Blogs from Europe


Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam February 22nd 2024

KLM Limes and lemons -Piprey Feb 2024 Amsterdam is a liberal capital of goods and crooks. I had the experience of being robbed in the Eurostar from London to Amsterdam and so decided to stick to flights. My journey started at 4am from Swindon to London Heathrow in National Express. Then a free train from Terminal 2/3 Central Bus station to Terminal 4. Well, both the Mumbai and London airports are full of opportunities for long morning/evening walks and for the enthusiasts, afternoon walks too with heavy luggage so that one can indulge in sweets and not feel regret thanks to vastly spread-out airports! At security, I was removing both my laptops from my bag to put them on the tray for scanning. Before I knew, the tray was gone. I looked up and down. The ... read more
Canal and bare trees in Amsterdam
View of canal and traffic
Herengracht canal at night

Europe » Luxembourg February 21st 2024

The city sits atop rocky promontories, surrounded on three sides by ravines cut by the meandering Alzette and Pétrusse rivers; the defensive advantages of the location are clear. Approaching the old city gives great views of the fortifications, grand palaces and government buildings, as well as down to the river and gardens below. The outskirts of the city beyond this deep natural moat are modern glass edifices, often belonging to banks, which dominate Luxembourg’s economy and give it the highest GDP per capita in the world. We visited the Bock Casemates, which are the defensive tunnels below the original castle, the Christmas markets in every square (we were there in December), the cathedral, and otherwise just wandered around enjoying the views. The city is definitely worth a visit, but you don’t need long. Our radius for ... read more
Vianden Castle
Kneiff, the highest "mountain" in Luxembourg at 560 m
Bourscheid Castle

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Suffolk » Flatford February 19th 2024

Visit to Higham, the Old Post Office We received an email from Steve at mid January and asked us if we both could take one of the weekends off in February to celebrate my mother-in-law’s birthday. I realised that 12th to 16th will be the half term and it would be best for me to take the weekend off between 16th to 18th and young students would spend the time with their family and friends on 17th February. I arranged for a couple of adult volunteers to cover for me on 17th and ensure that the shop would run on 17th and 18th without me. Both Mark and I worked on Friday morning, 16th February and went to Liverpool Street to catch the train around 4 o’clock. The train took us to Manningtree station around 17.12. ... read more
Our bedroom, annex house
The backyard
The front of the Old Post Office

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London February 16th 2024

Air India to Air Concerns - Piprey Feb 2024 The pleasure is in the journey but those travellers were probably not born in the current age and experienced Air India. Here is to the pleasure of Incredible Indias' premier airlines, Air India which fulfills the promise of transporting passengers across the globe but with quite some interesting derogations. Flight from London Heathrow to Kolkata for Durga pooja Like a swarm of bees, the world descends to Kolkata for Durga pooja, the biggest cultural festival for the Bengali community. Among the thousands, I had carefully booked an Air India flight from London Heathrow to Kolkata via Delhi. Despite being a key metro, Air India does not have any direct flights from London to Kolkata. Outbound flight delay I arrived at London Heathrow airport, well in time only ... read more

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Málaga February 15th 2024

A short drive inland from the coast, there are a series of small towns called “White Towns” which are historical communities going back to the Moors (Muslim occupiers). The Moors had some unique architecture in the area with narrow streets etc and they used a lime based plaster that made the buildings white. On a practical side, the buildings were cooler in the extreme heat and the lime reduced the amount of bacteria thereby making the town more hygienic. Or as an alternative explanation, my brother Daryl might hypothesis, ”maybe they got a deal on white paint”! After an hours drive along a winding road, we arrived in Ronda one of the larger of the “White Towns” with a population of 35,000. It was captured by the Moors around 712 AD. Running through the middle is ... read more
New Bridge Ronda
The Tajo Gorge — Ronda
White Town - Casares

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Shropshire » Clun February 15th 2024

