city trip, culture, cycling, family travel, germany, historical site

Cycling in the Ruhrgebiet

When thinking of a location for a short family cycling holiday, the Ruhrgebiet – an enormous industrial region in the north-west of Germany – is not exactly the first place that springs to mind.

But look closer, and you’ll begin to realise that the Ruhrgebiet has a lot to offer. It is flat, is criss-crossed by hundreds of kilometres of traffic-free cycle paths and has an abundance of relatively cheap places to stay, eat and drink. On top of all this, its industrial heritage as the cradle of the powerhouse German economy makes it utterly fascinating; a refreshing break from traditional tourist areas.

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culture, family travel, germany, historical site, park, theme park, tips and advice

Hidden gems of Nuremberg

Everyone knows gingerbread, everyone knows Bratwurst. Many people know that Nürnberg (Nuremberg in English) has a spectacular Altstadt (old town) and castle, and others could reliably guess that the second-largest city in Bavaria would be home to a number of world-class museums.

So we’re going to show you places and sights in Nuremberg that many tourists don’t know about, the hidden gems that we discovered in this fascinating Franconian city. Come with us!

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city trip, family travel, france, historical site

Eguisheim – The stork and wine village of Alsace

Clouds hang heavy in the sky over Alsace, lending the surrounding vineyards a dull, waxy green. Ahead of us, Eguisheim, a village that I hadn’t even heard of until booking our hotel a few days earlier. I practice saying it as I drive – Eggy’s hime? Eh-geese-hime? Ayg-heese-hime? – but I can’t seem to perform the necessary tongue contortions. My eldest daughter and wife laugh at my linguistic ineptitude.

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cathedral, city trip, culture, family travel, historical site, museum, portugal

Evora – highlights for families

Contents / quick links:

Exploring Evora with kids

Evora is an ancient, sun-kissed city rising handsomely out of the cork oak forests and parched ground of the Alentejo, southern Portugal. Less than two hours from Lisbon, its compact size and wealth of sights makes it a perfect destination for a short break or, as we did it, a culture-packed and rewarding day trip.

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city trip, culture, england, family travel, historical site, museum, tips and advice

London – Smart choices with kids

We need to talk about “optimal resource management”.

That’s admittedly an unusual way to begin a family travel blog article, but making the most of what you have and taking smart decisions about you do are the keys to a successful family visit to London.

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castle, culture, family travel, germany, hiddeneuropa, hiking, historical site, museum, nature

Lohr am Main – The Snow White town

This is going to sound familiar…

Once upon a time, a kind and beautiful princess lived in a handsome castle in Germany. Her mother died when she was still a girl, and her father remarried shortly afterwards. But the stepmother was a vain and manipulative woman, favouring her own children over her adopted stepdaughter. Inevitably, the relationship snapped; the princess fled away from her family, over great hills and through deep forests. Eventually she settled and lived in exile in a community of dwarfs working in the local mines.

The princess (well, Baroness, technically…) was Maria Sophia Margaretha Catherina von Erthal. Quite a mouthful, isn’t it? But you have almost certainly recognised her already as “Schneewittchen” from the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale: or, in English…

Snow White.

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coast, family travel, historical site, museum, norway, seaside

Karmøy – the birthplace of Norway

The generous living room windows of our home exchange look out over a narrow channel towards the island of Karmøy. From our cosy vantage point, we watch the weather fronts rolling in from the wild North Sea and the rain-battered ships taking refuge in the calm waters. The vessels may be new, but boats have been making their way through this passage for thousands of years already. For as long as time itself, this route has been known as the safe way north, the “Northern Way”…

Norway“.


Merely a kilometre across the channel – but just obscured from our view by a neighbouring house – lies the ancient church of Olav in the village of Asvaldsnes. There – right there – is the birthplace of Norway, the main stronghold of King Harald Fairhair who controlled this “Northern Way” and first unified this nation.

All in all, it feels like a rather apt place to start exploring.

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