• AF,  england,  europe,  unesco world heritage,  United Kingdom

    Old houses and old stones: the Avebury/Cotswolds combo.

    I admit: I have a fascination for old things. Even when I was young, I wanted to become a paleontologist or an archaeologist (I became a biologist instead, which was another of my childhood dreams). I once volunteered at a dinosaur dig in Russia and that was an unforgettable experience. I never practiced any archaeology, though, but it never ceases to fascinate me. When we are planning our travels, I’m the one always nagging about Viking burial mounds, prehistoric towers, Etruscan graves, Roman graveyards and the like. I know Febe (our 6-year-old daughter) is usually not so enthusiastic about these things, but with the proper approach we always find ways to make such visits…

  • AF,  england,  europe

    A quick guide to Oxford

    When returning from our trip to Wales, we made a stop in Oxford. A good friend of Annick recently moved there to study for a PhD. We went completely unprepared, because Sandra and her friend Peter would show us around. We just knew it was a prestigious university city. It turned out to be a very pleasant surprise: it is a truly stunning city! Let me take you on a quick guide to Oxford… The prestigious colleges Oxford has no less than 38 colleges and 6 private halls. They are responsible for the tutorials and classes for their subjects and are of great importance to the whole student system. You…

  • AF,  england,  europe,  unesco world heritage

    Why Bath deserves your attention

    When I was 14, I went to Bath for a language course. I remember the city to be pretty… and since we headed out to Wales last fall, I thought I’d revisit it. Because, after all, the things that mostly caught my eye back then were the pretty English teacher and Dr. Martens boots in all sorts of colours 😉 As a family, we were pretty amazed by what a day in Bath could give us. Here’s why this city deserves your attention: 1. Charlotte Street Car Park Bath is a compact city, as you can see on the map above. Most of the highlights are within walking distance. When…

  • AF,  england,  europe

    Hever castle and gardens

    In september I always do a bit of travelling’ without Maarten & Febe. In september 2013 that was a week in England with 87 of our students, and 7 colleagues. We discovered the coastal area of Bexhill-on-Sea & Hastings. One of the sights we visited was Hever castle, new on the programme that year. It’s the castle where Anne Bolleyn spent her childhood. The real attraction, for me at least, was not the castle itself, but it’s gardens surrounding it. In 2012 we visited Leeds castle, which has an enormous park-like domain around it. Hever castle has actual gardens, with stunning corners. At the end there’s a massive lake. Interesting side note: it was…

  • AF,  england,  europe,  unesco world heritage

    Canterbury cathedral

    When you arrive in Canterbury, you will find the Cathedral in the middle of the city centre, behind a small entrance. It hides behind some buildings and you can only really view it when you pay the entrance fee. Which is something you really should do, because it is one of the most impressive cathedrals we have ever seen. Maarten visited the cathedral when he was younger, and he mostly remembers its perpendicular style. The whole cathedral is dominated by vertical lines. I loved the cathedral and the cosy town of Canterbury around it. Both the interior and the outside of the building are impressive and I love the ruins…

  • AF,  england,  europe

    Very British

    British seaside – Dover Today we updated our Canterbury Cathedral entry. Maarten had visited the site in times when digital cameras did not exist. Those where the times you had to cover an entire trip with a picture roll of 12 or 24 pics, because that’s all mum & dad gave you. Half of those pictures, ofcourse, turned out too dark, too light or just blurry. Annick went to the U.K. in September 2012 on a trip with work (in her case that means with 65 15 year-olds), and got the chance to capture this beautiful spot on a sunny day. Having read Ken Follets ‘Pillars of the Earth’ only…

  • austria,  belgium,  england,  europe,  france,  italy,  themed posts

    Travelling Europe in wintertime

    Last weekend I visited Gemünd, in the German Eifel region. While I was walking around town with my friend Shira, we noticed that it was so quiet there. Ofcourse, we added, nobody travels in winter around here. Everybody seems to want fun in the sun and doesn’t consider winter chills. And that’s a pitty. Because a wintertrip has a lot of bonusses as well! When I got home, I read this blogpost of Europe Travel Net, summing it up quite correctly. They gave 5 reasons why it’s a good idea to travel off-season: you can easily find bargains, the climate is often really good in the southern part or you…