Quantcast

Europe Travel


In the high mountains of Sicily, a quieter and wilder world

Far from the packed beaches of Sicily’s busy coastlines, there’s a quieter and wilder world in its high mountains. In more dangerous times, this was where much of Sicily’s population settled, building castles, towns, monasteries and churches on steep slopes and the tops of mountains as protection against invaders and pirates.


Tour company helps hikers go it alone, with local support, along Spanish coast

Serendipity — an unexpected delight — is the word that comes to mind when describing the seven-day hike my wife and I recently did in the wild and undeveloped northwest coast of Galicia, Spain. Simply put, anyone who is adventurous, loves traveling to Europe and is fit enough to do 10-mile hikes should seriously consider doing this hike.

Trying on a farmhouse in Northern Italy for size

Framed by a mountainous horizon, the farm fields are littered with hay bales, both round and rectangular, and I’m reminded of the Virginia Piedmont, where I grew up. Such a gentle, pastoral landscape seems imprinted in my spiritual DNA, and is the real reason I’ve journeyed here, to Northern Italy’s Piemonte region: to discover whether the two places have more than similar names in common.


europe travel

Sibiu, Romania: On the vampire trail to Dracula’s castle — and so much more

Sibiu is the place to start a journey through Transylvania, but there’s plenty more to discover wandering through the city.


europe quick trips

Europe Quick Trips

From hiking and spelunking to alpine roller coasters, there’s no shortage of things to do in Pottenstein

Seen one village, seen ’em all, am I right? Well, not quite. Even if you’ve been to so many German villages that the words “quaint” and “idyllic” fail to inspire, there’s still one village that should be on your list: Pottenstein.



europe after hours

Bun-D a healthy option among Kaiserslautern community center’s fast-food eateries

I’m normally among the first to sample any new eateries around Vogelweh and Ramstein. I celebrated the debuts of Dunkin’ Donuts, Popeyes and P.F. Chang’s as I lamented the fiery demise of the parking-lot Burger King and the disappearance of Chili’s Too. I welcomed the expansion of Shawingz and Doener Time into Vogelweh’s Kazabra Club. I’m anxiously awaiting Boston Market’s attempt to succeed where Captain D’s failed and intend to contribute what I can to that success.



activities

Festivals and events, September 2018

Here is a sampling of August events in Europe. It's wise to confirm dates and times with a local tourism board before traveling in case of cancellations.



see more travel stories
see more travel stories
  • In Seville, Spain, young chefs are creating the next generation of tapas

    The first time I encountered tapas, I was 6 and didn't like them. My head was level with a huge wooden bar, and all I could see was a school of shiny silvery fish languishing near slices of bread. I've grown some since then; my head clears the bar most days. Meanwhile, tapas have become an international phenomenon.


  • In the south of France, a city is still ruled by ancient Rome

    A funny thing happened on the way to the Airbnb. As we dragged our suitcases along the cobblestones in the southern French city of Nimes, we saw a gladiator on a cellphone. The helmet-wearing warrior, looking straight out of ancient Rome, winked at my kids and kept marching toward the amphitheater.


  • video, gallery

    Visiting American WWI sites a century after conflict ended

    A century after World War I, you can visit the places where the Americans fought and died. The landscape is still pockmarked with craters from artillery shells. Monuments honor those who fought. And white marble crosses and Stars of David, in well-groomed cemeteries, mark where many of those killed still rest.


  • In Slovenia, a ski and a swim make an unusual pairing

    As an American expat happily living in Slovenia for many years, I love exploring my adopted country and looking, more deeply than perhaps even locals do, into what makes it such a wonderful place to visit and reside. One line I hear frequently, and which guidebooks like to boast about, is that the country is so compact, with such a diversity of terrain, that you can ski in the morning and swim in the ocean in the afternoon. Would it be any fun? Only one way to find out.


  • Forget spritzes, shopping and fancy hotels. The best part of Lake Como is being on it.

    “Mom! Do you have the permit?? WHERE IS THE PERMIT???” I yelled above the engine of our custom Cantiere Ernesto Riva motorboat while zooming along Italy’s Lake Como. I had just gotten comfortable in my captain’s perch. Then, a gust seemed to sweep away the paperwork required for taking out this stunner of a boat, at a whopping $190 an hour.


