Travelog

FROM The man in the front seat / March 15, 2019

Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen

Opened in 1843, the Tivoli (or Tivoli Gardens) is a garden and amusement park located in Copenhagen, Denmark. The park is the second oldest operating amusement park in the world after the Dyrehavsbakken (more commonly known as ¨Bakken¨) which was opened in 1583. Almost 5 million people visit the park each year making it also one of the most popular amusement parks in the world. The park was founded by Georg Carstensen who convinced the then King, Christian VIII, that: ¨when the people are amusing themselves, they do not think […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / January 8, 2019

Wilanów Palace

In 1771 the process began to divide Poland, and its neighbour Lithuania, up and distribute large parts of the countries to their neighbours. By 1795, Poland ceased to exist as a state, and it remained like that for the next 123 years. This Partitioning, combined with two World Wars in the 20thcentury saw nearly every historical and cultural building in Poland destroyed. Wilanów Palace just outside Warsaw however is one building that survived tumultuous period, so much so that today it serves as a reminder of the culture of the […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / December 13, 2018

Kryžių Kalnas – the hill of crosses

The Hill of Crosses is located 12km outside the city of Šiauliai in Northern Lithuania. For almost 200 years Catholics have been placing not only crosses, but also crucifixes, rosaries, statues of the Virgen Mary and along with carvings of Lithuanian patriots, here with the number today surpassing 100,000. Legend has it that the Virgin Mary appeared here, holding an infant Jesus, and asked believers to cover this holy place with icons. Today, the hill has become a symbol of Lithuanian endurance in the face of the numerous threats that […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / October 4, 2018

Château Chillon, Switzerland

Chateau Chillon, or Chillon Castle, is located on the banks of Lake Geneva in the canton of Vaud, Switzerland. It’s spectacular location and wonderful setting make it one of the most visited castles in the country. History Began during the Roman occupation of modern-day Switzerland, the castle was originally built as an outpost guarding the alpine passes the Roman’s. Although no official foundation date is known for the castle we see today, appears in documents from 1005 which mention the castles use in guarding the Great Saint Bernard Pass. By […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / June 14, 2018

Bernina Express, Switzerland

The Bernina Express is a train running from Chur via Davos, in Switzerland through, Poschiavo and into Tirano in Italy. It is an incredibly scenic journey passing through the Engadine Alps and is regarded as one of the most spectacular narrow-gauge railways in the world. This beauty was recognised by UNESCO in 2008 with a large part of the journey being declared a World Heritage Site. The journey is made up of two separate rail lines, the Albula Line and the Bernina Line which both hath their terminus in St. […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / June 14, 2018

The Great Synagogue, Budapest

The Great Synagogue, or the Dohány utcai zsinagóga, located in the Hungarian capital of Budapest, is the largest synagogue in Europe and one of the largest in the world. More than 3000 faithful can fit inside and it is richly decorated, both inside and out. The building was begun in 1854 and only took 5 years to complete, being opened in 1859. It is largely based on Islamic models from North Africa, and medieval Spain. The building’s architect was the Austrian, Ludwig Förster, who claimed that no distinctively Jewish architecture […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / May 8, 2018

Sanssouci Park, Berlin

Sanssouci Park is a large park surrounding the Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam, near Berlin. The palace and park were built as a summer palace by Frederick the Great, the King of Prussia. Whilst the palace is impressive, it is renowned for its park, which include numerous temples and other decorations. When the palace was completed a terraced vineyard was added to complete the structure. It was then decided to add a Baroque flower garden and lawns, flowerbeds as well as including trees and hedges. To improve the design more than […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / May 3, 2018

Palace of Culture & Science, Warsaw

Constructed in 1955, the building is the tallest in Poland and one of the tallest in Europe with a height of 237m (778ft). Although respected, the building is not like by all Varsoviansand as result has numerous nicknames. Pekin (because of its Polish abbreviation PKiN), and Pajac (which means “clown” … sounds similar to Pałac (palace) in Polish) the most common. It s also referred to as Stalin’s syringe, the Elephant in lacy underwear and the Russian wedding cake. History The building was originally known as the Josef Stalin Palace […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / May 3, 2018

Marchfelderhof, Deutsch-Wagram

In the middle of the Marchfeld plain in Deutsch-Wagram you will find the country inn, Marchfelderhof. History The 13thcentury village of Deutsch-Wagram was a small settlement that would make the headlines on several occasions. Due to its geographical location, the peasants of the Marchfeld had to fight troops who were invading from the east, this included Huns, Avars, Turks, Magyars along with the French and Swedes attacking from the west. There is also, not very far away, the location of the Battle of Jedenspeigen, where in 1278, the Hapsburg dynasty […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / May 3, 2018

St. Stephens Basilica, Budapest

Named after Saint Stephen of Hungary, the first King of Hungary, the building is the most important ecclesiastical building in the country as well as one of the most visited sights in Budapest. It was originally going to be called St. Leopold, after the patron saint of Austria, but the plan was changed at the very last minute. At 96m (315ft) high it is, along with the parliament building, the tallest structure in the city, in fact, current building regulations forbid the building of any structures taller. History In the […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / April 20, 2018

