From Roman ruins to modernist avant-garde architecture across four countries.
In 1745, Frederick, king of the emerging German state of Prussia, decided to build for himself a summer escape residence akin to those built by the French monarchs. However, unlike Versailles, Frederick eschewed palatial grand in favor of the charm of a vineyard villa. Over the next 40 years, this would become the place where … More UNESCO Heritage Site #105: Sanssouci and Charlottenburg Palaces
From Oslo, I flew to the impossibly-spelled and undeniably Polish-sounding Szczecin, from where I started my big train journey through Poland all the way south to Kiev. Over the next seven days I would travel to seven towns, all by train, and three times overnight. I booked so many train tickets with the Polish railway, that I … More UNESCO Heritage Sites #73 and #74: Strongholds of Teutonic Knights
Having spent the first half of the morning educating myself on the non-horizontal sleeping patterns of the medieval Europeans in Bryggen, I was ready to set off towards my next UNESCO site, the 12th-century Urnes Stave Church, some 20 km northeast of Sogndal. I arrived in Flåm just after 2 pm, heading straight for the Tourist Info to find … More Travel Tip: Consider the weekends
Toby’s marathon didn’t start off well. In fact, it is quite safe to say that it has started off quite terribly. Upon his arrival, bagless Toby met us at the Oslo train station, separated from his backpack, which was enjoying its extended vacation somewhere in the bowels of the Dublin airport. We went on a shopping spree, which was … More Video: Toby ran at midnight
From Essen, I took the overnight bus to Hamburg, where I dropped my bags off and immediately set off for Lübeck, as it was my next UNESCO destination. Lübeck was a former capital of the Hanseatic League, a trading organization of merchant cities across the Northern Europe. Little known fact (as revealed by Wikipedia), it is … More UNESCO Heritage Sites #70 and #71: Exclusive German-only merchant houses
Who was the judge? Are there pageants for coal mines? How does a coal mine look in a swimsuit? These were the questions that kept on popping up in my mind as I was heading to Essen. Surely, beauty is not a quality that coal mines should be measured by, is it? It’s almost like measuring the sharpness … More UNESCO Heritage Site #69: World’s Most Beautiful Coal Mine