kyoto at Westwards
On a beautiful mid-week day in May, we didn't think we would need a reservation for two people – but at 18.30 it was already difficult to get a seat on the pleasant terrace of the Vietnamese Restaurant Con Tho, and half of the tables in the restaurant were also already occupied. The vegetarian Vietnamese restaurant seems to be quite popular, and rightly so, it turns out. The setting is very nice, with both the terrace pleasant enough in spite of ... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2018 at Westwards
If you visit Kyoto for the first time, by all means visit the must-sees! Places like Kinkakuji, Kiyomizu, Sanjusangendo or Fushimi Inari Shrine are spectacular and worth seeing even if everybody else is visiting them, too. And yes, it will be very crowded. But this post is about some off-the-beaten path highlights we discovered during 6 days we spent in Japan’s ancient capital Kyoto earlier this spring. ---The Gardens at the Taizo-in Tempel --- Several pleasant dry gardens with unusual round waves of gravel around stones and weeping cherry trees, yet more gardens with moss and stone lanterns, small ponds and a pagoda … Matcha Parfait at Eirakuya … Stone fellows at the Sekihôji Temple … Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2018 at Westwards
Broad visitor pathways lead up to the reconstructed entrance gate of Gongsanseong fortress in Gongju, South Korea, and then up and down in steep delightful curves over the hills that make up the ancient fortress. In its heyday in the 5th and 6th century AD, Gongsanseong Fortress was the seat of power of the Baekje (Paekche) government, one of the big early Korean states. On a hot and humid summer day, we are glad that we have brought folding fans for this visit of the Baekje ruins inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 2015. And in spite of the summer heat, we are keen to explore the Baekje remains since ... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2018 at Westwards
Oh, you were lucky! But of course it's only reasonable that many people want to see this place...