RSS

Blog posts tagged with 'europe'

Europe at Your Convenience
Kindly contributed by Duncan J.D. Smith, with photographs from his ‘Only In’ Guides, which celebrate the unique locations and hidden corners of Europe’s great cities.
  In 2015 I wrote and published Only in London, the 10th volume in my series of ‘Only In’ Guides. It seemed a good time to reflect on the books and the many intriguing journeys their creation had entailed. Eccentric museums, secret gardens, abandoned graveyards and idiosyncratic shops are all recurring themes. This is because they not only offer quirky history but also their off-the-beaten track location usually guarantees a sense of discovery. But there is another recurrent theme that has only recently been pointed out to me. “Most of your books contain toilets!” a friend told me – and he’s absolutely right.
The Romani Gypsies
The Romani, Roma, Roms or Gypsies (a misnomer which has survived since Europeans thought they were Egyptians) have intrigued many a European vacationer. In the absence of a consistent narrative about the itinerant people, many Westerners who encounter Roms in their travels rely on fictional depictions of the culture, leading them to consider Roms as merely exotic entertainment or even as a minor threat. In his new book The Romani Gypsies, Yaron Matras, professor of Linguistics and editor of the journal Romani Studies, challenges the stereotypes surrounding this ostracized community throughout Europe and America.
Walking the Woods and the Water
In 1933 Patrick Leigh Fermor walked across Europe, from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. Forty years later he would record the trip -- an insightful glance into pre-WWII Europe -- in his famous trilogy, beginning with A Time of Gifts. Now readers can return to his route through the travels of Nick Hunt, who began his own "great trudge" in 2011, walking in the footsteps of Fermor through eight countries and capturing, in his new book
The Wachau Valley
Kindly contributed by Nick Hunt, author of Walking the Woods and the Water. In 1933 Patrick Leigh Fermor walked across Europe, from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. Forty years later he would record the trip in his famous trilogy, beginning with A Time of Gifts. Now readers can return to his route through the travels of Nick Hunt, who began his own "great trudge" in 2011, walking in the footsteps of Fermor through eight countries and capturing a modern day version of the unexpected hospitality and exhilarating freedom of the open road.
Amsterdam
Opening with his daily journey, by bike of course, through his neighborhood to drop off his toddler son, Russell Shorto spins a tale of a diverse city (178 nationalities, more than New York), wrestled collectively from the sea, its coffee shops, canals, personalities and politics. Subtitled, A History of the World's Most Liberal City, this beautifully presented book (with end papers, color plates and generous margins) is also a travelogue and a magnificent ode to his adopted home.
Dmanisi, Georgia
Kindly contributed by Ian Tattersall, author of Masters of the Planet: The Search for Our Human Origins. Besides being a neighbor in the West Village, Tattersall co-curated the marvelous Spitzer Hall of the Human Origins at the American Museum of Natural History, where he is curator emeritus in the Division of Anthropology. Tattersall is also author of
Tulipomania
Held in the Netherlands every ten years since 1960, Floriade 2012 opens April 5 in in North Limburg (once the Duchy of Limburg). Set in an expansive park in Venlo with the many pavilions separated by gardens and woods, the world horticultural expo runs through October 7.  The flower fields at Keukenhof, located outside Lisse between Amsterdam and the Hague, are open starting March 22.  A hunting area in the 15th century, the imposing castle and gardens at Kekenhoff have been host to an open flower exhibition since 1949. Seven million flower bulbs are planted annually in the park, usually at its peak in mid-April.
Lacoste, Provence
Kindly Contributed by Tony Perrottet, author of The Sinner's Grand Tour. "I never had a hankering to visit Provence — too many antique markets, too many Brits living in renovated barnyards, too overdone by Peter Mayle — until I heard about a quirky little village called Lacoste near Avignon.
Antwerp
Kindly contributed by Mark Lamster, author of Master of Shadows, a tale of the artist Peter Paul Rubens, his double life as a secret agent and 17th-Century Europe.
The Danube: Seasons & Castles
Patrick Leigh Fermor opens Chapter Five of A Time of Gifts, his masterful account of an exuberant youth on foot alone across Europe in the 1930s, with this sketch of Salzburg: "Only glimpses of Salzburg remain: bell-towers, bridges, piazzas, fountains, a dome or two and an impression of cloisters which may have been flown here by djinns and reassembled as an Italian Renaissance city on the wrong side of the Alps."