Prehistoric Pile Dwellings Museum, Unteruhldingen, Germany (Photo credit: Amy S Eckert, c 2013)

Discovering Prehistoric German Dwellings, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Alpine chalets. Half-timbered wood-and-stucco houses. Long house-and-barn combos brimming with flower boxes. I had seen hundreds of these houses in southern Germany and Switzerland, in the Alpine landscape surrounding Lake Constance. Houses Read More

Maulbronn Monastery (photo credit: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Ba.-Wü.)

Uncovering 860 Years of History at UNESCO Site Maulbronn Monastery

The road snakes through the German countryside, through forested hills and past tiny sparkling lakes in Baden-Württemberg. It’s a region famous for Germany´s Black Forest, the kind of place I always hope for when I plan a trip to Germany. Towns lie Read More

Boat trips are popular in picturesque Bruges

Discovering the City of Bruges (Brugge), Belgium, by Boat

“Where are you from?” roars the boat’s captain into the microphone. He rattles out our various nationalities. French, Flemish, Dutch, Welsh, Scottish, Turkish, Spanish. “No Germans?” he bellows. “Excellent!” And then to ease our collective wince he Read More

Chateau de Chillon

Visiting the Chateau de Chillon, Switzerland, by Boat

I’m worried. I’m on a boat surging along Lake Geneva in glorious sunshine and the ticket collector is getting nearer and nearer. I’m clutching the family train tickets, which I thought in good faith would get us on the boats, but now I’m not sure. Read More

Try the house platter....

Facing Temptation in Switzerland: The Chocolate, Cheese, and Cream of Medieval Gruyères

How on Earth did I let this happen? Here I am, surrounded by shops and restaurants dishing out meringues, local biscuits, cheese and chocolate in almost every possible form. Gruyère et vacherin, offers one sign; raclette et fondue; crème double de la Read More

Tom Otterness Sculptures on Scheveningen Boulevard, the Netherlands (©Karin-Marijke Vis)

Check Out Tom Otterness’ Sculptures on Scheveningen Boulevard, the Netherlands

I remember Scheveningen's coastline as a stark and uninviting, right-angled boulevard with a busy road running alongside. No longer so. A 3-year comprehensive renovation project in this seaside resort has resulted in an elegant, curved boulevard Read More

Mudwalking in Northern Holland

Mud-Walking through a UNESCO Site in Northern Holland

After we reach the age of eight or nine, most of us regard mud as something to step over or walk around. I considered this as I slogged across what appeared to be an endless mudflat at Noordpolderzijl, in the north of Holland. I wasn’t alone – in the Read More