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Springtime is bike time: These cities are best explored from the saddle

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This article has been translated form the German version.

Out with the humdrum, in with the sunshine. It’s spring, and our hearts are dancing. When the trees start to bud, you can finally sit outside again in short sleeves, and the sun’s rays start tickling your nose, then we all know: The most beautiful of all the seasons has arrived. And what better way to welcome the spring than a trip to a new city? Today we’ll introduce you to five cities that are perfect for exploring by bike. After all, what could be better than mixing in with the locals, feeling the wind on your face, and relaxing as you discover a city on two wheels?

 
Photo: Shutterstock.

Photo: Shutterstock.

 

Amsterdam

Young and old, business suits and flip flops: Absolutely everyone bicycles here. Bicycles are practically sacred to the Dutch: Hip Hollanders decorate their bikes with flowers and garlands, and chauffeur their kids around in so-called “bakfiets.” Amsterdam is the ideal city to discover from the saddle, thanks to its flat topography and extensive network of bicycle lanes. From the Central Station it’s off to Haarlemmerstraat, bursting with charming cafes and thrift shops. You’ll cycle through the neighborhood of Jordaan onward to the 9 Straatjes, the 9 streets: each one more magical than the last. After you’ve replenished your reserves, a trip through the Vondelpark beckons, where you can let the sun caress your face. Finally we’ll visit the Museumplein and the Albert Cuyp market.

Where to borrow? Bicycle rentals in Amsterdam are a dime a dozen. “Yellow Bike” is a proven option.

 
Photo: Katharina Werni.

Photo: Katharina Werni.

 

Barcelona

Would you believe that Barcelona is ideal for exploring by bike? In the most bike-friendly city in Spain, more and more bike lanes are gradually appearing, many of which are even separated from the road traffic. Anyone who truly wants to experience the Catalan way of life should cycle the 4 km long beach promenade, enjoying a cocktail at the end with ocean views.

Where to borrow? The friendly bike-lover Ramiro Sobral has opened the extraordinary rental shop “El Ciclo” in the heart of the city. Read More »

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5 exciting open air and living museums

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This article was translated from the German version.

 

“Spring lets its blue ribbon again flutter through the air” (Eduard Mörike) – stated otherwise: Hooray, spring is here! When the days finally start getting longer, everyone wants to spend as much time as possible outdoors. An idea for those who nevertheless don’t want to miss out on culture and museums: Open-air museums! We have five suggestions.

1) Skansen (Stockholm, Sweden)

Houses like those from an Astrid Lindgren fairytale, waving people in traditional northern dress, and reindeer: The open air museum Skansen in Stockholm offers visitors a version of Sweden straight out of a picture book. In some of the 150 old buildings from different parts of Sweden, traditional crafts are demonstrated – by people in traditional dress, of course. If a horse-drawn carriage carrying blond children suddenly came around the corner, no one would think twice. Incidentally, when Skansen was opened in 1891, it was the first open-air museum in the world.

 

Photo: Shutterstock.

Photo: Shutterstock.

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NEW: tripwolf for Windows and Android Tablet!

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For months we’ve been working non-stop, pouring in our heart and soul. For anyone who knows our tripwolf app for iOS and Android, there’s plenty you’ll recognize – but still, many things are different. Finally we can present to you our new project, fresh from the skilled hands and creative minds of our development team: the new tripwolf Windows app!

 

        

 
 

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After countless requests, we are pleased that from now on all users of Microsoft devices can also use the tripwolf app. Yes, really ALL. The Windows app runs on any device equipped with Windows Phone 8.1. or Windows 8.1 – and not only on smartphones and tablets, but now also on Windows PCs.

During development, Microsoft themselves provided us with their technical know-how, allowing us to install some handy tricks. For example, with the “Pin-to-start” function in the Windows app, you’ll have the ability to access a travel guide or other app area directly from the home screen. Also, the split-screen function allows you to use a second app parallel to tripwolf. The tripwolf Windows app is available both in the Windows Phone Store and the Windows Store. Read More »

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The 8 strangest Easter traditions in the world that really made us scratch our heads

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This article was translated from the Spanish version.

