Above the treetops – the Beelitz Sanatorium

The metal staircase starts at the bottom of the tower, and with each step we were climbing ever closer to the top of the trees. We were in the grounds of the old Beelitz Heilstätten, a sanatorium set among the pine forests south of Berlin. Looking up we could see the walkway stretching out from… Continue reading Above the treetops – the Beelitz Sanatorium

The Fajãs of São Jorge – Azores

The islands seemed to rise straight up out of the ocean. It appeared through the tiny windows of the propeller plane like a long green dragon resting in the turbulent waters. Conical peaks were strung out along the central ridge and the cliffs seemed to fall vertically down into the Atlantic. We circled one end… Continue reading The Fajãs of São Jorge – Azores

A place like no other – the Schrammsteine of Saxon Switzerland

It was Friday evening when we caught the train from Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof. Two dads, two daughters, heading south beyond Dresden and towards the Czech border, climbing down from the train in darkness on the banks of the Elbe. Across the river from the station, the lights of Bad Schandau shone against the dark hills that… Continue reading A place like no other – the Schrammsteine of Saxon Switzerland

Following the Leadmining Trail – Grassington

There are certain landscapes that seem to belong to a certain place. Even an uncaptioned photograph takes you there. They are filled with memories, filled with stories, both your own and those only heard and read. They are the landscapes that you miss when you are away. They are the place that you remember, along… Continue reading Following the Leadmining Trail – Grassington

Our lake – Tegel, Berlin

From the street, which runs in a straight line through the Jungfernheide forest in the north of Berlin, circling around the old Tegel airfield, it is a short walk through the trees to the lake. The path, which follows the water’s edge from the Greenwich Promenade south towards Saatwinkel and Spandau, passes by sailing and… Continue reading Our lake – Tegel, Berlin

Along the Narcissus Path – Les Avants

It was a walk planned around train lines and train timetables. There was no real destination in mind, no peak to climb or pass to cross. All we had seen was a photograph. A little red train clinging to the mountainside. Hauled up from one village to the next by a series of cables for… Continue reading Along the Narcissus Path – Les Avants

Out of Sight – Hiddensee

The ferry had been sailing for more than an hour before the island came into sight. Ever since we’d left the harbour at Stralsund we’d been looking out for it. We knew it was there, across the straits and between the headlands of Rügen island on one side and the mainland of Germany on the… Continue reading Out of Sight – Hiddensee

Where the Duergar dwell – Simonside, Northumberland

Up on the ridge we looked out across the landscape. Heather tinged with purple. Solitary trees. Rocky outcrops.  In the distance we could see the blue waters of the North Sea and the hills that straddle the border to Scotland. We were on the Simonside Hills of Northumberland, a place of stories and legends. To… Continue reading Where the Duergar dwell – Simonside, Northumberland

Run River Run – The Rhine Falls, Schaffhausen

There are many places that become victims of their own popularity. We think of them as ‘tourist traps’, as places visited by the unimaginative and unadventurous. They are places accessed by turnstiles and thus ‘consumed’. They are cliches. They are not worth our time. They are to be avoided, and we judge all those who… Continue reading Run River Run – The Rhine Falls, Schaffhausen

The Forgotten Giants – Copenhagen

All we had was a map, hand-drawn and uploaded onto an artist’s website. It showed the edges of Copenhagen, curled around Køge Bay, and the western neighbourhoods of Rødovre, Hvidovre, Vallensbæk, Ishøj, Albertslund and Høje Taastrup. We were in Ishøj, and had just erected our tent between two campervans, in sight of the striking ARKEN… Continue reading The Forgotten Giants – Copenhagen