Travels with V

Cities

Our travels within Europe are almost always extended weekends spent exploring the most exciting big cities. So far we have been to Madrid, Berlin, London, Paris, Rome and Milano among others, and some of them will be described here, with suggestions and reflections.

NEW! MILAN, ITALY

Later in autumn in the same year that we visited Rome, we got the opportunity to spend a few days in Italy’s second biggest city – Milan. A bustling  megacity with over 1,2 millon inhabitants. It’s of course also the fashion and design Mecka, which in many ways define the city. All the important fashion houses are here with luxurious shops, and even more of the less important ones. 

But Milan is also a big city culturally and spiritually. Here we find one of the grandest cathedrals in Europe – the Duomo. Right in the exact cíty center. And thats where we started out on this mini excursion.

Read about it here.

HAMBURG, GERMANY

In April 2019 we went to Hamburg, and this time by car. This big North German city is perfectly reachable for us living in the very south of Sweden, a five-hour drive in all.

We had been there before, but separately, for work. This time we wanted time to see a Hamburg transformed, where just like in Liverpool, Copenhagen and Gothenburg the old port with its empty warehouses and deserted docks has been replaced with modern buildings or completely rebuilt ones, with apartments, companies and institutions that enjoys the closeness to the water.

Read about it here.

ATHENS, GREECE

We think that Athens is grossly underrated as a city to visit. We have been there a couple of times and will gladly return, as it’s a friendly and open city with loads of sights to explore. In fact it’s two cities in one, the antique ruined city that seems to pop up everywhere , and at the same time a modern picturesque city with great food and drink, great museums and great sceneries. And super friendly citizens. Its nearness to the orient, both geographically and culturally is a bonus and a spice you can taste.

Read about our Athens here.

PARIS, FRANCE

Paris is one of our absolute favourite cities.  We can come back here time and time again, few cities are so rich in experiences as the French capital. A lot of what a visitor absolutely must see is reachable by walking. But if you need to go beyond that, the Paris metro is the perfect means of transport. 

We have picked a hotel not far from Porte de Clignancourt, just north of Montmartre, so the natural way to go is to start on that hill with its fantastic views of the city. As expected a nice surprice awaits us there, around the Sacre Cœur cathedral there’sa food- and wine fair, lots of people, lots of great food and snacks…

Read about our trip to Paris here.

ROME, ITALY

There are people, among them friends of ours that keep on returning to Rome again and again. The love for this ancient city is like the love for an old friend. And we understand this affection because there’s something unique about this city that’s hard to put in words. There’s an openness, a feeling of being included here. 

And then of course you’re treated with all these magnificent buildings and ruins, the food and the bustling city life that always make you surprised here. Around every corner there is a new possibility. 

Read about our trip to Rome here.

ISTANBUL, TURKEY

Istanbul is a unique city filled with glorious and dramatic memories of a turbulent history, displayed right in front of the visitor’s eyes.

There’s the Roman period, with the central Hippodrome, where some of the obelisks decorating the centre are still there. Then the Byzantine era that gave us the mighty Hagia Sofia temple with impossible dimensions. And the Ottoman period that built lavish palaces and mosques, the famous Blue Mosque being the most splendid and beautiful.

But the dramatic events didn’t end there. In Taksim square in 2013 there was violence when masses of people protested against the plans to destroy a popular park, the nearby Gezi park, but also against president Erdogan’s authoritarian rule.

Read about our trip to Istanbul here.

It’s so easy to fall in love with Madrid. A city with the best of two worlds – it’s both modern and sort of small-town picturesque. Friendly, open and easy to find your way in. Much more relaxed than e.g. Barcelona, and with lots of must-see stuff within walking distance.

We had our minds first and foremost set on two things – art and food. And were richly rewarded with both. There probably is no other city in the world with more restaurants than Madrid, at least none that we have seen. And the art, well it’s everywhere. The impressive fountain on Plaza de España with the statues of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, and the author Cervantes watching them. The grand museums Prado and Reina Sofia. No problems spending a couple of days here!

Read more about Madrid here.

SINGAPORE

In June 2017 we went around half the globe to explore Indonesia. An unexpected choice perhaps, it’s not the most common tourist goals, probably not even among the most considered in Asia. But we thought it would be exciting.

But first we stopped over for a couple of days in Singapore, a city in many ways very attractive and welcoming, easy to move around in with the excellent metro system. And with a formidable kitchen mix of malayan, indian and chinese a gastronomic paradise. Singapore has many fascinating sights, for example the gigantic Marina Sands Park with it’s futuristic artificial trees and huge greenhouses. But don’t miss the old harbour blocks now renovated with lots of hangouts and restaurants. 

Read about our trip to Singapore here.

JERUSALEM

Arriving at Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv you are met with an extremely high level of security. Many who work there carry guns and our luggage is x-rayed multiple times. But since this is business as usual here things still work smoothly for us when we arrive one very early morning. We’re quite soon out on the street wondering where to find the airport transfer to Jerusalem.

But of course. It’s Saturday morning and the Jewish Sabbath. So no airport bus today. Luckily there are Palestinian drivers with so called “sheruts”, mini vans leaving when the vehicle is full and letting us off one by one at our destinations.

Read more about Jerusalem here.

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