velvet | Culture Holidays
The Avalon Waterways Impression ship I sailed on.

Why I loved Avalon Waterways excursions

Avalon Waterways is a river cruise company with a fleet of ‘Suite Ships’ that ply the major rivers in Europe and Asia. Not a fan of (ocean) cruises, I went on my first river cruise several years ago and I was hooked! Recently, I was introduced to Avalon Waterways and I joined their Active & […]

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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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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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rococo-castle-dornburg-germany-photo

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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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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Otronto

The best of Puglia – the ultimate guide

Puglia is a region that occupies the ‘heel’ of southern Italy and is home to historic towns (many of which have histories that go back thousands of years), diverse landscapes, excellent food and some of the best beaches in southern Italy. The main entry points for most international visitors are Bari and Brindisi (both have […]

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things-to-do-dresden-photo

Ten things to do in Dresden

Dresden (map) is a historic city in eastern Germany, situated approximately 200km south of Berlin. Renowned for its historic Baroque architecture, the city is the capital of the state of Saxony and boasts a rich cultural heritage. Heavily bombed during World War II, the historic centre was rebuilt and many of its grand monuments, such […]

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umbrella-passage-belfast-photo

Exploring the Cathedral Quarter in Belfast

I recently visited Belfast for several meetings and since it was my first ever visit to the capital of Northern Ireland, I was determined to sneak in some time in between my meetings to see a bit of the city. As it so happened, some of my meetings were held in the Cathedral Quarter of […]

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dlugi-targ-gdansk-photo

Ten things to do in Gdansk

Gdańsk (map) is a port city in northern Poland on the Baltic coast. The city’s rich and often tumultuous history, influenced by centuries of foreign trade and a tug-of-war between Poland and Germany, shaped its distinct heritage, making Gdańsk somewhat of an anomaly, compared to other Polish cities. It’s this history and heritage that makes Gdańsk […]

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