velvet | Historic monuments
dlugi-targ-gdansk-houses-reflection-photo

Reflections of Gdansk

It was my first time in Gdansk, the historic city on Poland‘s Baltic coast, and I was excited to explore the city’s famous Old Town. Alas, as I looked out of my room window, I saw nothing but dark, grey clouds sweeping in at a furious pace. Dressed for the wet, cold weather and armed […]

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hermitage-museum-saint-petersburg-photo

Impressions of Saint Petersburg, Russia

Saint Petersburg is Russia’s second-largest city and an important port. Situated on the banks of the Nera River at the edge of the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea, Saint Petersburg was founded by Tsar Peter the Great in the early-18th century and till this day, remains the cultural centre of Russia and home […]

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The Treasury

7 unique things to do in Jordan

Jordan – the name itself conjures images of breathtaking desert landscapes, ancient cities and Biblical scenes. Located in the heart of the Middle East, there are countless things to do in Jordan, a country with a history dating back to the times when the prophets walked the earth, and ancient empires ruled vast swathes of […]

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baroque-churches-mariana-minas-gerais-photo

Driving the Estrada Real in Brazil

The Estrada Real or Royal Road is a series of historic routes in Brazil, spanning the states of Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Built in the 17th/18th centuries by labourers enslaved by the Portuguese colonists, these roads (a total of 1,600km in length) were important to facilitate the transportation of gold, diamonds […]

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planetary-room-schloss-eggenberg-palace-photo

The treasures of Eggenberg Palace

Schloss Eggenberg or Eggenberg Palace is a beautiful historic attraction located in the outskirts of Graz, Austria’s second-largest city. The 17th century palace is the most important Baroque palace complex in the region of Styria and in 2010, Schloss Eggenberg was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (an addition to the listing of Graz’s […]

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mausoleum-graz-photo

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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salvador-dali-museum-figueres-photo

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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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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budapest-parliament-photo

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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rathaus-vienna-photo

Exploring Vienna in a day by foot

Vienna, the capital of Austria, is arguably one of the grandest capitals in Europe. I’ve visited this beautiful city five times over the years and have gotten to know it fairly well. My most recent visit was during a river cruise from Budapest (Hungary) to Nuremberg (Germany) with Viking Cruises. The ship stopped in Vienna […]

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