Tag Archives: Western Europe

Groningen: An Unexpected Discovery

Looking at the map of the Netherlands, Groningen seems a long way from everywhere. Only a handful of travelers venture to this northeast corner and few have written about it. But there are so many things to discover in this city, from the beautiful train station, and the picturesque old town, to the vividly colorful marina. Each nook and cranny of Groningen seems to have a story to tell.

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Amsterdam: A Winter Break in the Dutch Capital

Despite the chilly wind and the cloudy sky, winter is still a pleasant time to visit Amsterdam. The Dutch capital is painted in softer tones, with smaller crowds and bearable temperatures. Yet that doesn’t lessen its remarkability. On the contrary, the city looks even more enchanting thanks to magnificent Christmas decorations as well as numerous activities to light up the mood.

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Burgundy: More Than Just Wine

For centuries, Burgundy has been known as one of France’s most enticing wine regions. With a distinctively deep flavor, its red and white wines are enjoyed globally. And many visitors come to Burgundy just because of the wine. But wine is not the only thing that you can find in this fertile soil of eastern France. This region also offers a wide variety of cultural experiences, ranging from history, architecture to culinary art.

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Nantes: Encounter with the Grand Elephant

Riding an elephant, the biggest mammal on land is perhaps the dream of every child. I was no different. As a kid, I used to like elephants and would love to ride one. But the cruel fact that elephants are abused in order to satisfy tourists’ demands really shrug me off. Fortunately, I found a better alternative in Nantes.

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On the Beautiful Wine Route of Alsace

With soothingly green vineyards extending as far as the eye can see, the Route des Vins d’Alsace or Alsace Wine Route is definitely one of the most picturesque drives in France. Established in 1953, this tourist route stretches over 170 kilometers from north to south, passing through some of Alsace’s most beautiful wine-growing villages.

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Strasbourg: The Crossroad of Two Cultures

Walking a fine tightrope between France and Germany, Strasbourg is undoubtedly a cultural one-off. The capital of the Alsace region looks like something out of a fairy tale, with half-timbered houses à la Grimms covered in flowers and Parisian-style mansions set in cobbled squares. Here and there, you can hear Germanic dialect in a delicatessen specializing in foie gras, and beer lovers sitting together with wine connoisseurs.

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Lyon: The Unique City on the Rhône

Since visiting Lyon, the phrase “Only in Lyon” has imprinted in my head. Lyon is indeed one of its kind and there are several things that you can only do in this wonderful city. From strolling the Vieux Lyon, visiting the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fouvière to dining at a Bouchon, each activity is an extraordinary experience.

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Dive into the World of Champagne

Perhaps everyone knows about champagne: the barely audible fizz, the tiny sparkling bubbles, the clink of glasses, and the bliss when a bottle is opened. But have you ever wondered, where does the name of this drink come from? Rolling on the chalk plains and hills of northeastern France, the Champagne region has proudly given its name to the world’s most renowned sparkling wine.

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Bayeux: A Stopover in the Town of Miracles

On the way from Paris to Mont Saint Michel, I made a stopover at Bayeux. It’s a small town in Calvados, just 10 kilometers from the Channel coast. As the witness of two cross-Channel invasions (the Norman Conquest of England and the Operation Overlord), almost 900 years apart, Bayeux certainly plays a decisive role in Western history. But the historical value was not the only reason that drew us to this town…

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