High above Dublin

In what might be my only trip of 2020 I went to Dublin in March. And while there, I couldn’t miss the Guinness museum. The museum itself was fun and very well organised, but one of the best things about it was the bar at the top. It offers the best panorama views of the city and is a pretty great place to drink your pint like a proper tourist.

Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències

It seems that it might be some time until it’s safe to travel again and no one knows exactly how that travel will look like. And while there isn’t that much that I miss as an introvert stuck at home with someone I love, finally having the chance to work from home, I am nostalgic for the time I was free to take a cheap flight and spend the weekend in a different European country every now and again. A year ago, in May, I went to Valencia in what is one nicest trips I’ve ever taken and I can’t help but remember the palm trees and the architecture (and the food and the drinks).

Valencia does not only have a wonderful old town, but also some of the most modern and futuristic looking buildings I have ever seen. I am talking, of course, about the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències, or the City of Arts and Sciences. When I imagine an utopian future, where everyone is happy and healthy and provided for, this is what my brain thinks that it could look like. Big, bright, white and beautiful, the buildings in this architectural complex look like someone plucked them out of a futuristic film and put them in our reality by mistake.

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Trinity College Library

If you are anything like me and have ever searched for pictures of libraries to use as a desktop background, because libraries are the best, then you have seen the old Trinity College Library, even if you’ve never known about it. The long room with curved wooden ceiling and two floors packed with books is one of the most famous libraries in the world. I got the chance to visit it during my trip to Dublin and I have to tell you, it smells just as you can imagine from the pictures. Wood and old books, enough to get you high from breathing it in too deep. The library is actually marketed as the place to see the Book of Kells – a 9th century Christian manuscript and the number one popular attraction in Dublin. The book on display during my visit was a replica, but to tell you the truth, I wasn’t there to see one book, however old and impressive. I was there to see all the books.

The dwarfs of Wroclaw

The Polish city of Wroclaw has many hidden jems in the form of dwarf statues. They are small, multi-talented and scattered all over the city. Since 2005 they started appearing in different places and nowadays it’s almost impossible for a tourist to find all of them. I can’t even tell you how many there are because their number increases constantly. There are maps, marking their locations for the more organised hunters. For all the others, there’s the option to stroll around the town keeping your eyes open. That’s what I did and here are some of the dwarfs I found.

The statues of Budapest

Budapest has a lot of statues. Perhaps its most famous monument is the group of shoes on the bank of the Danube, honouring the Jews who had to take off their shoes before they were shot and fell into the river. But there are many other, far less heartbreaking statues sprinkled around the city. Like this fat policeman, whose belly you should rub for good luck.

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One of my favourite cities

I’ve been to a lot of cities, so for this week’s City photo challenge from Dutch goes the Photo! I had a lot of pictures from which I could choose. And somehow I knew that I wanted to go with Edinburgh. It’s one of the cities I can definitely imagine living in and it’s a special one. With its gloomy weather and and fascinating history, it seems like a good fit. I don’t know when I’ll get the chance to go back and for how long, all I know is that sometimes, especially during this year’s hot summer, I check up on the Edinburgh weather and sigh, wishing I wasn’t melting in Continental Europe, but instead was sitting in a small dark pub, writing my book and looking at the soft rain in Scotland.

High above Vienna (on the Stephansdom)

The Stephansdom is one of the symbols of Vienna. This Gothic Cathedral stands tall in the perfect centre since the 14th century. Back in the day, more than 10 000 people were buried under this church. Now, a part of the catacombs is open to visitors who are interested in this kind of thing. So you could go down into the depths of the city and see its past. Or, alternatively, rise high above it for a different experience.