Montreux

population: 27,000 Located at the foot of the Alps and on the banks of Lake Geneva, Montreux in Switzerland has one of the most idyllic locations. Each year, the town becomes ones of the centres of world music when they play host to the Montreux Jazz Festival. History Montreux lies on the eastern bank of Lake Geneva, this is important, as during Roman times it became a major trade centre sitting on a fork of the main trade route from Rome. For more than 300 years merchants stopped in the […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / April 20, 2018

Hungarian State Opera House, Budapest

Opened: 1884 Capacity: 1261 Located in Budapest, the Hungarian State Opera house is one of the most renowned in Europe. Originally called the Hungarian Royal Opera House, it’s construction began in 1875 to the designs of Miklós Ybl and was financed by the Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary. Only 9 years were needed to complete the work when it was opened to the public on 27thSeptember 1884. Music in Budapest Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, brought a calmness to her empire that was reflected in a flourishing of the […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / April 20, 2018

Oberammergau Passion Play

The Oberammergau Passion Play has been performed by the villagers, from the Bavarian town of Oberammergau, since 1634. The play covers the final period in the life of Jesus, from his arrival in Jerusalem to his crucifixion, a period referred to Jesus’ Passion. Visitors come from all over the world, to see the play which up until 1790 was free. On average more than 500,000 people see the it each year, with the vast majority staying for 2 nights. History In the early 17thcentury, the village of Oberammergau in the […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / July 8, 2017

Jasna Góra Monastery & the Black Madonna

Located in the Polish town of Częstochowa, Jasna Góra, founded in 1382 by Pauline monks who arrived in Poland at the request of Władysław, the Duke of Opole, is not only one of country’s places of pilgrimage, it is for many the religious capital of the country. Millions of people flock to the monastery each year to see the Black Madonna of Częstochowa, also known as Our Lady of Częstochowa, to which miraculous powers are attributed. Since 1711, every August 06th pilgrims leave Warsaw on a 230km (140mi) trek to […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / May 2, 2017

Auschwitz Concentration Camp, Poland

General “Those who do not remember their past are condemned to repeat their mistakes” – George Santayana When the Spanish/American writer George Santayana penned these words, there is no doubt that the events that took place in places like Auschwitz were the “past” he was referring to. Auschwitz actually consisted of three camps, Auschwitz I (the original camp), Auschwitz II – Birkenau (the concentration/extermination camp) and Auschwitz III – Monowitz (a labour camp to staff the IG Farben chemical and pharmaceutical company) Auschwitz was first constructed to hold Polish political […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / May 2, 2017

Cliffs of Moher, County Clare

In Ireland, a country which is known for its natural beauty, the Cliffs of Moher stand out as one of the highlights of this remarkable isle. Located at the southwestern edge of the Burren Region in County Clare, the cliffs run from just north of O’Brien’s Tower, 8km south to Nags Head. The highest point is at O’Briens Tower which sits at 214m (702ft) above the Atlantic and drop to 120m (390ft) at Nags Head.   Whats in a Name The cliffs take their name from an old fort, which […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / March 1, 2017

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Known officially as the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. It is performed each year on the esplanade of the Edinburgh Castle in August, as part of the Edinburgh Festival. Traditionally the bands performing are from the British Armed Forces as well as the Commonwealth nations however each year other nations military bands are also allowed to perform also.   What’s in a name The term “tattoo” derives from a 17th century Dutch phrase “doe den tap toe” which translates to be “turn of the tap’. It was played by a regiment […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / December 1, 2016

Christmas markets – winter is coming

Any visit to Europe over the Christmas period will invariably run into one of the numerous Christmas Markets scattered throughout the continent. Although traditionally associated with the Germanic states, they can now be seen from the Atlantic to the Black Sea. Christmas markets are street markets and normally run for the four weeks of Advent leading up until Christmas. Historically they date back to the late middle ages and traditionally come from areas that were associated with the Holy Roman Empire. at that time this included not only the German […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / April 11, 2016

Saint-Jean-de-Luz

General Located at the mouth of the river Nivelle, Saint-Jean-de-Luz is one of the most visited place in the French Basque Country with it hugging one side of a sheltered bay. Throughout its history its beauty has attracted Kings and nobles with the highlight being the marriage of Louis XIV of France to Maria-Theresa in 1660. History Saint-Jean has been documented since the 11th century with its sailors hunting Whales off the coast of Labrador in Newfoundland. By the 15 century they had taken control of the cod fisheries which […]

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FROM The man in the front seat / April 11, 2016

Rias Baixas (Santiago de Compostela)

General The Rias Baixas (Lower Inlets) is a series of four estuaries located in the south-western corner of Galicia and are the grandest and most spectacular of all the inlets that indent the Galician coast. Well known for their spectacular views, beautiful beaches and some wonderful low-key resorts the Rias Baixas is slowly becoming one of the most visited regions in Galicia . The area is also known for providing some of Spain’s most fertile fishing grounds and as a result producing some of the finest seafood in the country. […]

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