Author: Anja

Looking for Linen and finding Silk or: Fabric Shopping in Tallinn and St. Petersburg

Looking for Linen and finding Silk or: Fabric Shopping in Tallinn and St. Petersburg

This almost sounds like it’s too good to be true, right? The Baltic States, Belarus and Russia are linen producers and well known for good quality linen. So, it made sense on my recent trip to St. Petersburg and Tallinn to increase the stash – …

Classical Music in St Petersburg: How to find  hidden treasures

Classical Music in St Petersburg: How to find hidden treasures

Russia and the former Soviet Union have an excellent reputation for classical music and dance performances. And when visiting St Petersburg, the Mariinsky (formerly Kirov) Theatre will spring to mind. It is the most famous theatre in St Petersburg – and also the most expensive.…

How to get to the Mount of Olives on Foot

How to get to the Mount of Olives on Foot

My 2017 post on visiting the Mount of Olives is one of the most read articles on this site, and an question that turns up again and again is whether you can get there on foot. Technically, you can, quite easily (with a bit of…

Hotel Review: M-Hotel St. Petersburg, Russia – the perfect mid-range sightseeing hotel

Hotel Review: M-Hotel St. Petersburg, Russia – the perfect mid-range sightseeing hotel

My first trip to Russia post-Socialism took me, quite fittingly, to the imperial city of St. Petersburg, the Hero city of Leningrad, the modern city of St. Petersburg with its rich history and countless works or art. And where would be a better place to…

My Visa-free Russia Trip

My Visa-free Russia Trip

Now that I have returned from Russia, I cannot wait to give you the full report on my visa-free Russia trip! I booked this a few months ago when I figured out I can visit Russia without a visa, if only for a relatively short…

My Morrissey Years and a Saal Digital Photobook review

My Morrissey Years and a Saal Digital Photobook review

Do you print your photos? Make postcards? Books?  I used to, but my efforts in recent years have been pathetic. I am never sure which printing companies print a good quality photo or gift.  Most of my pictures have been languishing on hard drives and…

Small, Obscure and Super Tasty: A Gaillac Organic Winery Tour

Small, Obscure and Super Tasty: A Gaillac Organic Winery Tour

Gaillac is one of the oldest wine regions in France, yet it is little known outside France. But if you like your wine organic, and your organic winery small and fuss-free, an organic winery in Gaillac might be one of the best places to visit.…

In the French Pharmacy: Cruelty-Free Issue

In the French Pharmacy: Cruelty-Free Issue

When in France… buy cosmetics! This was my mantra for years, once I discovered you can buy mid-priced, high-quality body care and cosmetic products all over France even in the tiniest village pharmacy. I think plenty knowledge is out now that France produces some excellent…

A Day in Rodez

A Day in Rodez

Almost every year, we visit my family in Occitanie in France. It is a highly under-rated region.  As we get to know it bit by bit every year, we venture further out to explore its beautiful countryside and charming  towns. Rodez is little-known small city…

Staying in ultra budget F1 Hotel: What is it like?

Staying in ultra budget F1 Hotel: What is it like?

When you are looking just for a good nights sleep, when you have transportation to catch early in the morning, and you’re not interested in nightlife or sunset-watching, where do you prefer to stay? We had an early flight from Toulouse just recently, and instead…

To Russia with Love or: How to visit Russia Visa-free

To Russia with Love or: How to visit Russia Visa-free

February 1989: I’m  on an airplane journey for the first time in ten years. For the first time, too,  without my parents. It’s bitterly cold in Germany and in Moscow, where we spend one week practicing German-Soviet Friendship by visiting the great achievement of the…

Hotel Review: Boutique Hotel Minzifa, Bukhara

Hotel Review: Boutique Hotel Minzifa, Bukhara

Bukhara is perhaps the place with the widest choice of charming small hotels in Uzbekistan, and perhaps Central Asia. So, on my trip to Samarkand and Bukhara, it made sense to push out the boat a bit and book a characterful traditional small hotel.  I…

Hotel Review: Antica B&B, Samarkand

Hotel Review: Antica B&B, Samarkand

Samarkand is a large city and it is harder to find charming accommodation close to the major sights. A hotel in Samarkand hotel is typically large, business-orientated and geared towards tour groups. After my good and very cheap experience at the Hotel Rahmon, I decided…

Two Days in Samarkand -what not to miss (Part Two)

Two Days in Samarkand -what not to miss (Part Two)

I had the opportunity to fulfill a big dream, thanks to an unexpected week off work and the end of the Uzbek visa rule in March.  And I had to act fast before this gift of extra time was to be booked up. Quickly I…

Two Days in Samarkand – what not to miss (Part One)

Two Days in Samarkand – what not to miss (Part One)

My impromptu Silk Road trip to Samarkand and Bukhara lasted six days, including two long flights, and time was a bit of an issue. What to do if you have limited time, want to see everything, but don’t want to spend a ton of money…