• berlin,  citytrip,  europe,  germany,  GL,  unesco world heritage

    Wohnstadt Carl Legien, part of Berlin’s Modernism Housing Estates…

    This world heritage property consists of 6 social housing estates, all located in and around Berlin, built between 1910 and 1933. This was a period of social, cultural and political innovation and development (esp. the Weimar Republic). In this time, housing and living conditions for people with low incomes were greatly improved through a form of urban development implementing new approaches on architecture, planning and design (for buildings and their gardens). The housing estates are examples of garden towns, based on the concept of open housing. This concept tried to counteract the effect of proletarian mass housing and to recreate the people’s link with houses and nature. Four of the…

  • europe,  germany,  GL,  unesco world heritage

    Essen Zollverein: industry – history – beauty?

    When pursuing a quest to check out as much UNESCO world heritage sites as possible, one occasionally comes across some unexpected scenery. For example: a 19th-20th century coal mining site, such as the one in Essen (Germany). I must admit we were a bit prepossessed towards an industrial site, as we are nature-lovers with a heart for the environment. And industry, well, it just doesn’t match our way of life. Nevertheless, this site surprised us because of its history and remarkable architecture. Former boiler house and other Bauhaus buildings. Built in the 19th century and completed in 1932, this industrial plant bears the signature of the Bauhaus art school. Moreover,…

  • europe,  germany,  GL

    A city between two rivers: Koblenz.

    If there is one thing you can learn from visiting cities, it is the following: most big cities are located either close to the coast or alongside a river. In both cases, they are ideally located for any form of transport, whether it is for importing all kinds of necessities, trade or movement of troops. Consequently, the confluence of two major rivers must simply be the ideal spot to build yourself a city. And that’s exactly what the Romans thought when they arrived at the meeting point of the Rhine and Moselle rivers during their conquest of Germania. Julius Caesar was the first Roman commander to visit this area (55…

  • berlin,  citytrip,  europe,  germany,  GL

    Berlin: the quick photo selection…

    We went to Berlin in the last week of 2014 and it turned out to be the perfect city trip: snow on the first day, the most amazing museum experience for me (Pergamon Museum), and a relaxed stroll-around for three days. The second day, our German friends arrived and they guided us through the city with expert information on all spots we visited. A special mention must go the Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall memorial), a place that leaves you silent and depressed, really. When we came back, I quickly wanted to put some first pictures on Facebook. Just to give a first overview of what we had experienced, I picked…

  • berlin,  citytrip,  europe,  germany,  GL

    Walls of Berlin (2): Berlin wall art.

    In our latest blogpost, we told the sad story of the Berlin wall as we saw it during our recent (December 2014) city trip. While that post might have been slightly depressing, I am glad to announce that this one is much more heart-warming and colourful. When we strolled down the streets of Berlin, we observed the city’s impressive street art scene. Although most of the artworks can be found on walls (even on “the” wall), we also found some other street art forms that aren’t wall-bound, and even some that aren’t even two-dimensional… We were also glad to find some magnificent works of our favourite street artist: ROA (from…

  • berlin,  citytrip,  europe,  germany,  GL

    Walls of Berlin (1): the Berlin wall.

    One cannot simply visit Berlin without being confronted with its grim past. There are two different stories to be told here: one about the second world war and its horrors, and one about the separation of eastern and western Berlin by means of a large, concrete wall. A lot of places in Berlin testify to the second world war’s savagery, e.g. the Holocaust Memorial, the Kaiser-Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche, the Jewish Museum and the many Stolpersteine: memorial stones in front of houses once inhabited by Jewish people that died during the war… In this post, I want to focus on the story of the wall, simply because this is what shocked me…

  • berlin,  citytrip,  europe,  germany,  GL,  unesco world heritage

    The Pergamon museum: a wonder to behold!

    In the final week of 2014, we went citytripping in Berlin. For me, personally, it certainly was one of the most memorable citytrips, and one I truly enjoyed from beginning to end. It was the combination of culture (e.g. the Museuminsel), history (Berlin Wall and WWII memorial sites, and a wide array of associated musea), street art (esp. work from ROA, a well-known street artist from Ghent, Belgium) and general cosiness (e.g. at the christmas markets) that made this work for me. The very first day, we split up: while Annick and Febe went to the Berlin Aquarium, I visited the Pergamon museum, one of a number of fine musea…

  • europe,  GL,  italy,  unesco world heritage

    Stumbling upon the Etruscan necropole of Tarquinia…

    We visited the Italian island of Sardegna (Sardinia) in the summer of 2013, and we still regard this holiday as one of our favorites. It was the ideal mix of relaxation, culture, nature and excellent food. We did consider to fly to Sardinia, but after comparing the costs we decided to go by car. This means we could add a roadtrip to our holiday, taking in a lot of culture and experiencing the couleur locale through couchsurfing. It turned out to be a perfect combination, and we ended up with a number of unforgettable memories. Maybe the most remarkable story is about how we came across Tarquinia. It was on…

  • europe,  GL,  italy,  unesco world heritage

    Impressions of Firenze.

    I wasn’t sure what title to give this account of our one-day walk through Firenze (Florence) in July 2013. We were merely passing by on our way back home (after visiting Sardegna) and the scorching heat (temperatures around 45°C, that’s around 113 degrees Fahrenheit) wasn’t really motivating us for long walks and intensive visits. We were also traveling with our (then) 3-year old daughter, Febe, so we didn’t visit any musea either. Instead, we decided on a walk through the city centre, followed by a visit to the Boboli gardens for some peace and quiet (and because it was then just declared UNESCO world heritage). The city was completely overcrowded…