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…

What to buy in Turkey

What to buy in Turkey

Shopping in Turkey is a dream – if you know where to look. Four years ago, I spent two days in Istanbul and came home laden with spices and home wares, so with the festive season looming, I was very excited buy some good gifts…

Flying in Turkey – Pegasus or Turkish Airlines?

Flying in Turkey – Pegasus or Turkish Airlines?

We recently had our “summer holiday” to Turkey  and flew on airlines which both get consistently bad reviews on Skytrax.  But are they really that bad?  Whether Pegasus or Turkish Airlines are a better choice for you depends on many factors.  Here is our experience…

Where to buy Marimekko Fabric in Helsinki

Where to buy Marimekko Fabric in Helsinki

Can you buy Marimekko fabric at good prices in Finland? Let’s continue on the great fabric quest, shall we? When you visit Finland, even fleetingly, you think of Marimekko, a design brand of great longevity and perpetual good taste. Marimekko – a Finnish Design Company…

Visiting the State Hermitage Museum St. Petersburg – Do’s and Don’ts

Visiting the State Hermitage Museum St. Petersburg – Do’s and Don’ts

When in St. Petersburg…  the State Hermitage Museum is probably on most visitors itineraries unless their time in the city is extremely limited. One of the largest publicly accessible palace complexes in the world, the Winter Palace and its annexes house an amazing collection of…

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

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

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.…

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…

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.…

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: Hotel Globales Reina Cristina, Algeciras

Hotel Review: Hotel Globales Reina Cristina, Algeciras

“What on earth are you doing in Algeciras?” you might ask. This port city is mostly known as a passing through place en route to Morocco and the Spanish Enclaves, but not as a tourist sight on its own. What makes it a great place…

Hotel Review: Hotel Palacio de Los Salcedo, Baeza

Hotel Review: Hotel Palacio de Los Salcedo, Baeza

On our recent honeymoon driving round some of lesser known Andalucia, we thought we book ourselves a special treat. We checked into a real palace in Baeza. This town in Northeastern Andalucia forms an impressive coherent architectural ensemble of Renaissance buildings unique to Spain.  It…

What to buy in Andalucia

What to buy in Andalucia

When I travel I  cannot resist a bit of shopping.  I’m in a holiday mood, that money just sits a little bit looser. And I like nice things to remind me of my trip. I even managed to find something in Moldova.  But there is…