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WWII and Cold War sites in Berlin

Berlin is a wonderfully diverse and dynamic city, and especially intriguing to visit as a tourist with an interest in history. In particular, Berlin is the place to go if you like learning about 20th century…

Dunnottar Castle in Aberdeenshire

Dramatic Dunnottar Castle

As I wrote in my overview of Aberdeenshire castles, my expectation was that the Dunnottar Castle ruins would be worth about a half-hour’s visit. I’d seen photos, and its setting – on a cliff-edged finger of…

This half is 3 stories tall except for a tall, crenellated round tower at the corner.

Balmoral Castle tour: a review

If you’ve ever seen a film involving Queen Victoria, you’ve heard of Balmoral Castle. This is the place the queen used as her escape: her place in the country. She loved Scotland, and this location in…

Flying EasyJet: a review

For years I’ve assumed that all budget airlines in Europe are essentially the same: EasyJet, Ryanair, Transavia, Flybe, and so on. They were, in my mind, necessary evils for those who travel within Europe. While I…

A maritime-themed weekend in Hamburg

I’ve visited Amsterdam – about two and a half hours from home – more times than I can count. Hamburg is only slightly further away – three hours by car – and I’d never been there….

Mercure Hotel Hamburg City: a review

I expected Mercure Hotel Hamburg City to be a cookie-cutter hotel. You know the sort: identical furniture to every other hotel in its class, usually in shades of brown and red. As a four-star, I expected…

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