  • You ate what?! A fearless foodie’s foray into the bouchons of Lyon

    Andrew picks up his beer and leans back against the red banquette seating at Le Romarin, a tiny bistro-bar in the heart of Lyon. Over the next 48 hours, we’re planning to eat our way across this famously gastronomic city, but something is worrying him. “I’m looking forward to the wine,” he says. “I’m looking forward to the cheese. I’m just not sure about the innards.” Most people would see his point. Not me. I love offal.


  • The next ferry you board might run on batteries

    Not far from Norway’s North Sea oil rigs, shipbuilders are assembling some of the first ferry boats ever to be powered entirely by batteries.


  • Northern Ireland’s lake lands: Rain, history and the Mellons

    We stood at the bar of the grand Lough Erne Resort, looking out at the driving rain. “You see that lake out there,” mused the barman wryly. “That was a field this morning.” This was my first trip to Northern Ireland’s lake lands in the western region, two hours by car from Belfast and a slightly longer drive from Dublin.


  • Europe Travel

    Switzerland-Italy train ride traverses different worlds

    The new Gotthard Base Tunnel is a 35-mile stretch through a mountain of granite. The scenery transforms from mountainous Alpine stretches to palm tree-dappled Mediterranean landscape. Even the outside temperature is a few degrees warmer than it was where the tunnel starts.


  • Medieval meets modern in charming Kilkenny, Ireland

    On a sunny Friday afternoon in April, the sleepy city of Kilkenny, Ireland, began to wake up. Chattering students filled the sidewalks, their book bags slung across school uniforms, many of the boys carrying the short, hockey-like sticks used in hurling. Locals hurried through Butter Slip, a narrow passage between two streets where butter vendors set up stalls in medieval times. And shoppers ducked into the small stores that share a main street with a 17th-century merchant’s house and an 18th-century town hall building that was served as a customhouse.


  • Biking Britain, end to end

    Our three-week British bike trip last spring could be called a series of literal highs and lows. We cycled what’s called the End to End: from Land’s End on the southwestern tip of Cornwall in England to John O’Groats in the northeastern corner of Scotland.


  • Don't overlook Germany's second-largest city

    Germany’s second-largest city, Hamburg, is awash with history, and played especially key roles in the stories of 19th-century emigration, World War II and the Beatles.


  • European war museums echo 'Never again'

    All over Europe, there is little stomach for war. The motto of one military museum I visited in Vienna says it all: “War is something for museums.” And many European countries have followed this advice — creating fascinating exhibits about their military heritage.


  • Air travelers on layovers see Frankfurt on foot thanks to walking tour

    In the just-waking hours of a cool, misty morning, we slipped into Frankfurt, Germany, the way dreams slide between vivid reality and hazy memory: surreal and ephemeral.


  • How to foil Europe's clever pickpockets

    I don’t give much thought to petty crime when I travel abroad. I’m well aware that it happens: I’ve been preaching about the importance of wearing a moneybelt for decades. And for decades — probably about a total of 4,000 days of travel — I’ve never been hit by a thief. Well, my happy streak finally ended: I was pickpocketed in Paris last summer.


  • Some European travel cliches are worthy experiences

    Amped-up Spanish flamenco bars, dirndl skirts in Germany, ape tours of the Rock of Gibraltar — when does something slip from authentic to cheesy?


  • Europe travel

    Record-breaking cable car to Zugspitze opens near military recreation center

    A world record-breaking gondola is set to open Friday on Germany’s tallest mountain, the Zugspitze, just outside the Armed Forces Recreation Center Edelweiss Lodge and Resort.


  • Sweden's glass country sparkles with pride

    You can’t say you’ve seen Sweden if you’ve only been to Stockholm. Rural Sweden, especially the province of Smaland, is a worthy addition to any Scandinavian itinerary.


  • Europe Travel

    Nuremberg’s Christmas market is nutcracker sweet

    With no canned music, fake greenery, plastic kitsch or war toys, Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt feels classier than your average crafts fair. With all these goodies, it’s no wonder that the market attracts more than 2 million people annually.


