As you stand on the banks of the Rhine and look out over this mighty river, many words come to mind. Enchanting, formidable, majestic. It’s hard to imagine that at its source you can step right over it in a single stride. Intrigued, I recently travelled to Lake Toma, Switzerland, by bike and train to see for myself the Rhine at its humble source.
Dresden is a city brimming with musical history, from the house where Wagner wrote his Lohengrin opera and the street where a popular violinist was murdered on a tram, to a hall where Mozart once played for the king. Guide and cultural historian Christoph Münch set out to find the city’s forgotten musical past and collected them in his book “Dresden – 500 Places of Music”. Also of interest is the important role the railways played in the city’s cultural and musical development.
From Europe’s longest bar to a wholesome beer spa, via some life-saving beer tunnels: we travelled with an Interrail Pass from Rotterdam to Pilsen visiting some of Europe’s best breweries, bars, beer gardens and cellars. We immersed ourselves in history… and eventually in beer too.
The highlands, the sea, the whisky, Harry Potter… there are many reasons to travel to Scotland and there’s no better way to cross the rugged highlands than by train. The West Highland Line is considered one of the most beautiful stretches in the world and the train even takes you to places that are inaccessible by car.
There’s a reason why a city’s railway station is often its most iconic landmark. Sure, its grand design or architectural innovation helps to form your first and last impression of your destination, but it’s also the stories it tells that draw you in, the people coming and going, the family reunions, the emotional farewells.
The tiny red and white trains of the narrow-gauge Pinzgaubahn make their way slowly through Austria’s Pinzgau Valley for 53 km. Villages and picturesque churches dot the landscape as you head towards one of the highlights at either end of the line – the Zeller See and the famous Krimml Waterfalls, the highest in central Europe.
May 8, 2020, marks the 75th anniversary of the surrender of the Wehrmacht in Berlin, which brought the Second World War to an end in Europe. As the last remaining witnesses to these dark pages of history pass away, many places of reflection and commemoration are only gaining in significance.
In the early hours of April 16, 1945, the 2.5 million strong Soviet Army began its assault on Berlin in the hope of defeating Nazi Germany once and for all. After 16 days of heavy fighting and at times even hand-to-hand combat, 200,000 soldiers and civilians had lost their lives and much of the city lay in ruins. Despite the devastation, several landmarks and battle scars still survive today scattered across Berlin, serving as an important reminder to the last major offensive of the Second World War in Europe.
When Greta Thunberg sailed across the Atlantic on board a zero-carbon yacht to demonstrate her commitment to cutting CO₂ emissions, she took the world by storm. Her actions helped to raise global awareness of the growing climate crisis and encouraged many to re-evaluate how they travel. ‘Flight shaming’ soon entered the lexicon and the ‘Greta effect’ well and truly took off.