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Book Review: Upriver With Nick Thorpe

Book Review: Upriver With Nick Thorpe

“These are the stories of the people of the Danube, and their dark dreamy river,” announces Nick  Thorpe at the beginning of a work that oozes with love for one of the world’s great arteries and is brought to life by the eccentricities and warmth of the diverse people who live by its banks. […]

Learning to Go With the Flow

Learning to Go With the Flow

Just 11 years after the “flood of the century” devastated parts of Upper and Lower Austria, Austrians once again felt the full destructive impact of a river system bloated to record levels. At the beginning of June at Korneuburg on Vienna’s western edge, the Danube reached a height of 7.93m with 10,600 cubic metres flowing […]

Floods in Austria

Floods in Austria

      The Full Extent is Now Visible, 14 June by Eva Winroither It is a beautiful day in the Wachau, the hills glow green in the sun, the Danube flows quietly by, and even in the small village of Emmersdorf one hardly remembers that two weeks ago the entire community was under water. […]

Waltzing On Water

Waltzing On Water

Going sailing was not on my agenda for my time in land-locked Austria. What I didn’t know is that the countryside is full of lakes, and in the city, the Alte Donau is full of boats. I arrived at the Hofbauer Yacht Club feeling a mix of excitement, anxiety and a little fear. I hadn’t […]

Vienna’s Secret Spring Getaways

Vienna’s Secret Spring Getaways

Once again the countryside surrounding Vienna is awash with spring colour. From forested hills with bright green canopies of beech and oak, to romantic gardens adorning majestic castles, there are some charming places for a day’s getaway. And get away I did – with daypack dusted and family enlisted – determined to discover the most […]

Belgrade: The Late Bloomer of the East

Belgrade: The Late Bloomer of the East

“Traffic here works according to the principle of self-determination,” my friend Oliver tells me. “You wait for a good opportunity to cross. If there isn’t one, you have to create one. Just stare down the cars and hope for the best!” The wide street is feeding more cars into the roundabout on Slavija Square, in […]

Saskia Sassen at Schloss Dürnstein

Saskia Sassen at Schloss Dürnstein

Schloss Dürnstein, set high above the Danube on one of the most beautiful sections of the Wachau valley, seems like an ironically idyllic place to discuss the overthrow of the global political system. Well, not “overthrow” exactly:  Dutch-American sociologist Saskia Sassen has decided that it’s time to re-examine how the world’s people see their roles […]

Channelling Frustration: Preserving Europe’s Amazon

On Sunday, 9 Oct., near the town of Osijek in Croatia, 40 protesters launched a regatta of small boats and canoes into the Danube in the stretch that separates Croatia from Serbia. The activists from four Danube nations wore thick jackets and woolly hats against the autumn cold. They were protesting the industrial regulation of […]

Tour de Farce

I was once a child. Time had an elastic quality back then. Whole afternoons seemed to stretch out over the landscape and promise never to end. My six-week summer breaks were huge canyons of time. Civilisations fell and rose again from the time summer term ended and autumn term began.  The little town in which […]

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