Continental Europe

Our archive of travel stories from France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy and Greece

athens

Athens

Monastiraki square bubbled with the bustle of Athenians and tourists alike. Fruit sellers, bananas hanging from the awnings of their wooden stands, bellowed the price [...]

rome

Misadventures in Rome

A single coin thrown into the Trevi Fountain, with your right hand, over your left shoulder, is said to ensure a return to Rome. The [...]

Old World Wandering

Florence

An earthy rainbow of suede belts hung from rows of open air market stalls, iron railings groaned under the weight of plush leather jackets. Wallets [...]

Old World Wandering

Venice

I sat in Hotel Caneva’s small reception area, chatting to Stephano, the night time receptionist. Water, displaced by passing boats, lapped up against a rudimentary [...]

buddy-bears

Among the Buddy Bears in Vienna

We had ninety short days in Continental Europe. The period was dictated by my Schengen visa (which all South Africans require, unless, like Claire, they [...]

munich

Munich

Munich is the heart of golden Bavaria, where the beer flows in litre sized steins, Sunday lunch is sausage and sauerkraut, and men really do [...]

berlin

A Berlin Walking Tour

Rain crashed on the tin roof of a small caravan dispensing draught beer. Claire and I huddled beneath it, sipping Becks from refundable plastic cups. [...]

amsterdam

I Amsterdam

It was approaching 11pm. I walked down Warmoesstraat, the main street through the red light district, assaulted by lights, logos and liberalism. This was my [...]

geneva

Geneva

Deliciously ice cold tap water, gleaming white supermarkets, perfectly packaged cheeses, watches weighted with glittery bits, and the magnificence of the lake, a glistening great [...]

Andalusia

A Bullfight in Andalusia

The banderillero swaggered across the dry yellow sand, knelt in front of the bullgate, crossed himself – slowly, carefully – and spread out his pink [...]

portugal

Portugal

Claire and I stopped, panting, at the metal rods that closed a narrow road to traffic. We had been given detailed directions and followed them [...]

galicia

Fiesta Galicia

It was just before midnight and darkness masked the contours of the city. Street lights were sparsely spread and provided no more than a dim [...]

madrid

Madrid

Claire and I arrived in Madrid late at night. We waited for a train to our hostel, watched by police with sniffer dogs, listening to [...]

barcelona

Barcelona

Claire and I left France from Avignon in the early morning, when the city’s streets were for a moment quiet after another long festival night. [...]

provence

Provence

I sat in a poolside chair on terracotta tiles, the silver handles of the pool’s steps glinting into the pale blue water. Beyond the roof [...]

Montmartre-de-Paris

Montmartre de Paris

Paris is the world’s most photographed, most written about, most visited city. More than 30 million people arrive on the banks of the Seine each [...]

st-malo

St Malo

Our bags dampening our backs, still close to St Malo’s station, Iain and I spotted three bright awnings, a red, a green and a blue, [...]

bayeux

Crossing the Channel

Our last night in Ireland was spent in Cork, drinking Murphy’s, the local stout, while drifting between the pubs near our hostel. We caught a [...]

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