Riding the rails – the Erzbahntrasse, Bochum

We had arrived in Bochum to visit friends, approaching this city in the industrial heartland of Germany known as the Ruhrgebiet in torrential summer rain. Somehow it fit the city that we explored that afternoon on foot – a no-nonsense, postwar urban landscape similar to many of the towns that were heavily bombed during World… Continue reading Riding the rails – the Erzbahntrasse, Bochum

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

Along the Semmering Railway

It was our good friend Nicky who gave us the idea. ‘If you’re already taking the night train to Vienna,’ she said, ‘then might I suggest you book tickets to Graz? The price will be the same and you’ll get to spend the morning following the Semmering Railway through the mountains. You can always have… Continue reading Along the Semmering Railway

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

First & Last Brewery – Northumberland

On a spring day with friends in Yorkshire, we lit the barbecue ahead of the FA Cup Final and opened up a can of First & Last Brewery’s Hedgerow Gose beer. Gose, a sour and salty beer originating on the banks of the river of the same name in central Germany, is a beer type… Continue reading First & Last Brewery – Northumberland