 

Just like every year around this time, we’re preparing for Easter – and although some people take off on vacation, others use this time to keep up ancestral traditions. They take part in rituals already well-know from childhood, marveling at religious processions and tucking in to plentiful Easter feasts. Unlike the familiar Easter Bunny and his eggs, some of these customs from different cultures are far less known, but no less remarkable!

 

1. Easter eggs behind every bush

In this case, the custom shouldn’t be a particular surprise – considering that all Christians celebrate Easter with painted eggs and/or the delicious chocolate variety thereof. But do you also know the origin of this custom? According to legend, Mary Magdalene announced to the Emperor Tiberius that Christ had been resurrected. The Emperor simply laughed, saying that this was about as likely as if an egg suddenly turned red. The sentence had barely been spoken aloud, and already a wonderful tradition was born.

 
Decorated Easter Eggs. Photo: Wikipedia.

Decorated Easter Eggs. Photo: Wikipedia.

 

2. The Dance of the Dead

In Verges in the province of Girona, you can attend one of the oldest (and most unusual) processions in Spain, which takes place on the night of Maundy Thursday, when the residents of the town gather together to dance in clothing painted with skeletons. Read More »

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5 cruise itineraries that will make your heart beat faster

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This article was translated from the German version.

Cruises offer not only comfort, but also the opportunity to see a tremendous amount of the world – often in a very short time and without much (of your own) effort. Cruise ships these days are more like small cities, and offer everything a passenger could want – fun, relaxation and a variety of culinary delights from around the world. Today we’ll show you five cruises that are definitely worth the trip.

 

Transamerica – On the Trail of the Vikings

You want to feel like an explorer? Then this is absolutely the route for you. You’ll start in Hamburg, take a detour to Norway and Iceland, and after a few more stops end finally in New York. The trip across the big pond offers a plethora of natural wonders, and is an especially good choice for those who want to experience a lot without being on the road for months. You’ll be traveling for around 18 days, and should plan for prices starting at 2500 Euros.

 
Photo: Shutterstock.

Photo: Shutterstock.

 

From Malaga to South Africa

If you’d like to start your cruise in nearby Spain, but still prefer a trip that takes you far into the unknown, then this could be the perfect option for you. You’ll start in Spain, head to Morocco and then cross the equator. After that, destinations including Angola, Namibia, and finally a longer stay in South Africa are on the itinerary. The tour lasts about a month and isn’t cheap, but starting at about € 3,500, it’s still an affordable option. Read More »

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5 blossoming places to welcome spring

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This article was translated from the German version.

 

It’s time to shake off the dust of winter! The first few days of spring have arrived, and as the sun begins to warm our skin, the vacation atmosphere is slowly gaining momentum. Spring is just a little bit nicer in the following places.

 
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Photo: Shutterstock.

 

Provence (France)

The cold and rain of winter slowly melt away into a Provencal springtime, taking with them the gloominess spread by the Mistral winds across the southeastern region of France. The air fills with the scent of thyme and flowers that colors Provence almost-kitschy colors this time of year. You’ll feel très francais as you stroll through the market with a bag full of fresh regional produce like artichokes and asparagus – the arrival of which is so highly anticipated by the French that it’s marked with a multi-day festival in April. Whether hiking in the Haute Alpes mountain region, visiting ancient Roman aqueducts in the region’s inland, or baking in the sun of the Côte d’Azur – Provence has many faces. Read More »

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Iceland in winter – who would do that to themselves? A country in white and blue

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This article was translated from the German version.

“You’re flying to Iceland in February? Are you crazy? But it’s so dark there this time of year, and way too cold!” These were the kinds of shocked reactions that were thrown at me before my vacation to Iceland in February – in many cases even from Icelanders themselves. I was of course already well aware that the island, which is located just below the Arctic Circle, probably wouldn’t be a popular destination for sunbathing on its volcanic sand beaches – after all, the country is named “Iceland.”

 
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The Sculpture Sólfar (Sun Voyager) 0in Reykjavík. Photo: Lena Sharma.

 
Beach of volcanic sand at Laugavegur. Photo: Lena Sharma.

Beach of volcanic sand at Laugavegur. Photo: Lena Sharma.