"If you miss the present moment you miss your appointment with life " Thich Nhat Hanh . That was the thought for this morning . The sun was shining . It was a lovely Spring Day . Very unlike a February day . Global warming was causing a mini heatwave in some parts of the world . Our little part of the world was having temperatures up in the 18's . Unheard of this time of year . The spring flowers are being fooled by the warmer weather . It was though a good day to be out and about . The sort of day you think let's go out and do something . The biggest problem as always was where to go. The plan - a trip out in the car with no name to ... read more
The tiny bridge over the River Clun
The town hall /museum
There is a castle up there

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Alhaurin el Grande February 11th 2024

Spain – Spring 2024 4th Jan – 8th Feb & 21st Feb – 13thMar It was like having two Christmas’!! We came back to Spain earlier than usual ( After a month of rain in the uk!!) on the 4th January so that we could see the Three Kings Parade on the 5th January!! They hadn’t had any rain in Spain and I think we must have brought some weather back with us , as we got caught in a horrific thunderstorm and got soaked!!, As Paul said to us - ‘ God works in Mysterious Ways!!’ Mercadona was very busy the next day ( I suppose its like their Christmas Eve!!) and we bought a Roscon de Reyes filled with cream – everyone was buying them!! Ita a festive, brioche ring, shaped like a large ... read more
The Three Kings
The Railway Tunnel Walk
Our walk - Cerralba to Rio Grande

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto February 10th 2024

Dear All Yay! Greetings from Portugal, country number 93! I arrived here at the beginning of our February half-term for a six-day trip from Porto to Lisbon. Although I count it as a new country now, I actually first set foot in it, quite literally, around 20 years ago. I was visiting a friend in Salamanca in Spain over Christmas, and one day we drove over the border around 75 miles to the west into Portugal for a quick Portuguese coffee. I noticed at the time the dramatic change from cold and dry to mild and humid. And now that I'm again here in the Portuguese winter, the climate feels similar - relatively mild and humid. I didn't count that visit as a proper visit to Portugal though, and thus it still remained one of my ... read more
São Bento Train Station Azulejos
Ponte Luis I Bridge by Night
Port Tasting with Fellow British Teacher Robert

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Málaga February 9th 2024

We have arrived in Estepona which is about an hours drive from Malaga on the “Costa de Sol” (Sunshine Coast). Our Villa is only a few steps from the beach with easy access to a long, well maintained stone walkway that hugs the coast for miles. So far the weather has been comfortable with daytime highs around 18-22 C and the abundance of sunshine makes outdoor activity very pleasant. The Villa is somewhat compact, particularly in the kitchen, however, with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, it provides adequate space and is complimented with large back and front patios that includes a hot tub, barbecue and numerous pieces of outdoor furniture. Within a few minutes drive, there are a good selection of grocery stores, golf courses and restaurants etc. Of course, as with many places now, the ... read more
Path along coast in Estepona
Musical entertainment in Tangiers
Camel ride in Tangiers

Europe » Germany » Baden-Württemberg » Stuttgart February 7th 2024

Am letzten Mittwoch fuhr ich mal wieder mit der Bahn von München nach Walldorf und hatte eine gute Stunde Aufenthalt in Stuttgart. Da hatte ich mir vorgenommen, die neue Stadtbibliothek zu besuchen. Ich weiß eigentlich nicht, warum ich das nicht schon während meines langen Projekts in der Schwabenmetropole gemacht hatte. Also vom Bahnhof zu meinem Ziel war es nur ein kurzer Weg vorbei an modernen Bürogebäuden. Dort angekommen musste ich meinen Rucksack nicht abgeben und fuhr in die oberste (achte) Etage und lief von dort die Treppen wieder hinunter ins Erdgeschoss. Leider war wegen Winter die Dachterrasse gesperrt. Aber architektonisch ist das neue Gebäude sehr sehenswert. Es gibt in der Stadt ja anscheinend - anders als in München - keine Staatsbibliothek. Nach meinem Besuch sah ich in Sichtweite ein Starbucks Café im Einkaufszentrum Milaneo mit Blick ... read more
Besuch der neuen Stadtbibliothek in Stuttgart.
Besuch der neuen Stadtbibliothek in Stuttgart.
Besuch der neuen Stadtbibliothek in Stuttgart.

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