CHRISTMAS CHEER AT the end of November every year a magical spell settles on Germany that lasts until the wee hours of Christmas morning. Right across the country, from villages to sprawling cities, Christmas markets move into town squares and shopping streets with locals visiting these fantastical fairs to celebrate St Nick’s season with family andContinue reading “VISIT – GERMANY AT CHRISTMAS”


EUROPE’S OTHER CITIES BARGAIN hunters on your marks, it’s early-bird season. It’s the time of the year when airlines zooming to Europe offer cheap seats which can save travellers looking to get away between March and October hundreds of dollars. But instead of buying a ticket to an old favourite, like London or Paris, takeContinue reading “INSPIRATION – EUROPE”


MEET BERLIN’S AMPELMANN WHERE … Ampelmann Berlin at Unter den Linden 35 WHEN … Sunday, December 9, 2018 at 11.47pm WHAT … … meet ampelmann. This jaunty fellow was the character on East German traffic lights telling pedestrians when they could cross – or stop on the red – and has become so popular he now hasContinue reading “GALLERY – BERLIN’S AMPLEMANN”

the Furstenzug …

Where … On Augustusstrasser, in the heart of Dresden When … Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at 3.30pm What … … Dresden’s mural wall — officially called the Furstenzug — with more than 23,000 Meissen tiles telling the story of Saxony’s ruling family. It’s 102m long, making it the largest porcelain artwork in the world, andContinue reading “the Furstenzug …”


WALK BERLIN’S COLD WAR ROUTE WHERE … The Berlin Wall Memorial, Bernauer Strasse, Berlin WHEN … Saturday, December 8, 2018 at 1.12pm WHAT … The Berlin Wall. I’m fascinated by the Berlin Wall, and the idea of a divided Germany, so visit what’s left of the notorious 20th-century landmark every time I’m in the GermanContinue reading “GALLERY – BERLIN WALL”


EXPLORING DARK GERMAN HISTORY WHERE … The Buchenwald Memorial 18km from the German town of Weimar. WHEN … Monday, December 3, 2018 at 10.13am WHAT … A break from the Christmas markets in Weimar this morning to explore a dark chapter of German history. This is the main entrance to Buchenwald, the concentration camp thatContinue reading “GALLERY – BUCHENWALD”

Germany’s Rostock …

ROSTOCK won’t be high on the list of destinations to see when crafting an itinerary to explore Germany. But this northern settlement, a stone’s throw from the Baltic coast in what was once East Germany, is a pretty place to spend a day especially for those planning on catching a ferry from nearby Warnemünde acrossContinue reading “Germany’s Rostock …”

the Berlin’s Wall …

AFTER spending a single day in Berlin more than 10 years ago I’ve long been keen to return to the German city for a longer stay and have finally achieved this goal. I’m spending a week in what was once East Berlin visiting many of the landmarks I know from my university history studies includingContinue reading “the Berlin’s Wall …”

Hotels with history …

THERE’S a trend in Melbourne – well, a mini trend, at least – with the Victorian capital’s newest hotels moving into territory that once served a different purpose. The shiny new Sheraton Melbourne Hotel (below) sits on the Little Collins St site of the bygone Naval and Military Club, a 127-year-old institution that once counted SirContinue reading “Hotels with history …”