Utrecht, the industrial and university city

November 24th, 2010 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Sustainability

Canals © Diliff

Canals © Diliff

When visitors arrive at the old city of Utrecht it’s inevitably to think “Why haven’t I actually studied here?”. The University, with its numerous internationally recognized faculties, is an invitation to do so. Utrecht is undoubtedly one of the poster-girls of the Dutch towns, which meets every cliché and every expectation that visitors might have in places in the Netherlands. Whether it’s wind mills, canals, green houses, coffee shops, crooked houses, narrow alleys, small weekly markets, romantic places and locations or a vital nightlife on the one hand, or on the other hand busy activities in the inner city, students from all over the world and international retail – here you can find it and everything is arranged around the cathedral, which is also a good reference point for the first visit. A very different picture emerges when you leave the old town area. Here Utrecht show its industrial face and also meets the expectations one has of those quarters.   read more…

Lisbon, the white city

November 23rd, 2010 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, European Union, General, European Capital of Culture

© Stefan Didam-Schmallenberg

© Stefan Didam-Schmallenberg

Nowhere in Portugal visitors will find a more impressive reminder of the great seafaring tradition and the wealth of the former colonial power than in the capital. It seems as if one would breathe history and even untrained eyes can see “Once here was power and money at home!”. Much is well preserved, especially the pride of the residents. Lisbon is one of the quieter, yet vibrant European cities with the typical southern European lifestyle, which could keep much of its originality without missing the connection to the modern era. Lisbon owes the nickname “The White City” the picturesque white houses, historic buildings and palaces.   read more…

Hakka Tulou roundhouses

November 23rd, 2010 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Sustainability

© china-guide.de

© china-guide.de

Almost by chance we found during research these fascinating circular buildings. It is a closed inherently functional form of settlement in China. On the one side it was a residential accommodation for large families and clans, on the other side through meter-thick outer walls a passive protection which for weeks withstands enemy attacks, while self-sufficient through small areas of farm land to grow food for daily needs and stables for livestock. An exciting concept, which shows like almost no other from this time how sustainability in practice work on a small space, while at the same time is a practical advice for today’s needs, according to the motto “Think global, act local!”.   read more…

Sustainable living in the Alps

November 23rd, 2010 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Environment, General

© Thomas AMBLARD

© Thomas AMBLARD

The majority of us associate with the Alps romantic mountain cabins, scenic valleys, small villages, which blend into the mountains, of course winter sports, tourism, alpine horns, the Tour de France and wonderful diversity, species richness and originality, peace and serenity. The inevitably association with tourism by people from around the world, however, only contributes 3 – 4% to the over GDP of the Alps regions. Many do not know that the number of the inhabitants of the small towns are dramatically declining, so is the use of agricultural land and the people who live here are facing major challenges. What to do in order to not only use the relevant regions in Germany, France, Italy, Liechtenstein, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol and Slovenia as transit regions for the north-south traffic, to stop the depopulation and to keep and preserve the originality of the region? According to studies a minimum of 700 inhabitants are necessary for a healthy and sustainable community development. Most communities do not achieve these populations anymore so that there is a clear need for creative plans, based on local-and regional-specific cultural and traditional developments.   read more…

The Royal Borough of Windsor

November 21st, 2010 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

Windsor Castle at Sunset © Diliff

Windsor Castle at Sunset © Diliff

Windsor is home to two of the UK’s Top 20 visitor attractions – Windsor Castle and Legoland Windsor – and this is not all. Why not add Ascot Racecourse, Royal Windsor Racecourse, Eton College, the Changing of the Guard, the Savill Garden in Windsor Great Park, or seasonal attractions such as the Royal Windsor Wheel, plus many others to your itinerary for the perfect trip?   read more…

French Riviera, the pearl chain on the Mediterranean

November 21st, 2010 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© Markus Bernet - www.demis.nl

© Markus Bernet – www.demis.nl

The French Riviera is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and diverse areas in Europe. This is where the sophisticated charm of St. Tropez, Cannes, Nice and Monte Carlo meet the original and rural life in Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur. The incomparable play of color on the beaches and in the landscape meet the Maritime Alps. You simply have to experience it oon your own. Off the main tourist track even today there still can be found refuges at acceptable prices. Some of this places are included in this article. The names of the villages and cities are linked with the local tourist sites.   read more…

Carcassonne is one of the best preserved fortified cities in Europe

November 20th, 2010 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage

Panorama Carcassonne © Benh LIEU SONG

Panorama Carcassonne © Benh LIEU SONG

La Cité, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the beautiful old part of the City of Carcassonne with its medieval walls on the banks of the Aude. Many restaurants, shops, domes and towers are located in the winding cobblestone streets. At the other bank of the Aude the La Bastide district offers the charm of an old French country town. Every Saturday a market is held here. You can explore La Bastide perfectly with the car, but it is recommended to take the free shuttle service to the Cité and then walk around by foot. Do not miss to visit the castle, the Château de Peyreperteuse. You can find hotel and restaurant recommendations: tripadvisor.com.   read more…

Copenhagen, much more than just the Little Mermaid

November 19th, 2010 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: European Union, General, European Capital of Culture

Danish Parliament - Christiansborg Palace © tour-report.com

Danish Parliament – Christiansborg Palace © tour-report.com

Copenhagen (in Danish København) is the most visited northern European city, located on the largest Danish island of Zealand (Sjælland), home to Hans Christian Andersen, The Little Mermaid and Tivoli Gardens. Copenhagen is not only the capital of Denmark, but also the most diverse city in Scandinavia. A quarter of all Danes live in the greater Copenhagen area. With the huge bridge link across the Sound (Øresund) over to Sweden Copenhagen grew in the new millennium to even greater importance as a hub in Scandinavia.   read more…

Theme Week Brussels, the city with two faces

November 18th, 2010 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: European Union, General, European Capital of Culture, Theme Weeks

© Emilio García

© Emilio García

Visitors are very quickly attracted by the very special atmosphere of Brussels. The city clearly shows serenity and joy in the small, beautiful things of life. Enjoy the typical Belgian way of life in Europe’s capital!   read more…

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