velvet | City Trips
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Ten things to do in Graz

If you’re asked to think of places in Austria for a holiday or city break, chances are (like me) you’ll think of Vienna, Salzburg or the Tirolean Alps. Well, please allow me to introduce you to GRAZ! Located in south Austria near the border with Slovenia (map), Graz is Austria’s second-largest city, and until recently, […]

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Why I love Spain in 45 photos

I vividly remember my first time in Spain. I was in my early-twenties and Spain was very high on my bucket list. Together with a friend, I planned an 18-day road-trip from Barcelona to Madrid; a trip which turned out to be the start of my love affair with Spain which continues till this day! […]

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Exploring Rio with locals

Rio de Janeiro is one of my favourite cities to visit and I’ll jump on any opportunity to go there. I’ll never tire of its spectacular natural setting, the beaches, the architecture and street art, and its unique vibe. When I received an invitation to speak at a conference in Belo Horizonte (read about my […]

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Another ten cities I would visit again

A while ago, I published a post about ten cities I would have no problems visiting over and over again. It wasn’t a comprehensive list of course and I received lots of feedback from readers about their favorite cities to visit. Inspired by their ideas, I decided to add another ten of my favorite cities […]

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mountain peaks tirol-photo

Plane views – Innsbruck in winter

Several years ago, I visited Innsbruck (map), the capital of the state of Tirol in Austria, in the summer. The approach into Innsbruck Airport was absolutely spectacular and I wrote about this in my Plane Views – Innsbruck post. Surrounded by the stunning peaks of the Tirolean Alps, the views as one lands or takes-off […]

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Passau

The treasures of Passau

Passau is a historic city in Germany, on the border with Austria, and lies on the confluence of three rivers: the Danube, Inn and Ilz. Often called the ‘City of the Three Rivers’, Passau’s strategic location (map) was recognised since ancient Roman times (2nd century BC) when the first settlements were founded. It remained a […]

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My favourite travel experiences in 2016

I know, we’re way into the new year so it’s a bit late for a wrap-up of my travels in 2016. I blame the flu for that! It first hit me in early-December, went away and returned with a vengeance just before Christmas, and only now do I feel somewhat better. Oh well! On the […]

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Visiting the Beautiful Horizon

The first settlers in what is now Belo Horizonte (map), Brazil‘s sixth largest city, were so in awe of the horizon, with the peaks of mountains in all directions, that they called the city Belo Horizonte or ‘Beautiful Horizon’. It was the first thing I looked out for when I arrived there: views of the […]

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Sant Narcis Festival (image courtesy of Costa Brava Pirineu de Girona).

A tower of strength, unity and balance

I’ve seen them perform on several occasions and I would quiver as these brave souls climbed atop each other to build human towers, often exceeding 7-8 levels high! It’s an impressive show of strength, teamwork, balance and most of all, courage, but I often wondered what motivated them to go to such extraordinary lengths to […]

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A romantic evening cruise in Budapest

Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. With its grand buildings and boulevards, bustling markets, historic thermal baths and eclectic architectural styles, Budapest is definitely one of my favourite European cities! I’d been to Budapest several times before but on my most recent trip, I did something I’d […]

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