  • Three of Europe's most stunning journeys

    Sometimes in travel, the journey is the reward. And that is particularly true in Europe, where trains, buses and boats link destinations near and far, high and low, urban and rural, often through spectacular scenery.


  • Passengers enjoy scenery and pampering on a train from Dublin to Waterford

    There is something about trains that has captivated me since childhood. Alas, living in the U.S., I’m not able to indulge my passion for them much, which makes it all the more wonderful when I’m somewhere where I can. That most recent somewhere was Ireland, and the train wasn’t your garden variety type, but rather the Belmond Grand Hibernian.


  • Winter is a cool time to go local in Paris

    The City of Light shines year-round, but Paris has a special appeal in winter. Sure, the weather can be cold and rainy (the average high in January is 43 degrees Fahrenheit), but if you dress in layers, you’ll keep warm and easily deal with temperature changes as you go from cold streets to heated museums and cafes.


  • There's no place like Rome for the holidays

    I find the holiday season in Rome a joy: crisp air, stylish big-city Italians sipping hot cappuccino in corner cafes, and hurried shoppers thoughtfully pausing at grand manger scenes. The season in the Italian capital stretches for more than a month — not to maximize shopping days, but to fit in the season’s many holy days.


  • Free as the breeze: A chartered sailboat beats a cruise liner when hopping Greek islands

    To go where cruise ships don’t go was perhaps the biggest advantage of a sailboat charter in the Greek Cyclades.


  • Portugal's Nazare upholds ancient seaside traditions

    Just two hours north of Lisbon, Portugal, is one of my favorite beach towns: Nazare, an Atlantic Coast fishing village turned tourist retreat.


  • Double identity: Strasbourg is French, but it's German, too

    Strasbourg is the capital of France’s Alsace region and just a two-hour train ride from Paris. But it’s also just 2 miles from the border of Germany, and a popular port of call for cruises down the Rhine River.


  • Rural Romania: A land that time forgot

    Romania is full of surprises and wonderful people. And as you leave the capital of Bucharest, it gets even better. In the Romanian countryside, the nation’s unique history and traditional culture live on vividly.


  • Travel among epochs while roaming in Rome

    Within Rome's ancient walls, just 12 miles around, lie many of the city’s iconic gems: the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain. We walked nearly everywhere, moving between epochs in a matter of minutes.


  • Luther's moment approaches: Oct. 31 marks 500th anniversary of Protestant Reformation

    For the world’s roughly 800 million Protestants, a small corner of eastern Germany is their spiritual home — a place that takes on added importance this year, the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.


  • Tiny island nation of Malta deserves more than just a stopover

    For travelers today, Malta’s proximity to Europe’s glamour destinations is a definite plus, if not a widely appreciated one. Often experienced as a day stop on Mediterranean cruises, Malta greatly rewards a longer stay.


  • Edinburgh's alleys hold a trove of historical treasure

    In long-ago days, this venerable town became known — oddly, affectionately — as “Auld Reekie.” It’s believed the nickname came, in part, from the smell generated as residents of yesteryear greeted each new day by opening their windows and flinging the contents of their chamber pots into the street below. This was before indoor plumbing — if you get my drift.


  • Birmingham museum and gallery offers a world-class collection

    I recently spent a peaceful afternoon at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, marveling at its impressive collection of art and artifacts, many of international importance.


  • Europe Travel

    Exhibit in Speyer, Germany, tells true tale of Richard the Lionheart of ‘Robin Hood’ fame

    Historical Museum of the Palatinate's display covers the details of King Richard I’s life and legend with more than 150 objects borrowed from renowned museums, libraries and even the queen of England.


  • In France’s Dordogne region, a land of castles and caves calls for deep exploration

    When our children were 11 and 9, young enough to still be entirely inside the family circle but old enough to remember, we splurged on a “once-in-a-lifetime vacation” and rented a small farmhouse in Southwestern France outside the village of Saint-Cyprien. Each day, our son and daughter would say goodbye to the donkey that hung around our patio and we’d climb in the tiny rented Renault and drive somewhere in the fairy tale-beautiful Dordogne River region.

see more
close
close