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Nassfeld: Frontier Fantasies

Nassfeld: Frontier Fantasies

I flung open the window to the balcony of my room in the Gartnerkofel hotel, breathed in the icy air, and peered out over a vast forest of heavily snow-laden trees. It was like waking up in Narnia. The hotel is built at an altitude of 1500 m, so for the first time on a […]

Saalbach’s Romantic Mountain Retreat

Saalbach’s Romantic Mountain Retreat

I kicked the new snow off our boots and laid the skis against the dark wood of the Pfefferalm hut. Inside an open fire was crackling in the corner. Some of the wood smoke had escaped the chimney and was spreading a pungent mist across the room. Through the haze I could just make out […]

Tenerife: Eccentricity of Nature

Tenerife: Eccentricity of Nature

The final stretch of single track back to the Tenerife village of La Guancha plunged down steeply over loose rocks. It was a hurtling, stomach-lurching, twisting, arm-jarring descent through the pine trees. Tall flowers lined the path and through the larger gaps between the trees, there were glimpses of the deep blue Atlantic Ocean. My […]

Warsaw, Still Rising

Warsaw, Still Rising

In downtown Warsaw, imposing, sleekly designed towers dot the skyline. Glass and steel towers have sprouted near the Palace of Culture and Science. A sign plastered to a skyscraper in progress, which wouldn’t look out of place in midtown Manhattan, identifies future “cosmopolitan apartments”.  Since we were last here, Warsaw has become exhilaratingly urban, at […]

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 […]

Travel as a Way of Life

Travel as a Way of Life

Long ago, what used to be Jürgen Preimesberger’s hobby turned into something much more than a passion for travel. For over a decade, travelling has been his obsession. The 38-year-old medical doctor from Vienna can’t bring himself to stay at home and has even molded his career around that fact. He has a job as […]

Berlin – Crossing Borders

Berlin – Crossing Borders

“Berlin ist nicht Deutschland,” says Kathrin, sitting on the grass. Behind her, a guy spins a diabolo, an hourglass-shaped piece of plastic, on a length of string attached to two wooden sticks. From somewhere out of sight, the sound of bongo drums glides through the air, amplifying the liveliness that the whirl of people bestows […]

Alpine Motorcycle Diaries

Alpine Motorcycle Diaries

O.K., so it wasn’t a motorcycle, we were on a Vespa. But let’s not begin by splitting hairs. Zigzagging through the Alps on two wheels is a humbling experience, whether on a Ducati or a small motorbike, what the Germans call a Zwiebacksäge a “Zwieback Saw”, for apparent reasons. I was sceptical when my husband […]

The Journey is the Destination

The Journey is the Destination

I love old maps. I love old maps of Vienna. And thank goodness I also love psychogeography: the situationist’s deliberate art of getting lost as a way of opening your creative intuition – because in just one month, I have been lost in Vienna more times than I can count. Well, actually, four or seven […]

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