… Pieces of Europe

The Wall

Europe is home. A backyard. A place to belong. While the cultures and societies of Europe are distinctly different, I have always felt a belonging to the continent - much more than to the small tip attached to the northern shores of Germany.

I have been fortunate to grow up with middle class privileges and close to an airport. Thus, from an early age my mother brought me to some of the worlds greatest cities and as soon as I was done with high school, I began to travel extensively throughout both East and West Europe. Whether my interest in the European continent and its shared history and identity came before my travelling or has been caused by it, is a mystery as unimportant as the hen and the egg. The point stands that Europe is special and has for as long as I remember kept a piece of my heart, while I through my travels have kept pieces of Europe as memories.

The following blogs and galleries are all from my travels to European destinations. Some of them from short weekend trips to European cities, some of them from backpacking through regions and some from sunny holidays in the south part of Europe. All of them memories which I cherish.

Zofka

2018

Place des Vosges

Wheelchair Friendly Paris

At the end we were all supposed to shake hands and claim something about Jesus. And so I heartily shook the hands of those around me and muttered Jesus a few times before donating 20 EUR to the basket going around.

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Place du Tertre

2017

Larnaca Days

I feel as if we got to experience a small slice of the real Cyprus that evening.

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Lefkosia (Nicosia)

There was something so very peaceful about sitting there on a bench outside Büyük Han soaking up the sun without a care in the world and I shall take it with me as one of the best memories I have of Cyprus.

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Daytrip: Northern Cyprus

The small delicate platform at the very top seemed to be strung up only by a few metal lists and it was rocking in the wind. I was basically crawling around on the top of the mountain breathing in heavily while attempting to take pictures.

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Relaxing in Paphos

It was such a beautiful walk and with the wind cooling us off, we didn't realise that we had turned into boiled lobsters.

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Day trip to the Ancient Kingdom of Kourion, Kolossi Castle and the Troodos village of Omodos

After a walk around the castle we bought freshly pressed orange juice from oranges grown in the fields around the castle at the nearby kiosk before enjoying the view of the castle from the shade of a pepper tree.

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Gilleleje Past and Present

Our stay would end with all the girls lining up with the kindergarten leader Vibeke to get a French braid before we got back on the bus and returned to our parents with all the tales of adventure.

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Pakhus 48 at Nordhavn

Gallery: Nordhavn

Sometimes the next adventure is just around the corner. With the building of the new neighbourhood Nordhavn in Copenhagen this is literally the case. Only a short bike ride from where I live, an entire new part of Copenhagen is rising.

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...the New Balkans

After 12 years, I returned to the Balkans to discover the treasures of Montenegro and Kosovo.

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Amsterdam channel and bikes

Looking for the Authentic Amsterdam

It is a favourite pass time to shock tourists who are not taking care when stepping off the walk path. Though they are ten or 15 meters away they will ring. It seems as if their constant ringing with bells has become their silent rebellion against the many tourists filling the streets and pushing out the locals.

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2016

A short weekend in Oslo

Standing there with Oslo behind me and the large expansive sea surrounded by far away shores made me feel as if I had reached the very edge. That should I sail out of the fjord I would fall from the earth.

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Exploring Southern Jutland

Having spent a few days in Tønder I can easily imagine that bureaucracy is not the only reason that the community has made it in the wedding business. The town is extremely picturesque, something I must admit that my prejudice and arrogance had prevented me from ever expecting.

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Gallery: Sjællands Odde

2015

Hassan Pasha Mosque in Chania
Chania Harbour

Getting ready for the season in Chania

The last days of March are busy in Chania as the locals get ready to welcome the tourist masses who move in from April 1st.

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Chania Harbour

Gallery: Fishing Boats in Chania Harbour

There is something exceedingly picturesque and idyllic about small and colourful fishing boats, and the ones we saw in Chania Harbour were no exception.

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Knossos featured

Learning to Dance in Knossos

Maybe I should follow the lead of the group of second graders from Western Crete who are walking ahead of us. They are dancing their way through the ruins. At each stop their guide teaches them a new step in the dance.

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Imbros featured

Walking in the Footsteps of Soldiers

One part of me complains, screaming that I will never do this again in a million years. Another part of me wishes that I could have more days such as this.

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First view of Loutros

Walking on the South Side of Europe

This blog is the second part of our journey through Imbros Gorge and the E4 to Loutros. It takes us from the beginning of the trail near Hora Sfakion to Loutros and home. Enjoy!

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Sweet Water Beach this way!
Underground

The City of London, Vikings, Heroic Self-Sacrifices and Shad Thames

Since our plan was to do the my-feet-will-bleed-at-the-end-half-marathon-sightseeing tour on Friday, we went to bed early on our first night, attempting to fall asleep in the hard uncomfortable twin beds of our small and noisy hotel room.

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HMS Belfast

Gallery: Sailing on the Thames

A photo gallery showing our trip up the Thames from the O2 Arena to the Eye of London

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Parliament

Westminster, the Mall and Prince Albert

Nearing London Eye by boat, there is a real and possible chance of falling overboard as it is the tourist's natural instinct to lean forward in order to catch all of the 443ft Ferris wheel at the banks of the Thames.