 

There are, however, plenty of great reasons to head to this snow-white island in the middle of winter. Sure, people who love sunlight won’t exactly get their fix, given that it’s dark by 5:00 in the afternoon, and the sun doesn’t begin to peek above the horizon again until after 10:00 in the morning – that is, if it even breaks through the cover of clouds and fog. On the other hand, I’ve never found myself in such a special, warm and peaceful atmosphere. Anyone who has ever stopped in for a Kaffi at one of Reykjavík’s traditionally decorated cafés while a snowstorm rages outside knows exactly what I mean. Read More »

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Solo or in company – what’s the best way to travel?

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It’s a question of taste and the traveling circumstances: how many people does it take to have the best journey possible? Whether you decide to travel alone, with a partner or a whole gang – every one of these combos has its own advantages and disadvantages.

 

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Traveling alone – Between freedom and boredom

When you are traveling alone, the question is whether this is truly a comfortable way to travel. Especially when it comes to girls and women alone on the road, although there really is no better way to get to know a country than to travel alone. You can roam through winding alleys and soak in the atmosphere without having to deal with comments on the clothing style of an eccentric passerby or constant toilet breaks that could distract you from the adventure. If you are traveling alone, there is a good chance that you will be able to fully immerse yourself in what is going on around you. You will love or hate the new world around you and be entirely engulfed by it, but you will have no choice but to find your own way of dealing with the situation. After all, you are the only one in charge of the organization, as well as – in most cases – the only person there who understands your language.

 
Photo: flickr, d.real

Photo: flickr, d.real

 

On the other hand, you can enjoy the perks of complete freedom – I am on the road alone and don’t have to coordinate my traveling schedule with anybody. This way, you are able to take in fully this once-in-a-lifetime, personal experience, that you otherwise – with a partner or in a larger group – probably wouldn’t be able to.
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The 5 most beautiful markets in Europe

Filed under Culture, Food Culture, shopping, Travel Tips
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Spring is almost here and with it the perfect time to explore great cities. And there’s no better to do so than in a market! There you can find the great cuisine, culture, and people of a city or even an entire country. And for this reason, we would like to present you our 5 most favorite markets in Europe.

 
‘Borough Market’ in London

The origins of this market, located in Southwark, go back into the 13th century, which makes it one of the oldest markets in all of London. However, it has gotten a lot larger since then. Now the market has almost 130 booths and is the selection of foods just keeps growing. Here you can get everything you need, from fresh fruits to foreign beers and tons of different types of fish or the latest fast food creations London has to offer. This market presents a mix of regional sellers and imported products from all over the world. You could spend hours at Borough Market, but still want to come back the next day since you’ll still feel you’ve missed something. This feeling that you could try and see more will bring you back to this great place again and again! It’s full of so many surprises and has such a unique charm that you should definitely check it out someday!

 
Where? 8 Southwark Street, London
When? Regular market days are Wednesdays through Sundays – but you can get lunch all week.
 

Borough Market

 
The ‘Mercado Central’ in Valencia

At this market you’ll find both locals and tourists together. Together, like you’ll see them nowhere in all of Valencia. It’s described as one of the oldest markets in Europe, since its roots go back to 1839, when it was called Mercado Nuevo. Some decades later the market was brought back to life after a full restoration. Since then, it has become one of the economic centers of the city. With over 400 retailers it offers everything the global, but in particular the Spanish cuisine has to offer. You’ll be able to feast your eyes on the gigantic amounts of fish which are spread throughout a separate 1400 square meter hall dedicated only to seafood.

 
Where? Plaza Ciudad de Brujas, Valencia
When? Daily from 8am to 2.30pm Read More »

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Colorful destinations to lighten up your winter mood

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Cold, rain and snow and nothing blue to spot on the sky for days? Winter sure is a very unique season, but in the long-term can really get you down. No worries though, we’ve got the cure: travelling. Get inspired by our list of ten colorful destinations!

 
Valladolid (Mexico)

You’ll find houses colored in mint green, pink and pale yellow, the sidewalks are terracotta-colored and the heaven mostly blue with clouds as smooth as cotton candy. The city of Valladolid on the Mexican peninsula Yucatán is as colorful as the Mexican ponchos.
 

Foto: shutterstock | Eddy Galeotti

Foto: shutterstock | Eddy Galeotti

 
Cinque Terre (Italy)

Cinque Terre is a lovely place that translates into five villages and is located along the seaside of the Italian Riviera and part of the UNESCO World Heritage. If you plan to go, each of the five places can be visited right after each other at the coast. Read More »

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