Read more about the article Lubeck – Germany
Lubeck - Germany

Lubeck – Germany

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The Former Capital of the Hanseatic League

Coming to the second day for this weekend trip we headed towards Lubeck from Hamburg, this time to enjoy this incredibly beautiful city and also because my returning flight to London was departing from here. At only 65km one to another, it is not even one hour train ride centre to centre. Either if you fly to Hamburg or to smaller Lubeck airport for visiting Hamburg, you really must consider and plan some time for this Hanseatic jewel, often bypassed by the average tourist.

It won’t take you any longer than half day to visit the city if I am honest. Its small size and organisation of the streets plus the compact historical centre means any longer than half a day will already be too much. It’s perfect for a day trip from Hamburg where you don’t need to start your day very early nor return late at night; just have a perfect relaxing day, or as it was in my case, sightseeing and enjoying it before heading to the airport.

The city is an UNESCO World Heritage Site listed for it’s former importance as the capital of the Hanseatic League, and for having preserved it’s Medieval old town unaltered ever since, built between the 12th until the 16th centuries. The constructions in this city are among the finest and most incredible from any of the former Hanseatic cities. The stunning Brick Gothic architecture will captivate any visitor. Without any doubt and hesitation, it did to myself, although I do admit I am a fan lover of the Hanseatic Gothic architecture. (more…)

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Read more about the article Segovia – Spain
Segovia - Spain

Segovia – Spain

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City of the victory

Just a day has passed into the new year and we are already making our first day trip, to Segovia this time, although in this occasion is a simple one from Madrid where I was spending the Christmas holidays at home with family and friends. Before this date, there’s been only one time I’ve been here before but cannot even recall when that was. Certainly many years ago, therefore was great to finally come back here and with the proper instruments this time: a nice camera to capture the best the city has to offer, and of course, having the chance afterwards for creating this guide for anyone to enjoy.

The day back in Madrid started with quite harsh weather-wise talking. Snowing so heavily that we had to actually postpone our departure. We though we would not even be able to take the train there, but as soon as we arrived to the station, trains were running ontime without any trouble, therefore, why to wait?.

At 90km to the north from Madrid, it is one of the 9 regions that forms Castile and Leon Autonomous Community; and like it is on the other remaining 8 regions, it is full of rich history and extraordinary architecture. There is in this city, however, a major landmark that makes it different to any other and not just only in Spain but across the entire of the former Roman Empire: its aqueduct. It is an unique example of ancient civil engineering which stands today as the best preserved and the most complete anywhere. (more…)

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Read more about the article Wieliczka Salt Mine – Poland
Wieliczka Salt Mine - Poland

Wieliczka Salt Mine – Poland

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The Underground Salt Cathedral of Poland

Our half day trip from Krakow was in fact, one of the highlights for this trip in this region on this occasion, the stunning Wieliczka Salt Mines. I knew that whenever I would visit Krakow for a first time, it would have to include the salt mines, and it was well worth it every minute. You do never expect it until you see it by your own eyes. It’s big, it’s beautiful, it’s old and it’s something unique. One of the man-made wonders of the world hence why it was one of the very first 12 privileged candidates to be inscribed as a World Heritage Site on the very first UNESCO list when this organisation was created back in 1978.

Exploitation of salt at this mine goes back to the 13th century and had been in operation producing table salt continuously until 2007. Although nowadays the production is much smaller, it is one of the world’s oldest salt mines still in operation. With a maximum depth of around 320 meters and an astonishing 280 kilometres of tunnels, what you are able to visit today is “just” little over 2 km, hundreds of salt sculptures ranging from many centuries old to more modern ones, a lake, the “cathedral”, original ancient wooden tools (perfectly conserved as salt preserves wood very good almost intact) and many tunnels and galleries. Small wells, shafts, rail tracks and carriages; you will enjoy every bit of it.

As a great point to have in mind is that being so near to Krakow there is no excuse for you not to come and visit. A restaurant and snack bar is also located at the end of the tour and before you take the lift up, but don’t expect a big or cheap choice. Hold your hunger until you are out as in the village where you will find great and local places at cheap prices. (more…)

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Read more about the article Genoa – Italy
Genoa - Italy

Genoa – Italy

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La Superba; The Proud One

After many years since the first and only time I’ve been to this city, it was well overdue a return. And what a great difference this was! Back in the year 2001 when I came with my school on a trip through France and Italy, Genoa was a very brief and quick stop-over along the way heading towards Pisa and Florence. It was enough time to vaguely admire one of the most fascinating cities in Italy. Genoa is up to this date, one of my favourite in the country. So much to see and do, so charming and such incredible rich history it is no wonder most of its historical centre is listed an UNESCO World Heritage Site, noticeable for the system of palaces for which the city is famous for. So many of them! It is the most unique city having such an incredible architectonic patrimony in palaces.

The only downside, quite major in a way, is the elevated motorway still cutting through the waterfront along the entire length of the city. This is the main motorway linking France with Italy along the coast, with Genoa one of the major transport hubs. Nowadays many efforts have been done to improve this damaging image, specially by expanding Corso Italia towards the sea with new open spaces and the restoration of many decaying buildings. It’s been a long process and many years have passed but the city can proudly say it has lost its reputation as a dangerous and industrial ugly place, giving way to an incredible thriving and beautiful city as it always used to be.

Some few more facts about Genoa, it is one of Europe’s largest on the Mediterranean Sea and the largest seaport in Italy. Also famous, but arguably questioned and dubious, as being the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. The Bank of Saint George, founded in 1407, is among the oldest in the world. The prosperity of the city was exponential from the 15th century onwards, hence the great collection of elegant buildings and constructions everywhere in the city. (more…)

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Read more about the article Salzburg – Austria
Salzburg - Austria

Salzburg – Austria

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The birthplace of Mozart

Countless years have passed since the first and only time I travelled to Salzburg, of course way before I started to create a site and travel guides, so finally this is the great chance for a well awaited return and thereafter creation of a proper guide for this so famous destination. One of the most beautiful, complete and most visited city in Europe, full of 17th century Baroque architecture wherever anyone look. It is one of these places where surprisingly, when looking in a map it is small, yet when walking along the streets the sights do not stop to succeed, like an open museum indeed and in fact, very overwhelming. One does not know where to look nor how to walk the most appropriate route, however, a day is good enough to fully explore all the sights and monuments while a second day would be nice to have and therefore enjoy the city at a much more relaxed pace.

If back at the first time I’ve ever visited Salzburg it was on a guided day tour from Vienna hence super short and very rushy, considering the 4 hours bus journey per way, on this occasion it turned out to be quite different. What originally though would be a long day trip to spend the Saturday away, due to some airline cancellations and re-schedule it worked in our favour in the sense that we gained an extra day and flew back the following day in the evening. Being a nice group of friends in this trip then was nice to also get to know the great thriving nightlife of the city.

From the city’s foundations little remain other than knowing from what’s been found, it was likely a Neolithic settlement before becoming a Roman post and still, almost no trace from the Roman period stands out today. We need to go forward to the 11th century AD when it was part of Bavaria (Germany) and the Festung Hohensalzburg, the city’s fortress, was built thus gaining importance and wealthiness from the salt trade coming directly from the mines not far south. It is this reason from what the name Salzburg derives, Salt Fortress.


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