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Inside the impressive courtyard of the monastery.

The treasures of St. Florian Monastery

One of the highlights of my Danube river cruise with Avalon Waterways was a visit to the St. Florian Monastery (or Stift Sankt Florian in German) in Upper Austria. Located in the town of Sankt Florian (map) near Linz, this Augustinian monastery can trace its history back to the 9th century A.D. I’d not heard […]

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Cruising the Danube with Avalon Waterways.

A Danube River cruise with Avalon Waterways

A river cruise is something I previously didn’t consider as a means to travel and explore a place – the idea of being stuck on a ship with hundreds of other people and visiting places fleetingly didn’t sound appealing to me. That changed when I decided to give it a try several years ago. I […]

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The view from Freiblick Tagescafé.

My weekend in Graz

Graz is the second-largest city in Austria yet, for many travellers, relatively unknown as a place to visit. Located about a 2.5 hour drive or train ride southwest of Vienna, Graz (map) is a gorgeous city that holds two distinct titles: a UNESCO World Heritage site as well as a UNESCO City of Design. On […]

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canal-cruise-ghent-photo

A weekend in Ghent

Ghent (map) is a medieval city in the Flemish region of Belgium, located about an hour’s drive southwest of Antwerp and west of Brussels. In the 13th century, Ghent was one of the largest and richest cities in northern Europe, primarily due to its textile industries and trade. The city flourished and many historic buildings […]

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Colourful Dornburg

Dornburg (map) is a small town in central Germany approximately 250km southwest of Berlin. I’d not heard of the town before until I spotted it in my itinerary to visit Bauhaus sites in Germany – it houses the first Bauhaus ceramics workshop (founded in 1920) which is still operational till this day. I arrived in […]

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town-hall-kaunas-photo

Day trip to Kaunas

Kaunas is the second-largest city and an economic and cultural centre in Lithuania. Situated at the confluence of the Nemunas and Neris rivers, approximately 100km (map) northwest of Vilnius, Kaunas is an easy day trip from the Lithuanian capital. I wasn’t sure what to expect on my day trip to Kaunas but together with my […]

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My stay at Hotel Pacai in Vilnius

Hotel Pacai is a five-star hotel in Vilnius (map), the capital of Lithuania. Opened in 2018 after five years of restoration work, this hotel is located in a 17th century Baroque palace in the Old Town of Vilnius. Built as the home of the influential Pacai nobles in 1677, the palace played an important role […]

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cathedral-square-medieval-erfurt-photo

An evening stroll in medieval Erfurt

Erfurt (map) is a historic city in the central German state of Thuringia. Located about 300km southwest of Berlin, Erfurt is famed for having one of the best preserved medieval city centres in Germany. If you’ve been following me for some time, you’ll know how much I love medieval towns (such as these in Costa […]

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The salt room resembles a space-age salt cave! Image courtesy of Vytautas Mineral Spa.

The art of wellness in Birštonas

A strange tickling sensation on my back woke me up. The second I jolted back to life, I sensed an ethereal feeling of lightness, like I was floating in the air. I opened my eyes and chuckled. I was in the Vytautas Mineral Spa in Birštonas, Lithuania, in a pool filled with mineral water so […]

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bauhaus-dessau-photo

Discovering the origins of Bauhaus in Germany

When I was a kid, I was always in awe of an uncle of mine. An architect by profession, his minimalist, functional designs never ceased to intrigue me. His work, be it a house or office building, always stood out. Clean lines, grey and white surfaces with varying textures, shady spaces and large windows with […]

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