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The ballerina and the phonebooths

Bloomsbury, Covent Garden, Soho and Chinatown

We began Saturday with breakfast at the cute little Fleet River Bakery at Lincoln's Inn Fields near Holborn Station.

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Taxidermy

Sunday UpMarket, BrickLane Market and Spitalfields Market

Sunday is market day and we are heading to the East End beginning the day with a full Sunday breakfast at The English Restaurant next to Old Spitalfields Market.

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Best of Britain

Harrods, Hyde Park and Afternoon Tea at Kensington Palace

Today is the day we are returning home. But for some godforsaken reason, we end up walking 13.5 kilometres through Hyde Park, Kensington, Notting Hill and Bayswater before finally picking up our bags and heading for the airport.

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Das Reichstags

Gallery: Christmas Joy in Berlin

I've been to Berlin several times over the years, but that does not make the capital of Germany any less fascinating. This time around we wanted to enjoy the many wondrous Christmas markets that crop up throughout Berlin in December.

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The path of the Berlin Wall

2014

Miniature Carousels in Vienna
Pestsäule on Graben

Mozart, Bearded Women and a Cold Day in Vienna

Vienna was cold, rainy and windy, but we got to see the Stefansdom, the Hofburg, eat a Gordon Bleu and taste a Sachertorte.

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2013

The Vineyard of Montmartre

Hunchbacks in Paris

There are certain things, which any person will have to experience when visiting the capital of France for the first time: The Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysée, Notre Dame, Sacré-Cœur... etc.

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Street in Temple Bar

Dónal's Dublin

In my mind, Dublin has always been connected to The Commitments and U2. I have this idea of working class brick houses and old men and pale ginger women in pubs discussing over a pint of Guinness. Dublin, in my imagination, is, as Liverpool and Manchester, the ultimate working class city, with a rough look of the 80s and dirty side-streets.

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The Burren

Wait what? Sunshine in Galway? No way...

I come from a rainy country, where we for the large part survive the rainy days with stories of how it rains even more on the British Isles. You might imagine my surprise when I arrived in Galway and Connemara - the wettest place in Ireland - and found it warm, sunny and with a clear blue sky.

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Looking back to the northwest

Gallery: Máméan and Diamond Hill

A hike to Mám Éan and Diamond Hill on a particularly sunny day in Connemara, Ireland.

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Ram in Mám Éan

2012

The 18th pieces of Europe
Moulin Rouge

La France

Europe holds many treasures, but none as iconic as the French capital. This is a city shrouded in mystery and extravagance, a puzzle of both rich and poor. Dirty yet beautiful. These are blogs from my months in Paris.

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Florence in the evening featured

Gallery: Florence and Fiesole

While writing my thesis on European Identity, I joined a seminar on the issue at the beautiful European University Institute which lies a short distance from the centre of one of Europe's most famous cultural capitals, namely Medici's Florence in Tuscany.

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The river Arno

Gallery: Day in Pisa

After a week at the European University Institute and exploring Florence, I spent a night in Pisa. The city is known for its Leaning Tower of Pisa, where tourists flock to take pictures while keeping it uprise.

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Italian transportation

2011

La Paix

A Love Manifesto for Brussels

I love Brussels. Every time I go there I feel overwhelmed by the city's capability to encapsulate so many different cultures and ways of life.

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Coiffure Mohamed

2009

Eastern Europe

Blogs from my internship in Vilnius and my visits to other parts of Lithuania as well as the neighbouring countries.

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2008

flea-market

Returning to Slovenia

I arrived in Ljubljana today, for the first time in three years. Being back is really strange. The city has changed, and yet it is the same. New people, old people, new smells, old smells. Places that I remember, places that have come, places that no longer exist.

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the parliament

Majestic Budapest

The grand Danube river with the majestic Parliament lighting up at night is stunning and I must have spent at least twenty minutes in the cold summer weather gazing across the river.

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Mount Kazbeg

Caucasus

The travelblogs from my backpacking through the most Eastern part of Europe - the Caucasus countries: Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia.

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2007

Plattesteen featured

Brussels - the Split of Nations

Apart from the abnormal amounts of alcohol and many types of parties, I got to not only explore the office couch but also Brussels - the city.

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Grand Place featured

Brussels - Back at Square One

Sitting in this fancy it-room used by journalists, I have come to the conclusion that Europe is a part of me and I am a part of Europe.

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Altes Museum, Berlin

My year of Germany

Germany - the object of endless Danish jokes. A country of sausages and sauerkraut, beer festivals and reunification. Full of jogging suits, toothpaste commercials and the synchronisation of everything on television.

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Statue of St. George slaying the dragon in Kohlberg, Basel
Schluchsee in Swartzwald

Gallery: Schwartzwald and Basel

Here are, as promised, a few shots from the wintery Baden-Württemberg and the Swiss city Basel.

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2006

La Peninsula

The travelblogs from my backpacking trip through Spain and Portugal and following Erasmus in Madrid.

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2005

Stari Most with workers

Balkan

The travelblogs from my time in Slovenia and my backpacking trip through the Balkan peninsula.

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Lunch break